Home Automation for Beginners

As technology advances, we continue to utilize it in more aspects of our lives. You already chat with a personal assistant who lives in a box on your countertop. Apps help you pay bills or navigate your car. Why not automate your home?

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Getting started can be daunting if you try to leap to full smart-home status right away. Instead, start small.

While it may seem daunting, home automation is actually very doable for beginners. In this post, we break down the basics of home automation for beginners.

What is Home Automation?

Home automation involves using devices that you program to work automatically and with remote access. In 2019, 53 percent of people in the United States owned at least one smart home device, according to a review from Clutch.

Top categories for automation are doorbells, locks, the best home alarm systems, security systems, climate control, lighting, and cameras. But they’re only the start. Smart appliances, robotic cleaners, outlets, and pet feeders are all on the market.

The benefits of automation include saving money and enhancing security. Turn down heating or air conditioning while you’re away or adjust it for each room. Improve safety with fire and carbon monoxide monitors you track remotely. Increase security with remote locks, lights, window sensors, and motion sensors inside your home. Gardens benefit, too: Automated sprinklers sense how dry your yard is and switch themselves on as needed.

No more worries about leaving lights on, shades up, or doors unsecured. Have tunes playing, light levels perfect, and preferred shows cued up before you arrive. Your coffeemaker brews on your schedule—and some models text you to say your drink’s ready.

All very exciting. But how do you start without getting overwhelmed?

Starting Small with Home Automation

You’re not creating a space-age smart home all at once—you’re automating a few functions. Here are tips for newbies:


Set priorities

What matters most to you? Security? Lower energy bills? Feeding the cat? Pick one function to automate first, maybe two. Remember, the budget’s a priority too.

Be honest about your abilities

Do you relish programming and integrating gadgets and systems, or do you really just want to plug-and-play? Shop accordingly.

Understand functionality

You might want to change the house’s temperature from your phone, but do you also want to send the power company your energy use data via your souped-up thermostat? You might not need or want every function on offer. Can you increase functionality once you get to know your new tech?

Do your homework

Ask if you can test a device using a demonstration model on an app. Check whether a device works with your current phone, tablet, and computer. If you love home automation and upgrade later, can you add and link devices via a smart hub that consolidates control?

Know the difference between DIY automation and Pro automation

The main difference between these two is price. DIY systems are the cheaper alternative, both in equipment and installation cost. However, DIY systems may not be the best choice for someone who doesn’t feel that they are very tech savvy.

DIY automation allows you to create sequences for smart home devices. This means turning on the light, followed by bringing up the shades, followed by turning on the television. Pro automation has the whole package, sequences are completely adjustable, more robust, error free. However, this all comes with a larger price tag.

Bottom Line

Home automation is quite simple, even for beginners. If you still have questions, Home Security is here to help. We review the top home automation companies, features, and software so you know where to start. If you are looking for home security in NYC, or elsewhere, visit our blog or website for more information on home automation.

Monica Quiros

Article Author

Last Update

October 05, 2020

Blog Smart Home for New Users