What are the elements of a Home Automation System?

A Home Automation (or Smart Home) system needs a few basic elements – a central processor (the brain), user interfaces (touch panels or remote controls) and control interfaces (infrared, serial or Ethernet). The brain communicates with devices in response to a press on a user interface, a timed event or some other external stimuli (night fall, temperature, motion etc). Sensors communicate with the central processor to provide feedback which can then trigger an action eg light levels falling during dusk can bring on lights externally or light levels climbing in a room which is hotter than the temperature setpoint can cause the blinds to close. Sensors can be remotely installed and communicate with the central processor either wirelessly or over a dedicated network. Our larger systems contain multiple processors which communicate between themselves – so audio video processors talk to lighting processors and heating processors ensuring redundancy, efficiency and scalability.