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Home Automation Europe - What is HOME AUTOMATION?

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For some it may be something as simple as remote or automatic control of a few lights. For others, security may be the central application. As a very basic definition, we tend to refer to home automation as anything that gives you remote or automatic control of things around the home.
Imagine: You are sitting on the sofa, ready for a quiet night in with a good movie. With one press on the remote control you lower the blinds, dim the lights, set the TV to the right channel and set your home cinema set to Dolby Surround.

Impossible? No! That is x10 Home Control!

One of the earliest goals for a "smart house" was control, especially of lights and heat.   One typical home control scenario is for lights to automatically come on in any room where motion sensors indicate that the room is occupied.  When the sensors determine that the room is empty, the lights will be turned off.  Another use is to make sure that all lights are turned off whenever the security system is armed during the day.  At night, the system could be programmed to turn lights on and off in ways that make the house appear to be occupied.  In addition, home control can help conserve precious natural resources by manipulating thermostat settings and lawn sprinkling devices in ways that don’t waste energy or water. The automated bells and whistles implied by home control intrigue homeowners because of the possibilities for energy efficiency and home economy. At the same time, there is an underlying perception that so-called smart homes will ease the lives of the people who live there.
There are three major reasons for homeowners to consider home control applications – convenience, enhanced safety and economy.  Here are few home control examples in each of these categories:

  • Control all lights and appliances around the house by remote control.
  • Have the outside lights come on at sunset so your house always looks its best.
  • True three- and four-way dimming capabilities. Actually dim from two or three areas, as well as remotely.
  • Multiple switching points throughout the house for any light or group of lights.
  • Automatically control electric blinds and draperies.
  • Wake kids up with one button from master bedroom.
  • Time pools, hot tubs, sprinklers, fish tanks, hot water heaters, fans, battery chargers, air filters, humidifiers, heating/air conditioning, computers, copiers, printers, coffee pots, security systems, door locks, engine block heaters, space heaters, bathroom heaters, indoor plant watering, landscape lighting, safety lights, security lights, convenience lighting, etc., all with one smart interface.
  • Turn off kids televisions at designated times each night.
  • Automatically check garage doors to make sure they are shut.
  • Remotely switch off any equipment when left on inadvertently.
  • Increase versatility of sprinkler systems.
  • Turn on/off all your lights from your bed at night.
  • Start the coffee brewing automatically before you get out of bed (even at different times each morning.) 
  • Dim the lights, set up "mood" or "scene" lighting all automatically–create atmosphere.

  • Enhanced Safety
  • Have hall and stair lights come on at sunset, then dim later to act as night-lights to enhance safety.
  • Vacation/security mode makes the house look and sound lived in while you’re away.
  • Turn multiple lights on before you enter a room, off as you leave, with one button.
  • When you pull into your driveway and open the garage door, if it is after dark, several lights in your home can come on. The garage door can close automatically. When you leave your home and you close the garage by remote, the system can turn your house lights off.
  • Have an "indicator" lamp in the home stay on when the front gate or the garage door is open, off when closed.
  • Automatically close, if open, garage door when alarm is set at bedtime.
  • Turn on all inside and/or outside lights if you hear a suspicious noise.
  • People with limited mobility can use hand-held remotes to control their surroundings, and call for help if needed.

  • Economy
  • Turn kids lights off from convenient locations or at a certain time.
  • Time out battery chargers to avoid overcharging and/or take advantage of the cheapest rate.
  • In vacation mode, automatically switch off water heater and any other selected function until turned on by phone, timer or pre-programming.
  • Remotely and/or automatically turn lights on and off in separate buildings (i.e. stables, barns, garage, office).
  • Allow dryers/washers etc to only be powered at times where cheap rates are in effect.
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