Posted by Mike Greig on 3/28/2020
When it comes to home automation, there are more options available to you today than ever. From smart light bulbs to smart thermostats, camera systems, televisions, and smart appliances, there are a ton of options for you to consider when looking for ways to add automation to your home.
We get calls regularly from people who want to build something custom, something a little bit different that can’t be found at Best Buy. Below, I’m going to cover a few custom home automation projects that we have helped our customers take on over the years. Maybe this list will inspire you to find new ways to optimize your daily life through automation.
Whether you’re looking to make a practical upgrade to your home or just impress your friends, I hope you are able to use these home automation ideas to inspire your next project.
Animal doors are fairly common. The issues with them is that there isn’t really a way to lock most animal doors. This means that your animal can potentially escape at times when you don’t want them out. Or even worse, intruders could use your animal door to enter your home, like this guy for example…
Using one of our L12 linear actuators, this customer created a block for his cat door, that automatically activated when his garage door opened. This prevents the cat from escaping when the owner is entering or exiting the garage. Pretty clever idea!
Using linear actuators, you can automate the cupboards and drawers in your home. Maybe you want to add a motion element to your china cabinet to impress your friends, or automate a drawer just for fun!
This is also a great way to make a storage space inaccessible to children. If you want to keep them out of the knife drawer, you can set it up to operate in and out via linear actuator and mount the switch out of their reach.
There are some great automated locks on the market already. These work well if you’re trying to secure the front or rear door of your home. There are two main issues with most of them however, they’re really expensive, and they’re only suited to the standard style of locking mechanism used on doors.
What if you want to add a lock to a cupboard or cabinet, closet or shed door? Below is a potential solution. Check out this simple, automated locking mechanism. While this may not be the prettiest solution, it can be used in a wide variety of applications where it may not be seen. It’s also dead-simple and can be wifi-enabled using our IOT Wifi bundle.
Whether you have hinged or sliding windows, you can open and close them automatically using micro linear actuators. If you want to build something a little fancier, you could use arduino or our IOT wifi bundle to close your window at certain times, or based on a number of other parameters. Maybe a train passes by your home at the same time each day and you don’t want to manually close and re-open your windows. This could make a great solution.
Opening and closing shutters and blinds is typically fairly simple. But what about blinds that are mounted up high, out of your reach? What about shutters mounted to your skylight? For these applications, regular opening and closing the old-school way can quickly become a pain.
Using micro actuators, you can cause your shutters or blinds to open and close at the push of a button or, as above, based on some other criteria.
There are a variety of reasons that you may want a hidden storage compartment in your home. Hiding valuables from burglars, keeping valuables or weapons away from children, or just adding a cool James Bond-style element to your home. Micro actuators make it simple to create hidden storage behind a painting, a hidden panel or in a variety of other places.
Pop up features (spice rack)
If you live in a small space such as an RV, tiny home or small condominium, one great way to optimize your kitchen space is to add a feature such as a spice or knife rack, or other storage spaces that rises up out of the counter. This can save you valuable above-counter space for food prep or other things.
If you’re looking for some new and unique ways to automate your home, I hope this list has inspired a few ideas. The great thing about modern home automation is that you’re not really restricted much by technology. There are thousands of smart devices out there not including the unique and interesting things that you can build yourself.