What is Home Automation

What is Home Automation and Why You Need it Now!

Imagine this. You’re driving home from work, and as you approach your driveway, the entryway lights turn on, your air conditioner starts cooling rooms, and your Smart speakers stay playing some soothing tunes to help you de-stress after the day. What a welcome home, and an achievable reality these days with home automation (commonly called Smart home setups). And the good news is, they don’t have to be the best Smart home devices as the market is incredibly competitive in terms of value and functionality. A win-win! So what is home automation, what are the benefits, and how much does it cost?

How can I use Smart home gadgets?

It’s not the case for all brands, but the most common ways are via apps, Home Assistant automation and automation.


There are an abundance of apps available, and most products and services are compatible with both iOS and Android. However, many manufacturing brands tend to use only one app to control many or all of their devices, and they don’t sync with other brands, so consider this when choosing a Smart automation system.

Home Assistant automation

Commonly called Smart Assistants, Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant are the most common brands for Home Assistant automation and make life a technological breeze by controlling all of your devices from one central hub using voice commands. Android phones come with Google Assistant and iPhones have Siri. At the moment, no phones have Alexa built in, but if you invest in a Smart speaker, all three Assistants will typically be built in. The systems work by voice command to activate them. For example, “Hi Alexa, please play some rock songs from Spotify” or “Google, dim the lights in the lounge room”. Other apps let you create your own commands, so you can program your Smart Assistant to respond to the command “I want to watch a movie”, which will dim the lights and turn on your TV.


Some devices and apps can talk to each other without you acting as the go-between. For example, your Smartwatch could turn on the air conditioning before you arrive home from work, or the lights could turn on, and your coffee machine start brewing when your morning alarm goes off.

Home automation ideas and the benefits

Some of the features and benefits of a Smart home include:

Entertainment automation

TV and music-related Smart home gadgets are popular choices. Wi-Fi and Smart speakers can be grouped together or used individually. An app or Smart Assistant can control a connected speaker via your Wi-Fi, whereas a Smart speaker will have an Assistant built into it. Music can be selected, played, paused, stopped, or tracks skipped via your voice or phone commands.

Some TVs have built-in Smart home features, but media devices like Apple TV or Google Chromecast are often a better option. This is because they will plug into your TV and let you control streaming services with your phone, cast video to it from another device or be controlled via your voice if you have a compatible Smart Assistant.

Smart speaker automation

Smart speakers with in-built Smart Assistants like Google, Alexa and Siri have become an integral element of home automation. Like your tablet or Smartphone, a Smart speaker can be used to control other Smart devices. You can simply say “turn on my TV”, and the Smart speaker will turn on your Smart TV. Almost all big brands integrate with at least one of these Assistants:

Google Home

Siri (Apple)

Alexa (Amazon)

A proprietary alternative by brands such as Samsung and LG

General appliances automation

Modern appliances are consistently getting Smarter. Ovens, fridges, washing machines and even microwaves can be programmed to alert you via your phone when something is cooked or the washing is done. Many Smart fridges have internet-connected touchscreens, and some even include internal cameras to answer questions like “Have I run out of milk?”
Smart switches let you turn devices off or on with voice commands or from your phone. You simply plug an appliance into the switch, which then plugs into an outlet. Left the iron on after leaving the house? Turn it off with the tap of a finger!

Home lighting automation

Smart lights can dim, turn on and off, and some change colour via an app or Smart Assistant. Some can simulate an occupied house if you go on holiday or allow you to configure your preferred lighting conditions, like on movie nights!

Air conditioning automation

Modern Smart air conditioners can also be connected to your existing Smart home technology, via Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple HomePod. Most of them can allow you to control most parts of the unit, including temperature control, zone operation and monitoring the unit’s operation remotely.

Home security

Smart cameras can connect to your Wi-Fi network and be controlled via your voice or an app. Coupled with a Smart lock, you will be able to see who is at the door and unlock it with the touch of a button. Smart locks can also enable you to set time-limited keys for other people, so if you are on holidays, your house-sitter can use an app on their phone to access the property while you’re away or cleaners can access your home during certain hours.


Some gadgets and appliances can track water and energy usage so you can work towards a more sustainable home as well as save money on your energy bills.


Home automation and voice commands have opened up a whole new world of accessibility options for people with disabilities. They can control music, their TV and unlock the front door via voice commands easily and safely via a tablet or mobile device.

Is it difficult to create a Smart home?

Installing automation in the home isn’t difficult, but it does depend on how complicated a system you’re after. To fully utilise a basic Smart system, you will need:

  • A consistent Wi-Fi signal wherever you place your gadgets.
  • A tablet, Smartphone, Smart speaker or a Smart-enabled device like a compatible TV.

Some systems also require you to connect a hub to your router or modem. This typically serves as the proprietary signal between the Smart devices and your home network, but most work by themselves. In theory, you should be able to install the relevant apps on your Smartphone, connect the Smart device to your network, and the tech should handle the rest. However, like most things technical, glitches can occur, and networking is often challenging, so you may have to troubleshoot for a while.

Different types of home automation systems

There are several configurations of home automations systems on how complex you want your system to be, but here is a rough guide for your reference.

Home automation systems – A simple setup

This style of setup is for you if you want to walk into a room and want the lights to turn on automatically, smart switches (which are connected to your WiFi network and controlled remotely using an app) and can also include setting up smart speakers.

An intermediate home automation system

At this level, your gadgets start to get a little more advanced but may still be limited to basic commands. They’re still great though, allowing you to piggyback to your Wi-Fi and do things like turn on speakers, dim lights, and control your air conditioning.

Home automation systems – An advanced setup

At this level, things can get expensive, but a whole lot of fun! In addition to simple commands, you can monitor devices from a Smartwatch or Smartphone. Check your washing, the status of the roast in the oven or ask Google to suggest recipes based on what food needs to be eaten ASAP in your fridge. Direct commands can also become personalised. For example, “Alexa, I’m freezing”, and the system will know to set your air conditioning to the optimal temperature. Entire rooms can also be set to respond to a single command. A “Google, I’m going to bed” command can turn off all the lights in your house apart from the ones in your bedroom!