August 8, 2016
Under Control – Run Your Home Remotely
Have you ever run back home to make sure that you’ve closed the garage door or adjusted the thermostat? If so, you can immediately appreciate the value of dozens of new technologies and apps that allow you to supervise the functions of your home remotely…with just a cell phone! If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, or a mobile Android device, it will become your new best friend when you’re away from home. With your portable device, you can control which lights are on and how bright they are, automatically turn them on and off on a pre-programmed schedule, use sensors to activate lights with motion and operate more than one light at a time, all with the touch of a button! You can also adjust your thermostats, turn your appliances on and off and monitor the amount of energy they use and control lawn sprinklers and fountains from your device as well. Keep your home safe with sensors that detect motion in your yard and at doors and windows, monitor smoke and carbon monoxide levels and warn you when water leaks are spotted. You can even run Wi-Fi capable security cameras from your device! While many home automation companies resemble each other greatly in the services they offer, some have a “calling card” they use to set them apart from the competition. For example, Loxone Home Products’ flagship product, the Loxone Smart Home system, also functions as a universal remote and weatherstation. Founded in Europe in 2009, the company opened its first US office in 2013, and has become one of our country’s leaders in “green” home automation. Control4, another major player in the home automation industry, understands the importance of providing full information on each of the highly specialized services it provides. They’ve put together a wide variety of videos, which they’ve housed on their website, that go into deep detail about the home automation products they offer. You can view them all here. These well-known and well-respected companies are just a few of the players in this fast-growing and highly competitive industry. In fact, it can be difficult to choose between them! If you need a little guidance, we’ve collected a few review articles that can give you some insight as to which companies have achieved high rankings in the industry. This top ten roundup from Top Consumer Reviews can be helpful, as well as contributions from Search Engine Journal and Top Ten Reviews. Some home automation companies appear on more than one review, but keep in mind that any one of these companies may have a specific feature or function that makes it the best choice for you. If you’re not looking for a full service home automation system, there are still some interesting gadgets and “toys” that fulfill one or two more specialized needs. Which of them does the job the best? Again, it’s a tough call, and a little subjective, but the experts at Android Central have weighed in with their knowledge of the latest technologies to provide a roundup of some of the best specialized automation options. Check out the reviews from the editors here. One thing that almost everyone can agree on is that the benefits of home automation make it well worth the relatively short period of time you’ll spend researching the best fit for you!