So-called smart homes take advantage of automation technology and modern building techniques to give homeowners a new level of control. Smart homes may be built from scratch with automation as a key design goal or constructed from existing homes during a major renovation. In both cases, smart homes offer several advantages over conventional homes.
Smart homes offer enhanced energy-efficiency. Lights can shut off automatically when no one is in a room, and the thermostat can be set to let the indoor temperature drop during the day before returning it to a more comfortable level just before residents arrive in the evening. All of these automated tasks, along with modern, energy-efficient appliances, combine to save on electricity, water, and natural gas, thereby reducing the strain on natural resources.
Smart homes include advanced security systems with cameras, motion sensors, and a link to the local police station or a private security company. Smart homes may also use key cards or fingerprint identification in place of conventional locks, making it harder for someone to break in.
Convenience is one of the biggest reasons that people build and purchase smart homes. These homes give users remote access to systems including heating and cooling systems, intercoms, music, and multimedia devices throughout the home. Integrated hard drives allow homeowners to watch videos or listen to audio in any room; video intercoms make it easy to communicate with others in the home or visitors at the door. All of these smart home technologies streamline common tasks.
For elderly or disabled residents, a smart home may feature accessibility technologies. Voice-command systems can do things like control lights, lock doors, operate a telephone, or use a computer. Home automation allows an individual to set a schedule for automatic tasks like watering the lawn, removing the need to perform these labor-intensive tasks on a regular basis.