By Jeanne Dion
Mr. Electric of queensbury
As a consumer, both in business and for your home, there has never been a time as exciting as now. With the transition from fluorescent and filament light bulbs to LED lighting, and the evolution of the IoT (Internet of Things), the world in which we live has changed forever.
For the typical home, each and every light that is converted from a conventional one to LED consumes on average 20 percent less power; and is able to be turned on and off by a switch, or an app, and even voice. Wireless and smart technology has enabled a plethora of options to turn on, off, dim, or monitor power consumption of just a single light, receptacle, or whole home with some simple navigating within an app.
One of the most interesting devices we installed to date was a water leak detection system for a second home for a customer. They had experienced a ruptured water line in the winter months that nearly destroyed their property, so they purchased a system that detected moisture in pre-determined areas, and a water shutoff valve that was operated if moisture was detected on their main water line coming into their home.
This allowed them to have complete peace of mind while away from their investment. Home automation can also be coupled with GPS to create a “scene” that allows devices in your home to turn on when you leave or arrive within a geographical range of your home or place of business. You can have driveway or accent lighting turn on when within 1,000 feet of your home, or even turn lights off when leaving your home.
The options are really endless. For your heating and air conditioning, you can set schedules for the temperature of your home or office. Again, with the help of an app, you can program the temperature you wish to maintain in your space while there or away, and even incorporate GPS technology to control the desired temperature you desire before you arrive.
In the Adirondacks, many homes are vacation spots, so people will set the desired temperature for while away, saving energy, and then set it to the perfect comfort level for when they arrive. This allows for the perfect scenario, energy savings while away, and not having to wait until arrival to turn the furnace/AC unit on.
Some of the more interesting developments are having the ability to preheat your oven prior to arriving at home, or taking a peek into your refrigerator while at the grocery store to see if you need milk or eggs. All this is made possible from very small integrated chips embedded in our appliances, and small cameras. They interface with your wireless network within your home, and then communicate through your internet service provider to talk to your smart phone, tablet, PC.
All of this occurs at speeds unimaginable not so long ago. Another emerging technology has been the integration of solar panels and large storage batteries in the home with inverters making your home a stand-alone power plant.
With the amount of companies providing this service, many consumers can enjoy the feeling of not paying for a electric bill, and even in some cases get paid for producing more power than you consume, and selling it on the open market.
Another application that has become pretty sophisticated is home security. Door locks and doorbells can now provide remote access, again coupled with an app you can allow someone access to a property by seeing them at the door, and unlocking the door for them. Smart devices and PCs can allow the user to see live streaming video to monitor property remotely.
This technology has allowed for a sense of security for small neighborhood watch communities, and the local law enforcement community. When working with clients, it is such an exciting time discussing the endless options available. Literally there is an endless amount of home automation, and energy saving options out there for the consumer.
By Jeanne Dion