What is Home Automation?

And how does it work?


April 6, 2021

Home Automation Desktop

The garage door automatically opens, a coffee pot automatically brews, and tiny robots clean the floors. Back in 1950, science fiction author Ray Bradbury wrote a short story about a smart home in the year 2026. Bradbury was way ahead of his time, but today those science fiction ideas are indeed a reality. From voice-enabled smart speakers and robotic vacuums to video doorbells and smartphone-controlled lighting, home automation is here to stay.

Whether you were an early adopter of home automation technology or you’re wondering how to create a smart home, here’s what you need to know:

Understanding home automation

By its definition, home automation is simply how you monitor and control all the elements of a smart home, from the temperature and lighting to appliances and your home security system’s components. The tap of a button on your smartphone, a smart home remote, or scheduled home automation software can control your lights, your thermostat, and, yes, your coffee pot. Residential home automation systems give you access to connected components of your smart home anytime, from anywhere.

Advantages of a smart home

Wondering what a smart home is and how it works? Integrated room automation systems function within a connected home by allowing you to:

  • Control your climate. Use a smart thermostat to adjust temperatures throughout the day and save energy when you’re away.

  • Monitor for hazards. A comprehensive home security system may include smoke detectors, burglar and carbon monoxide alarms, window and door sensors, automatic locks, and cameras — all of which you can view through home automation software via a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

  • Use a voice assistant. Your Google Home or Amazon Echo with Alexa-enabled technology can help you manage time, create grocery lists, connect to your security cameras, let you broadcast messages, and control your TV and speaker system. You also can add a Z-Wave device to your home security system to transform it into a smart home hub.

  • Turn on the lights. Set your smart lights to turn off and on during certain times of the day when you’re away from home, or click a button on your phone to flip on the outdoor light you forgot to set.

  • Close and lock doors. Not sure if you closed your garage door when you left for work or want to double-check that you locked the back door? Smart home technology enables you to lock and unlock smart locks and check automated garage door openers.

Benefits of home automation

Convenience is a significant factor in home automation. A few other advantages of smart home technology include:

  • A reduction in utility bills, particularly electricity.

  • Added home security knowing you’re always connected.

  • Comfort and peace of mind.

Ray Bradbury’s home of the future is here. Let Brinks Home™ help you get started with smart home technology, whether you’re adding automation to your current home or you’re planning for future home integration.

Jason Stevens is a senior writer for Brinks Home. He is a "tech guy" who enjoys sharing home security and automation tips with others.

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