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What Is Home Automation and How Does It Work?

home automation

Everything You Need to Know about Home Automation


In the famous movie, Back to the Future II, Marty McFly goes into the future to see a world where cars could fly, clothing could automatically dry, and homes respond to your every wish and command. Funny enough, the world of holograms and hoverboards was set in 2015, over half a decade ago! While we are not currently eating rehydrated pizza or wearing self-lacing Nikes, the idea of an automated home is no longer a dream of the future; it is today’s reality.


What Is Home Automation?

Home automation systems are the technology that provides automatic and electronic control of various household features. Even something as simple as your home’s thermostat or the timer on your sprinkler fall under this category. That means home automation has been around longer than you might have thought. The idea is that some processes, like turning on holiday lights, happen automatically, without your continued intervention.


Smart home automation takes these abilities to a new level via devices that connect through the internet. Modern smart home devices can even learn your behaviors to automatically simplify your daily routine. When homeowners talk about home automation, they refer to the advanced capabilities of advanced smart home automation systems.


What Can You Do With Home Automation?

Home automation is so flexible and powerful that a better question should be, “what can you not do with home automation?”


Here are just some of the most common uses of home automation systems:

  • Updated thermostat control

  • Live video surveillance and security systems

  • Remote lighting control

  • Real-time text and e-mail alerts

  • Keyless home entry

  • Voice-activated control

  • Windows, blinds, and curtain controls

  • Fire and carbon monoxide monitoring

  • Appliance control and notifications

  • Digital personal assistant integration (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, etc.)

  • TV, sound system, and speaker controls

  • Pet feeders, self-cleaning litter boxes, and video monitoring

  • And more: practically every area of your home can be improved through smart home automation technology


How Does Home Automation Work?

Modern home automation uses a network of hardware, software, and electronic interfaces that can integrate with your home’s everyday devices, appliances, and systems. These devices connect to each other through your home’s Wi-Fi network, Bluetooth, or Z-wave signals. This setup allows you to control your various automated devices through your smartphone, tablet, or computer, even when you are not at home. That means you can lock the front door, set the temperature, or open the garage door from anywhere you have a cell phone signal.


The three main parts of any home automation system are sensors, actuators, and controllers.

  1. Sensors monitor changes in temperature, sunlight, motion, etc. You can program your system to start or stop a process when a sensor is activated.

  1. Actuators refer to things like switches, motors, valves, etc., that control the actual function of an automated home system.

  1. Controllers refer to devices, like a smartphone, tablet, or control center, that send and receive messages about the various automated features in your system.


Home automation allows you to create simple and complex routines to simplify your life. For example, with the proper setup, you could program your smart home to help you start your day on the right foot.


Imagine this: your alarm goes off, and your bedroom window shades slowly let in natural light while the coffee pot downstairs starts to fill your home with the sweet smell of your morning beverage. As you walk downstairs, the TV turns on to the morning news, and speakers throughout the house announce events on your calendar for the day. As you leave the house, interior lights turn off, and the security system is automatically turned to away mode. The only limit to what your automated home can do is your imagination.


Home Automation Benefits

The overarching purpose of a home automation system is to simplify and streamline your daily routine. There are several main benefits to living in a smart home:

  • Comfortable and Convenient Living: from pre-programming your thermostat to having your door automatically lock when you leave, a smart home makes life at home more enjoyable.

  • Remote Access: control elements of your home from wherever you are.

  • Added Safety: Security systems, smoke detectors, pressure sensors, and other devices can ensure your family and home are safe from disaster.

  • Lower Energy Bills: with home automation, you can be more conscious of your power usage and program your devices accordingly.


How To Automate Your Home

Adding some automation to your home is an exciting endeavor. Unfortunately, most people do not know where to start. You have several options for turning your home into a smart home.



Various smart home products are extremely user-friendly and easy to install yourself, even if you are not the most tech-savvy person on the block. A robot vacuum, for example, is relatively straightforward to set up. The device plugs into a regular household outlet, and the accompanying smartphone app will walk you through connecting the robot to your Wi-Fi, creating a schedule, and using the unit. Most smart appliances share a similar, easy setup.


Home Automation Companies

There are various companies that claim to be able to set up home automation for you. In most cases, they can quickly set up most of your basic smart products like appliances, plugs, light bulbs, speakers, etc. You definitely want to be cautious as you get what you pay for in these instances.


Licensed Electricians

While not every piece of smart technology needs electrical contractors on site for installation. On the other hand, most of the more powerful and capable devices will require electrical work, whether replacing an outlet or light switch with a smart device, running electrical cables to set up a centralized hub, or installing electronics. An electrician can handle both the hardware installation and software setup.


Take a Step Into the Future with Watson’s Charging Station & Electric

Whether you are just getting started with smart home technology or want your new build in the Gilroy, CA, area to be completely modernized, let the licensed electrician team at Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric help with all of your home automation needs. Learn more about automating your home when you give us a call today.