A house is so much more than a structure of bricks and mortar – it’s a place where memories are created, bonds are formed, and love is nurtured. It is these experiences that make a house a home and, although not seemingly evident, home automation technology, through effective application, both enhances these experiences and creates new ones.

Home automation is the control and monitoring of a home’s systems from lighting and security to temperature and entertainment. At a basic level, a smart system switches a light on at a specific time. At the high end, an automation system creates ambience by setting specific lights at different intensities. Both achieve the same basic requirement – the difference is how the latter can change our mood and perceptions.

The next level of control switches different systems of a home simultaneously. A “movie scene” could close curtains, engage ambient backlighting, turn on the TV, and switch the amplifier to the correct input. All you need to do is enjoy the film!

Faster internet connections together with music and movie/TV streaming platforms now deliver unprecedented entertainment into our homes. Home automation facilitates the different ways in which that content can be enjoyed. It could be music played back from a single small streaming speaker or the same music played seamlessly throughout a home at varying levels of performance, such as in-ceiling speakers over a kitchen at a background level, dynamic outdoor garden speakers, and more substantial speakers in a lounge creating an “it’s as though the band is in the room” feel.

Home automation greatly enhances a home’s security. Surveillance cameras, door locks, and alarm systems can all be integrated for comprehensive monitoring and control. Remote accessibility provides an extra layer of safety. While away, blinds, lights and TVs can activate in a random fashion to appear someone is home or lights can flash repeatedly when a zone is triggered, drawing attention to a security breach. Peace of mind comes with having a smart home.

An exciting aspect of the current and future state of home automation is its scalability. In its early days, control systems were difficult to retrofit and for the most part had to be implemented in their entirety at a build stage. New wireless control options and intelligence embedded into devices provide a path to automate an existing home either complete or one room at a time.

An automated home significantly improves convenience, energy efficiency, security, comfort and entertainment. But above all, when well-implemented with thought and care, it can transform a house into a home.