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              Rules to Better Automation - 2 Rules

              Automation uses technology to carry out tasks and processes with minimal or no human intervention. It involves machines, software, and other systems to perform tasks that were previously done manually, resulting in increased efficiency, accuracy, and productivity. Automation has been adopted in various industries, including manufacturing and logistics, healthcare, and finance, transforming the way we live and work. In recent years, home/office automation has gained popularity, allowing homeowners to automate various aspects of their homes, such as lighting, climate control, security systems, and entertainment systems. As the adoption of automation technology continues to grow, it's expected to have a significant impact on the way we live and work in the future.

              See more on Rules to Better Control4.

              If you still need help, visit our Smart Office/Home consulting page and book in a consultant.

              1. Do you automate your essentials?

                Home and office automation can drastically improve the security, comfort, and accessibility of a space. And if we're being honest - it's just plain cool!

                Video: May the 4th Be With You | Home & Office Automation (1 min)

                Sometimes it can be hard to decide what to automate, or where to even begin. Let's take a look at SSW's top 3 automation essentials!

                Tip: Check out more automation rules in our Rules to better Control4

                Security

                Whether it's your home or office, security should always be your highest priority. It's also one of the areas that benefit the most from automation. Automating your lock and unlock processes saves you from forgetting to lock the back door, or arming your alarm.

                A true story

                • Bob and Tim are working late.
                • Bob is getting ready to leave, so does the "office sweep" and checks that the back doors are locked - all good!
                • Tim packs up, sees that Bob is still around, and thinks "Bob's still here - he'll lock up" and unlocks the back door to leave.
                • Bob, having already done the office sweep, packs up his things and leaves through the front door, locking it as he goes.
                • Everyone comes in the next day, and all the laptops have been stolen!

                Fewer steps means fewer mistakes

                Imagine this common scenario: Bob Northwind has worked late, and is getting ready to leave the office for the evening. He...

                • Switches all the lights off
                • Closes all the blinds
                • Locks the side and back doors
                • Arms the security system
                • Locks the front door and walks out

                Bob then realises he left tonight's dinner in the fridge - oh no! Back into the office he goes...

                • Unlock the front door
                • Disarm the security system
                • Switch the lights on
                • Get dinner from the fridge
                • Switch the lights off
                • Arm the security system
                • Walks out the front door

                A small disruption to his standard routine, and Bob accidentally forgets to lock the front door. This kind of thing happens all the time.

                Now let's look at how this would work with an automated office.

                • Bob walks to the front door
                • He opens his automation app, and taps the "lock office" button
                • Walks out the front door

                Bob then realises he left tonight's dinner in the fridge - oh no! Back into the office he goes...

                • Bob scans his fingerprint on the door security system
                • Gets dinner from the fridge
                • Opens the automation app, and taps the "lock office" button
                • Walks out the front door

                By automating the lock and unlock processes using an app and a smart front door, both now only require a single step. This vastly reduces the likelihood of human error in the most vital (and common) office processes.

                Temperature

                Another huge win for automation is improving energy usage of your home or office. It is essential to be able to program AC units, heaters, and other energy-hungry devices to automatically switch off when nobody is around. Even better - automatically turn on only when conditions are met (such as room temp being above or below certain thresholds). These improvements can drastically reduce the energy consumption of your spaces, and improve the comfort level of your family/workers.

                Lighting

                Automating your lighting ensures people are able to safely navigate your home or office spaces without needing to fumble with switches (or give up and walk in the dark). Manually using light switches is a thing of the past now we have sensors.

              2. Do you know how to do lighting automation?

                DMX lighting control has been implemented at the SSW Newcastle office with KNX, Gira, and DALI Gateway. Check out how it works:

                In summary:

                • Get the right DMX lights and hardware
                • Configure them in the DMX Config
                • Set the addresses
                • Use the Gira mobile app to control the lights
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