4 Simple (And Practical) Home Automation Ideas for 2017

With this blog post, I am trying to allow community to evolve here.  This article was written by Scott Fabacher, Owner Advanced Overhead Doors & Service out of Homestead (serving Fort Lauderdale and all points south). I look forward to your feedback as to whether you want more of this type of blog posts in the future.

If you, like many other homeowners, find home automation intimidating and expensive, know that you’re not alone. Home automation is a vast, multifaceted category that encompasses anything and everything from timers that turn your lights on and off at scheduled time to smart refrigerators that keep track of how much food you have at home. And let’s face it, not all home automation systems provide customers with real value. Really, how many of us are in the market for an Internet-connected toilet?

At the same time, some smart home automation products can take the pain out of common everyday tasks involved in managing a home, leaving you free to do more with your time. Here are four simple and practical home automation ideas that will make your life safer, easier, and more comfortable.

1.    Amazon Echo

If you thought Amazon’s Echo was just another Bluetooth speaker with voice control, think again. From giving you the latest updates on weather and traffic to hailing an Uber, to turning on the lights even before you get out of the bed to even ordering a pizza, Amazon Echo is the ultimate personal assistant for the smart homeowner. What’s more, setting up the device is unbelievable easy. All you need to do is plug it in, download the app to your phone or tablet, and go. The Echo works with dozens of compatible smart home devices and, of course, Amazon is adding new features and skills all the time.

2.    Garage door automation

When you’re trying your best to make sure the kids get to school on time and get on the freeway before rush hour, it’s easy to forget if you closed the garage door before you headed out in the morning. Well, most of the time it’s closed, but you don’t want to leave it to chance, do you?

With LiftMaster’s Elite Series garage door openers such as the 8550W that has innovative features like Wi-Fi connectivity, smartphone or computer control, advanced Security+ 2.0, motion detection, and a timer system that will automatically close the door after it has been open for a pre-programmed number of minutes, you never have to worry about leaving your garage door unattended ever again. It also has a battery backup to ensure you won’t be locked out of your garage even if there’s a power outage!

3.    Home Security & Monitoring

At first look, the Piper smart home security system may seem like just another run-of-the-mill surveillance camera that allows you to keep an eye on your house while you’re out and about. But wait, this iOS and Android compatible smart home automation system is much more. It interacts with a number of Z-wave wireless devices, monitors indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity, allows you to set custom security rules, provides two-way audio and night vision, and uses pet-adjustable motion and sound detection technology to alert you to any suspicious activity while you are not at home.

4.   Cleaning

With smart robot vacuums like Neato’s Botvac Connected, that work on all floor types and has an unbeatable laser-guided navigation system and built-in Wi-Fi for smartphone control, keeping your home clean has never been this easy. You can program the vacuum to run on specific days at a certain time or activate it anytime using your smartphone. Its D-shape helps it get into corners better than circular robotic vacuums and the different cleaning options give you the flexibility to clean the whole house, a specific area, or guide it wherever you need to clean.

Hopefully you found some interesting home automation ideas you haven’t thought of before that can simplify your home life without needing to hire a specialist to figure out how it all goes together. Just two years ago most of these ideas and technologies were out-of-reach, unreliable or unrefined, fast-forward to 2017 and home automation just got a lot simpler.  We’re not quite where the Jetsons are, but we’re taking steps and moving in the right direction.