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A smart home is one in which the appliances, security systems, home comfort systems and other systems can be controlled by a phone or computer. The "internet of things" is a term that has been developed to describe how most everything in our world today has the ability to be remotely controlled through the internet. A home automation system controls these devices and allows them to communicate with each other.
One of the benefits of these systems is convenience because the parts of a home can be programmed to operate without you even thinking about them.
Another benefit is energy savings as devices can be automatically turned off when not required.
Home security is a major concern these days and most home automation systems provide monitoring through cameras as well as traditional security systems. This can provide peace of mind.
A cell phone with the proper app is the usual interface between you and the home automation system.
The heart of the system is the controller or central hub. This device receives signals from a computer or cell phone and transmits them to the various components in the home.
The signals from the hub are sent through the home's electrical wiring, by wi-fi or both to the devices and their controllers. These local controllers turn appliances and systems on and off based on theses signals.
In addition, sensors such as door position, motion detection, smoke detectors, flood detectors, etc send signals to the hub when they detect an abnormal situation in the home. The hub then sends alerts to the cell phone and can cause appliances to turn on/off.
The price of the system varies by brand and the amount of sensors and controllers you intend to use. The price for the hub ranges from 50 to 300 dollars.
Some systems require professional installation and a monthly monitoring fee but most do not.
Before you purchase a smart home system, you can check out our reviews of the different brands of controllers.