Home automation systems or building management systems go above and beyond just monitoring, since they can control many aspects of your home—turning on or shutting off heating and cooling systems, raising or lowering automated window blinds, even communication with surveillance devices. Control features require more hardware and compatible components, but also allow you to make energy consumption adjustments—often remotely—down to the appliance level.
Prices will range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on what you would like to control. Electrical manufacturers such as Lutron and Leviton offer products to control lights and individual plugged-in appliances. Product offerings by home automation manufacturers like Savant Systems, Control4, and Schneider provide control of many more household features. Besides lights and thermostats, some additional controllable features range from home audio and entertainment to securing your home by automatically locking the doors. One thing is sure—“smart home” products will continue to evolve as more devices and features become controllable.