At its very basic, a home automation system can operate the lights, thermostats, audio/video equipment and security devices. These core functions are always a great starting point when automating your home, offering some very practical benefits. However, there are so many other parts of your home that can also be managed by an automation system. They may not be as conventional as the core elements, but feel free to think outside the box. Automation systems have the processing power to handle almost anything you throw at them. Here are a few “out of the box” ideas to consider:
- Lawn irrigation systems. These systems come with their own timers for creating an automatic watering schedule, but they can be complicated to set up. By putting a sprinkling system under the command of a home automation system, you can use a touchpanel, smartphone or tablet to set up watering schedules. These devices are much easier to use and understand than most timers. Plus, the sprinklers can be programmed to turn on and off according to other conditions. For instance, when a motion sensor notices a car pull into the driveway the automation system can temporarily turn off the sprinklers.
- Gas fireplaces. The handheld remote that comes with a gas fireplace is easy enough to use, but by letting a home automation system control it, the fireplace becomes a more integral part of your home’s ambiance. When you engage a Welcome Home scene on the touchpanel of your home automation system, for instance, the family room lights can dim, the whole-house music system can activate … and the fireplace can start. Instant romance.
- Towel warmers. A typical Good Morning command launched by a home automation system would open the bedroom window shades, gradually bring up the lights and play the morning news over the room’s built-in speakers. Also consider throwing in the towels … or rather, a towel warmer into this automation scenario. You towels will be warm and when you’re done showering.