26 Useful Home Automation Ideas
Transforming your house into a full-scale smart home with all the associated comforts and conveniences is easier today than ever before. With a wide range of equipment options available for any home or project, one of the biggest obstacles to getting started is knowledge.
Below are 26 of today’s best home automation ideas, ranging from simple setups requiring only a smart light bulb, to more complex home theater configurations. No matter where you are in your home improvement journey, this list contains something inspirational for your project.
Home Automation Basics
Many of the following automation ideas mention “triggers”—events and actions that initiate a chain of automations within a smart hub. These can include anything from the time of day to the flipping of a light switch.
Some systems even enable users to define multiple conditions for an automation. An example would be the command to turn on the thermostat if it’s after 5 p.m. and the temperature is below 60 degrees. Exact setup procedures vary, but conditions and triggers are used in some manner within all hubs. Thus, the concepts outlined in this post can be adapted for nearly any system.
All automations in this section require smart lighting, in addition to other hardware mentioned. Lights can be connected via bulbs, switches, or outlets, depending on the type of fixture.
Bedtime: Dim household lights leading up to bedtime for the right slumber atmosphere.
Most smart bulbs include an app enabling users to schedule lighting with gradual dimming. If not, a smart hub can control this with time triggers, as long as the light fixture supports dimming and not just on and off functionality.
Turn Off All Lights: Use one command to turn the lights out in the entire house as you go to bed.
Connect all the lights in your home to a smart home hub, and assign a command to select via the main app or a voice-controlled assistant, such as Amazon’s Alexa.
Sunrise Alarm: Simulate the sunrise and bring lights up gradually in the morning, to avoid being jolted awake by a loud alarm clock.
Again, some smart bulbs include an accompanying app with scheduling and dimming capabilities, but if unavailable, your smart home can control dimmable switches or bulbs.
Light The Way Home: Turn on entryway, exterior, or pathway lights right before you pull into the driveway using geofencing—a location-based trigger powered by your phone.
You’ll need a geofencing-compatible app, such as those by Alarm.com, to trigger the lights once you reach the appropriate distance from your home. One mile away is a solid starting point, although you’ll have to adjust for traffic and travel time.
Night Lights: Make all the lights in your hallway, kitchen and bathroom turn on to a comfortable dim when you get up at night.
A motion detector, in addition to smart lighting, is required. Some smart switches include the former, which makes setup easy. Otherwise, you’ll have to connect the sensor and lights to a smart hub.
Garage Doorbell: Flash the overhead lights in the garage or workshop when the doorbell rings.
A smart doorbell is necessary, connected to lighting in the garage via a smart home hub. Set the doorbell as the trigger to turn on all lights.
Garage Lights: When the garage door opens, turn on all lights in the garage, not just the garage door opener.
Use a connected garage door opener with a smart hub and the appropriate lights, then, use the garage door as a trigger to start the automation.
Music Everywhere: Smart speakers can stream music to every room of your house, and be controlled from anywhe