Science fiction is not in books or movies anymore but in our homes. In the recent decade, technology has rapidly advanced, making smart devices available for commercial use. While the belief that artificial intelligence may rebel and conquer us someday is still a popular subject, the benefits of automation are undeniable. It makes life easier, especially for people who live alone or depend on care from others, like the elderly.
So, here are living room automation ideas that will help you turn the most used room in the house into a well-oiled self-acting system.

Start automation with smart lighting

Some would say that using smart lights is being too lazy, but the things they can do can really spoil you. Smart bulbs are fixed on your lamp or chandelier just like a regular one, with the difference that you connect the former one to your phone.

That way, you can change the brightness, its color, or program it to turn on/off at specific times. Some of the great benefits of using this automation is switching the lights on when the night falls to trick intruders you are at home when you are not.

Improve your HVAC with a smart thermostat

Wouldn't it be great to come to a cooled-off home during hot summers, or wake up in the warmed-up living room? A smart thermostat can make all this happen and more. The gadget can remember your preferences and adjust automatically to your schedule.

Besides being comfortable, this home automation system is also cost-effective because the HVAC will work when necessary. Once the desired temperature is achieved it will turn off the unit and reduce energy use by your household.

Install entry sensors

One of the ways to protect your home is to install sensors on entry points, like front doors, windows, balcony doors, and even pet entrances. When active, these entry sensors will sound an alarm the moment someone opens a door or a window and you will be made aware of an intruder. This is the most basic security system, but to enhance your safety consider installing a more elaborate smart home protection.

Rely on security home automation

If you are concerned with safety, then installing a complete security home automation may be ideal for you. Set your system to turn on all the lights when motion is detected to scare off any burglars or use geofencing from your thermostat to see if anyone is home. Another plus side is that the alarm can turn on automatically based on your routines or motion sensors.

Security home automation can also include smart locks that open and lock the doors remotely and automatically. It allows you to give access to your house to specific persons and keep the doors locked when no one is home.

Furthermore, based on their individual codes, your smart system can announce who just arrived home. Keep in mind that motion and entry sensors are not the same, and you can also have both installed for extra safety.

Spread the heat from your fireplace

A fireplace is a great living room feature but it can also be a good source of heating. Since the fireplace keeps warm only in the room it's located in, you can change this with a smart fan system. Use the thermostat to check outside and inside temperatures.

When the temperature outside is below 50°F or 10°C, the fans will turn on automatically and spread the heat from your fireplace to the rest of the house. It’s worthy to note that you can turn the fans as well when the temperature inside is above 75°F or 24°C.

Invest in smart floor heating

Smart floor heating is also another way to keep your home warm during low outdoor temperatures. For this to work, you need to install a temperature sensor in the garage or the attic. When the temperature falls under certain degrees, the heat can turn on and warm up the house. This is especially useful during nighttime, between 2AM and 7AM when central heating is off or barely on.

Implement an energy management system

Energy management is an important behavior that can lessen greenhouse emissions and climate change. If you want to be as eco-friendly as possible, then you can use a home automation system to monitor power consumption in your home.

By implementing such control, you will know which devices and appliances use the most electricity, as well as where you can cut your consumption. Thanks to remote control via your phone, you can make sure that only necessary devices are working and at an appropriate time.

Put a smart smoke detector

When it comes to your safety and protection of property, you can hardly do too much. Installing smart fire detectors can help you notice the fire before it spreads, stop it, call the fire department, and save the lives of your family.

This is a simple device that measures the levels of carbon monoxide at your home. If the values are higher than expected the smoke detector will notify you and can even unlock the door for you to evacuate promptly. It can also turn on all the lights in the house to alert you of danger and start the sprinklers to extinguish the source of the smoke.

Invest in motorized blinds

If your home is exposed to sunlight most of the day, it would be nice to have motorized blinds and curtains to create shade. Home automation offers solutions that will barely need your involvement, like opening curtains when the night falls or the first time in the morning to wake you up.

While you can also use your voice to control the blinds through Alexa, Siri, and Google Home, there's always a switch when your phone is not close. This is also a great solution to cut your energy bill since less sunlight in the room means less heat and less use of your AC unit.

Install smart doorbells

If you are working from your living room, you may use headphones to eliminate the noises and concentrate. For this reason, there is a chance you won’t hear the doorbell ring. A smart doorbell can flash the lights whenever someone is at the door.

A step further is to invest in a doorbell with a microphone and video camera, so you can talk and see who is standing in front of your door. You can do this without living your couch or chair, through an app on your phone. The good news is that you can do this even when you are not home so you can arrange later delivery of packages or communicate with other visitors who stopped by.

Treat yourself to an automated home theater

The living room is where you entertain guests, but more importantly, is where you stay for the entertainment. You can start simple with a smart TV that has all your streaming services in one place offering the high-end quality of picture and sound. Then, you can upgrade it with features like a remote finder, light dimmer when you press play, and an automatic appearance of TV from the cabinet.

If you really want to spoil yourself, set the TV to turn on automatically when you arrive home or wake up and close the shades when you start a movie. When it's time to go to bed, your home theater can give you a 15-minute warning before it switches off.

Opt for a smart audio system

Creating an automated home theater has as much to do with sound as with the quality of the picture. An entertainment system you can control with a voice or an app is perfect for audiophiles. A smart audio system can be installed throughout your home, allowing you to play the same music in the whole house or a different one in each room.

This way each house member can access their favorite music and play it wherever they want in the house. You can set it to play music when you start a shower, or when you go to bed to help you fall asleep. If you play an instrument like a piano, the sound can be heard in every part of your home with in-ceiling speakers.

Employ robot vacuum to clean

You probably know about robot vacuum by now, a small device that cleans your house all by itself. The great news is that you don't even have to keep an eye on this device while it's vacuuming. Set a time for it to turn on automatically and leave it in your living room to do the work.

That way, you can sleep and wake up to the clean house or program it to vacuum when no one is home. Just remember to clear the floor from toys, magazines, and other clutter so this powerful device can work smoothly.

The verdict

Every house should use some type of smart device to function better and be safer. These living room automation ideas are only some of the options you have to make your life easier and safer. After all, the future is already here, so we should embrace its marvels and improve the quality of our lives.

Author's Bio: 

Mia Johnson is a writer from Sydney.