Home Automation: Routines Are Where the Real Fun Begins


There is a lot to be said about home automation to make a home safer while improving efficiency and convenience. But there is also something to be said about personal enjoyment. There’s something satisfying about automating home functions. It can even be fun. In fact, the real fun begins when you start using home automation routines.

A home automation routine is essentially a software script. It relies on a series of if-then commands to initiate program functions. For example, a system can be programed so that if a smart thermostat’s clock reads 6 PM, the temperature is automatically adjusted by two degrees.

Routines are what put the automation in home automation. By definition, home automation is designed to initiate certain functions automatically – or at least with as little human intervention as possible. The magic of home automation is found in all the routines that a homeowner programs.

Two Types of Routines

Vivint Smart Home is a well-known provider of smart home and security solutions. They are active across the country. They say that there are two types of home automation routines that consumers can engage with:

  1. Triggered Routines – Triggered routines are initiated through some action on your part. You might pull out your phone and tap a button on an app to start a cascading process that adjusts your thermostat, turns lights on, and closes the blinds.
  1. Fully Automated Routines – Fully automated routines initiate functions without any input from you. You might program your irrigation system to run three days per week, starting at 6 o’clock in the morning. You also have a rain gauge that puts irrigation on hold when it’s not needed.

Combining both types of routines gives a homeowner maximum control. Automated routines can be deployed for functions that rarely change. Triggered routines can cover everything else.

Adding Voice Control

The premise of this post is that automation routines can add to the fun of using home automation. If you are interested in taking that fun to a whole new level, consider adding voice control. There is nothing quite like the experience of speaking a verbal command and watching your home automation system respond.

The first time I saw it in action, I was visiting a friend’s house for dinner. A verbal command controlled the volume of the music playing in the background. Another command turned on dining room lights while dimming the kitchen lights. Yet another command brought up the patio lights and activated a decorative fountain.

Each of my friend’s voice commands was supported by an automation routine. The ‘if’ part of the equation described each of the commands given. The ‘then’ part determined what function followed a verbal command.

Don’t Forget Geolocation

Still not enough fun for you? Then consider integrating automation routines with geolocation. What you do is set up an electronic geofence around your property using a mobile app. Your geofenced area might extend for a quarter mile around your property.

Now you can program your home automation system to trigger certain functions based on your location. When your smartphone enters the geofenced area, your front door unlocks, the porch light goes on, and your thermostat automatically adjusts itself. The next morning, you leaving the geofenced area on your way to work triggers your system to automatically lock the doors and turn off all the lights.

Even basic home automation can be fun to utilize. But if you can learn how to create and run automation routines, your enjoyment of home automation technology is likely to go through the roof. Routines make home automation a lot of fun.