Thinking of making your home easier to live in, making it smart and intelligent.
Affordable home automation, making living more convenient in Singapore.
Topic Discussion Overview
Home automation is getting more and more popular nowadays. Automation simplifies our daily task in our home, making our life easy.
Home automation may seems to be a science fiction or high tech stuffs that most people will not be able to afford. In actual fact, it has already penetrate into almost all our homes.
Nearly all household in Singapore has some form of home automation. Washing clothing used to be a chore in the past. The invention of a washing machine automate the washing chores. Rice cooker, microwave and vacuum cleaner appliances which has become a part of our daily life, shortening our time to do household chores. Women in the past stay at home to do house work, while the men work outside for an income. Automation has helped to transform the women in today's society, allowing them to walk out of their house, joining the working force. The doubling of the work force has significant contribution to an economy. These invention that automate our home frees our time and change our society in many many ways.
Home automation has comes a long way and is still finding its way into our home. Our current era is very much involved with information technology. Most of the household have internet connectivity and it has becomes one of our latest household utility besides our electricity, water, and telephone bills.
The current home automation trend focus on information connectivity of the home. The industry believes that consumer wants a digital connection to control whatever a consumer have at home. Providing the consumer with the power of control. These comes in the form of remote lighting control, motorised curtain/blind control, air-con/fan control or automated opening of door.
Green environment and energy saving is another popular trend that pushed home/office automation. The industry comes up with product integrated with sensors that will automatic switches off lights when no one is around, or maintaining a constant lighting intensity throughout the day. Energy efficient automated solution is also a popular theme.
STARhome is a smart home program initiated by A-STAR. I used to work with STARhome, a smart home filled with many many latest technologies, many of which are not yet available in the market.
Most home automation that I have seen and worked with in the market are quite impressive and contains a lot of functions. However they do not meet the smart home definition that I have in mind. Affordable, simple and easy to use. Many smart devices that are available in the market are suppose to make our life easy, but very often, I find it is even more difficult to setup and use. Even a television set that has been evolving for decades, seems more and more complex to use. The number of buttons are growing on the remote control, the functions are getting difficult to set.
Compare to an old television, the television now has more functions, but requires more steps to get a simple task done. Very often, I will have to help my parent and elderly to setup or even use the new television. The elderly may have aged, but they can still manage simple old appliances which are easiler to use.
Innovation like a thermo flask has once overwhelm me. There is a time when I spent quite a long time trying to figure out how to get the hot water out of the flask for my cup of 3-in-1 coffee. There was so many buttons on the flask and they have really confused me, making me looking like an idot. Making an electronic engineer who is working with the latest technologies, looking like an idot. The old mechanical thermo flask has only two button at most. One big push button on the top of the flask to pump out the hot water, and another one to lock the pump (for safety in case children play with the flask and get themselves scalded).
of the high tech stuffs reallys piss me off, because they are not
designed for wonderful user experience; it is design for the seek of
looking high tech. The experience has rised my awareness for a better
home automation is becoming part of our home utilities, and it is
important to design the infrastructure of your home to cater for the
coming technologies trend. Provision wiring to meet future demands can
save you cost.
Telephone line is is declining. Every individual has at least a mobile phone. Telephone line (land line) that already installed are declining slowly. Most young family prefer not to install a new telephone line, as they are contactable through their mobile phone number.
line may seem to be outdated, but I will still recommend the
installation of infrastructure to support it. The recommendation is to
install network cables instead of telephone cables. Network cable is
able to host a number services like Ethernet, telephony, audio and
video. This makes it a very flexible infrastructure to have.
The network cable has a number of grades indicating how the cable is shielded as follows,
Laying CAT5e for the home will be more than good enough, for its performance and price. CAT7 will definately be too much. Installation using CAT6 or CAT7 cables can be quite difficult for a home, as the wire is usually thick which is difficult to install. CAT5 provide no shielding which performance can be degraded when it is laid near any noisy wires or devices.
The cables should be laid from each point to a central location where your network equipment (router) is likely to be placed. In a typical Singapore home, it will be either at the electrical box, or besides the TV console in the living room. It is recommended to lay 2 sets of cables for each location. The spare cables be use for telephone line or spare network lines, audio/video signal future use. You will never know when you will need it. It is better to provision extra cable which is cheap, compare to a wireless solution which is expensive and poor in quality.
popular alternative to using network cables is wireless. Wireless
network is convenient and easy to install, especially for existing home
where it is difficult to lay new cables. Many consumers prefer to rely
on wireless technology for their network services. Wireless tends to
use more power and have limitation in the coverage they can support.
The wireless signal can cover a distance of 30-50m under open space.
The signal will find it hard to penetrate Singapore HDB flat, reducing
the distance to about 10-15m. Many of my neighbors are also using WiFi
in their home. At the time I am writing now, my WiFi dongle is able to
detect 36 WiFi station. WiFi has a limited bandwidth over the air
medium. With this limited channels across the air sharing with sharing
with the desktop and laptop, the communication can be slow and drop
connection can often occurred. There is also a higher possibility of
being hack, compared to wired network. As far as possible, physical
cable is still my preferred choice.
For me, I do still use it, but will try as much as possible to avoid it.
Power line communication is also a popular choice. The network communication is done with the house existing power line. The communication is done within the home power line. Similar to WiFi, it is useful if it is troublesome to lay new wiring.
Wired ethernet network is still the best.
RG6 F81 (F type connector)
try not to split more than 2 split.
centralised multiple split is preferred, in case any thing happen in future, it is simpler to reticfied.
don't have to over tighten the connector to the socket.
Video/Audio analog signal or HDMI cables
|RCA max distance, HDMI ma distance|
|Green and Efficient|
Devices that make your home look smart.
Remote on/off applicances using any IR handheld remote controller.
Application: Using your TV remote control to switch all other entertainment system to save on the standby power consumption.
Using your TV remote control to switch on your wall plugged electrical fan or lamp.
|available from||Night lamp, which automatically glows in the dark.|
Digital timer to on and off appliances.
Able to select individual day/time in a week to on/off appliance.
Switch on network router or entertainment system during the day and switch them off at night. Switch on boiler or cooker at a particular time of the day, so that you can enjoy on time when you can back from work.
Wireless Power Monitoring.
Monitoring your home energy usage wirelessly.
Keyword: Smart home, home automation, intelligent home, DIY smart home, affordable, efficient. Simple and easy to use Singapore home.