How Do Smart Homes Work?

February 21, 2022 4:38 pm

The market for smart home technology has been steadily growing in the United States, with research showing that 65% of Americans have smart devices in their homes. Studies even predict that 78 million homes in North America will be considered smart homes by 2024.

If you’re considering implementing smart devices into your residence, it’s helpful to know what smart home automation entails before making your decision. Through this guide, you’ll learn the ins and outs of smart home technology, how it works and what you can control using a home automation security system.


women pressing smart home tablet


What Is a Smart Home?

A smart home is a residential building that uses internet-enabled devices to facilitate remote appliance and system management from anywhere with a network connection. Users can control these technologies via their smartphones or other networked devices through an app. Internet of Things (IoT) smart home devices and systems operate in conjunction with one another through shared data, enabling them to automate actions according to the homeowner’s preferences.

Smart home technologies are basic home amenities equipped with some level of automation. Examples of common automated devices used in smart homes include appliances, security systems, environmental controls and entertainment systems.

Some of the primary reasons individuals use home automation in their residences include:


  • Convenience: Controlling all your most widely used systems with only the push of a button means experiencing comfort and convenience like never before.
  • Security: Home automation security systems enable homeowners to monitor and safeguard their homes from practically any location.
  • Energy efficiency: Smart homes are highly sustainable, as they can automatically control elements like lighting and indoor temperatures to conserve energy.
  • Cost savings: In addition to lowering energy bills, smart home automation also gets homeowners lower insurance premiums, with discounts typically ranging between 5% and 20% off, depending on the smart devices.


How Does Smart Home Automation Work?

Wireless smart home automation works by deploying low-power equipment that can send and receive messages. When a homeowner controls a smart solution, they use their networked device, or the transmitter, to initiate the command. From there, the transmitter sends out a message containing a numerical code that alerts the intended smart system, an identifying unit number for the device receiving the command and a code containing the command itself. This message transmission typically occurs within a second.

Smart home devices can self-learn a homeowner’s schedules and make adjustments as necessary. For example, if an individual works from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, their smart thermostat might turn down the heat after they leave in the morning and turn it back up before they come home in the evening to conserve energy.


women changing the smart thermostat in home


Home automation often includes the use of IoT devices. Homeowners use numerous wireless protocols to operate these technologies in their automation environments, such as:


  • Wi-Fi: This protocol can sustain high bandwidth connections and is ideal for higher-data applications.
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth is a popular option with growing data rates, low-power requirements and continuous developer improvements.
  • ANT: ANT networks are low-power protocols for wireless connections that function similarly to Bluetooth.
  • ZigBee: This specification was developed for mesh networking, meaning smart home devices have several communication channels with which they can connect with one another. It achieves higher coverage with lower power requirements and is ideal for short-range connections.


What Can You Control With a Smart Home Security System?

Parks Associates, an internationally recognized company specializing in market research for emerging consumer technologies, forecasts that approximately 30% of broadband households in the U.S. will have a home security system by 2024.

Home automation and security make a dynamic pair, safeguarding your home against intrusions from any location. There are many smart home devices you can use to upgrade your security system, helping you achieve the most comprehensive protection and peace of mind.

Smart Doorbells

Smart doorbells contain a small camera within the doorbell button. When someone approaches the door or rings the bell, the system activates the camera and sends an alert to the homeowner’s phone, along with a clear image of who’s at the door. Some security systems have motion-sensing capabilities allowing them to distinguish false-positive motion alerts, such as moving tree branches, from human movement. They can even recognize familiar faces and package deliveries.

In addition to taking real-time videos, some smart doorbells also have two-way audio, which allows homeowners to communicate with visitors remotely. Others enable individuals to play pre-recorded messages. Either way, residents can give the impression that they’re home, even if they’re not.

Smart Cameras

Smart cameras function similarly to traditional security cameras but with more advanced features. They use Wi-Fi connections, allowing users to control the cameras and view film remotely through a smartphone application. Many smart cameras also enable you to upload and store camera footage on the cloud.

These smart home technologies have both indoor and outdoor options. The difference between these cameras is their constructions, as each is built with materials designed to endure their intended environments.

Smart Locks

You can lock and unlock your doors without a key with home automation smart locks. These devices communicate with your smartphone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, enabling you to control your locks from anywhere. Some smart locks function automatically, locking or unlocking the door by detecting whether your phone is moving toward or away from it.

You can choose from various types of smart locks, such as touchscreens, number pads or smartphone apps.

Smart Lights

Smart lighting systems are LED lightbulbs connected to Wi-Fi and controlled through a smartphone app. You can activate the bulbs either manually or on a schedule to turn them on or off, dim them or choose a color.

Though not everyone thinks of lighting as part of smart home security, smart lights offer a simple yet effective means of safeguarding your home from trespassers. Some individuals remotely activate their smart lights to deter intruders from trying to break in when no one’s home, making the house appear occupied.


living area inside a home

Smart Thermostats

While the primary function of a smart thermostat is to keep homes comfortable and energy-efficient through proactive temperature control, these smart home devices also feature security measures. If indoor temperatures hit excessive highs or lows when you’re not home, the system will send an alert to your mobile phone to warn of a potential fire or pipe-freezing risk, protecting your home from damage.

Smart Smoke Alarms

Smart smoke alarms are Wi-Fi-enabled and can pinpoint an indoor fire’s location. Once the system detects a fire, it will send a smartphone alert to notify you of any issues that occur when you’re away from home. Some smart smoke alarms can even detect traces of carbon monoxide.

If you experience a false alarm — for example, if you set off the smoke alarm while cooking — you can easily silence the notification from your phone.

Contact Lexington Alarm for Smart Home Solutions Today

If you’re looking to enable your home with reliable smart home automation and security, Lexington Alarm Systems can help. We treat our customers to white-glove services from highly experienced employees to ensure their homes, families and businesses are protected. With over 45 years spent designing and installing state-of-the-art alarm systems comprising the latest technologies, we’re the experts you can trust.

Get a quote on our smart home systems, or contact us for more information on our solutions today!

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