Home Automation Anyone Can Do Now, Get Started

Why do I love home automation?

Home automation lets you see how good technology can be. There’s no need to fear it, if you do it’s because you don’t really understand it.

What’s automation to me?

The ability to control something automatically connected to your home without always having to manually interact with it.

What’s the easiest way to start automating?

A light bulb that can be controlled by a cell phone is a good start. These lights will come with an app that’s loaded on an Android or Apple phone. Inside it will give the ability to set days and times for the bulbs to turn off and on.

Why do you need this capability with lights?

You don’t, but it can make your house a little more safe. If you are away from your home at night feel better knowing when you arrive the lights will be automatically turned on. The lights can be inside or outside; it doesn’t matter.

The less fearful you are the better your automation will be. Security on devices is really good these days. Most things can’t be interacted with without some form of two-factor authentication. For non-computer brains, besides having a password the system will also send a code to your phone to make sure it’s you. (Two ways to prove it’s you – password + code)

Alexa, Siri, or both for home automation?

Both devices have the ability to control devices in the home. They may go about it a little differently but for the most part work the same.

To start, the suggestion that I would give is to pick one and stick with it. You won’t understand the pros and cons of either of them without actually working with it. You can’t read books and blog posts to determine which is best for you. Technology changes so fast that if a feature currently isn’t available it will be in the near future.

If you are a trailblazer and love to experiment run them both. In my home, I run all Apple devices (home pod, Siri) on one wireless router and all others on another. I’ll get into it more in some of my blog posts.

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Voice control is the whole reason I continue to use automation now. Back in the day, I had an X10 system that was controlled by a computer. There weren’t any voice commands that you could give. Now being able to say “Hey Siri” or “Alexa to turn on the light” is a game changer.

There are all types of smart home devices that you can add to your system. One to consider besides smart bulbs would be cameras. You don’t need a full-blown home security system. If you have one to two cameras that alert your smartphone when it senses real-time movement it is a basic security system.

Ring video doorbell is truly one of my favorite devices. I was a little reluctant initially only because I didn’t understand it. If you don’t have one, make sure to add it to your system. Since mine is running through the same router as Alexa, she will announce when someone presses the doorbell. She will say, “Someone is at your door”. The craziest thing is I purchased an Amazon Fire TV without knowing anything about them. I was watching Amazon Prime one day and someone rang the doorbell and instantly a video of that person showed up on the TV. That is the coolest thing ever.