What is home automation and how does it work?
Home automation is a collective name for all devices that help you automate everyday tasks. With home automation, you make your house smart, for example by setting time schedules. You link home automation devices to a smart home platform to let them communicate with each other. This makes it possible to control devices remotely. You do this with your phone or by giving voice commands to a smart home hub. The more home automation devices you have, the smarter your home becomes.
Smart home platform
A smart home platform is the umbrella system with which you control your home automation devices. Such a platform makes it possible to control all kinds of devices using 1 app. Well-known platforms are Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit. It's wise to choose a platform for your first purchase. This way you'll prevent a situation where you still need different apps. With every new purchase, make sure to check if the product is compatible with the platform you've chosen.
Smart home protocol
Home automation devices communicate wirelessly with each other via a protocol, also known as a standard. A protocol is the way in which a signal is sent between devices. Well-known protocols are Bluetooth and WiFi, but home automation devices also often communicate via Zigbee or Z-Wave. You usually barely notice the protocol. Keep in mind that not all devices can communicate directly with each other. Sometimes, you need an extra bridge that makes communication possible, for example with Philips Hue lighting.
Benefits of a smart home
Home automation provides more convenience and comfort at home. You control the devices remotely with your own phone or a smart home hub. By setting schedules, you ensure that they switch on or off at the right time. You decide for yourself what time the thermostat starts heating the room or when the light switches on. This way you can efficiently use the energy consumption of your house. IP cameras and smart doorbells make your home safer, because they immediately notice unwanted visitors.