Published August 2020 | Updated April 2024

What Is Home Automation & How Does It Work?

Written by Level Home Staff

Home automation 101

Home automation enables automatic or remote control of various smart devices and appliances. With a home automation system, homeowners can change the thermostat, lock doors, control lights, and monitor home security systems.

Not sure how you can implement home automation into your smart home? Here’s how: Level locks can be connected to HomeKit – a home automation system developed by Apple. As long as you have access to an internet connection, you can link your Level lock to a HomeKit-compatible home hub and operate your smart lock remotely.

How do home automation systems work?

Home automation is achieved by a network of devices linked to the internet through various communication technologies like WiFi or Bluetooth.

Home automation devices can be controlled remotely using electronic interfaces or voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant. Many devices and home automation systems come with their own apps as well.

These connected devices often feature sensors that track motion, temperature, and lighting to provide the user with information about the device's surroundings. The user can then activate intelligent lighting, automated valves, or motors that control devices remotely.

Home automation has three key components:

  • First, you can automate different tasks around your house – this means that one action will trigger another. For example, you can automate your lights to turn on simultaneously when you unlock the front door using your smart lock.
  • Second, you can remotely control your home from any location. Adjust the lighting to make it dimmer or brighter, lock and unlock doors with a smart lock, and activate or disarm your surveillance system using voice assistants like Siri or an app on your smartphone.
  • Third, you can monitor your home remotely. This is the most basic level of home automation technology. For example, you can use an app to check the thermostat, watch your security camera footage, or get notifications if your garage door is opened.

When all three – automation, control, and monitoring — come together, you'll have a complete system that will make life more convenient for you and your family, giving you peace of mind.

All your devices must be able to link and connect for home automation to function

These smart devices often have their own "language" or code as standalone devices. This means that many devices might have compatibility issues when paired together.

There are two ways to solve this. The first way is to create a smart home automation environment by buying products already compatible with one another. The second is to use a central home automation hub that "translates" the language for each device, enabling them to communicate with one another and function seamlessly.

Several different home automation networking protocols can be used to link your devices. The most popular are:

  • WiFi – WiFi network allows you to link your smart devices and integrate the internet into your home using routers.

  • Bluetooth – Bluetooth technology can automate your home using smart home technology. The caveat of Bluetooth is that it needs to be in close range to work.

  • Z-Wave – Smart devices link to a Z-Wave hub, which allows them to form a mesh network and communicate with each other. A mesh network creates different sources of WiFi around your house. This enables the signal to pass from one device to the next without each device being connected to the internet.

  • Zigbee – Zigbee is a type of mesh network well-known for its security and extended range. Zigbee is usually dependable, but it shares a 2.4GHz frequency band with most regular WiFi devices, putting it at risk of interference.

  • Matter - Matter-enabled devices allow seamless setup and interoperability among different brands and ecosystems. Learn more about the Matter standard.

Automated technology makes the essentials simple and convenient

Picture a home that automatically switches on the lights when you open the door, automatically warms or cools your home, and locks the doors for you when you leave for work in the morning.

All this is possible thanks to home automation. Home automation can turn any household into a smart home, making it more enjoyable, convenient, and secure to live in. The building industry is increasingly investing in home automation and smart technology, so it's constantly evolving and improving.

One of the best home automation security combinations on the market is a Level lock and Apple HomeKit. HomeKit is designed to help you control your home devices using Apple products and other compatible devices, including smart locks, thermostats, lighting, etc.

HomeKit isn't a product or piece of software by Apple; it's a framework that connects smart home devices and adds additional functionality to things like lights, locks, cameras, thermostats, plugs, and more. HomeKit allows you to operate smart home products from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, via an app or Siri voice commands.

You can set up your HomeKit exactly how you want, so automation and scenes can be as elaborate or as simple as you like. HomeKit has been available for eight years now, so there are several HomeKit products to choose from. If you're willing to pay, you can create an efficient, automated, and easy-to-control smart home environment using HomeKit.

Control all of your gadgets via a home automation hub

Your home automation system's command center is its smart home automation hub, which connects all your devices in one shared network. Think of it as the brain of your home automation system.

Most smart home devices have their own app for mobile devices, letting you control everything from one place. You can also use simple voice commands for Siri, Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa.

Integrate your smart devices

If you have smart devices around the house, you can benefit from a home automation system. Integrating your smart devices with a home automation hub allows you to control all your devices from one place. Think of your smart devices as the different parts of your home, while your home automation is the nerve center.

With a single tap or a simple voice command, your smart devices can perform various tasks, making your life more convenient.

What devices can I automate?

Smart locks and bolts

Smart locks allow you to unlock your door from any location using your smartphone. There’s no more need to worry about being locked out of your house or hiding backup keys under the welcome mat.

Smart light bulbs

You can link your home automation to the lights in your home if you have smart lighting. For example, you can configure your front room or foyer bulbs to come on automatically when you open your door, which can come in handy if you're holding groceries or bringing your dog back from a walk.

You can also use smart home automation apps to convert your phone into a remote control and switch your lights on and off from any location.

Smart speakers and TVs

You can change the lighting, adjust the temperature, or play a certain song with just your voice if your home automation hub is compatible with smart speakers like Amazon Alexa or Google Home.

These speakers work with various smart home devices to provide you with hands-free control, no matter where you are in the house.

A smart TV will connect to the internet and allow you to stream from various platforms and connect with multiple devices.

Smart thermostats and smoke alarms

Smart thermostats automatically regulate your home's temperature, depending on your preferences and location in the house. They can adjust temperatures based on geolocation, sensors, and data about the current weather.

Smart smoke alarm systems will recognize the temperature in the house or the kitchen and set off if the temperature is too high, making it a convenient device that also keeps you safe.

What are the benefits of home automation?

Added control

Home automation allows you to manage tasks around the house without being present.

For example, with Level Lock or Level Bolt, you won't need to rush home if you forgot to lock your door. Instead, you can open the Home app on your iPhone, and easily lock from there. Additionally, for ultimate convenience, you can set an automation to run when the last person leaves the house - this way you won't ever have to think about locking up.

People with disabilities can also use home automation and smart devices to manage their home. For example, a smart speaker can execute several tasks, such as lighting and temperature, using voice commands, so someone with a disability won’t have to get up.

Home automation lets you control everything remotely from an app, allowing greater control over your home and its devices.

More convenience in your day-to-day

Home automation improves your quality of life and makes your daily schedule more convenient, allowing you to focus on more important matters.

For example, your home automation system can inform you when your front door is locked or unlocked. If you’re using Level lock, you can even set up your system so it will lock your doors automatically at a specific time each day.

Home automation also reduces your expenses through energy savings. For example, you can increase energy efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint by installing a smart lighting control system where the light switches off automatically when no one is home. Some smart lights have motion sensors that can track your movement and will turn on and off when you enter or leave a room.

You will also save money on monthly expenses by automatically regulating the temperature. This way, you're not heating or cooling your home when you're not there.

Increased comfort

Home automation makes your home a more comfortable place to live. Most home automation systems allow plenty of tasks to be performed hands-free, so you can set scenes and forget about them – your home automation will do the work for you.

For example, you can set the lighting to change depending on the time of day, or automatically set your thermostat to the ideal temperature.

Add safety and convenience to your life with Level

Home automation can help you gain control of your home and all your devices. It makes your home a more convenient, comfortable, and secure space for you and your family. Even if you're away, you can monitor your home and control tasks from the palm of your hand.

Home automation and home security come together through Level locks. Level locks can connect your home automation hub with a smart security system, making your home the smartest, safest house on the block.

Level locks are currently compatible with HomeKit and Ring (via Amazon Sidewalk) for remote connectivity and voice control. We're working on expanding our home platform integrations, so be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more updates.