Deciding whether to have a DIY home automation system or have it professionally installed is a personal choice. Many people like the challenge of a technical project, but others do not. It depends on how interested you are in home automation or if you just like what it can do for you.
Of course, expense is another factor, since some people aging in place have less disposable income. But, with the technology available today, doing it yourself is definitely an option. In some cases, it is a more attractive one.
Going the professionally installed route
Recently, we’ve seen a lot of companies offering setup and service of home automation systems. Having a system professionally installed will certainly be easier and will get you a few other benefits.
For one, you won’t be messing with it yourself. So, there is much less of your time involved from the start. Also, when you have a system installed by a larger company that offers services, you can typically get some type of monitoring as part of the deal, such as being able to see your security cameras through a website or alarms being sent through a monitoring company.
Professionally installed systems come at a price. Sometimes, you don’t own the equipment and you have a monthly fee. And, that fee is can often times be a problem for those living on a fixed income or being help financially by family members.
Charges vary and can range from $19.00 a month to upwards of $100.00 a month, depending on the type of services you have. Additionally, when you want to add anything to your system, many times it will require a paid service visit, as well as the cost of the item you want to add.
DIY home automation
When you’re opting for a DIY home automation system you typically have a lot more choices. Of course, that can be a problem in and of itself for some people. There are many systems available that you can setup yourself and it is hard to know what is the right choice.
Before you go deciding what DIY home automation system is right for you, the first thing you should do is decide what you want it to do. Outline what lights or appliances you would like to control, and what monitoring you would like it to perform. By doing a little research and mapping out what you expect from the system, you’ll be able to better choose which system and components to go with.
There are some great products available from heavyweights in the home automation industry, including X-10, Insteon, Leviton and many others. There are also many places online you can buy components and kits, such as Home Controls and SmartHome.com. Many of the large home super stores are carrying home automation products; some of them have their own brands.
There is some good news. We’re see the beginning of home automation going mainstream for aging in place. Companies are popping up all over the place with new hub products to manage your home technology system that make it very simple. These hubs give you the ability to manage all kinds of different automation equipment and have them work together. Some of those include SmartThings (recently bought by Samsung), Vera Lite, Revolv and others. Make sure you do some research to see what experience other people are having with a hub and the types of devices they are having luck with before you dive in.