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Easy Home Automation - Get Started With An Insteon Home Automation Network
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The term "home automation network" -- or HAN for short -- refers to a home network for controlling electrical devices in your home. With a HAN you can more easily manage many household functions -- from heating and cooling, entertainment, remote lighting, sprinkling and irrigation, washing and drying, refrigeration, energy management and much more.

Not only can you manually control remote devices, you can check the status of those devices (for example, whether they are on or off, or room temperature), receive automatic signals from devices (like a freeze alert), or even trigger a response by another remote device (such as a motion sensor that triggers lights).

Is home automation necessary?

Home automation provides an additional level of safety, security, convenience and comfort -- and it can make home living more fun. Is it necessary? No. But like a home wireless network for Internet service, a HAN provides a level of convenience and capability that make home living more enjoyable,

What types of home automation networks are available?

A wide variety of HANs have developed in recent years with different device interconnection standards, different control and automation networks, and data networks. Home automation was once the province of the professionals who could understand and install these systems. Such systems could run into the thousands of dollars.

Thanks to inventive engineers, designers and manufacturers, HANs have become more affordable, more reliable and more flexible. With modular devices on the market today aimed at the home DIYer, you can install your own inexpensive HAN that meets your needs without hiring a professional installer. Easy home automation is now available to eveyone.

What type of HAN do I recommend

I like Insteon home automation networks. The architecture for Insteon was established by engineers at SmartLabs in 2001 after years evaluating the pros and cons of other types of HANs. What they came up with was a system that is instantly responsive, easy to install, simple to use, reliable, and compatible with X-10 (an earlier HAN using the existing electrical powerlines in the home).

Insteon allows low-cost, simple devices to be networked together using radio and existing powerlines in the house, or both. All Insteon devices are "peers" -- meaning that each Insteon device can transmit, receive, or repeat signals. The more Insteon devices you add to the network, the more robust and reliable the network becomes because signals are instantly simulcasted.

With a web-enabled controller you can even control your devices over your computer or web-enabled smartphone.

How to get started

Remote lighting control is the easiest way to get your home automation network started. It requires only a few Insteon plug in modules for installation.

I suggest starting with an Insteon controller and several Insteon lamp switches and dimmers. Once you see the added safety and convenience of remote lighting control, you can expand your Insteon HAN as you are ready with additional home living tasks -- such as remote thermostat control.


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