While we humans are becoming busier in our daily lives with the growth of modernization, it becomes all the more important now that we have access to technology which can automate some of the repetitive tasks we do every day.
This will free up your time on minute tasks and let you focus on more important things in your life. As we spend most of our time in our house, it only makes sense that we automate some of the home tasks with smart home automation technology.
Smart Home automation systems have grown manifold in terms of the features it can provide and consequently the demand from homeowners for such systems. We have researched and brought to you this guide for some of the best Home automation systems of 2020.
Samsung’s flagship home automation device has tons of ways to connect with all other devices with the help of Zigbee and Z-wave compatibility. It also comes equipped with in-built WiFi which means no need to plug this in your WiFi-router.
Features and Pros
Unlike other smart things”, Samsung’s automation system does not need you to scan QR code from all devices to connect, it just picks up the signals from your gadgets and integrates it. Compatibility with Amazon Alexa, Google Home and functioning with Bluetooth & WiFi made SmartThings outnumber other smart automation features in terms of functionality and integration.
SmartThings app enables you to create many different scenarios for every device in your home, such as turning on the music player when you are back from work, turning off lights when no one is in the room, etc.
SmartThings isn’t without a few issues of its own. Users observed network issues and felt it was a bit slow to function at times. Also, NestLearning integration which is often desired by homeowners is still missing.
2. Amazon Echo plus
Amazon is the most popular option for home automation these days with the advent of Amazon Alexa and the Echo. With Voice control commands you can communicate with the Echo as easy as conversing with your friend.
Features and Pros
It offers a wide suite of features that makes your home fully automatic. Amazon Echo Plus is a higher variant of Amazon Echo with enhanced features and performance. Amazon claims Echo plus can do as many as 30,000 skills, from playing your favorite songs from Spotify to giving news & weather updates, refilling your groceries by connecting with your Amazon account and so on.
Amazon guarantees to provide impeccable voice quality and detection with its 7 microphones and beam-forming technology. With this tech, Echo plus devices can identify voice commands in spite of the noise and other distracting sounds. One cool feature of the Echo is its whisper mode. If kids or elderly are sleeping and you don’t want to make too much noise with speaking aloud, you can enable whisper mode settings and Alexa will respond in whisper mode as well.
Like Samsung’s SmartThings, Amazon’s Echo plus also supports Zigbee technology and is compatible with Bluetooth and WiFi.
It’s 360° audio speakers coupled with Dolby Atmos technology aim to give you an unmatched sound experience.
Echo Plus 2nd Generation users reported that the device goes offline frequently which then needs to be rebooted and also there are issues with the detection of other English accent variants.
Fortunately, these issues are addressed with Echo 3rd Generation.
3. Google Home
Home is Google Assistant’s foray into Home automation after becoming popular as an Android mobile assistant. Much like the previous two, Google does a great job of automating your smart devices.
Features and Pros:
Things like playing music, controlling temperature via thermostat settings, reading news and shopping necessities from your favorite online stores, notifying your schedule are all done effortlessly with Google Home.
Integration with Chromecast enables you to stream your favorite movies and videos on your Chromecast enabled TV with just a voice command. Also, one major advantage of Google Home Assistant is that the skills are learned and not downloaded as in Alexa. This enables Google Assistant to learn as many as a million skills of its own. All in all, Google provides a truly hands-free experience.
Few downsides observed by users are difficulty in following or understanding a command such as if you ask it to play a particular song, it sometimes plays another. Amazon Alexa scores here over Home by perfectly interpreting the song that needs to be played.
4. Apple HomeKit
If you are an Apple person, then you might want to check out Apple’s HomeKit. This would be ideal to use if one is already using at least a couple of Apple devices in their home.
Features and Pros:
Any smart enabled Apple device can act as a hub for automating other smart devices. One of the best ways to get started is by using a HomePod device or Apple 4K TV. Apple’s HomePod is a smart speaker system with fantastic audio quality.
While there are not many integrations with other devices and technology such as Z-wave and Zigbee as much as Amazon Echo and Google Home, Apple ensures to provide the most common features within its own Apple technology.
5. Logitech Harmony
Logitech ventured into Home automation systems with its flagship product Harmony.
While Harmony takes a slightly different approach to smart home experience compared to other home automation systems, it did prove itself as a worthy alternative.
Features and Pros:
Device Control mechanisms are carried by a Universal remote or using the Harmony App that comes along with it. Compatibility with Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant makes it effortless to control all the features just as you would with Amazon Echo or Home. Logitech mentions that it can integrate with as many as 270000 devices right from popular devices such as Television to Gaming Consoles PS4 and Xbox to basic thermostat settings.
One can design their own custom-made scenarios like a “Movie Night Experience” where all lights will be switched off and your favorite Movie is played. IR blasters can be used to control IR enabled devices even behind closed cabinet doors.
A few downsides we noticed are it’s slightly complicated setup for non-techies, Limited number of connected devices(up to 15 in Harmony Elite) and no integration with Zigbee and Z-wave technology
For most of these to work, one prerequisite is to have smart devices in your homes such as smart lights, smart fans, smart cameras, smart sensors, and other smart appliances. Only then, we could integrate and connect them with a Wi-FI or Bluetooth connection and make sure Home automation reaches its full potential. If you don’t have them currently, either you can upgrade your appliances or work within the other useful options that your automation device offers.
Beyond these popular and best home automation systems, we can find many more worthy alternatives such as Hubitat, Crestron, Homeseer. Depending on criteria such as features offered, Price range etc one can opt for their desired choice. Amazon Echo dot is a great budget automation device that one can buy if you only need a handful of features or if you are looking for a more affordable option.
We hope you got to know about the best home automation systems of 2020. The value these devices provide far exceeds the price we pay for them which is one of the reasons why they have become extremely popular. Finally, Don’t forget to check out the respective product pages to read in-depth specifications before purchasing your favorite smart automation product. Happy Home Automation!