Oct 15 2020

Smart systems: home automation of the future

A large number of products and ideas are found behind terms like smart home, home automation or intelligent building technology. Most of them are still often single or island solutions. However, there are the first system solutions.

Those who wish, however, to realise home automation professionally should trust in a system with which one can control various functions via one device. The young, Chinese company LifeSmart offers this: the Chinese company now wishes to conquer the German market with its HomeKit-compatible sensors, switch modules and illuminants.

Intelligently networked

What still looked like science fiction or pie in the sky a few years ago is reality today: home automation. The control and monitoring of many devices in one's own home with the help of sensors and networked devices already make everyday tasks easier for some users.

In addition to heating, lighting, kitchen gadgets or the washing machine, this also includes various outdoor functions. Much can be easily controlled with a click via the smartphone or the tablet. Users can in this way, for example, turn on the heating in the living room on the way home, preheat the oven or have the lawnmower robot trim the grass behind the house.

In addition to comfort, however, energy efficiency and safety play a significant role: an intelligent heating control system can ensure that the indoor climate is the same throughout the entire apartment and that individual rooms are not heated unnecessarily. And a smart security system provides greater protection against criminals.

The best smart home systems even now already inconspicuously accompany our everyday routine, inteliigently link individual functions with one another and can be controlled intuitively per app, radio signal switch or voice assistant. Smart Home, the central home networking and home control system, is also attracting many new providers.

The Chinese company LifeSmart now wants to conquer the German market for Smart Home systems with the latest technology and intelligent switches. The Smart Station is at the heart of the Smart Home system here.

As a central control unit, the tool links up to 500 devices cable-free with one another and is HomeKit-compatible. Users can thus create automated scenarios, inform themselves about changes in the home or remotely initiate actions.

It should be possible to intelligently outfit one's own home and comfortably automate processes with the simple and small products of the LifeSmart brand. The heart of the system is the Central Smart Station. © LifeSmart

The Smart Station as a central control centre

It should be possible to intelligently outfit one's own home and automate processes with the very small products of the LifeSmart brand. The twelve-by-twelve-centimetre Smart Station is incorporated into the home WiFi network and communicates securely with other LifeSmart devices via its own radio protocol (CoSS).

The devices themselves are thus not connected with the WiFi. The range is thereby between 200 and 800 metres. The Smart Station also enables integration of the various LifeSmart devices into the HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and to some extent into Google Assistant.

The Smart Station is connected to a power source and is connected with a router. The LifeSmart devices can then be networked with the Smart Station with a free app and integrated into the smart home. 

Tiny sensors simplify automation 

Smart Home scenarios can be defined and automatically initiated with the help of five different compact sensors. Battery-powered movement sensors control, for example, the lighting and can start the video recording of the surveillance camera.

The door and window sensor informs via app when the window has not been closed and activates the alarm system. The ambient sensor at the same time monitors the temperature, air humidity and brightness in the room and initiates actions when the values exceed or fall below defined limits. And if water leaks from behind the washing machine, a water alarm can inform of this in a timely fashion per app before worse damage can occur.

All sensors are compatible with HomeKit and can thus also be operated via the home app and Siri. All sensors, with the exception of the water alarm, can also be operated with Amazon Alexa within the scope of the Alexa skills. However, the sensors are not compatible with Google Assistant.

To achieve atmospheric lighting, LifeSmart carries two products in its portfolio: the LED lamp Blend, with an E27 socket and a two-metre-long LED light strip, which can generate a colour range with up to 16 million colours. © LifeSmart

Smart upgrade of light switches, power sockets and camera 

The usual light switches and power sockets in the house can easily be intelligently upgraded with various switch modules. The modules are directly connected to the electrical lines and disappear in the switch socket behind the covers.

The connected lamps and devices can subsequently be controlled by app or voice control. In this context, LifeSmart offers two light switch modules for single and dual light switches, as well as a switch module that can also be installed into power sockets due to its higher performance.

Those looking for a simpler solution will soon also be able to turn to a smart single power socket that is simply plugged into the wall power socket. Both the switch modules and the smart EU power socket are compatible with HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. 

Outside of the home, the weather-resistant WiFi camera from LifeSmart offers more security. This can be connected with the Internet either via Ethernet cable or cable-free by WiFi and supports live transmission to the mobile device. With a resolution of 1,080 pixels, it provides high-focus recordings, and, thanks to the wide-angle perspective, the user maintains an overview of the vicinity.

The camera is also equipped with an infrared night mode and a sound-light alarm and, thanks to installed microphones and loudspeakers, enables two-way communication. In contrast with other LifeSmart products, the outdoor camera is not compatible with HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

The sensors can be inconspicuously applied and recognise movements, water leaks, door and window contacts, as well as ambient values like temperature and air humidity. © LifeSmart

The future is now

Get up briefly from the couch to dim the light before starting the evening film. Freezing during the morning routine in the cold bathroom in winter because the heater takes a little time to warm up the bathroom.

Or waiting in front of the oven in the kitchen after a long day at work until it is finally hot enough to place the frozen pizza on the grate. These are only a few scenarios that accompany our everyday routine and are not seldom also strenuous. However, thanks to the most varied functions of home automation, there are solutions for designing the everyday routine to be more comfortable.

With sensors, lighting, heating or the oven can be comfortably controlled by app and general processes modified at home. The options are already quite varied today, but the development of home automation is far from over.

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