I like the idea of home automation. I like the thought that the lights, the alarm system, the thermostat and other sundry techno-toys can interact in a meaningful way.
In practice however I am a cheap fellow, and don’t want to spend a gazillion dollars on what is little more than a fancy gizmo.
I’ve done a bit of reading on this, and the leading contender is the ZWave system which offers a dizzying array of toys, er…devices, and integrates with my alarm system.
The benefit of the alarm system integration is that it allows the home automation computer to use the devices and status of the alarm system to operate lighting and temperature inside the house (system armed to “away”, kill the lights and drop the temperature a bit – fire alarm in the house? Turn all the lights on.).
I’m going to tread carefully here, I’ve already got a few Wifi light switches which don’t work with the Zwave system, and before I have to replace too many brand new toys I want to be sure Zwave is going to do what I need.
I’ll throw some updates as I try this stuff out.