The fourth industrial revolution means you can control your home from the palm of your hand.
Home automation is on the rise across the globe and South Africa is following suit. It’s easy to see why, as home automation means you can control things like energy efficiency, your home safety and carbon footprint all from the convenience of your smartphone. How does it work? It’s all thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT sounds confusing, but it’s actually very simple – it describes a network of physical objects (things) which, through smart devices, can now be monitored online. Think, for example, of your pool pump or the lights in your house. With the right equipment, all of these can be connected to an app on your phone, where you can put them on or off or monitor usage.
“The world has embraced the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which has changed the way people manage their daily lives,” explains Charl Osborne, Organisational Head of Commercial at CBI-electric: low voltage, a local manufacturer of low voltage electrical distribution, protection and control equipment. The company recently introduced their Astute Range, which features locally manufactured products such as the Astute smart controller, isolator and smart plugs, which help consumers do exactly this – tie their home and other areas into the IoT and manage it via the CBI Home App.
It may sound intimidating, but in truth IoT products puts the power back in consumers’ hands, and it’s relatively easy to use. In fact, it’s revolutionising – and here’s why:
1. Improve energy efficiency
In the past, consumers have had relatively little control over their electricity use. Now you can manage your demand and schedule your peak power use – putting off power-intensive appliances like a geyser or air conditioner at certain times of the day. Not only will you reduce your impact on the environment, but it will assist in alleviating the national grid while Eskom has predicted more power cuts. Use the CBI Home App’s “set and forget” option with schedules controlled with a smartphone or tablet.
2. Minimise or reduce costs
As energy prices increase, consumers will want to use this feature even more. Not only are you helping the national grid by scheduling the run time of power-intensive appliances, you’ll also actively be saving money. Additionally, appliances that are not in use but still plugged in the wall can still use electricity – unless you have the CBI app in your hand, which will enable you to switch these off.
The CBI Home App allows consumers to control when devices are powered, with settings that take into account the weather and time of day. An air conditioner, for example, can be remotely turned off when no one is home, or set to only run during warmer conditions. Consumers can also use smart devices to turn geysers off while on holiday. The CBI Home App is easily available on the App Store and on Google Play. The only requirements to use the Astute range are a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi with an internet connection and a smartphone or tablet.
4. Peace of mind
Ever left the house and suddenly panicked because you couldn’t remember if you’d turned off the heater? Of course you have. Now you can use the app to see whether these appliances are still switched on and turn them off at the wall if-and-when necessary. You can also take precautionary measures by switching on lights when needed.
5. Customised requirements
The Astute devices allow for multiple on and off programs and have manual by-pass capabilities with maximum control. As the products work with already-installed electrical infrastructure, the Astute Range provides an affordable and practical solution. This means anything that is electrical, which can be plugged into a smart device, could potentially be included in this home automation system.
What will it cost you?
The Astute Smart Controller and the Astute Smart Plug is listed at R348 each and the Astute Smart Isolator is listed at R417 (ex VAT), though distributor and retailer prices will vary. The range is available from most leading homeware stores.
Find out more
For more information, visit www.cbi-lowvoltage.com/astute or follow CBI-electric: low voltage on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.