What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Home Automation

I have been tinkering around with home automation for a number of years.  Home automation really is the wave of the future.  On the simplest level motion sensors and timers can form a fair amount of home automation.  But home automation can get so much more complicated even adding the ability to control your home from your laptop hundreds of miles away.  Our house before our last house was almost fully automated.  Our last house was a bit more automated.  The nice thing about home automation is it isn't expensive and it is a DIY expandable project.

home automation components
I decided to use X10 components for a good portion of our home automation.  Pictured are a few of the components that are controlled via a series of codes through the main control unit (RCA, back 3rd from right).  So a component set to A1 would come on when the corresponding button A1 on the remote (upper right) is triggered.  Not pictured are the keychain remotes that are perfect for turning on lights indoors when pulling into the driveway so you never have to enter an empty home.  To the bottom left there are 2 motion sensors with the white one being for indoor use only and the grey one being for indoor or outdoor use.  Not pictured are the screw-in light modules, larger remote, key chain remotes 

When set up these components work along with traditional motion sensors and timers but can also be controlled through computerized home automation software.  This means your home's lights and appliances can be easily controlled from one location in your home, be controlled via motion sensors, via remote outside your home and through computer access.  The new hydro SmartMeters are supposed to be able to be controlled via computer access as well.  More and more small and even larger appliances are programmable allowing them to be turned on and off automatically.  All of these home automation devices can serve to curb your energy usage.  I really like the X10 motion sensors as they can control any component in the system.  What is really neat is the X10 works with and expands any home automation system you are using.  It is an easy DIY solution to managing hydro usage in your home.

Garden Gnome