With home automation systems, you can forever banish concerns over unnecessary home energy expenditures and stop wondering whether or not you locked the front door. These high-tech solutions can help make your home into a smart home. In fact, a smart home system can control every light, appliance and compatible peripheral in your home.
This burgeoning industry has spawned a choice selection of products from several respected manufacturers. We’ve compiled a list of the best home automation systems available and ranked them based on their performance in a variety of categories. The top performers in our review are HomeSeer, Control4 and Crestron, which have excellent feature sets. For additional information, see our articles on home automation systems.
As you look for a smart house system, there are several things to keep in mind. A system with strong compatibility, the right functionality and excellent technical support is your best bet. Above all, you should try to look for a system that best suits your needs. The possibilities for automated intelligent home control are nearly limitless.
When you’re on the hunt for full-home automation, you need to be sure that the product you select can control the peripherals in your house to your satisfaction. A hardware controller is designed to be the control center of your home, so try to look for one that can manage a multitude of devices; this way you have greater options if you want to expand the system later on. You should look for a controller that supports common home control technologies like Bluetooth, Insteon, KNX, UPB, Wi-Fi, X10, Z-Wave and ZigBee.
There are a number of home automation peripherals to keep in mind as you choose your system. Each of the systems in our review can control lighting, thermostats, door locks, security cameras, and has environmental sensors and energy management tools to improve system efficiency. However, not all smart home systems support window coverings, garage door openers, entry sensors or home theater systems. It's important to remember that you might need to purchase equipment from third-party manufacturers as well.
A good system is easy to use, promotes energy efficiency and improves the safety of your home. Home automation software allows you to create custom programs to easily perform a variety of actions. Randomized programs are especially valuable, as they turn peripherals in your smart home on and off to deter criminals by making the home look occupied when you're away.
Remote access can help you monitor your home when you're gone. Voice control capabilities can help your system become more convenient. Depending on your preference, you should also consider whether a system requires a wired or wireless setup before committing to have it installed. Some intelligent home systems even have the option for you to subscribe to a home security monitoring service.
Help & Support
If you have a problem, you’ll want to have good customer service options. Helpful support channels include telephone, email, user manuals and FAQs. Less common support features, such as a live-chat option and user forums, can be helpful as well. Although some of the systems in our lineup typically require professional installation, a growing trend means that you can install over half of the systems in our review with little assistance.
The best home automation solutions have plenty of features compatible with your needs. It is also essential for home automation systems to have a usable configuration and readily available customer service. It can be difficult to decide which kind of smart home you want, but with the systems in our home automation reviews, you have some options.