– Home automation: an ancient technique with recent progress

    – Connected kitchen: a dream come true… with some precautions

    – Connected kitchen appliances: self-made or professional service?

    – Price of a connected kitchen

Home automation applied to the kitchen is the technique that allows the automation of certain functions in the room indicated. We will review here the specificities that can concern this part of the house.

Note: we speak more specifically of “home automation” in the context of a complete installation, while the term connected applies more readily to objects taken separately.

Home automation: an old technique with recent progress

Home automation has been around for many years, but it is undergoing spectacular developments.

What do we call “home automation”?

To better understand what home automation is, some authors propose to compare the house with the human body better.

The human body feels things, transmits information, analyses the transmitted data and reacts accordingly. The range of home automation systems is vast, but these systems are always related to at least one of these four functions.

Therefore, a home automation system will be made up of sensors, a transmission network (by wire, by radio waves, etc.), an automatic control unit, and a set of modules acting on the elements to be varied.

A brief history of home automation

We can consider that the heating control systems with centralized thermostats are the ancestor of home automation. A thermostat located in a room will detect the ambient temperature variations and send the information to a receiver located in the boiler, which will adjust the temperature accordingly.

These processes have developed a lot, like electronics and the Internet, have become critical to associate home automation and connected objects, using in particular wifi and cell phones. As these have become real computer terminals, it is possible to run an application that will manage a set of data (energy, alarms, automated closures, audio, video, etc.).

Connected kitchen: a dream comes true… with a few precautions

Electrical or thermal energy supply, gas or water leaks, movements, intrusion, the possibilities are almost infinite.

Which inputs?

Leak detection alarms are the first class of home automation objects. When a leak is detected, a set of relays is automatically set up to shut off the flow of the concerned fluid without human intervention. 

The regulation of energy supply is a second set. It can be used to modulate the total power available, using a smart meter, but also to avoid power surges if you want to run a dishwasher, washing machine, oven, etc., at the same time. The central unit will manage the possibilities of the circuit and possible, causing, for example, start-ups spaced out in time, again without human intervention.

Turning on a lamp when entering the kitchen, turning it off when leaving, varying the temperature of each room according to the presence or absence of inhabitants are all functions that you can automate.

Who is it for?

Suppose the contribution of a complete home automation installation in terms of comfort of use is undeniable. In that case, it can only be considered in a high-end home or, at least, for first-time buyers with a not too small budget. Indeed, home automation has an installation cost that can be pretty important for a fully equipped house.

On the other hand, if you want to go as far as connected household appliances, it is vital to have systems that can communicate. However, there are often different protocols from one manufacturer to another. So there are “hubs.” Electronic devices can “talk” with other appliances according to different standards and generate the required on/off commands. They thus translate the different electronic/computer languages, making it possible to choose appliances without having to work with only one brand.

Connected kitchen appliances: self-build or pro service?

If you are interested in introducing home automation in the kitchen, you can start with a basic system, such as automated lighting. The kitchen is a room that is not used all the time so that this function can be handy. You can also install a water leak detector coupled with a solenoid valve that will isolate the circuit in case of a problem.

As long as you keep the work to a minimum, you can do the installation yourself. If you choose an upgradeable system, you can add other functions and parts to it as you go along. But we advise you not to launch yourself alone in implementing complete home automation equipment, except if you have training as an electronic technician with good DIY talent.

If you want to have an installation that integrates heating control, intruder alarm, shutters closing and other technical components, it becomes a matter for specialists. This is even truer for connected security alarms (gas leaks in particular), which must imperatively be entrusted to professionals.

Price of a connected kitchen

The price of a home automation system for the kitchen depends on the complexity and size of the installation. Count a few dozen dollars for a lighting point controlled by a small motion detector to install yourself. The price of a home automation system integrating the various components of the kitchen (excluding the price of the appliances) varies between $500 and $2,000. Finally, count on $2,500 to $10,000 for a fully automated house, including the kitchen.

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