Sensors give Home Automation Eyes

Every year, Americans invest millions of dollars in the home automation industry. Unfortunately, in the process of buying state of the art hardware and software, they become disillusioned with how their home automation systems work. The underlying culprit, bad sensors.

It remains mystifying that many overlook such a fundamental hardware investment. Bad sensors will ruin even the best system.

This article will identify the major sensors found in any home automation system, It will also highlight a couple sensors in each category that the user may want to take a look at.

Acu-rite offers a low-cost weather sensor for your home

Weather Sensors

At first glance, you might be wondering what the big deal about a weather sensor is. Sure, it can tell you if it is raining, what the temperature is. It can even tell you wind speed and direction. But, you may ask, is the big deal of one for your home automation purposes.

Picture plugging in the weather sensor into a home automation system that would alert you when a window is open when it is raining. Or perhaps with automated windows, opening and closing windows when the weather allows.

A reliable weather sensor need not be expensive. Acu-rite has a relatively inexpensive model for under $100 and Netatmo measures temperature, humidity, air quality, and even nearby sound levels for not much more.

First Alert offers a motion sensor that is affordable and versatile

Motion Sensors

When you hear the term motion sensor, most people will immediately think about home security. It is not a bad assumption to make, that is, after all, the most common use for them.

But think outside the box. Picture an outdoor sensor that turns on the porch light when you drive up. Or perhaps indoor motion sensors that turn on the lights in a room as you enter it. The possibilities that the motion sensor can bring to the home automation table are endless.

One of the best motion sensors on the market today is the First Alert Motion Sensor. This one is screw in and value priced. Another is the Aeotec motion sensor. A bit on the pricey side, but reliable.

Ring is a low-cost doorbell sensor

Doorbell Sensors

Imagine not only knowing that someone is at the door before they press the buzzer but being able to see them and decide whether you want to answer the door or not? Picture being able to see these images from your cell phone or other devices even if you are not home?

Doorbell sensors have become that advanced.  Some even have the option of having a recorded message for you to play when someone steps up to the door. Many even allow you to record videos and act as a security camera.

Ring offers two-way audio, a motion detector, and night vision. Nexia offers a complete system with a slew of other home security sensors as well.

Centralite offers a affordable water sensor

Water Sensors

Nothing is worse than broken water pipes or leaky faucets. Other than the obvious deamage to your home and property, you could be losing thousands of dollars each year in utiliity costs.

That makes a water sensor a must in any home automation system. Many of the new home automations kits include some sort of utility sensor to monitor this. However, many DIY systems overlook this. Any house can benefit from them.

The Fibaro Flood Sensor with Apple HomeKit and Z-Wave. Not only will it alert you if a leak is detected, but it can even shut off your water supply in the event of a major leak. Centralite offers the same type of configuration for the home owner with the ability to shut off the water source remotely.

Elgato offers a wide range of temperature sensor options

Temperature Sensors

Now, you might think of weather sensors and temperature sensors as one in the same. To a point they are. However, a temperature sensor can do so many other things. Are you a gardener or a person that usually has dead plants? A temperature sensor can monitor temperature and turn on and off sprinklers for your plants.

Temperature sensors can also be tied into heating and cooling systems and reap savings of turning off systems when they are unneeded. Picture a system that will turn on the heater on a cold morning a few minutes before you wake up or turn on the AC when you are your way home.

Homeseer offers a temperature sensor that works with Z-wave. Elgato always offers not only a compatible sensor but other technologies that can take this sensor to its maximum potential. It also works with Apple HomeKit.

Final Thoughts

Homes and home automation are always improving. Today there are emerging technologies like Microsofts Internet of Things and Homeseer that are pushing the envelope of home automation.

However, many users are blinding their home systems before they even have a change to see their potential. A home automation system wil only work as good as it’s sensors.

Taking the time to pick out the best sensors possible will allow the home automation system to reach the expectations that people have for their home automation system.

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