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Home Automation 101: A Breakdown of the Equipment

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By: Editor
December 5, 2013
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Home Automation 101: A Breakdown of the Equipment

Welcome back to Home Automation 101! This week, we’ll discuss each of FrontPoint’s home automation features as well as how they work.

Z-Wave: The Home Automation Frequency

First, it’s important to understand the technology that backs home automation. Z-Wave communication was specifically designed for home automation products and is the heart of their functionality. The signal is sent via a very low frequency and does not interfere with other common household frequencies, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This ensures that all the devices in your home continue to operate without interruption.

Now, on to the fun stuff!

No Hassle Light Control

The most basic tool of home automation is the wireless light control. A staple within an automated system, it grants the user wireless access to lights within the home. By simply attaching the device to a light, users can remotely turn it on and off. This is different than a timer, which has a similar function, as you can adjust your lights in real time.

In addition to granting remote access, the wireless light control easily integrates within a home security system.  You can schedule specific times for lights to turn on or off. This is perfect to light your home at the time you normally return from work or when you’re on vacation, to make it appear as though you’re home at the “normal” time.

Another feature of the wireless light control is event-triggered automation. This setting allows you to set your light control to activate during specific events. For instance, you can turn on your living room lights when the front door opens or turn off after closing the garage door.

Home Control with Automated Locks

Like the wireless light control, automated door locks can be controlled remotely. They also forego the traditional lock-and-key function in favor of a keypad and code – although there are plenty of models available that also work with a key. If you ever forget to lock your door, don’t worry, just lock the door remotely.

You can also view a log online or on your phone of who’s using the lock. It’s a very useful feature for keeping tabs on someone you’re expecting at home, such as a cleaning service or the kids. Should any authorized users forget their code, you can remotely open the door for them.

Home Energy Management

One of the hottest items in home automation, automated thermostats allow you to remotely control your home’s temperature. Are you sensing a theme?

You may be thinking, doesn’t a programmable thermostat give me the same usability? Yes and no. A programmable thermostat allows you to set times for temperature changes in your home. An automated thermostat, on the other hand, gives you real time control of your home’s temperature.  If your schedule changes often or if you want to be able to adjust the temp in your home based on the weather, an automated thermostat will do the trick.

Also, automated thermostats are often equipped with Geo-Services. This feature adjusts temperature based on the location of the user through technology in his/her smartphone. For more on the advanced features about Geo-Services, check out our post from November.

Better Living with Home Automation

Through these three simple devices, you gain unlimited access to your home. Whether you have a very regular schedule or your life changes week-to-week, home automation can make life a bit simpler and hopefully safe you some money.

We’ve only begun to touch on the many benefits of utilizing these tools. Next week, we’ll examine how they work in conjunction with a home security system to make your home a safer place. Stay tuned!

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