Home automation, also called domotics is the process of making ones home more automatic and thus more comfortable and secure for its residents. There are a wide variety of technologies and applications that fall under the umbrella of home automation. The most common forms of home automation involve light and climate controls, control of doors and shutters, and security and surveillance systems. Other forms of home automation include control of home entertainment systems, and automatic plant watering. Given that many island owners only visit their islands on a part time basis home automation systems are an excellent way to ensure that the home is maintained. Home automation systems on islands range from the basic to the elaborate. Typical systems include automated heating/cooling, watering, lightening and security, while more advanced systems sense the presence of owners and adjust the room to meet their comfort needs.
It is best that home automation systems are installed during the construction of the isand home as it is more challenging to install once the home is complete. When home automation is installed during construction of a new home, usually control wires are added before the drywall is installed. These control wires run to a controller, which will then control the environment. Some systems use wiring, some use embedded signals in the power line, some use radio frequency (RF) signals, and some use a combination of these methods.
Forms of Automated Systems for Islands
Here are some examples of the most popular automated systems installed on islands.
Automated lighting control systems involve aspects relating to the control of electric lights. Ideal for islands, automatic lighting allows you to conserve power while keeping a portion of the home illuminated for a defined period of time. This system gives the island home a lived in appearance which may dissuade trespassers.
Natural Lighting Control
Many island owners opt to have their window shades and draperies to be automatically controlled. Automated shades and draperies maximize the warmth of the sunlight during the day, and retain this heat at night by closing the shades.
Heating and Cooling
Many island homes have autonomous heating and cooling systems. In northern climates these systems are almost ubiquitous in island homes such that the thermostat is programmed to turn on at a certain temperature to ensure that water pipes do not freeze. Island owners may also program the heating/cooling systems to engage before their arrival at the island to ensure an ambient temperature upon arrival. This is often done remotely via telephone or the internet.
Some measure of home security on an island is essential. Automated home security systems can include security cameras, movement detectors, fire detectors, and automatic locking of certain areas.
On a final note most island home systems can be controlled remotely. Advances in technology, particularly with RFID technology have made home automation simpler and more affordable. Other home automation systems you may want to invest in are pool/hot tub pumps, pet feeders, and sprinkler systems. On a final note if you have health problems and spend a great deal of time alone on your island you may want to invest in a medical alert device.