The third in my how do I automate my home series begins today. First off, my rule for home automation project is whatever you do make your life more simple. Do not create complex systems that require you to expend time and effort to keep them running. While the concept of Rube Goldberg machines has always been fun to consider, they do not fit in the world of home automation. Home automation is about making things simple.
Door locks, as mentioned yesterday, are the easy button of home automation projects. They solve a universal problem (and by the way they are battery operated so in the event of power failures they continue to work)! Plus, they add the wonderful auto-locking, as well as the connect remotely to lock functionality to your life. Every single-family vacation we ever took via car started with us two miles down the road, wondering did we lock the front door, and did we close the garage door. Now, we can quickly look at a screen on a cell phone for the answer. We’ve installed the home automation easy button!
The next easy project is to install a Hue bridge and a Hue lighting gateway. First of all, I recommend the lights next simply because they are a simple and easy project to install and they allow you to turn on lights when you aren’t home. Including lights, allows you to maintain someone is home, even when they aren’t by having random lights turn on for variable periods. Always, though remember the shadow rule. If lights are in rooms with open, visible windows, burglars look for shadows. If they don’t see a shadow, then ring the doorbell, and if no one answers, they break-in. Home security is a critical part of home automation.
The last automation thing to consider is a video doorbell. SkyBell, Ring, and others install using the wiring of your existing doorbell and allow you to see who is at your door, even if you are relaxing on vacation at the beach!