home" is a living environment that empowers you to maximize the potential
of technology to satisfy personal lifestyle needs. It gives you control
to integrate two or more home systems to realize the benefits most desirable
for your lifestyle. Those systems could include communications, computers,
audio/video (your system and multi-room), entertainment, security, lighting
controls, cameras, high speed Internet, utilities and environmental controls.
Home automation pays for itself in energy savings as well as increasing
productivity and saving you time in your increasingly busy day. This is
also beneficial by making the house look lived in when you are away (either
during the day or on vacation). A burglar will never break into a home
if he thinks someone is there. This is far more valuable than any security
system can ever be.
an "automated home" adds convenience, peace of mind and security
to our day-to-day lives, the applications to simplify life are nearly
endless. There are other many advantages and conveniences of an "automated
to the Internet
wiring systems allow consumers to "plug-in" personal computers
anywhere in the home to access Internet services, as well as send and
receive e-mail and faxes. Multiple computers, printers, fax machines and
other devices can be connected to create a cost-effective and convenient
"home area network" that allows for sharing of files, printers,
games, etc. Single phone lines can share Internet access for multiple,
simultaneous users without tying up phones for emergency or other needs.
Callers will no longer get busy signals. Families can enjoy high-speed
Internet access and multiple e-mail accounts while maintaining a single
can work at home with the same convenience as at the office. Home offices
can accommodate multiple communication technologies, so the computer,
fax machine, modem and telephone can function simultaneously while providing
the efficiency of the latest in high-speed Internet access.
equipped to readily accept all entertainment systems/distribution services
(including: direct broadcast satellite, DVD, cable, etc.). You have maximum
freedom and flexibility to direct audio and video services on demand to
all or one outlet in the home-from the bedroom (see Multi-Room Audio/Video)
to the home theater (see Home Theater, Audio/Video Systems and Audio/Video
Controls / Energy Management
sophisticated heating and cooling controls offers maximum comfort and
efficiency. This allows you the flexibility to control HVAC, drapes, the
water heater and other appliances to work more efficiently when necessary
and automatically shut down/turn down when not needed to save on overall
heating and cooling costs.
and Property Protection
home" can contribute to numerous security protection applications
including the use of intelligent lighting controls, monitoring systems
and motion detectors. This is also beneficial by making the house look
lived in when you are away (either during the day or on vacation). A burglar
will never break into a home if he thinks someone is there. This is far
more valuable than any security system can ever be.
of a an Automated Home System
all, most applications can be installed without messy construction or
exposed wires. It is done with radio frequency technology (like the kind
used for your garage door opener). Existing wall switches, electrical
outlets, etc. are replaced with radio controlled ones (look very similar).
A receiver/control unit is added to receive signals from remote controls,
wall switches, touch screens, computer scheduler, etc. This is an inexpensive
way to enjoy the benefits of Home Automation today in a home that was
not prewired (and most are not). If you are building a new home see below.
infrastructure in most homes has not changed in 50 years and is unable
to fully support some advanced technologies that are available to consumers
today for some applications. However, today's wiring systems are created
to handle most of today's technologies and provide the electronic foundation
for an "automated home" (see "Existing Homes" above).
This infrastructure is necessary to ensure that your family can be connected
to today's services and prepared for new technologies. An advanced prewired
home wiring system is usually comprised of three main components:
The Service Center
center is the part where all outside services enter the home, including
cable TV, telephone, DSS satellite, Internet, etc. This central hub distributes
these services to locations throughout the house in a way similar to how
the electrical breaker panel controls electricity flow.
like digital satellite, high-speed Internet, and digital TV require high
performance cables to allow full access throughout the home. Most systems
include RG6 coaxial cable for TV and video, and Category 5 or better twisted-pair
cable for telephone and data. RG6 (quad shield) Coaxial cable provides
maximum protection from interference with your TV picture. Category 5
or better cable provides high-speed access to multiple phone lines without
cross-talk. These cables deliver all the performance you need today, while
providing the capacity to handle tomorrow's technology.
in each room determine which services are available in that room. Each
outlet can be customized to your specific needs based on which services
are desired in each room (cable, Internet access, telephone, etc.). Without
the proper outlets, the high-performance wiring behind the wall is of
Wiring vs. Conventional Wiring
wiring as a pipeline for information. Conventional wiring has the data
capacity of a squirt gun. By comparison, structured wiring, using Category
5 cables, has the capacity of a fire hose. Structured wiring can transmit
more information, faster. Conventional wiring, which is found in most
homes, consists of one or two twisted pairs of wires, and is adequate
for basic voice, fax or data communications. Structured wiring is more
advanced wiring. Not only can it handle traditional telephone, fax and
data communications, but also sophisticated video and data signals from
of size, location or cost of a home, incorporating minimum wiring standards
will add value to the home at resale and effectively ensure optimum access
to all developing home communication, entertainment, security and control
technologies. A "automated home" can be achieved today with
minimal investment and is not limited to custom construction (see "Existing
Homes" above). In most cases, prices for structured wiring solutions
range from approximately $1,000 to $2,000 and up, installed. The initial
investment varies depending on the scope of an installation, with a range
of upgrade and home control options available to consumers who want maximum
control. In addition, to ensure that your home is "future-proofed"
and your investment secured, it is recommended that a 2" PVC pipe
be installed from the basement to the attic. This will enable new wires
to be pulled, if ever necessary, between floors without having to replace
walls or ceilings.
today without an upgraded wiring system will not be able to accommodate
the demands of new technologies. As such, they will not retain value as
strongly as those built with a solid technological infrastructure and,
in fact, may not even be considered by a large percentage of future home
buyers. With the rapid growth of new technologies for the home, the ever-changing
working environment (telecommuting, home business, etc.), and the revolution
in home education and entertainment opportunities, it is predicted that
installing structured wiring will potentially increase the resale value
of the home.
What is Home Automation?
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