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Taking Control of Your Home

January 24, 2008 by Lisa 

Active Home Control
Take an inventory to determine what smart technology is already in your home. Next, learn how you can incorporate even more smart home technology into your life that is not only practical, but efficient as well.

You may have heard the term “smart home system.” Smart home systems allow you to control and manage your living environment from devices such as keypads, telephones, handheld remotes, touch panels, or voice recognition. These devices allow you to control a preprogrammed CPU that connects various subsystems in your home. You can think of these systems as a home network, with many devices networked together to provide you with a more convenient and efficient lifestyle.

Home networks can be complicated and have special requirements such as structured wiring. This provides a base for all the subsystems in your home. You have wiring for devices such as telephones, television, and audio that runs to a centralized hub. The centralized hub also connects other services, such as computer networks and security systems. Structured wiring allows you do such things as plugging your telephone into a jack or plugging one computer into a jack to be instantly connected to another on the network in the same home.

Automating all this activity takes a little more work. Using structured wiring as a backbone for its connectivity, an intelligent controller links all your various sub-systems together through interfaces and protocols. This, in turn, allows you to control and/or monitor everything that the controller is linked to.

Controlling your environment is fun, exciting, and costly. Many new homes today are built with home control systems in mind, and have the proper wiring installed before the walls go up. If the walls of your home are already up, rewiring is a major project that requires careful planning and professional installation.

To get started with low cost home automation, X10 devices or INSTEON are a good choice.

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