A smart home is where you can control your almost everything through a smart home app on your smartphone or other available networked devices.
It provides home owners security, comfort and energy efficiency by the help of IOT (internet of things).
How do smart homes work?
For general users, the answer would be something like this:
You buy some especial products, install them at home as well as their applications on your smart phone and it is all done! You can control that part of your home which is in touch with the device.
But what is going on behind the scene?
The general scenario is that a various electric and electronic appliances are wired up to a central computer which controls and switches on and off all the devices that are connected to it at certain times.
However, many of appliances in a home have internal controllers and built-in sensors for collecting data from the environment.
if you are a beginner in smart homes world and you have decided to upgrade your home to 21st century, then this guide will simply teaches you the general function of a smart home.
all smart homes need some controlling equipment that will control devices based on the home owner orders or the data that has been collected from their environment. these controlling parts are named modules and the central controlling system.
modules and Controlling system
The oldest but still the best home automation system is called X10 which uses the ordinary household electricity wiring to switch on and off up to 256 devices with no need for any extra cables to be fitted.
You will need to plug each device in your house that you want to make it smart to a module (a small control unit) and plug that into an ordinary electrical power outlet (like the outlets that you plug in your PC, TV or mobile charger to).
Each of these modules has 2 dials which can be adjusted by a screwdriver.
The names of these dials are house code and unit code.
which indicates that which devices and appliances of the home must be linked together. ( for instance, you may want to have the ability to turn on and off all the lamps in the living room together.)
is set to set each individual appliance a unique identifier called unit code.
Now you must plug in the central Controller to another ordinary electrical power outlet of the house and then program it to act based on the order you send to it and the device (like lamp or stove) according to the codes that are given to each individual or group of devices.
So, through the main wiring of the house, the central controller sends switching signals, just like a computer in a network. Each of these switching signals contains an instruction such as turn on, turn off, etc.
Here is a question you may ask yourself:
If the central controlling system uses the main wiring system of the house,
Won’t the signals of the instructions that Central Controlling system sends, interact with the signals of the AC power system?
Obviously the answer is no!
The frequency of the AC power system of houses is 50-60 Hz. The frequency of the signals that the controlling system of a smart home sends through these wires is much higher than 50-60 HZ so the signals of controlling system and AC power system of the house will not interfere
an other possible question is:
If the central controlling system is responsible for taking the home owner’s orders, and sends the suitable instruction through main wires of the house,
how will the (child) control modules understand which one of them is called?
Let’s put this better, you may have installed your coffee maker to a module and your lamps to an other module. The central controlling system sends “turn on” instruction for coffee maker through the wiring system of the smart home.
Now, how each of the “coffee maker” or the “lamps” will understand that the order is for it?!
Well the answer is that the sent signal by the central controlling system will only affect the appliance or appliances with the correct code (the code that is with the signal of the order).
Can the unit controller (modules) work individually and automatically without the central controller instructions?
Well the answer is yes. You can attach different sensors like light, weather, temperature or etc.
Then you have to program the module to act based on the data that it receives from its attached sensors automatically. (for example you can set it to turn on fans if the temperature was 30C).
Mention that you still will be able to send extra orders by the central controlling system to it if you want.