10 Effective Steps To Total Home Automation: What Are You Waiting For?

Whether of not you have a strong opinion about the safety of robots entering society, such as the ongoing dispute between tech moguls Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, you likely have a thirst for current home automation, where everything from your lights and stereo to thermostat and security are centrally controlled by a single hub. The future is now, and the technology is within the average consumer's reach, so don't put this goal off any longer.

1. Create A Long-Term Home Automation Plan

Before you ever raise hammer to drywall, you need to formulate a long-term, realistic plan for your home automation. Consider the goals you have and whether they'll all be met immediately or in steps. Since blazing the path for automation may require tearing up many places in the home (albeit small and easily repaired tears), as well as considering the overall costs, having a plan in place should keep things under control.

2. Think Integration When You Build Or Buy

It's all too easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new home automation product, but fail to realize you may not be able to successfully integrate it. Keep this in mind from the beginning so you can set yourself up for success at every step in the future. Ask retailers about compatibility and long-term integration, and you should be able to avoid disappointments and failure-to-connects later on.

3. Strengthen Your Wi-Fi Signal

Your Wi-Fi router is the central and most important part of your home automation, so evaluate it now to ensure it has the capabilities you need. Your signal should traverse the distance needed to keep each satellite element and control in touch with the central system. You don't want to be in the room furthest from your router and not be able to complete a command. Make sure, too, that your Wi-Fi hub can handle any and all third-party additions you may be interested in.

4. Find Your Favorite Brands — And Stick With Them

You might be able to outfit your car with accessories from different manufacturers, but when it comes to the engine, you probably tend to buy and install parts from whoever made the car to begin with, and the same is true for your home automation. Many companies have proprietary software and hardware, and only their accessories will work with their systems. For this reason, you're better off finding a favorite brand or two in home automation and sticking with them, rather than trying to forcefully integrate incompatible parts as you proceed. This is where your original long-term planning can be very helpful.

5. Consider Total Automation From The Start

Configuring your home for automation all at once is far more efficient in terms of time and costs than simply upgrading your entertainment system today and then trying to work in lighting, temperature, and other system controls down the road. You might even set your home up for total automation now, but only install certain elements one at a time, perhaps to budget the process or make it more manageable. Either way, as time passes and technology evolves, you're likely to want more automation; additionally; there may be future modifications suitable for your home, such as baby and pet cameras, and prepping for them as you install your first system leaves those options open and more viable.

6. Try Not To Economize Too Much

While it's in your best interest to attempt to save money on your home automation, in the long run, it may be counterproductive. For example, a sale you might see for a product might be due to the fact that the company is rolling out upgrades in the very near future, meaning your purchase could be futile. It's also very important that both your equipment and the service behind it be of high quality.

7. Think Centralized Control — Over Everything

No matter how many home elements you want to automate, all of them should have a central control point, both remote and fixed. For example, you don't want to have one remote control device and panel for every subsystem of the automation—you want the automation to have centralized control.

8. Whenever Possible, Sample The System Before Buying It

Many showrooms will be set up with systems you can sample extensively before ever having to buy them. Sampling them will allow you to enjoy the total experience, rather than simply assuming that particular technology is a good fit for you. Most especially when it comes to entertainment, such as your audio and visual elements, test-drive them first in the showroom, then go home and think it over before buying. Consider how complete the element you'll be adding is and whether or not it's likely to be obsolete in the near future; think about how easy it is to operate and upgrade before making a purchase decision. These thought sessions help develop your long-term planning skills and should prompt you to make the wisest decisions. Buying on impulse, particularly with something as complex and costly as home automation, can be a regrettable experience.

9. Hire Professionals When Needed

Unless you're an electrician, you probably should hire a professional to help you with installation, especially in the beginning, when you're setting up the entire home for such a major change. You want your automation systems to work smoothly together and, of course, safely; thus, calling in a pro helps you to meet these goals, even if it might seem expensive for your initial setup. Ask the retailer (of your automation products) if they have experts and special buys concerning installation, too, because you might be able to cover this crucial base right at your point of purchase.

10. Keep Your Home Automation System Updated

As recommended by the manufacturer, your system should be updated on a regular basis. This should be easily accomplished remotely, similar to the way your computer operating system (i.e., Windows 7, 10, etc.) quietly updates itself. If any component of your system needs to be replaced during an update, your original retailer should be able to accommodate you.

Why put off creating the technological home of your dreams any longer? It probably won't be long before everything you think is "futuristic" now is totally obsolete, then you'll be even further behind. Take the next step and launch your home and life into the 21st century.