If you're unsure whether home automation is going to work for you, trying a starter kit is an inexpensive way to find out. Home automation starter kits come in numerous configurations for lighting, security, surveillance, and home theater. These kits come with everything you need including detailed instructions on how to get your system up and running in under an hour.
Choosing a Lighting Kit
Lighting control is by far the most popular application used in home automation. Devices used for home control lighting include: switches and dimmers, remote controls, controllers, and computer interfaces. Lighting control kits are available with just about any combination of these components.
Popular home lighting control kits include:
- INSTEON - SmartLinc Wire-In Starter Kit , SmartLinc Plug-In Starter Kit, RemoteLinc Lamp Control Kit
- X10 - X10 PRO Home Automation Kit
- Z-Wave - Wayne Dalton Lifestyle Deluxe Starter Kit (WDKIT005), Intermatic Z-Wave Starter Kit
Choosing a Home Security Kit
Buying a security system for your home shouldn’t require taking out a bank loan. It also shouldn’t require monthly fees paid to monitoring companies that seem more concerned with your subscription charge than they are with helping you feel secure.
Security kits are easy to install for most do-it-yourselfers and most kits are configurable so they can call you (or anyone you choose) in the event of an alarm trip. Components used in security systems can include: control panels, door and window sensors, motion detectors, alarms, keyfob transmitters (for enabling and disarming), and auto-dialers (for calling someone when the system is tripped).
Good examples of wireless home security kits include the SecureLinc Wireless Home Security System and Skylink Technologies Total Protection Wireless Alarm System. Examples of X10 (wired) kits include Protector Plus X10 Home Security System and X10 PRO Wireless Security System.
Choosing a Home Surveillance System
Wireless systems are by far the easiest to install and are the most common type of home surveillance products available today. Wireless video systems are typically available with 1, 2, 4, or 8 cameras. Most systems display on a TV or computer which is helpful because a surveillance system isn't much use if the video isn’t recorded on a DVR for later viewing. An added bonus is the ability to login from the Internet to view your cameras while you’re at work or on vacation.
Examples of some four-channel home video surveillance kits include X10 Cam Motion Activated Wireless 4 Camera Security System, Astrotel DVR System Kit (4 wireless cameras and remote access, and Night Owl Lion-4500 4 Channel Video Security Kit.
Home Theater Automation Systems
Home theater is about more than just watching your favorite DVD on a big screen TV. It involves the full experience of lowering the lights, silencing the phone, and kicking up the bass on your home theater speaker system. Home automation can add these high level capabilities to your home theater system. One example of such a home theater kit it the IRLinc - INSTEON Home Theater Lighting Control Kit.