The Smart House
Control lighting, security and all your other systems with a single interface.
By: Kristen Hampshire
How convenient would it be to use your cell phone to turn off lights you accidentally left on at home? What about pressing a single button on a remote control that cues up music and adjusts the air conditioner for "party mode" before guests arrive?
All this is possible with an integrated home system that allows individual systems—lighting, HVAC, entertainment, security—to communicate so they can be controlled with a single interface. And because you no longer need a bulky box on the wall to house the interface, prices for the systems have come down.
The whole idea of systems integration is to configure a smarter house that can "think" on its own so you can control systems conveniently while at home or away. Just like a car's interior lights automatically turn on when a door is opened and headlights automatically turn off if a car has been parked for a while, a home can function automatically if it's programmed.
Here are two ways to sync the systems in your home.
- Set for security: Program lights, security and climate control (HVAC) to work together. If you go away for a week and set the home to "vacation mode," lights will turn on and off at various times of the day, the security system will be armed and climate control will be set to save energy. Upon returning home, systems can be reset with the push of a button. Systems can be programmed so you can watch security cameras from a phone or a computer.
- Programmed for entertainment: Integrate all media and operate it from a single touch pad or wireless device. This is especially helpful if you stream content from many sources—cable TV, satellite radio, whatever. Integration allows you to access all sources at a single touch point.
Before you integrate, be sure to discuss your goals and lifestyle with a home-integration specialist. What do you want your home to "do" for you? What controls would you like to consolidate? For example, do you always want outdoor lights to turn on at dusk? Or do you want those lights to turn on only when you leave home? Explain how and when you use systems in your home so the specialist can streamline your home operation.
First Look: Technology in HGTV Smart Home 2014
From lighting and temperature control to security and media room must-haves, learn about the cool high-tech features in HGTV Smart Home 2014.
Budgeting for Home Technology
Learn what your biggest costs will be and how to create a spending plan.
Smart Design Details at HGTV Smart Home 2015
Discover which home control design features and responsible building practices went into the construction of HGTV Smart Home 2015.
Home Technologies: Warranty and Maintenance
Learn what to look for and what to avoid when choosing home control systems.
HGTV Smart Home 2015: High-Tech Highlights
From entertainment systems to home automation, learn about high-tech features that makes life easier.
Home Technology and Installation
Consider how an integration project will impact your routine and the do-it-yourself options available.
Get all the info you'll need on smart appliances, and get ready to install efficient, economic appliances that can communicate with your home's automation system.
11 Smart Apps for Your Home
From security to lights to climate to entertainment, there is an app for all things home automation, allowing you to control your house, whether at home or away, in real time.
What is a Smart Grid?
Discover what makes a smart grid, and find out if integrating with one could help your home automation system function more efficiently.
Get expert tips for choosing switches, dimmers and key pad systems
Behind the Design at HGTV Dream Home 2016
HGTV Dreams Happen: Sweepstakes Blog » HGTV Dream Home Oct 6, 2015 by Virginia Moon
Stylish + Efficient Appliances for Hard-Working Spaces
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Sep 30, 2015 by Kayla Kitts
This or That: Pick Your Favorite Bathroom Wallpaper
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Sep 17, 2015 by Farima Alavi
Fall Decorating Ideas From HGTV Magazine’s October Issue
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Sep 8, 2015 by Alyssa Sparacino
Go Behind the Scenes of John Colaneri’s HGTV Magazine Shoot
I Heart HGTV Sep 3, 2015 by Alyssa Sparacino
Were You Correct? HGTV Magazine’s Latest High/Low Challenge
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Sep 2, 2015 by Alyssa Sparacino