Home Integration vs Home Automation
While so many in the industry focus on Home Automation, at ION Security and DJ’s Sound City we focus on Home Integration.
What’s the difference you ask?
Home automation brings all the systems in the home under one central control hub where the home owner can control his/her Audio, Video, Security, Heating and Cooling and Lighting. While in theory the automated home sounds great, the practical reality is often a homeowners nightmare when the central control system fails and you can’t even turn off the bedroom lights.
The “Integrated Home” is similar to the automated home in many ways however with one big difference – independence. With home “Integration” all systems, Audio, Video, Security, CCTV, Heating/Cooling and Lighting are designed to work together as a whole house system but still retain the ability to also work independently if desired.
Audio and Video Home Integration means each sound and video system in the home is independent from the other. The media or theater room is one zone, the family room another, the kitchen, the dinning room, games room, kids rooms, master bedroom, ensuite etc… each are separate zones and can play their own music or TV channel or if desired can play the same music or Video feed as another zone. This means each room in the house can function independently of the other or if desired any or all zones in the home can be joined together to provide whole house sound and video.
Computer music sources such as iTunes and streaming media such as Youtube, Netflix or a media server hard drive can also be accessed independently from each zone in the home or all together.
Each audio and video zone or system communicates with each other, there is no single point of failure making the system more reliable and easier to operate.
In the integrated home, the security system, heating/cooling system and lighting system communicate with each other providing the home owner with various levels of central control, yet allowing for complete independent control as well.
The alarm system can be turned on or off from any smart phone, telephone or via the internet. Similarly the temperature can be programmed to turn up and down automatically or adjusted by internet or smart phone as well. In the Integrated home the lights to can be programmed and accessed by the security system, internet or smart phone and the door locks too can also be controlled remotely by internet or smart phone. Lastly Video camera’s can be installed and viewed throughout the house and on smart phones, iPads and via the internet. While All these systems and subsystems work together each system can work completely independently of the other.
Unlike Home Automation Solutions, Home Integration isn’t an all or nothing solution. Because each system is independent, Home integration components and functionality can be added over time as the home owners needs or requirements change, the key is planning ahead and to have the right equipment and wiring infrastructure in place to allow for Integration.
While an “Integrated home” can provide the same or similar features to an Automated home, Home Integration costs much less than automation and is often easier to use, more reliable and cost effective.