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Gone are the days of dreaming of the possibility of turning your lights off with a clap of your hands. Now, turning off the lights and closing the blinds is as easy as pressing a button on your phone for many households across Australia.

The next stage of smart home technology has been geared toward home automation. Everything from air conditioning, lighting, entertainment systems and energy efficiency can now be controlled from a smart phone or set up for complete automation with little to no human interaction required.

So, what exactly is Home Automation? Residential Operations Manager Danny Agnello describes it as “the system that meshes all your smart technology together. It is one platform that manages everything from lights and blinds, through to doors, audio visual systems, gates and really anything else you could think of. The possibilities are almost endless.”

Scale-wise, smart technology and home automation has become more cost effective and competitive in recent years. At a minimum, most Manteena Residential homes have lighting and blinds hooked up to a KNX system, with the option of adding additional layers if and as desired.

While there has historically been a hesitancy to adopt smart tech and home automation due to fear of being locked into a brand, a system like KNX, which operates as an open protocol platform, allows homeowners to adopt as much (or little) home automation as they like as it has thousands of available integrators. It has also become more affordable to add on additional systems once the initial set up has taken place.

“Our Residential team invest heavily in understanding home automation technology. We work with trusted partners to design and programme whole systems and it is now something we always recommend in builds as it has real value from a home operation, resale value and energy efficient point of view.”

“The systems set up on some of our recent larger scale homes in Forrest and Red Hill were really exciting for us as we were able to take the Home Automation system to a level we hadn’t worked with before. Anything and everything in these homes has been hooked up to the KNX system and can be controlled from one of the screens in the house or an app on a phone.”

“Home automation will continue to grow and evolve and we expect to continue to see an increase in its adoption. The gesture control on lights, integration with weather stations for temperature control, GPS location and sequencing set ups are really valuable integrations for a ‘smart home’ that inevitably end up increasing energy efficiency and adding another layer of security to a home.”

If you are thinking of adding home automation to your renovation or new build, Danny has these tips for you:

  1. Have a good understanding of how you want to live and the things you want to operate and automate in your home.
  2. Utilise in room sensors to turn things off after a set period of time to reduce running costs in un-occupied rooms or areas.
  3. Utilise ‘Scenes’ to automate regular activities. i.e. have an ‘all off’ scene for when leaving the house which can turn all lights off, close windows, close blinds, turn off air conditioning etc.
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