In 2003 the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) came up with the following definition for a smart home.

“A dwelling incorporating a communications network that connects the key electrical appliances and services, and allows them to be remotely controlled, monitored or accessed.” But technology has moved on in the past 15 years and now the opportunities have grown with the advance of technology. The range of available intelligent devices and home technologies is expanding, as well as the development of computer controls and sensors. Smart homes offer exciting opportunities to change the way we live and work, while reducing energy consumption.

We recognise now that a Smart home is a home that integrates advanced automation systems to provide residents with sophisticated monitoring and control of building functions. For example, a smart home can control lighting, temperature, multimedia, security, windows and doors, and many other features.

“In the future, everyone will live in smart homes.”

But what really makes a house smart is its control system, which unites every system. It is connected to the network of home computers, heating, security and television and tells the devices what to do. You can turn on the emergency or security lights, turn on your favorite channel as your car drives up to the house, or close the blinds and curtains at you require.

The smart home technology already includes activation and speech recognition for hands-free home operation. Geo-fencing technology also means that your home will soon know when your arriving home and have everything  ready, for when you come home to a nice warm house.

Intelligent & Smart technology can save you a lot of money on operating, maintenance and energy costs.

If you install home heating control systems such as Nest, you will typically save 10-15% of your heating bills. These savings are achieved through intelligent systems that capture your home time and desired temperature every passing hour and precisely control your heat to provide heat only when you need it. This allows you to heat an unoccupied or overheated house at night. Nest systems can also be integrated into a larger smart home system, so a single Smart home app can control your heating, security, hobbies, lighting, and more.

The intelligent lighting system saves over a period of one year, about 10 to 20% power, as its intelligent dimming function reduces the power that is transmitted to each light when the lights are dimmed. The design of a home lighting system with LED lighting alone offers more significant advantages and saves up to 75% of the electricity costs associated with lighting.

A Smart home system can save you even more energy by automatically turning off audiovisual lighting, heaters, etc. when you leave home. There is no light or television or gaming device accidentally left switched on  or forgotten about in the rooms and reduce the fire hazard risk of leaving devices on when you are not there.  A home Smart automation system can also provide an energy monitor that tells you what you how much energy and costs for your heating, for the lighting of home, entertainment systems and for general electrical usage in the  home. It shows you where you consume most energy and on what devices and will help to drive efficiencies that will assist you in lowering your energy bills and save you money.

Author Sean McClouchan ©