By using geofencing, you may manage the lighting, temperature, and security features in your house while going about your everyday business.
When you return from work, you are eager to unwind. However, there are a few things to attend to as you enter the building. It will be darker and considerably warmer or colder than you’d want if you were mindful of conserving energy and money when the house was unoccupied. You’ll need to adjust the temperature and turn on the necessary lights before you can relax. Even then, the temperature in the room won’t reach a comfortable level right away.
But there is a better approach. One where you can come home from a long day and immediately sit down in your preferred chair or position on the couch. No turning on numerous lights in the dark or waiting for the house to chill down or warm up. And no embarrassing realization that you left the front door unlocked.
All of these and much more may be handled for you via geofencing.
How does a smart home network and geofencing work together
Smart houses use networked equipment to control temperature, lighting, and security. These gadgets can be wirelessly and remotely controlled, and they converse with one another in the same manner. Utilizing the wireless Z-Wave protocol, the top smart home components are connected via a control panel, or hub.
Z-Wave is comparable to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, except it has a greater range, uses less energy, and is more dependable than both. It’s perfect for linking security and smart appliance components. These devices become far more than the sum of their parts once they start cooperating with one another through a hub.
Setting up geofencing is one approach to take advantage of a smart home network’s full, combined potential. What precisely is geofencing?
It’s a virtual boundary or perimeter surrounding a certain place. By defining this barrier in an app or online portal and granting the software access to your smartphone’s location data, you can create a geofence.
Let’s see how simple it is to accomplish this:
Setting up a geofence
An app that you may download to your smartphone or tablet allows you to manage the Hub, which controls Smart security systems and devices from other manufacturers. The same features are also available on an online customer portal.
You can remotely control the products using the app and portal. With just a few taps on the screen, you can modify other appliances, dimmer your lights, and turn off and on your security alarms. Components may also be configured to respond to events or schedules.
One of these events is made possible by the Geo-Services feature, which makes use of geofencing technology. The system will provide commands to gadgets to carry out specified actions whenever your smartphone passes a virtual border, like a geofence just outside your home.
Make sure the app can utilize your phone’s location services before you can create a geofence. That is how it determines when you have stepped beyond a certain line. The following are just a few easy steps:
- If you wish to set up a geofence around your house—you can do this anywhere—enter your home address in the Geo-Services section of your device.
- This will show a map of your home and the surrounding area. The geofence is indicated by a circle on the map that surrounds your residence. Now you may manually change the circle’s size or enter a specified radius, such one mile.
- When your phone passes the geofence barrier, you can select from a list of notifications and rules that will be triggered. An arming reminder is one common signal. If you fail to arm your security system, this one will notify you. If you breach the barrier, the system can also be set up to arm your security system.
- With the app or portal, you can modify your alert or rule by choosing the hours and days that it should be active, as well as turning it on and off and making other changes.
What else does geofencing allow for
Geo-Services can be used to control your smart devices in a variety of practical ways; the feature’s usefulness is essentially only constrained by your imagination and the tools you already own. Let’s consider a few options:
Secure your house online
A geofence can alert you if you leave your house without arming the security alarm, as we’ve already established. Wherever you are, you may arm the system remotely with the help of the app. Even better, you can create rules that will handle issues like this automatically. Simply configure the Geo-Services app to automatically arm your intrusion sensors when you pass that geofence boundary to prevent using your phone while driving, for example.
Of course, a geofence has many additional uses as well. About a quarter of all burglars enter through an unlocked door or window, according to a study cited by the FBI. If you have a smart lock, you can often program it to automatically lock once you pass the geofence. The geofence has your back, no matter how forgetful you are. With all the security features activated, your home will be securely locked. Furthermore, all you need to do is keep driving.
Save money and energy
Again, saving money and the environment by turning off lights and lowering the thermostat when you’re not home. But if you have to leave the house right away, you might not have the time. Not to worry. Leave that to the geofence. Set a rule that, when you pass the barrier, dims some lights and returns the temperature to a predefined range.
You’ll need a smart thermostat and smart light bulbs to accomplish this. Like the other components we’ve talked about, these devices connect with your hub using Z-Wave. Smart light bulbs can be turned on or off, and they can be brightened or dimmed to pre-set levels, and the smart thermostat can be controlled remotely through manual command, schedule, or event-triggered rule.
The geofence also functions in the opposite direction
As you leave the house, Geo-Services may take care of a lot of things for you. But it can also accomplish a lot when you’re returning home. For example, you can program a rule to turn on the lights when you enter the geofence around your house again—or another geofence that is farther away.
Let’s assume you have a regular job schedule and are gone all day, seven days a week, from Monday through Friday. You should then adjust the thermostat and your lights. However, on weekends, you might only depart for an hour or so to run errands. Set the geofence to only control the lighting and temperature during the workweek. Simply reprogrammed the geofence if you will be gone all day on a weekend, or bypass Geo-Services entirely and construct a pre-set “scene.”
You can establish guidelines for devices that require a bit extra time to complete their tasks by setting up a geofence around your office. For instance, it can take up to an hour for your smart thermostat to reach the temperature you desire after it automatically makes the necessary adjustments. The size of your home, how low or high it was set while you were away, the weather, and other variables all play a role in this. Simply set your office geofence to change the thermostat as you leave for the day. The system will have more time to heat or cool as a result. Set the rule such that it only applies at the end of the day to prevent the thermostat from resetting when you’re just running out for lunch.
Setting up a second “Home” geofence with a larger radius—say, 10 miles—is another option to address this problem. Multiple fences might be erected around a single area or several different locations. For instance, your thermostat may start the heating or cooling cycle when you’re over the 10-mile geo border on your way home. Then, your lights and anything else plugged into your wireless light control can turn on after you cross the one-mile geofence.