Home automation technology might not yet be at the point that the futurists of 50 years ago expected, but it is well on its way. Emerging technologies are making modern homes smarter, safer, and more efficient with each passing day. Best of all, the cost of the technology is coming down.

Today’s home automation systems are more affordable for more people. Systems can be integrated with monitored security or act as stand-alone systems. You can also buy a complete system or build your own.

There are now so many choices that you really have the capability to make a home automation system anything you want it to be. With that in mind, below is a list of four components that make up a basic home automation system. Start with them and you are well on your way.

 

1. The Hub

Every home automation system starts with a hub. The hub is the central control unit, as it were. It is that which controls all of the smart devices in your home – with the possible exception of your thermostat and doorbell. However, thermostats and video doorbells can be integrated into most hubs.

Your big-name voice assistants can be used as home automation hubs. If you purchase a home automation system, the hub will be included. And if you are a techno-geek looking to build your own system, you can buy a hub or convert an old laptop or smartphone.

 

2. Smart Thermostat

For a lot of people, the introduction into home automation starts with a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat is not merely a programmable thermostat, it is one that can ‘learn’ your habits and adjust itself automatically. It can also be controlled while you are away from home via a smartphone app, and can help save you money over the summer months.

Your typical smart thermostat starts with a basic program. Then it monitors your daily activity and makes adjustments. Should you need to alter programming while you are away from home, you can generally take care of it with a companion mobile app.

 

3. Automated Lighting

Next to smart thermostats, automated lighting is one of the nicest benefits of home automation. There are lots of ways to use automated lighting, beginning with programming lights to go on and off at certain times of the day. Think security here.

Lights can be programmed during the winter hours so that you never arrive home from work to a dark house. Lighting can also be tied into sensors so that lights come on at the front of the house as you pull into the driveway. The possibilities are endless. And aside from security, you can program lights according to landscaping features.

Imagine being able to speak a word to turn off all the lights in your home. It is possible when you combine automated lighting with voice control. Never run around turning off the lights again; just speak and it’s done.

 

4. Smart Door Locks

Finally, every basic home automation system should include at least one smart door lock. A smart door lock is an electronic lock that offers keyless entry and remote management. These sorts of door locks eliminate the need for multiple keys. They allow homeowners to control access and make it possible to monitor who goes in and out just by issuing different codes to different people.

Imagine a smart lock that allows your kids in the house after school without giving them keys. Tied in with your home security system, you could receive an alert the minute one of the kids walks through the door.

 

Are you planning on a visit from out-of-state family members during the holidays? No problem. You do not even need to be home to let them in. Give them a security code to unlock your front door and they can let themselves in while you are at work. Have alerts sent to your phone or e-mail and you’ll know they have arrived safely.

Home automation is a booming industry with a lot of potential. Whether you buy a system or build your own, the four components listed here make for a good starting point. You can add-on with additional components after you get a better idea of how home automation can work for you.