Television adverts for Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant may have given you the impression that home automation revolves around switching lights on, or asking for the weather forecast, or playing music through voice activation. However, turning your home into a ‘Smart Home’ could save your life!
Nest Home Automation Has Life-Saving Combined Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
Nest Protect not only detects smoke and emits an alarm but it will also tell you the location of the danger in a calm friendly voice. You could be in your bedroom and it will tell you that there may be smoke in the kitchen. It also has a combined carbon monoxide detector which will emit an alarm, a light and a voice will speak the type and location of the problem. It will work even if your home Wifi network is down. The Nest Protect Carbon Monoxide Field Study 2013-2014 evidenced that in the UK there are 50 fatalities a year from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Are There Other Benefits Of Having Alexa or Google Assistant To Help Activate Your Smart Home?
Some of the many benefits of home automation including cost savings, safety, convenience, and control. Having a voice-activated Smart Home may also provide you with comfort and peace of mind. As regards cost savings, smart thermostats and light bulbs save energy, cutting utility costs over time. Some home automation technologies monitor water usage.
Many home automation technologies fall under the umbrella of home security. Automated lighting thwarts would-be burglars, and motion sensors help people enter doors and walk hallways late at night. The Nest Hello video doorbell lets you see who’s at your front door 24/7.
Lots of smart gadgets are compatible with one another, and you can set different triggers between devices to automate regular home processes. For instance, you could set your smart locks to turn on your smart lighting when you unlock the front door, reducing daily inconveniences like entering a dark home at night.
Voice-activated Smart technology can record TV shows or play music throughout the home. Connected devices can also help create a comfortable atmosphere—they provide intelligent and adaptive lighting, sound, and temperature, which can all help create an inviting environment.
Finally, many people invest in home automation technology for peace of mind. A new parent can check on their baby thanks to smart cameras and other technologies. Or, if you can’t remember whether you closed your garage door after you left, you can verify remotely with an app.
Can Home Automation be Set Up by Consumers or is it better to Enlist Professionals?
There are many smart devices and smart home hubs that can help you control music, lighting, temperature and security in your home. It can be overwhelming to research all the different products, so it’s best to have a bit of a checklist to go through before you buy and install anything:
- How Tech Savvy are you?
- How Much Do You Want to Spend?
- What Are your Home Automation requirements?
If you are not very technical, have neither the time nor the energy to research devices and are getting conflicting advice from family and friends about DIY home automation, BM Security can assist you. Our Home Automation will ensure the safety of you, your family and your home. BM Security Ltd has been operating since 2002, and we work to the Association of Chief Police Officers and National Security Inspectorate policy.
What are Some of the Best Home Automation Systems?
Eric Griffith from PC Mag UK stated in May 2018 that as regards Hubs and Controllers, the Amazon Echo Family (i.e. Echo Dot, Echo Show or Echo Show) or the Wink Hub 2 were highly rated. For heating, the Nest Learning Thermostat was mentioned as it learns from you and what temperatures you prefer during the day or night. It turns itself off or to Economy when the house is empty and it can control hot water too. Phillips Hue Bulbs not only control the intensity of the lighting in your home but also the colour, so you can adjust the mood or ambience of each room.
What About Devices Getting Hacked?
Security concerns are among the many reasons why open source will be critical to our future with connected devices. Being able to fully understand the programs that control your home means you can view, and if necessary modify, the source code running on the devices themselves.
While connected devices often contain proprietary components, a good first step in bringing open source into your home automation system is to ensure that the device that ties your devices together—and presents you with an interface to them (the “hub”)—is open source. Fortunately, there are many choices out there including Calaos (a full-stack home automation platform), Domoticz (accessible from desktop browsers and smartphones), Home Assistant (can link with a large number of open source such as Amazon Echo).
There are many other options available, and some home automation enthusiasts don’t integrate all their devices into a single comprehensive system but keep them separate.
What About The Security of Z-Wave Protocol? Can It be Hacked?
Earlier this year, the Z-Wave Alliance decided to take a further stance on the issue of security. Called Security 2 (S2), the framework is considered to be one of the most advanced security options for smart home devices. Mitchell Klein, an executive director of the Z-Wave Alliance, stated that they are committed to making the Z-Wave ecosystem the safest one on the market. Developed in conjunction with cyber-security experts, the new Z-Wave S2 framework aims to secure the communication between devices and the communication between devices and the cloud.
An interesting part of the improvement of the security of Z-Wave comes from the fact that new devices will now use physical means to further ensure safety from hackers. The means will come in the form of stickers or prints found on the devices themselves that feature a unique QR or Pin-Code to serve as an additional step in the authentication and pairing process.
BM Security Ltd. is a family run, independent security provider. We provide protection from the threat of theft, property damage and fire to Residential and Commercial customers across the South East.
We are constantly striving to be at the forefront of the security industry with advancing technologies and latest criminal activities to deter intruders on your behalf. At BM Security you can rely on us to protect your home and business.