The smartest homes are built on the best home automation ideas.
Once you start, it’s hard to stop when you see how convenient and comfortable it can make your life. Additionally, you can potentially save thousands of dollars on your energy bills as it makes you more energy-efficient and smart.
Whether you’re just getting started or looking for ways to build your home with the best home automation ideas and devices out there, this list is sure to help you build your dream smart home.
Important Note: As you start and keep working on your dream home, remember to keep your overall home automation flow in mind. Eventually all these systems work together, so you’ll want to plan and use devices and systems that can work together.
Lighting Home Automation Ideas
Starting with smart lighting has two good reasons behind it: 1) It’s one of the best ways to start reducing your energy use and, therefore, your energy bills, 2) It’s one of the easiest home automation ideas to implement.
With flow in mind, you’ll want a way to turn on/off all lights at once, as well as one light at a time if you want. You’ll want to be able to speak to your hub to adjust specific lights with your command or from your phone app easily.
Once you have your basic idea, you can start getting creative and have some fun:
- Smart Wake-Up Light: A smart light that gradually gets brighter before and with your alarm. A simple Philips Hue light and/or a smart light you can dim should be enough. You may also be interested in specialized lights like Philips Smart Sleep Connected with neat features to help you wake up and get ready for sleep.
- Schedule Lights To Fit Your Routine: We talked about the smart-wake up light. Why not take it further and schedule your lights to fit your routine, from wake-up, through the day, all the way to your bedtime routine. And you’ll never have to worry if you forgot to turn off your lights before you leave to work! It’s easy to do when you’ve got quality bulbs and follow the app that comes with them.
- Automated Lights In Hallways, Bathrooms, Etc: Turning on your home’s bright lights in the middle of the night, whether it’s for the bathroom or that midnight snack, can really mess with your sleep cycle and can disturb the sleep of your family members.
Instead, use dimmer switches and motion sensors (these Lutron Sensor Lights are cool!) in these areas and set the lights to how dim you’d like them to turn on when they’re passed at night. You simply schedule your motions sensors and lights to behave and turn on to the brightness you desire through their app.
- The Last 5 Min Before Bed: You know that last walk around the house routine where you get a drink of water and check that the doors are locked? A few of us really love having the lights off to start our bedtime routine with only our “active spot lights” on for the last 5 min while we do our routine. Not only does this add to the get-ready-for-sleep feeling, but it’s also nice knowing that those lights will turn off themselves while you’re tucked in bed. Homey is a favorite home automation company with great apps to control and schedule your lights like this.
- Control Outdoor Lights: First step, get outdoor lights that you can control through home automation. Schedule your lights so someone always looks like they’re home. Outdoor motion sensor lights can be a good way to deter intruders. Being able to turn on outdoor lights from your phone can increase your security and help shed light immediately if you need it.
Home Security Home Automation Ideas
Lighting is probably the easiest way to start home automation, but home security is one of the smartest ways to use home automation.
Securing your house with smart home tech makes you much more comfortable and sure about your’s and your family’s safety, as well as the safety of your valuables and investments.
- Doorbell Camera: You can answer the door and see who is there no matter where you are. You use your phone to check on when packages arrive, the doorbell rings, or even if there’s activity in your driveway or front yard. Peace of mind is at your fingertips.
- Outdoor And Indoor Camera: Obviously, security cameras are a great idea if you’re worried about home security. There are a lot of different cameras with different recording, connection, visual dimensions, and viewing options. Cameras can be battery operated and fairly easy to operate or they can be wired and a little more technically complex. Unless you’re confident in your tech skills, getting some professional help when it comes to choosing, setting up, and running your security cameras may be a good idea.
- Smart Locks: Get a smart lock so you can keep track of when your door is unlocked or left open. You can even lock your door from your phone and schedule your door to lock at certain times in case you forget.
- Door And Window Sensors: You can set sensors at your windows and doors that will sound an alarm if opened at night.
- Home Security Systems: A more complete security system can be purchased in packages from security companies. Almost all be set up to work with your phone. If you need some help choosing, setting up, and troubleshooting your system, security companies will offer to come help you set up with an additional fee.
Safety Home Automation Ideas
Keep your home safer in real time with home automation. It is easier than ever before and it can grant you peace of mind you never knew you could have.
- Carbon Monoxide Protection: You should always have an alarm in your house. Especially by your HVAC system. Upgrade to a smart carbon monoxide alarm and get alerts no matter where you are through your phone.
It’s a good idea to stick one in your garage as well. If you have a smart garage door opener, you can set it to open when that alarm goes off, making your home that much safer.
- Fire Alarm Protection: You know the fire alarm in every room rule. Make it that much more efficient and secure upgrading to smart fire alarms that can cause your lights to turn on when your alarm goes off. Your phone will also go off (another alarm) so that even if you’re not home you know about the emergency. You can even use your smart lock to unlock your door before you get there so you know it’s open.
- Water Damage/Leak Protection: Place water sensors in leak prone places (by water pipes, your washer, or bathroom floor, for example). Set it up to send an alert to yoru phone when it senses water. This can save you a monumental amount of work and money just by allowing you to fix the the small leak before it becomes an expensive disaster. In fact, with a smart water valve you even shut off the water from your home!
Comfort Home Automation Ideas
More ideas to lower your energy bill and keep you more comfortable. Practical and helps lower those energy bills!
- Take Care Of Humidity: You can schedule your smart bathroom fan to start whenever your bathroom sensor detects humidity above a certain level. If you struggle with humidity overall, you should look into smart fans for other parts of your home to help keep it in check.
- Target Hot Or Cool Spots In Your Home: There are smart thermostats that will heat or cool certain rooms with room sensors. You can also use these to check the weather and make grocery lists (Alexa integrated).
- Precise Temperature Control With Smart Thermostat: Besides targeting your home’s hot and cool spots, smart thermostats can be a game changer when it comes to cutting down energy waste and reducing your energy bills.
Place window and door sensors then program your smart thermostat to go into “away” mode until the sensors detect the windows or door is shut.
The first few weeks with your smart thermostat, you’ll want to adjust it throughout your day to what’s comfortable to you. Eventually it learns your routine and you won’t have to fiddle with it. This means that even if you forget to turn the heat up/down before vacation or if you leave to work, your thermostat will do it for you. Many smart thermostats even allow you to change the temperature from your home.
- Smart Vacuum: If you can spring for it, having a vacuum that works quietly for you does a great deal in keeping your home clean and cutting down on the time it takes to do your chores.
These are some of our favorite ideas, and some of the best home automation ideas out there. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or have already been building your smart home, there are so many different technologies and devices emerging to make your life easier and your home smarter.