Home Design Guides: Home automation

What is home automation

What is home automation?

A living automated home, provided that it's designed right, is often far safer and more efficient than a regular home. Learn more about the many advantages of good home automation.

What is home automation

How to make a smart home

See why rather than simply saying 'yes' to every fancy home automation gadget available, you need to be able to plan your smart home based on your needs, and decide what will benefit you most.

What is a smart home

What is a smart home?

There's more to a truly 'smart house' than simply a clever TV or a sprinkler system on a timer - and an amazing range of things that automation can do to make your home better...

How to build a smart home

How to build a smart home

Interested in building a smart (or 'smarter') home? Here are 10 tips to help make sure you're doing it the right way.

Who installs smart homes?

Who 'installs' smart homes?

Ever wonder what it takes to make a home 'smarter' - or who to call to make that happen? Learn more about custom installers, what they do and how they do it.

How to make your home smarter

Make your home 'smarter'

Want to retrofit 'smart home' technology into a house, but not sure what's involved? The first thing you'll need to do is figure out what sort of systems you're after, and how they'll be integrated.

Retrofit vs new build

Smart home: retrofit vs. new build

There are some significant differences in smart home design, depending on whether you're building from scratch or making an existing home 'smarter'. Find out more about these two different approaches.

How to find a home automation professional

A professional integrator can ensure your home automation system works seamlessly every time.

Motion sensor

Motion sensors

Allowing your lights to be controlled by motion sensors can save you money, and also make your home more secure.

Automated air conditioner remote

Automated controls and sensors for cooling

In conjunction with other home automation functions, your home can be set up so that cooling and shading are controlled automatically according to your needs.

A motion sensor at night

Motion, light and climate sensors

Sensors are an vital part of any smart home. They can be used to detect intrusions, to tell when it's getting dark, and to establish the temperature, among many other things.

Timer switches

Timers are another way that automation systems can help to ensure that your smart home activates the necessary functions at the right time of the day.

Smart meters and home automation

Smart meters allow your electricity provider to communicate with and control specific appliances, and to provide information to your home automation systems. Read on to find out more about how smart meters work.

Stair lift

Special needs smart homes

Smart homes can create great opportunities for people with disabilities or physical impairments, providing them with the means to better take care of themselves.

Home automation and energy consumption

Smart home automation systems can do a great deal not only to make your home comfortable and secure, but also to ensure that your lighting, climate control and other systems are set up for maximum efficiency.

Home automation and security

Automated security systems are normally an integral part of a home automation system. Find out how they work, and what sorts of technologies they employ to keep your home and family safe.

The WiFi logo

Wireless networks

Connecting your smart home's Internet-enabled devices via a wireless access point is fast, easy and inexpensive. Having said that, wireless Internet may also be more susceptible to intruders, or limited by range.

Wired home networks

Linking the Internet-connected devices in your smart home via wires has several advantages, the most notable of which include security and reliability. Wired networks are also more complicated and expensive to set up.

Automated climate control

There are a great many ways in which a smart home can use technology to improve and automate climate control. Find out how automated climate control might suit your home.

Open platform home automation

Open platform home automation

Open platform systems provide a means with which many different home technologies and applications can be automated. Learn more about what open platforms are, and how they can be used in smart homes.