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Guide: Levels of Home Automation - Part I by Larry Kasevich

Levels Of Home Automation
by Larry Kasevich - Action Home Automation

If you have spent any time with home automation products, you realize there is a myriad of devices and software available. It takes some research to figure out how to put it all together, and what level of control you need or want. By level of control, I am referring to the basic architecture that makes up the system. Home Automation systems can be categorized into 5 different levels based on several factors. The factors are primarily complexity and functionality. These factors determine the level of sophistication and the type of hardware and software used. In summary these levels are:

  1. Remote Control
  2. Macros
  3. Conditional Control
  4. Interactive
  5. Learning

Level 1 – Remote Control

Level 1 is the simplest and includes simple remote control of lights and appliances using a transmitter and a receiver. There is no intermediate hardware involved. For example, you might have a controller and a lamp module…

Mini-ControllerLamp Module

Simple Controller and Receiver

Level 1 may also include a timer type controller to turn on the device at a certain time of day…

Mini-timer
Timer Controller

or it may even use an RF controller.

X10 RF Base and Transmitter

RF Base and Controller

Obviously the Level 1 system can be fairly inexpensive. But it basically consists of controlling “one” device at a time and the control is from a transmitter of some sort directly to a receiver.

Diagram of Transmitter/Receiver Relationship

This article was published on Monday 10 January, 2005.

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