For a satisfying automation experience, incorporate aesthetically pleasing, intuitively simple control interfaces into your home. Throughout your search, just keep in mind that if you don't really want to live with it, you won't really use it.
The home networking market is not aiming to be a market of gadgetry, but rather a utility that is routinely included in homes. The less customers have to rely on outside help to maintain the system -- and the more customer friendly and flexible those systems are -- the more likely it is that home networking will see an increased rate of adoption.
My first reaction to seeing some of the products in the marketplace was "you're not putting that in my house", or, "where can we hide it". To me, initially, some of the interfaces seemed unwieldy and incongruous; especially considering they were placed in a room where the homeowner had spent hours agonizing over the perfect lamp shade to highlight the artwork which was selected with even more painstaking care.
Remember that the control system interface occupies valuable and prominent real estate in a home. They are placed in important positions: by the front door, on the coffee table, in the main hallway, etc. There is limited wall space and the device should be an invited part of the home and not a distraction. If careful attention is paid to the physical and digital interfaces, the system will be used more often, and hopefully shown to visitors who will want the same system installed in their home.
Analysts believe that HomePlug has an advantage over other home networking mediums, such as phone lines, because of the higher ratio and availability of power outlets over phone jacks, the increased reliability of powerline home networking over wireless standards, the cost effectiveness of deploying powerline technology, and the ease with which it may be installed.
These units are designed to control incandescent and low-voltage lighting loads in any DHC-equipped home in single-pole (one location) or 3-way (multi-location) applications when used with the Multi-Remote Unit. They offer manual and remote ON/OFF switching and full range dimming for larger incandescent and magnetic low-voltage lighting loads. They feature Leviton's new Intellisense(tm) advanced circuitry for increased reliability, even where electrical "noise" exists on the power line.
Technology can be scary at times. And I'm not just talking about the technical stuff! Luckily, a home's technology doesn't need to be intimidating or ugly. The fact is that there are enough options out there to get just about anything you want. So, no matter what kind of home controls you end up going with, make sure they give you the kind of functionality, ease of use and aesthetics you're looking for.
The Programmable Logic Controller is the 'brains' of the electrical control system but it still requires inputs from other sources, like low voltage keypads, to solve the complex switching requirements of today.
This article describes advancement in the ergonomics and aesthetics of a home automation controller that is attractive, intuitive and affordable. A brief overview of the traditional interfaces is presented and the problems with its user interface and limitations are identified. The ergonomics and aesthetics of a novel home automation controller that provides higher performance and greater flexibility are described in detail.
Networking hardware manufacturers would benefit from digging deeper into the residential homeowners' psyche before developing confusing, expensive products and services to a disinterested population.
With my criteria of looking for a low-cost application to give me low-level and complex control of all my home automation devices, PowerHome was the clear winner. This one application, although one of the cheapest components of my home automation system, has opened "Pandora's Box" to the possibilities of what I can do.
The Nexland Pro100 firewall has some very advanced features that will meet the needs of the most advanced users such as a need to run a VPN (virtual private network) through the firewall to your office network. Keeping your corporate network secure means not just the local network secure, but the small branch offices or telecommuters working from home that connect up to your system.
It should be every installer's objective to install their systems so that the home owners entire family including their children, and the occasional houseguest can operate the lights with no questions, let alone manuals. This includes putting lights on and off in their bedrooms, dining room and living room, exterior lights, scenes, path lights, etc. One shouldn't have to press a button, and wait to see what happens, and where.
The OCELOT appears a well thought out answer to Home Automation. Capable of interfacing essentially 4 different types of Protocol's (RS232, RS485, X-10, and IR), and with expansion capabilities, it seems capable of the manufacturers claims. In addition to being easy to hook-up and program, most user definable parameters (such as programs and learned IR commands) can be stored for backup purposes.
Whether you design your touch panel pages internally or outsource to a professional design team, the key to touch panel design success is planning and communication with your customers. Knowing in the beginning what functionality can be achieved will make designing pages an easier task. Dedicating the right amount of time will enable you to produce eye-pleasing page designs and help you introduce a little "technology warmth" in the home.
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Automation & Control - Featured Product
Smart Bulbs are out there and they can do far more then just provide light. Speakers, projectors, wi-fi extenders and more. The standard light socket that is wired up and ready to go in nearly every home in North America is now providing an easy and affordable option for home owners and renters alike to enter into the world of the "Smart Home". Here is a look at some of the Smart Bulbs and Smart Lighting options out there, and this list is just the beginning. In this ongoing article we hope to continue to add to and grow this list, so stay tuned!