Imagine a situation, you are sitting in an extremely important meeting and you are next in line to present an idea that you put together after burning the midnight oil. You are all charged up and the effervescence combined with hard work is enough to convince your boss. Suddenly it strikes you that you may have forgotten to lock the house while hurriedly leaving for work in the morning. The thought of an open house with valuables inside especially when you are at least an hour away from work is bound to get you worried, to an extent that it impacts the presentation you are about to deliver. What next? Well, it is simple. With home automation locking your house is just a click away!
Home automation, simply put, is associated with a system that provisions centralized control of lighting, HVAC (Heating, ventilation & air-conditioning) appliances, shades, AV systems, security locks of gates and doors resulting in convenience, enhanced comfort, energy efficiency and security. With the number of smart devices – smartphones, tablets & the more recent smart watch on the rise, interconnection and communication has become a useful and desirable feature. The time is right to reap the benefits of this remarkable revolution, in much the same way the world has moved/is moving from incandescent to more sustainable and energy saving LED bulbs.
On an average, a working individual spends about 9 hours at work and 7 hours sleeping, leaving little time to tend to the home front. In today’s age where time management is a major concern, we have to prioritize and make our lives as easy as possible. At the home front, automated systems are bound to simplify our lives to a large extent. A pragmatic approach will be to adopt a system that makes everything hassle free. After all, home is a place where we all wish to relax and be devoid of any stress. In addition to creating a serene atmosphere, it is a fruitful investment, fruits of which are borne in time. With the depletion of sources of energy and rising awareness around environment friendly methods, automation systems have gained popularity. It enables optimal usage of electricity and minimizes wastage. For instance, using sensor based technology lights will automatically turn on/off basis our presence/absence in the room. Automation will considerably bring down your electricity bill without any compromise on the living standard. For an average household, you can save up to 60 per cent of your lighting energy and 10-30 per cent of your heating and cooling costs by adopting various strategies such as occupancy sensing, daylight harvesting, personal dimming control, automated shading, plug load control and time scheduling etc. Dimming your lights by 25 per cent can save 20 per cent energy. Automated shades can help block harmful UV and solar heat gain, thus lowering energy consumption by air-conditioners.
Gone are the days when home automation would only be undertaken by the rich. The cost of deploying such systems have come down considerably in the past 10 years. Budget is the only limiting factor to the extent of automating your house. Home owners should differentiate between what is “must have” and what is “nice to have” especially when you have budget limitation. If you are looking to set up a 3 bedroom apartment for yourself and wish to install home automation system with integrated light and shade control:
For lighting control needs:
- Preset lighting control system for a single room or studio flat, starting from Rs 45,000
- Total home control system for the whole home, from Rs 1,75,000
For automated shading needs:
- Wired roman shades, roller shades, venetian blinds & curtains, from Rs 35,000
- For Sensory based control, starting from Rs 8,500
With implementation of automation systems, one can view all that is going on in the house even when you are sitting miles away. No longer does one have to rely on neighbours to keep a check on the house, when everything can be remotely managed. In extreme weather conditions, for instance in the time of scorching heat, you can switch on the air conditioning an hour prior to reaching home. The same holds true in the case of extreme winter conditions when you can switch on the heating system to ensure that you are living in the “comfort of your home”.
~by Manjul Trehan, India Head and Director Sales, Lutron Electronics Inc....