Home Automation or Smart Homes: What’s the Right Option for You

Home Automation and Smart Homes are usually just two words used to refer to the same thing. Don’t worry, you’re not alone if you do this. In fact, even many who claim to be professionals in the industry tend to believe they are the same thing. At their core, however, there is a fundamental difference between the two. That fundamental difference is what this article is all about.

However, before we get into the nitty-gritty of Home Automation or Smart Homes, we’re going to go through a short history of these products, to try and help you to have a better understanding of the differences. That way, next time you’re browsing for new components, you’ll know the difference between true experts and those who just have a name tag.

Home Automation: What Is It?

Home Automation was the word (or words) given to the system of software and hardware developed to automate processes around the home. When Home Automation (as a term) first appeared, it was still the 1980s though. Unfortunately, technology had still not quite caught up with the dreams of its creators. Time continued, and Home Automation fell into a deep, dark expanse; forgotten by everyone who had high hopes for it.

It wasn’t until two decades later that technology finally started to reach the point where Home Automation was going to become a thing. People started being able to automate temperatures around the home, and monitor and control everything from their toaster to their garage doors. However, something was missing.

The big thing which held Home Automation back was its lack of connectivity. This was largely due to its roots in the ‘old technology’ of the past. The time just hadn’t come for the dream that was the Smart Home to truly come true; Home Automation was still lackluster.

Smart Homes: The Internet of Things

Smart Homes filled a gap; one which needed to be filled. How did it do this? Through the Internet of Things. The Internet of things was a game changer, it meant that everything could be tied together through the internet. Your coffee machine and your front door could be connected, and then everything could be controlled on an app on a smart phone. It took the Home Automation concept to the next level. That level is called the Smart Home.

So Which One Should You Pick?

Well, undoubtedly, it should be the Smart Home which you want. It’s more modern and it’s more connected. Home Automation is but a precursor to the Smart Home systems we have today.

Luckily, Smart Homes are no longer an expensive extravagance. Along with the development of the Internet of Things, and the continued progress of manufacturing, Smart Home tech is now largely available to the average person. That means you.

The Bottom Line

Think of Smart Homes like a brain, whilst Home Automation is the thoughts. Without thoughts a Brain can only minimally work, but without a brain, well… nothing good can come of it. The Smart Home is what brings everything together into one convenient package. It is the completion of a concept originally thought of over 30 years ago.

So, next time you’re out buying a piece of equipment to add onto your Smart Home (or you’re setting it up for the first time) and you hear the assistant refer to it as Home Automation, you can smugly tell them that it’s a Smart Home: Home Automation was what came before. Like the thoughts to a brain, or DNA to a person.


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