I’m absolutely obsessed with home automation; I began working on my home automation around a year ago. It started with just simple and generic plugs that could be powered on through my network at home. It was fairly expensive to purchase but once I had them setup in one room I was hooked! when jumping on the bandwagon of new technology, it seems to be the case that you start with the cheapy products and once your accustomed to it you start splashing the cash. This is exactly what happened here.
I decided to ditch my original setup which wasn’t too much of a loss since I got a good price for them on Ebay. I started shopping around for starter kits and other products that might interest me. This led me to the INSTEON Lighting Control Kit. I picked this up for around $500 a year ago with some access points, I’m sure it’s a lot cheaper now but it’s a great kit. It comes with your Smartlinc plug adapter which plugs into the wall, and it then features an ethernet port which can then plug directly into your router. It also comes with two Switchlinc dimmers and one remote on/off switch of which I bought a few more. One thing that should be mentioned is that the product is not supplied with access points, these are essential to the home automation but some websites like to “forget” to mention this.
After reading through the instruction manual I attempted to setup my kit. It seemed fairly easy but I kept Google close by just in case anything went wrong. The interface seemed average, customization limited but other than that it worked great!
The ease of being able to know when you’ve left a light on and being able to turn it off out of the house is incredibly ingenious, and incredibly addictive.
It became an obsession, I would start looking at things and contemplate whether they could be automated, and it turns out most things can.
My wife is in love with the automated elements in our house. When we built our sun room, we made sure it had 10 foot windows. She has always wanted that kind of light in a room. But, privacy and sun control was a problem – until I mentioned I could probably have some remote control blinds installed.
Getting online and searching for compatible devices with my setup I found that INSTEON had blind controls too! As I am qualified in electrical installations I managed to install those with little trouble. She thought it was amazing, just connect on your phone and you can get the shades to roll up and down at your command even before you’ve entered the room. You don’t ever have to touch them.
Integrating different devices into the system seemed relatively easy, porch lights, blinds, stereo and even the garden lights gave me little trouble.
I haven’t fully completed my home automation yet, but I’m definitely on the way. The next step will be to install a security system that can really integrate with the home. I want to be able to login and set the alarms if I’ve forgotten, or even view the security cameras when I’m away at work. This will most likely be the most costly area but in the end very much worth it.
I think that this is definitely the future of households. It could be years before this is a common practice but I always love to be a step ahead of the curve.