How Does Home Automation Work?
Commercial/Residential Automation consists of a few parts:
1. Main Automation Controller
The Main Controller is usually a hardware device with a processor. Although there are some systems that use an actual home computer, they are usually not as reliable. The advantage of having a separate controller is its focus is on Home Automation tasks.
The controller we use is linux based and can access the Internet through your internal network.
2. The Interfaces (Touch Panels, Keypads, Remotes, Mobile Devices and the Internet)
An interface is a way for you to easily interact with our linux based Automation Controller. There are many types of Interfaces.
- Touch Panels: An assortment of displays ranging from 4” hardwired touch screens to 10” screens that are mobile or fixed within the wall. They require docking stations to recharge the lithium battery for future use.
- Keypads: A two, three, or six button device that mounts your wall can be programmed to have different functions, or even programmed to control multiple devices or accessories when the buttons are pressed twice instead of once.
- Remote Control: IR and RF Remote Controls also have the option of a small LCD screen, which still allows simple usage like any other remote, but also performs many functions with the touch of one button.
- Mobile Devices: Simply use your existing mobile device to operate your automation system with different choices from Windows Operating Software, Android and iOS.
- Internet: The controller is most likely connected to your home network and also to the Internet, allowing users to be able to access your automation system when you are offline.
Sensors are used to notify the current state a device is in. For example, door contact sensors notify the controller if the door is opened or closed. Also, a motion sensor detects if and when motion occurs.
4. Control Methods
- IR (infrared): A beam of light that is used to send commands one way. It is used to control many devices that are manufactured with IR compatibility.
- Serial Data: The advantage of using this type of communication over IR is because it allows for two-way communication between devices and does not rely on light to transmit signals.
- Relays: Relays are used to send electric power to initialize motorized devices. These are used to open and close shades and lower projection screens. Anything that is designed with a motor requires a relay to be automated.