Posted Jun 2, 2010 in Tech | 0 Comments

Make My Home Smarter

Smart homes have become such a huge topic, with so many possibilities and different technologies, that we can’t just fit it all in just one post. Making a home smart involves taking a 20 year old condo and bringing it to state of the art levels that will take your breath away from the moment you walk in. Since research and preparation, purchasing and delivery, and then installation do take some a considerable amount of time we’ll post the project updates once a month. The allocated budget is $12,000 however we’ll exemplify three different variants: the under $5,000 version, the budget compromised one and finally the top of the line version.

We’ll start the project by taking a look at the way the home is currently wired. The way the wiring is done will dictate the budget needed as well as the available options for lighting, heating controls and security. Some homes are pre-wired with network cables witch would make it much easier to wire the video and sound. However, with today’s TVs getting network capabilities and integrated browsing, hard wiring could easily become a thing of the past. Wireless does have its drawbacks since interference can affect quality and speed. The x10 remote control system has been around for many years and yet has not become mainstream. X10 offers the ability to remotely control thermostats, light switches, plugs, etc; it transmits bits of data over the existing electrical wires.

The successor to x10 is INSTEON, a more reliable home control and automation technology. INSTEON uses both the existing power wires in the home and radio-frequency communication, allowing remote control and automation to lighting, appliance and home control applications of all types from lighting control to integrated security systems. Since all INSTEON devices receive and repeat the controlling signals, the more devices we have installed the more reliable the system becomes.

Before proceeding further, if the condo’s electrical system is twenty years old or older, we’ll wait for the electrician to come by and make a site survey to see if all is up to the current codes. Integrating these upgrades into our project plan will greatly decrease the risk of headaches as we’re moving further.

Back soon… Enjoy!!

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