The home automation, sensors, lights, cameras, and outlets at the top, promising comfort. But properly planning how we want our home automation installation to be is essential to avoid problems and surprises that can cost us dearly.
If we start from the idea of connected home automation based on open standards, we will get home automation that does not depend on a single manufacturer, service, or subscription, so that we make sure that if a brand disappears, our home automation system is mostly recoverable without making a full investment again.
What technology to use for DIY home automation
Currently, the consumer and DIY home automation market is dominated by products that exclusively include WiFi connectivity. They are inexpensive products such as light bulbs or plugs that make it easy for us to start a home automation project for very little money and complexity.
But the simplicity and immediacy of home automation based on WiFi connectivity has serious drawbacks. The most important is that, if we do not support advanced control with mechanical elements, the failure of the WiFi network or a software failure could leave us the system disabled and, for example, not be able to turn on or off the light in a room.
In addition, it must be taken into account that WiFi connectivity has not been designed for home automation, so we can suffer problems of insufficient coverage as with any other device that connects via WiFi to our router or, in case of expanding our system, progressive saturation of the network that worsens the Wifi connectivity of other household devices.
If our goal is to configure a wide connected and domotic home, we must pay particular attention to the first two protocols, which are the reference in the exclusively domotic field. This is due to the use of low-energy radio waves that will facilitate having sensors and elements that can work with batteries or batteries for long periods of time.
Home automation devices are connected to a bridge or hub , as well as between them, with their own signal, and this in turn directly to the router, either via Wi-Fi or cable. An advantage of this system based on home automation standards is that if, in case of having to reconfigure the main WiFi network, we can do it only on the bridge and not with each device.
Another advantage of the specific protocols for home automation is that their operation is based on the formation of networks in which each element can act as a repeater, so the range is usually not a problem for the radio frequency signal they use. This makes it easier for us to grow our home automation equipment network more efficiently and without problems, something that does not happen with Bluetooth or WiFi devices.
The basic components of an open home automation system
As we have seen, the system to be built, if we want it to be based on open standards, must offer WiFi and home automation connectivity. We also pretend that it does not depend on a single manufacturer or application. In this way we can choose different brands of bulbs, sensors, or cameras, associate them with a bridge or concentrator, and that this is the nerve center.
The starting point should be a Wifi hub/bridge that has support for the protocol in addition to WiFi, and even if it offers us the possibility of adding products, the better. We will be prepared in case you need to add a device that uses this protocol. We also want it to have compatibility with voice assistants.
Many of the parent brands of devices already choose to offer hubs that combine WiFi connectivity, but not all of them support the native inclusion of Wi-Fi elements from other manufacturers. This is the case.
The best hubs/bridges with Wifi connectivity
Among the manufacturers with hubs that offer at least WiFi connectivity, we find some that admit to including elements from third-party manufacturers and that are concentrators that, in case of abandonment of support by the manufacturer, allow their integration as bridges in other systems.
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