Guide to Creating a Smart Home from Scratch

Do you want your own smart home? There are many ways to go about it. We guide you through the opportunities available for what is sometimes called home automation.

The smart home has become a fashion expression, but the fact that this once technically very advanced phenomenon has now become relatively easy. Without too much hassle, you can create your own “auto home”.

How advanced it needs to be depends, of course, on what you want to accomplish. How much it will cost depends on what level of control you want over the whole house in general. For example, lighting a lamp is cheap.  However, if you also want to turn that lamp on and off from your phone, then it becomes a bit more expensive.

What exactly is home automation?

In this context, you often talk about “home automation.” It’s a pretty wide concept that covers most of the automatic features and remote control aspects in a home. According to Wikipedia:

“It’s automation of home, housework or activity. Home automation can include centralized control of lighting, plumbing (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), appliances and other systems, to facilitate, improve comfort, energy efficiency and safety. ”

Some examples of what you can do in your home:

  • Turn on and off lighting at sunset or sunrise.
  • Turn on lighting or start any equipment when something happens.
  • Switch on the heater at a certain temperature and time.
  • Turn on the air conditioning in the summer cabin before you go there.
  • Turn off the water automatically if it is damp on the floor.
  • Get an alarm on the phone if it is too hot in the freezer.
  • Measure your energy consumption.

Why do I need it?

Why you do or don’t need an automated home can not be answered on a general basis as it’s more of a luxury than a necessity, so it’s really up to you and what your budget can afford. For example, you may want home weather stations for your house, but if you can’t afford it, it doesn’t really matter.  You may not need it at all, but in addition to being fun, it can give you some added control and maybe reduce your worry a little bit when your not home.

You can feel safer if a burglary happens, and you can automate things that you usually forget and save some trouble. How much you want to automate is also dependent on how obsessed with technology you are. You can satisfy yourself with a single lamp or you can plug in every gadget throughout your home.

Whatever you choose, however, it is still a far cry from the fully automated houses you see in science fiction movies where you can talk to your house and it takes care of all your needs…

How safe are smart homes?

Security is always important and, of course, for your smart home, you do not want it to be hacked and let others control your gadgets. It can even be dangerous if someone unknown can unlock your door or turn on a heater.

You may also have read that the Internet of Things is now used for mass attacks online. Thousands of internet-connected devices are exploited by villains in order to target attacks on computers and websites.

Secure passwords are therefore a top priority. Never connect anything to the Internet without immediately changing the preset username and password! And, as usual, choose a long password and do not use the same password everywhere, so you can feel pretty safe.

There is also another small security risk, namely if you choose to use the simpler and cheaper devices that utilize the 433 megahertz band. Examples of these are the simple remote switches you can buy in a package of three with a small remote on them

These have a limited number of frequencies and the system is completely open. So if your neighbor also uses such devices and may have chosen the same channel, you may happen to manipulate each other’s gadgets. If this happens, you are ripe for a channel breakdown.

Of course, it can also be used by third parties, but thinking that someone would be able to stand outside your house with a remote control and try different channels to see what’s happening is probably a bit long-term.

Overall, home automation can be amazing and make your life easier, but it’s definitely not necessary.  The key is to determine what’s in your budget, what you really want, and then go from there.