A Guide to Do-It-Yourself Home Automation in Reno

A Guide to Do-It-Yourself Home Automation in Reno

Billed as the “Biggest Little City in the World”, Reno is a Northwest Nevada town some 20 miles from Lake Tahoe. As you might imagine, people invest in Reno’s rental homes to take advantage of the tourist industry. The best among them offer complete home automation systems.

You could install a DIY home automation system in your own Reno home. It is not hard, thanks to wireless technology that makes setting up home automation as easy as setting up a router. The key is choosing the right equipment.

It Starts with the Hub

The anchor of any home automation system is the hub. What is the hub? It is a central device through which all of the pieces on the system communicate. You could dispense with the hub and operate each device separately, but that would be inefficient. It could also create communication problems and security risks. You really want a hub.

Smart Speakers As Hubs

You can buy a starter system with a hub included. Another possibility is to use your smart speaker. Vivint Smart Home says that most of the big brand smart speakers can serve as hubs. One downside is that smart speakers typically do not have digital displays. A purpose-built hub does.

A Laptop As a Hub

One last thing about hubs is that you can build your own with a laptop computer. All you need is a laptop built within the last five or six years and an open source home automation package. There are a couple of very good packages out there. Run a Google search and you should find them.

Choosing Your Devices

Once you have settled the hub question, the next task is to choose your devices. In Reno, probably one of the first devices you would be interested in is a smart thermostat. Installing a smart thermostat could save you quite a bit of money by more effectively managing your HVAC system.

Smart window blinds can also be helpful. You can program them to raise and lower at different times of the day, depending on the season, in order to keep your house cooler or warmer. From there, consider the following:

  • Smart Light Fixtures – These are light fixture you can control with your hub. They can be programmed as well.
  • Smart Door Locks – These seem especially beneficial if you plan to rent out your Reno home to tourists.
  • Video Doorbell – A video doorbell is a nice security feature that lets you keep an eye on your front door.
  • Home Entertainment Control – You can automate your home entertainment system as well.

There are other devices on the market, but there is enough here to make the point. That point being that you can automate an awful lot of things with today’s technology.

Security Integration

Finally, you are going to want to decide whether or not to integrate security devices. You might consider a video doorbell and electronic door locks as security devices, so perhaps this is a moot point. But why stop there?

You can actually hook a home security system into a smart home hub. This would allow you to do lots of cool things, including arming and disarming your system with voice commands. You can tie your video surveillance cameras into the system as well. This would allow remote access from anywhere in the world.

This short guide has only introduced you to the basics of home automation. If you are looking to automate your Reno home, spend some time on research. There is an awful lot to learn on this topic.