What is home automation? It’s an easier way to manage life around the house.

“Home automation” can have a slightly different definition depending on the service provider. Obviously, not every brand provides the same features across the board. Still, according to the industry standard, all home automation systems have one common purpose: to simplify and condense housework and home management.

Household automation can be something as simple as a timer that turns off the light in your front hallway every night at 11. These days, an automation system is usually seen as a wide-ranging digital network that can help you manage your lights, locks, thermostats and even video surveillance cameras or entertainment systems. Some home automation systems even give you control from anywhere with remote access technology.

Just a decade ago, it would’ve been hard to imagine streaming your favorite movies with the same device we use to adjust the room temperature. Today, home automation systems have made it an affordable reality.

Four components of a quality home automation system

If you’ve checked out other sections of HomeSecuritySystem.com, you already know the difference between DIY home security systems and the equipment offered by full-service providers. As in most industries, quality security devices come from quality security companies. Not surprisingly, the same goes for automation equipment.

If you’re considering a home automation system, you should start your search with the most popular brand names. Even if you don’t know all that much about a particular company, there’s still a reason that it appears among the top providers.

The big names in smart-home services have built the reputation and the infrastructure to properly handle your security and household management. Home automation isn’t like buying local produce; it’s one area where you don’t necessarily want to rely on a hometown provider.

Once you’ve put together a few prospects, you can narrow the list by following four rules of thumb:

  1. Automated homes should also be efficient homes. The best home automation systems will include energy management, which means you can expect them to include features such as lighting and thermostat controls. It works on two levels – not only will a comprehensive home automation system help you reduce your carbon footprint, it should also help you save money on your energy bills.
  2. Pay attention to a provider’s home automation controller. Some companies will run their services through smartphones or tablet-based apps, while others have their own wall-mounted panels that accompany the system. Ideally, you want a package that gives you the accessibility to make changes from any room or off-site location. See if you can find a provider that gives you more than one home automation controller, and double-check to make sure the functions include remote access.
  3. See which companies link their automation services to wireless home security systems. Working in tandem, a home automation system and security system can help tremendously with household safety by providing customized entryway alerts, video surveillance playback and digital lock control. Some advanced systems may also let users integrate outdoor home security.
  4. Customization is key. High-grade home automation systems have the ability to adapt to your home’s unique qualities. Plenty of companies provide automation services that can accommodate your schedule and personal preferences.

Putting it all together with home automation

Your first home automation purchase can seem overwhelming. It’s easy to get lost in the comparison charts and sales pitches. To stay on track, just remember the guidelines listed above; focus on a product’s customization settings, energy efficiency functions, control devices and home security integration.

Once you take these critical factors into account, you’ll be able to zero in on your best choice for a home automation system.