Top Home Automation Project Ideas

Get all the information you'll need on top home automation project ideas, and get ready to install an efficient and economical home automation system.
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By: Sean McEvoy

If you've had enough of constantly patrolling your home's heating, cooling, lighting and appliances, it may be time to explore a list of top home automation project ideas. There are a number of steps you can take to improve the efficiency of your home and reduce the cost of operations—and they're all available via today's highly sophisticated home automation and control systems. The pricing tiers and levels of complexity for individual systems or whole-house installations vary greatly, so it's a good bet that there's a system that will fit your home's needs and your budget.

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At the highest level, home automation systems integrate electrical devices with each other. There are various systems used in home automation, which may be controlled wirelessly or by a hard-wired system connected to the home's electrical grid (this implementation is often present in older systems). In newer home automation schemes, the various systems are often connected to the home or businesses' computer network, allowing them to be controlled remotely from computers or mobile devices.

The top home automation project ideas generally fall into the following categories: lighting: security; HVAC and outdoor sprinkler systems.

Systems that control lighting may operate on a timer, so that some or all house lighting turns on or off at predetermined times. A great potential benefit of lighting automation is energy efficiency, but automated lighting may also be viewed as a security boost for a home or business, as well-lit structures may be less of a target for criminals. Automated home lighting systems will require a connection to the home's electrical grid, and they may be controlled remotely or via in-home control panels or remote controls. A fully integrated lighting control system connected to a whole-house automation can be quite costly, whereas basic standalone systems are extremely reasonable and easy to implement, often involving a simple hub receiver that plugs into an existing wall outlet to control the lighting in a room.

Home security systems are widely available and can be quite affordable. They can be integrated with an existing whole-house automation system, or they can operate independently. They offer varying levels of complexity, from simple detectors that monitor door and window security to complex combinations of motion sensors, closed-circuit cameras and even facial recognition technology.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning are often controlled via home automation systems, sometimes with excellent energy-saving benefits. Homeowners can regulate temperatures in their entire homes or even in individual rooms or zones. In addition, they can implement a temperature calendar and schedule based on weather predictions, usage patterns or other factors related to HVAC system usage patterns.

Outdoor sprinkler systems are often offered as part of home automation and control, as they eliminate the need for standalone sprinklers or time-consuming watering. They can often be adjusted to respond to weather changes automatically, ensuring increased watering during dry stretches and shutting down to conserve water during periods of heavy rainfall. As with most other home automation systems, they can often be controlled via a panel directly linked with the home's power grid, or by remote control or wireless technologies.

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