If you have been considering setting up a home automation system within your living space and transforming your home into a smart home, you might be interested in this collection of some of the home automation hubs that are currently available by the larger manufacturers on the market priced from $99 upwards depending on your requirements and needs and the components you select to add to your system.
Setting up a home automation system is a fairly simple process and requires a home automation hub that can then connect to your smartphone or tablet device and the system creators companion application. Allowing you to control lighting, smart sockets and even some appliances wherever you may be in the world directly through the Internet or your local wireless network if you are at home.
Even though home automation is still in its infancy there are a number of different systems currently available that provide everything you need to be able to add simple control to your home, enabling you to add as little or as much hardware as your budget will allow. With the simplest setup allowing you can to control your lighting, whilst either in the house or away on holiday. With larger setup allowing you to transform any appliance into a smart appliance by using controllable socket adapters which can then be turned on or off at certain times or remotely using a smartphone application.
Once you have installed your home automation have you can then add a wealth of different peripherals including cameras that can be used for home security solutions, notifying you when they detect any movement within the house. The cameras are also capable of providing live streams directly to your mobile device allowing you to keep an eye on pets whilst you are away or just make sure your home is secure and shipshape. As well as adding sensors to monitor your water usage and control your heating using smart thermostats.
Below are a list of some of the home automation systems that are currently available to purchase directly online from the likes of Amazon or directly from their official websites.
1. Samsung SmartThings Home Automation Hub
The Samsung SmartThings Hub which is available to purchase priced at around £80 and allows you to add extra adapters and smart sockets from the comprehensive Samsung SmartThings range. The SmartThings home automation hub includes a backup battery that allows you to stay connected even if there has been a power cut and supports all major mobile platforms including Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Features of the Samsung SmartThings Hub include the ability to :
– Monitor your home from anywhere
– Control your home from the palm of your hand whilst at home from your phone or tablet
– Secure your home and protect it from damage and danger
– Add any of the hundreds of compatible smart devices to enhance your home
For more information on the Samsung SmartThings home automation hub and system jump over to the official SmartThings website.
2. Philips Hue Home Lighting System, with Apple HomeKit Support
Rather than a complete home automation system the Phillips Hue system allows you to control up to 50 Philips Hue lights around your home using the Hue bridge or have. The smartphone and tablet companion application along to allow you to set up different lighting schemes as well as control lighting whilst away from your home.
The Phillips Hue system also comes with support for Apple HomeKit technology allowing Phillips to expand its support and range of applications in the near future. For more information on the new Phillips Hue lighting automation system jump over to the official Hue website for details.
3. Belkin WeMo Home Automation System
The Belkin WeMo Home automation system provides an easy way to control smart sockets that can be attached to any appliance and turned on or off remotely. As well as providing smart lightbulbs that can be grouped together in a similar way to that offered by the Phillips Hue system previously mentioned.
Belkin has also created a number of wireless cameras that can be used to expand the home automation system into a home security system. Providing night vision, motion detection and high definition video streaming as well as push to talk functionality using the companion iOS and Android applications.
Belkin has also created an add-on home automation device for hobbyists, makers and tinkerers to add their own projects to the smart home system, using the Belkin WeMo Maker Home Automation Hub priced at $80. Which has been designed for low-voltage electrical devices that can then be controlled directly from your tablet or smartphone. Using the free WeMo app which is available for iOS, Android, and Kindle devices. Belkin explains more
WeMo Maker works with IFTTT, a service that lets you create powerful connections with one simple statement: IF this, then that. You’ll be able to use any data source on the web to act as a WeMo trigger and create customized automation rules and schedules to fit your personal preferences. You can, for example, create a trigger to open the pet door for your dog at sunrise or when you log out of your work email for the day. With WeMo and IFTTT, your imagination is your only limit.
4. Logitech Harmony Home Hub
Again another comprehensive system on the market is the Logitech Harmony Home Hub which again allows you to control your home directly from your smartphone or tablet device using the companion application. Enabling you to turn on or off connected lights, locks, thermostats and more and is compatible with over 270,000 devices from 6,000 brands and supports both Android and iOS mobile platforms. The Logitech Harmony Home Hub is now available to purchase price at around £100 from the likes of Amazon, Logitech explains more :
Logitech Harmony Hub integrates control of connected lights, locks, blinds, thermostats, sensors,home entertainment devices and more – turning your smartphone or tablet into a universal home remote. Start and control devices in groups or individually, either directly with one touch or on customisable schedules.
For more information on the new Logitech Harmony Home Hub jump over to the official Logitech website for details.
5. Google Nest
Having started with thermostats and smoke alarms after the purchase of Nest a few years back. Google is slowly expanding its home automation system and have recently added the Nest Cam Security Camera, after the acquisition of Dropcam.
Even though there are no smart sockets available at the moment the Nest system is capable of integrating with a number of other different home automation products such as the LIFX lightbulbs which recently launched via Kickstarter and more. For more information jump over to the official Nest website for specifications on the camera, learning thermostat and smoke alarm. Expect Google to roll out more home automation devices and hardware in the near future.
6. D-Link mydlink Smart Home Home Automation Hub
D-Link has created a comprehensive system called mydlink that provides both home automation and home security and is again controllable via your smartphone or tablet and is capable of providing streaming video footage from your home, directly to your smartphone wherever you may be in the world. Allowing you to keep in contact with loved ones or just keep an eye on your premises.
The D-Link mydlink home automation system provides a wealth of sensors from motion detectors to water sensors that are capable of alerting you to any changes in your homes environment. The system also includes smart plugs that allows you to control appliances remotely turning them on and off when needed. For more information jump over to the official D-Link website for full specifications and prices
7. Panasonic Smart Home Automation System
Panasonic have on offer a number of starter kits to get you up and running with home automation that include either a home safety starter kit or a larger home automation kit that includes a smart socket and camera. Each component within the system is capable of communicating with others within a range of 300 m using the DECT Ultra low Energy (ULE) wireless standard. Panasonic explains more :
This makes it super safe because it is invisible to regular consumer products. And it offers a stable, interference free, superior range. Control of the components is wireless too thanks to the Smart Home app. Simply download (for free) to your iOS or Android device. Easy setup Working wirelessly, the Smart Home system is easy to set up; connect the Hub to your network, download the control app and pair each device to the hub.
Even pairing is simple. With ‘One-Push’ pairing you can just press one button on each device and one button the hub. Devices can also be registered via the app on the Smart devices. What’s included in the kit? Smart Hub: sitting at the heart of the Smart Home system, the Hub can connect to all of the components. It can be set up through ‘One-Push’ pairing and can communicate across a 300 metre range.
For more information on the new Panasonic Smart Home range jump over to the official Panasonic website for details.
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