The Smart House system has been written and spoken about many times. Brief historical background: the very concept of “smart (intelligent) home” was formed in the early 70s of the last century by the American Institute of Intelligent Building. The main task that the scientists faced was to teach such systems as accurately as possible to recognize a wide variety of situations and respond adequately and quickly to them. There are a lot of options for Smart Home systems, and when choosing a particular system, first of all, you need to be guided by a sense of proportion. Improving your home can be infinitely long, but does it make sense?
According to statistics, the majority of owners of such systems use their capabilities at best by 30 – 40% and install them more often out of prestige. As a result – disappointment in the possibilities, although, in fact, on the face of an elementary inability to make the right choice. However, every day our house (apartment) is filled with a large number of “smart” devices and more and more time a person begins to spend on monitoring all this electronics. But what about dreams of home comfort and relaxation? This is where the Smart Home system comes to our aid. So let’s try to make this choice correctly and not purchase unnecessary elements of the “Smart Home” system. To this end, you need to have a little idea about this system, decide which elements we need, which we can install later.
The entire “Smart Home” system consists of certain groups that are responsible for certain actions (functions) of various devices and sensors. Each manufacturer in his own way describes the components (components) of the “Smart Home” system. We will also try to tell you about all the elements of the system in simple language, without excessive use of complex technical terms. Most often, such systems include the following main groups:
- security and fire alarm devices, access elements to the object;
- gas supply and heating control devices;
- ventilation and air conditioning devices;
- water supply control devices;
- power supply control devices;
- control devices for home appliances and other devices (weather control, home theater, satellite TV, Internet, etc.).
Autonomous power supply in the event of a power outage could be classified as power supply control devices, but it is better to separate them into a separate group.
How do various Smart Home systems work?
A big role is played by the circumstance when exactly you have a desire to create a similar system at home. At the initial stages of construction or major overhaul, it is much easier to install all the necessary equipment than to adapt to the finished interior. However, there are no hopeless situations. Modern Smart Home systems do not at all imply that your home will turn into a spider web of wires. Although, with an inept approach to this issue, such a scenario is not excluded when installing equipment.
The first step towards creating a Smart Home system in your home can be done by improving the lighting system. Agree that it is the lighting devices that we most often use and it is the controls for these devices (switches) that only change their design over the years, and in fact, they perform one role – they allow you to turn the light on or off. And at the same time, the simplest switch can cause you a lot of inconvenience. We will not consider the case when you simply do not want to get out of a warm bed in order to turn off the light, it happens that you simply cannot do this due to illness. It is in this situation that you can feel the advantage that the power supply control device (one of the constituent parts of the “Smart Home”) provides you and you will need very little for this. First of all, you need to purchase a special multi-zone (multi-zone) switch. For these purposes, the IBM Mini Controller is quite suitable, the cost of which is about 1,500 rubles. It is this device that will be able to control your lighting devices. Standard switches and, possibly, sockets will also have to be replaced with special devices (outwardly no different from standard ones) that will respond to commands from the multi-zone switch.
You can do a little easier. At the moment, there are special switches that respond to signals from home appliances control panels (TVs, music centers, etc.). For example, the SAPPHIRE 2503 switch will allow you not only to control it using the remote control, but can also create the illusion of the presence of people in the room. The electronics will periodically turn on and off the lights in the room on their own. Now we have smoothly approached another problem that the Smart Home system is able to solve. Most modern technology provides for the possibility of control using a special remote control. TV, stereo, air conditioning and other equipment – all controlled by separate remote controls. Agree, it is not so easy to cope with such a number of remotes, and the need to search for them does not cause much enthusiasm. This problem can be easily solved using a special universal remote control. Regardless of who is the manufacturer of this device, almost all commands are programmed into the memory of the universal remote control, with which you can control any household appliances that have remote controls (remote controls). This device is very compact, despite its versatility, the only condition is to pre-coordinate all your household appliances with this device.
Now, from problems with lighting, let’s move on to an equally important issue – ventilation, heating, air conditioning of your premises. These are the main components of a person’s comfortable stay in the house. No matter how comfortable your sofa is, you don’t want to lie on it in a cold (hot) room. And in the office, very few people like to languish from the heat. Old heating systems cannot fully provide a comfortable room temperature. Heating will work evenly everywhere, although you can find a certain way out in the form of coolant supply regulators on each battery separately. But this solves the problem only half. You simply cannot do without installing special programmers in the room. Modern heating boilers do an excellent job with functions such as controlling the set temperature, water pressure in the heating system, no gas leaks, etc. But, for example, your boiler cannot add water to the heating system on its own. And he cannot control the presence of water in the water supply system. What can we say about the inclusion of forced ventilation or air conditioning of the room.
All that your “smart” heating device (boiler) can do is simply turn off in order to avoid breakdowns or when a certain temperature in the room is reached. If we put together a boiler, an air conditioner, a water booster pump, a forced ventilation system, set a certain operation algorithm, then only in this case we will get a full-fledged microclimate control group for your home.
Do not forget that in country houses the adjacent territory also needs not only constant control, but also care for it. Here are a few examples of how you can use the elements of the “Smart Home” system on your personal plot. Let’s start with lighting again. At night it is simply impossible to do without it. However, wasting expensive electricity on site lighting is a simple waste. It will be enough to install special motion sensors that will be able to not only turn on the lighting at the right time, but will also work as part of the security alarm if necessary. Moreover, street lighting can be “taught” to turn on independently at nightfall and turn off after some time.
A country house is simply impossible to imagine without flower beds, lawns, trees. All this vegetation requires constant attention. Some problems are quite within the reach of the Smart Home. Special irrigation systems can be equipped with a programmer, which at a certain time will bring sprinkler systems into action without your participation. You can set not only the duration of watering, but also its intensity, determine the day and time of day when you need to water. Moreover, thanks to special sensors, such a system can detect soil moisture and not turn on when it rains. But we can not only control irrigation with the help of the “Smart Home” system. In the household, autonomous lawn mowers began to appear, which, without your site, will cope with such work as mowing lawns. These devices are not like the lawn mowers used in day-to-day lawn care. There are not so many manufacturers of such equipment yet, but the future belongs to such equipment. Autonomous floor polishers and vacuum cleaners have already appeared. The Smart Home system is quite capable of managing all these “smart” electronic assistants..
Separately, it is worth remembering the security and fire alarm system and the system of access to the premises as an integral part of the “Smart Home”. Operated garage doors are no longer a wonder. This is the very function of controlling access to the premises that we talked about. These security systems can not only passively observe with the help of cameras any illegal actions in relation to your property, but also take an active part in the arrest of the intruder. Naturally, we are not talking about setting traps, as in the well-known film “Beware of the car”, or the use of any gases to immobilize the attacker.
Everything is much simpler. Doors and windows can be blocked by additional locking devices, when trying to break the lock, an attacker can be painted with a special non-washable paint that will not allow him to get lost among people, the alarm will independently notify you and law enforcement agencies about the invasion of your territory, simultaneously transmitting not only text, but also a video message. The fire system also has a number of possibilities for preventing the ignition of devices, equipment, for timely extinguishing of fires. For this, your premises can be equipped with modern fire extinguishing systems, special sensors can de-energize the wiring section in the place where the fire occurred, de-energize the ventilation system in order to exclude the flow of air to the fire, cut off the gas supply to the facility. In the event that such security and fire systems are installed in the apartment, you can equip them with additional sensors that will monitor the leakage of water in order to avoid flooding of the premises located under your apartment..
All these “electronic wonders”, unfortunately, cannot work without electricity, or rather, without electricity of proper quality. Let’s give a simple example, from which it will become clear what exactly is meant by “electricity of proper quality”. Very often we, as consumers, do not even think about why this or that breakdown happened and we strive to blame the negligent manufacturer for everything. Is it correct? Before accusing anyone, you should carefully read the operating instructions, for example, the SONY Full HD 1080 BRAVIA LCD TV. There you can see such interesting figures as the voltage of 230 V (+ \ – 10%). This means that the manufacturer guarantees the performance of his product only if the voltage in your home network is in the range of 207 to 253 V. In other cases, your claims regarding the quality of the product will be rejected as unfounded. Measure the voltage in your home network – many of you will be unpleasantly surprised by the results. This is especially true for housing construction, which are located in rural areas, where a voltage of 190 V is considered the ultimate dream. Naturally, if you plan to install a Smart Home control system in your house, and simply use complex household appliances, then you simply cannot do without a voltage normalizer (stabilizer). Without this device, all “smart” electronics simply will not function normally. Such a device will be quite appropriate both in a city apartment and in a country house..
In addition, you can take care of the emergency power supply of the house in case of a power outage. For these purposes, you can install a power plant of appropriate capacity, which can provide offline normal power supply to all household appliances..
As for the installation of the Smart Home system, it all depends on what kind of set of measures to automate your home will be planned. Some elements of the system can be easily assembled even without special knowledge and skills. For example, even a schoolboy can handle programming a universal remote control. But if you decide on more complex experiments, then, most likely, you cannot do without the help of specialists. It is worth recalling that the “Smart Home” system is not only a mass of electronics and devices, but also a comfortable room temperature, ventilation and water supply operation. It is for this reason that specialists in the installation of such systems must understand all the intricacies in order not only to correctly install the system, but also not to harm your property as a whole. We hope that our advice will help you make a successful, profitable and correct choice, and the purchased equipment will delight you with flawless work..