WHAT IS? 

HOME CONTROL & AUTOMATION

What's the difference? Aren't they the same thing?

HOME CONTROL VS HOME AUTOMATION

Here at Home Control Shop we see the phrases interchanged constantly with little regard for the vast difference between the two. To help clear up the difference between the two we'll start by reviewing a few terms.

INPUT DEVICES

Input devices are the devices which take real world actions or events, and turn them into electronic signals. These can be directly controlled by the user, or by the environment.


These include Buttons, App Buttons and Sliders, Voice Control, Keypads, Motion Sensors, Smoke Sensors, Water Leak Detectors and many more devices. 

OUTPUT DEVICES

Output devices are those which take the electronic signal and turn it into a real world action, sometimes Output Devices are called “Actors”. These can be audible such as Bells, Sirens, Alarms, Music or Speech, but equally they can be your Boiler turning on and off, a light, a Window Opening, or your Garage Door closing.

LOGIC CONTROLLER

This is the brains of the system. This is where Inputs are used to cause Outputs to function. There are advanced Logic controllers, normally called Controllers, Hubs or Gateways.


There are also very simple Logic controllers which are simply a button which directly links to a light or set of lights, or the simple “Routines” functions on modern Voice Control devices such as the Echo range.

USER INTERFACES

A User Interface is the method a user can see, touch or interact with. 

This is a form of Input and Output, but is purely based on the user not the environment.


Two examples of User Interfaces are an App on you phone, where you can see the status of your home and also interact with it, the Google Voice assistant is also a fantastic example as you talk to the the device and receive spoken responses.

SO WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

HOME CONTROL

Simply put Home Control relies on the user deciding when and what actions happen, then talks to their controller, presses a button or navigates an App. This to some is all they are looking for in a system, a convenient way to interface with their home.

HOME AUTOMATION

This is where things really start to get interesting. Home Automation is where you begin to hand over control of your devices onto the Logic Controller.

Through use of “Rules”, “Scenes” or “Scripts” your Controller looks at the Inputs into the system and calculates which Output Devices should be “Acting”.

The possibilities are endless here, from lights coming on when the ambient lighting level of a room drops, your heating system turning off if the windows are opened, an alarm sounding if there is a Water Leak detected and a whole host of other things.

On our own Demo System we particularly like adding features for increasing Home Safety. We use Fakro Window Actuators to open the window in the room with the Gas Boiler & Cooker in the event Carbon Monoxide is detected, ALL the lights in the property turn on in the event of a Smoke Detector triggering and have setup both SMS and Email alerts for these things. 


 When it comes to Automation really the only thing that is stopping you is your imagination.