DIY Home Automation - How to set up home automation? Complete Guide for Beginners

DIY Home Automation - How to set up home automation


If you want to know how to set up home automation and change your home to a smart home? But don't know how & where to start? Because there are so many smart devices that are available in the market, And we have to pick the right things out of that, then this DIY Home Automation article is going to be for you.


Here I have given my personal opinion & suggestions to fix the problem. As well as I will give you the latest information to automate things efficiently.


Before starting, just get to know about home automation. What the Home Automation exactly is?


What is Home Automation? - Home Automation is the term that came in lights in the early 19s, and it means automating the home appliances to perform certain work conveniently. Initially, it was using in basic home appliances like Washing machines, refrigerators, sewing machines, etc. and all of this was wired. Nowadays Smart devices which are used for home automation are Wireless like a personal assistant, voice-controlled devices, wireless security equipment, smart cameras, etc.


So, choosing the best match for your requirement is a tedious job, and while choosing this, you need to take care of some criteria.


First of all, you have to Choose the core platform, then you need to select the different categories & the factors which you have to keep in mind while setup.


We will take each of them, one by one in brief.







    1. Important Factors while setting up DIY Home automation

    Managing the Budget :

    During the setup process of Smart devices, you have to keep an eye on our budget.


    You should focus on How can we get better products & services at reasonable rates. Because Automating the whole house can cost thousands of dollars.


    So plan your budget according to your choice and get started with it.


    Areas where you are planning to automate devices :

    Before starting the home automation, you have to choose the different areas where you are planning to start the work.


    You will need to make a plan about Automating smart devices like automate Lights for rooms, how to set up security devices so they will perform well, where to integrate?


    Whether you want those devices only for entertainment purposes or you will integrate them with appliances and machines which we use every day.


    You can also automate for every day for e.g. using them in your bathroom to automate lights, so you will not need to off switch with wet hands.


    Some people automate devices for their offices to decrease work time. We'll discuss it all in detail in this article.


    Select devices which you can set up by yourself :

    Automating smart devices can be achieved easily with the right implementation. Choose the devices which you can set up all over the house & connect with each other over the internet.


    People often start to deploy the setup of smart devices. But they face issues while the installation.


    So before getting started with it, choose whether you will do it by yourself or else you can also call 3rd-party companies who do this all work for you?


    You can install some devices by yourself, and if you face any problems then you can call the specific home automation service agencies.




    2. Choosing the Platform

    The platform acts as the communication medium between you and the home automation devices that you will be going to set up.


    So before getting started setting up the smart devices, we'll decide which platform will be the best for you!


    Some of the great platforms for DIY Home Automation that you can buy are Google Assistant, Apple Homekit, Amazon Alexa & ZigBee.


    Google Home & Google Assistant:

    DIY Home Automation using Google Home
    Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash

    Google Home is a complete solution to automate your home with simple steps. We can implement it in every area like Music, Media, Security, Lighting, and many more.


    Google Home is completely based on Google Assistant to integrate smart devices with each other over a single platform.


    Google has launched a couple of smart home speakers & hub devices like Google Home Mini, Google Nest mini & Google Nest hub which is optimized to work with Google Home.


    Amazon Alexa/Echo devices:

    DIY Home Automation using Alexa devices
    Photo by Lazar Gugleta on Unsplash

    Amazon also manufacturing Smart devices for Home which also offers some great features. It includes some Smart speakers and some display-based smart devices. 


    All the devices are controlled by Amazon's Artificial Bot ALEXA, which is smart enough to automate other smart devices.


    Apple Homekit:

    DIY Home Automation using Google HomeKit
    Photo by Nicolas Lafargue on Unsplash

    To automate the different things we can use Apple devices like iPhone or iPad. The iOS support an Apple Home app to automate other smart devices through Siri.


    But have you heard about Apple HomeKit? It's Apple's new innovation to automate devices Intelligently. Product It makes Home automation much simpler than using iPhone & Apple TV.


    Apart from Google and Amazon, we can switch to the Apple Homekit platform as it is rapidly growing in the Smart home automation industry.


    Apple also has Its own Siri-enabled Smart speaker which just works perfectly with almost all automation devices.


    It has some great features like Cloud storage if you are using smart devices that need to store some data, e.g. HomeKit is connected to a Spy camera or Home Security camera when a camera capture something it stores video footage to Cloud drive.


    Other platforms:

    There are also other device automation platforms like Samsung's SmartThings, ZigBee alliance, IKEA, and Home Assistant.


    These are also great platforms that you can choose to integrate into your home. They also provide different functionalities & customizations for various smart devices.



    3. Choosing the mode of connectivity

    Before getting started with the Actual implementation of Smart home devices, we need to decide the mode of connectivity.


    Wifi and Bluetooth are popular connectivity mediums among people to connect those devices. But there is one more medium available which you can choose from.


    That medium is a Wifi mesh network. It is a Mesh wired network that connects other devices to your router through a Hub.


    One question that will arise here is why we will require the wired network even if we have a Wireless wifi network?


    That is because sometimes the wifi signal doesn't pass through the multiple walls. If someone has a big house then he'll need to put multiple routers in different areas of the house.


    So it is better to use a single wifi router that is connected to all the devices through one centralized Hub. 


    Some of the great mesh network platform providers for a mode of connectivity are Thread, Z wave, and Zigbee


    Zigbee is the most popular than others. Might be they provide better service than others. but in my opinion, all are the best for the Mesh network.




    4. Choosing the categories & areas for DIY Home Automation

    As we have selected our core platform, now we will see which devices are needed to get installed? How to connect & install them? How the devices will communicate with each other?


    Now what you have to do is choose the categories & areas that you want to automate.


    Basically, the main categories of home automation are Entertainment, Multimedia, security, lighting, climate control, cameras, etc.


    Multimedia:

    There are several areas that you can consider for automation like music and basic voice-controlled devices in your living room and bedroom.


    One great thing about this device is that it supports almost all Home Automation Platforms.


    You can connect them with Smart TVs using Google's Other smart device product Chromecast, Smart Lights & Bulbs, Refrigerators, ACs, and other smart devices.


    Google Nest mini is slightly better as compared to Home Mini. Nest Mini is more environment-friendly than the Home Mini variant. It also has a wall screw tie which is absent in Home Mini.


    Nest Mini also has extra features like Pause controls & 360-degree Surround Sound. Both speakers come under the $50 & £50 price category.


    Google Home & Nest Devices
    Photo by Nathana Rebou├žas on Unsplash

    Google's Nest Hub is a complete platform to manage your all smart devices in one place with great UI. As its name suggest that it is the Hub for all the devices which makes your Home automation more precise.


    Amazon's smart devices are a great choice to start your house automation. Smart speakers like Amazon Echo, Echo dot (3rd Gen), Echo studio, Echo input Portable & Smart display devices like Echo show 5 which comes with an in-built speaker.


    Amazon Echo input Portable is the only device that is completely portable to use. You can use it anywhere, even on the road to search someone's house. Just give the instructions to Echo input Portable.


    Echo Show series is the Touchscreen display device that you can also use to automate other smart devices. It's quite similar to Google's Nest Hub.


    To use all of the above devices you will need an Android or iOS mobile app of a specific platform.


    1. Now, open the device and connect it with your Wifi network. Also, connect other devices that you want to automate to the same wifi network.
    2. The Mobile app will connect and you can manage other smart devices through the specific platform's mobile app.


    Smart speakers like Amazon Echo Dot, Apple HomePod, Google Nest and Home mini which we've seen earlier are used to control other devices through voice. You can use single or multiple platforms as assistants in your home.


    Next, if wanted to use the special feature of your Smart TV, you should go with Chromecast or Amazon Fire Stick.


    Both the devices can get connected to your device easily and you can access its content either through your android or apple devices or Voice assistant based Smart Speaker.


    The benefits of using fire stick and Chromecast are you can cast or project other devices on Smart TV anywhere in the Home.


    In addition to that, the Fire Stick also supports other media devices like Sound Bars, set-top boxes, and a/v receiversAlso, they are pretty cheap to buy and install in your home.


    For a more detailed explanation continue with this article, Smart Multimedia devices for your Home!


    Lighting:

    We've seen how we can use Smart music and media devices to automate the home. But now, in this case, Amazon, Apple, or google not create their own Smart lights or smart Bulbs.


    Then we will need to reply to other trusted smart lighting manufacturers like Philips Hue, IKEA, & General Electric. Now see them one by one.


    Smart lighting for home automation
    Photo by Stephan Bechert on Unsplash

    Philips Hue is a subsidiary of Philips that makes Smart lighting solutions including smart bulbs, Light strips, lamps, and other accessories. Also, you can take a complete package of all lighting devices is known as a Starter kit.


    The main advantage of the starter kit is that you get a Connection bridge included in the package.


    The Hue bridge has a high Range of connectivity, higher no. of maximum supported Blugbs or lights, Supports almost all Platforms, etc.


    Philips hue lights and bulbs can be controlled through voice assistants like Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant. For Siri and Cortana you will need Hue Bridge.


    Philips Hue Lights smartly controls Bulbs and Lights by using the Philips Hue App. Actually, it detects your presence at your home through the mobile app and Turns on or off the lights accordingly.


    GE(General Electric) has a great variety of devices like Multicolor smart Bulbs, Light strips to decorate the various parts of a home, Smart Switches which don't require any wiring, Smart Plugs, Sensors & many more.


    Where yo can control their devices through various ways like you can turn off or on using your Smartphone, turn off the lights by sensing your action and activity, 


    IKEA also provides smart lighting devices like Smart LED Light Bulbs, Lamps, decorative & Integrated Lighting, Outdoor lights


    IKEA Mainly focuses on different parts of your home and all are controlled by your voice & gesture.


    Some features are similar in all the platforms are they all provide access through voice, scheduling of lighting & access through Mobile apps.


    For the setup, all you need is to connect each device with the same network. Then configure the voice assistant with your devices and you are ready to automate the lighting from one place.


    For a more detailed explanation continue with this article, Smart lighting system for home automation - Ultimate guide!


    Climate control:

    smart climate control devices thermostats
    Photo by Dan LeFebvre on Unsplash


    Climate control devices give us live information about our room temperature and conditions in an actual home.


    You can integrate Smart thermostats with Voice assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa devices, or Apple HomeKit(through Siri).


    There are a couple of Smart thermostats manufacturing companies like Google, Honeywell, and Ecobee. All the thermostats use traditional User Interfaces to interact with them.


    The most popular and smart thermostats, in my opinion, are Google's Nest Thermostats which actually take every day's temperature data and feeds it on an AI Algorithm which gives you the actual and near to perfect climate data of your Room.


    Some climate control devices can be integrated with ACs to control without the remote and this makes your AC smarter and convenient.


    Security:

    Home security is the most important thing that you have to implement in your home. But for that, you'll need monitoring services along with the security devices for complete security.


    You can use security devices like Base stations, Sensors, and Security cameras in any area you want to monitor.


    Base stations are the main hub for your smart security devices. they control all the devices, capture the change, and rings the siren when some suspicious happens.


    Just set up the different devices in a different part of your houses like to monitor the Door, Sensors on each of the doors, and passages of your house. Using cameras inside or outside for more security.


    SimpliSafe is one of the most popular brands in terms of security equipment and devices. Google is also you can consider for security, as is quite popular in the Home Automation industry.


    As Google uses 3rd party services for their security devices, they cost more than SimpliSafe.


    SimpliSafe uses its own Monitoring services while Google uses 3rd party monitoring services like Brinks monitoring service.


    For a more detailed explanation continue with this article, How to find Best DIY home automation security system?


    Other Home Appliances & Accessories:

    As technology is improving day by day, normal home appliances like Washing-machines, ACs, Refrigerators & so many other devices are gettings smarter and smarter.


    Now some companies have implemented Voice assistant-based technology in their home appliances. 


    Other than the devices that I've mentioned earlier in the article, all the devices which can be automated through either Portable devices or by voice are Categorise in this area.




    My thoughts on DIY Home Automation

    Implementing smart devices in your home makes your traditional way of automation much simpler. Smart Home automation makes it easier to access those smart devices from one place.


    Setting up the smart device home automation is quite expensive and time-consuming work. So keep the points in your mind that I have mentioned above & plan accordingly.


    You should go with 3 major platforms: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit & Google Home Assistant. While choosing the best platform from these three platforms is a bit hard.


    You have to choose a platform according to your other smart device's availability. Because All of the three platforms don't support all the devices. e.g. Apple doesn't require specific hardware to run with HomeKit.


    You can also make combinations of all the platforms, just don't make simple things complex! 


    The main motive of this DIY Home Automation article is to educate people that how they can set up Smart devices by themselves. So choose wisely and if you face any issues just let us know in the comments!

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