After gaining an understanding of what you can do with Home Automation and how Home Automation devices communicate with each other you might be ready to start shopping for your system.
Here are some tips to consider as you shop:
- What do you want the system to do for you? Are you going to control temperatures, set mood lighting, secure your residence or have coffee waiting for you when you wake up in the morning? Begin with what you want to accomplish, both short term and long term, with your system – and then shop accordingly.
- Which type of system do you want? Some systems communicate through home wiring and may include wireless options. Other systems are exclusively wireless. Within the wireless systems, there are several protocols used to communicate with each other, do you have a preference?
- Make sure your component choices are compatible with each other. This can be a big deal not only as you begin to setup your system, but also for the long term should you desire to expand your system. If you have some existing equipment already, then you probably want your new equipment to be backward compatible with your old equipment. It is not always required to match the same brand of components within a system to achieve compatibility, but in some instances it might be a key factor. What is more important, though, is when you obtain components from different manufacturers to confirm they are able to communicate through a common protocol (ZigBee, Z-Wave, Standard Wi-Fi, etc.) Refer to a previous article about communication protocols, and thoroughly compare compatibility specifications for new products you are considering buying – make sure they can communicate with each other.
- What do I need to buy? In large part, the answer to this question is determined by your responses to the above questions. If you are just starting out, Home Automation kits can be a good way to get started. Kits typically contain a communication hub or control center along with multiple devices that do specific things that you want automated. Alternatively, maybe you want to start out simple – it is possible to begin with single devices like a thermostat or a door lock which can in turn simply be controlled by an app on a smartphone or computer. Keep in mind when taking this approach how important it is to research and understand your compatibility requirements for future expansion possibilities.
- Seek qualified assistance to resolve any questions you have before completing the purchase. Have you done your research but still have questions? The Micro Center Sales and Support Consultants will be happy to answer any questions that you have in this process. Our knowledgeable Micro Center Sales Consultants are ready to assist you in the selection process of your Home Automation components. You can also check out our product selection online! Be sure to select your local Micro Center at the top of the website under "My Store" to verify your nearest Micro Center's stock.
Finally, let's take a look at some examples of what you can buy to get your Home Automation System started.