A smart home refers to a convenient home setup where appliances and devices can be automatically controlled remotely from anywhere with an internet connection using a mobile or other networked device. Devices in a smart home are interconnected through the internet, allowing the user to control functions such as security access to the home, temperature, lighting, and a home theater remotely.

“Smart Home”, ”Home Automation”, “Custom Integration”, “Home theater”, “Home Security”, “The Internet of Things”- What does it all mean?

We work from two simple definitions: Our first definition for a smart home is anything that you can control from a mobile app. This is important what we are really talking about here is just a new method of manual control. It is not different than touching the light switch on the wall -only we are using our phone for manual control. One of the first certification classes we attended in the space was with automated outlet out of Dallas Texas and the instructor was really driving this point home about the difference between home automation and manual control.

Automation and Manual Control: Home automation is when the house comes to life without you having to do anything. You do not have to press the button, you do not have to hit a light switch, you do not have to pull out your phone. As you walk into a room the lights in the room come on, when you leave the room the lights go off. When you open the front door a pathway of lights appear to lead you to the room of the house that you are going to. When you use your smart phone to turn the lights on and off- that is just the latest version of manual control. It is not different than walking over to wall and pressing the lights switch on the wall. A true smart home in its truest sense is an automated home. It is the home that thinks for itself that acts for itself without us having to do anything. But in today`s market A Smart Home is simply a home where you have devices that can be controlled by a mobile app.

 

A second definition of a smart home is a more expanded one: It is everything that falls under that umbrella of a smart home. It is home automation, custom integration, home theater, home audio, home security, the internet of things. It is any technology that falls under the umbrella of smart homes. Smart homes have a lot of scales. Smart homes are going to be very simple- there is simply that mobile app is driving manual control, smart devices in the home. You also have your larger scale systems where there is a lot of integration, a number of third-party products that are carefully integrated to talk to one another, you have got coordination. So that when you walk into a room the lights come on and off, in the morning your room wakes you up to your favorite music and the blinds roll up. But all of that including the smaller scale systems are still part of a smart home.

Last thing is the internet of things – We want to talk about that briefly where does it fall under this whole discussion of smart homes. All it is the latest marketing buzz of where smart homes are going. It is a more descriptive term- it talks about smart home devices that live on the internet or the home network. But at the end of the day it is still just part of the smart home umbrella.

So, whether you are calling it “Home automation”, “Custom integration” or “The internet of things”- all of them is just a part of smart home.