Home Automation - Who Needs It?

So come-on, who really needs home automation anyway? I mean isn't home automation just a fancy electronic timer? Well, the answer to the first question is you and the second question is sort of.

Yes, you can use home automation to turn lights on and off, turn your coffee maker on, and turn your lawn sprinklers on and off, but so what? You can probably do all that stuff right now, right? Well, the answer to this question again is sort of.

Yeah, you may be able to plug a mechanical timer into a lamp, program your coffee maker to turn on at 6:00 AM, and set your sprinklers to water your lawn on an alternating daily schedule, but you also have to maintain all of those clocks and schedules! When you have an extended power outage, daylight saving, or you just want to change things up, you have to remember how to program all of those (and many other) devices.

How you really know that a technology is a need is when it's easy to use, and transparent in its operation. I can tell you this, I truly appreciatedmy X10 automation system (as simple as it may be) when I recently moved into my new home. I remember pulling into the driveway after work, or on a weekend evening after being out all day to find a dark, unoccupied looking residence. A criminal's delight!

I'm on my second generation automation system from X10 and runs the ActiveHome software. After researching the market, I think I'm ready to upgrade to X10's newest automation system, ActiveHome Pro. I love the fact that its interface uses a USB connection rather than a serial port, and their $49.99 starter kit is a great way for users like me to do a simple software and system interface upgrade while gaining all of the new features of the new software while using my existing light and appliance modules. If your just getting started, take a look at their Ultimate System with a nice selections of modules and handheld controllers to get you going fast.

The nice thing to remember about these systems are the fact that you don't need to use your PC after you have the system up and going. You can program the system's interface module and it will remember and execute all programmed events without intervention by you on your computer.You can even buy a system for you parents or grandparents, program it at you home, and plug it into an electrical outlet at their home and they will benefit from this needed technology.

So see, I don't see home automation as a luxury, or something that is used by geeky electronics buffs. Home automation is so affordable, that it's an important part of you overall security plan.

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