Other systems

Using special hardware, almost any household appliance can be monitored and controlled automatically or remotely, including cooking appliances, swimming pool systems, and others.

Costs mainly include equipment, components, furniture, and custom installation.Costs

Ongoing costs include electricity to run the control systems, maintenance costs for the control and networking systems, including troubleshooting, and eventual cost of upgrading as standards change. Increased complexity may also increase maintenance costs for networked devices. Cloud-based services supporting an installation may also entail fees for setup, usage, or both.

Learning to use a complex system effectively may take significant time and training.

Control system security may be difficult and costly to maintain, especially if the control system extends beyond the home, for instance by wireless or by connection to the internet or other networks.

Smart grid

Home automation technologies are viewed as integral additions to the smart grid. Communication between a home automation system and the grid would allow applications like load shedding during system peaks, or would allow the homeowner to automatically defer energy use to periods of low grid cost. Green automation or "demand response" are terms that refer to  energy management strategies in home automation when data from smart grids is combined with home automation systems to use resources at either their lowest prices or highest availability, taking advantage, for instance, of high solar panel output in the middle of the day to automatically run washing machines.


  • Continental Automated Buildings Association
  • Digital Living Network Alliance
  • Living Tomorrow
  • MIT AgeLab

Comparison of popular protocols


Protocol Power Line Radio-Frequency Data Rate Available API? Open Source Commercially-available HA gear needs Neutral Wire?
C-Bus no yes 3500 bit/s yes no n/a (uses category-5 UTP)
EnOcean no 902 MHz (North America) 9600 bit/s yes no  ?
Insteon yes yes 13,165 bit/s yes no Usually
KNX yes yes 9600 bit/s yes no no
UPB yes no 480 bit/s no no no
X10 yes
  • 310 MHz (North America)
  • 433 MHz (Europe)
20 bit/s yes no Sometimes
Zigbee no
  • 2.4 GHz (worldwide)
  • 915 MHz (Americas and Australia)
  • 868 MHz (Europe)
20-250k bps yes no  ?
Z-Wave no yes 250k bps yes no Usually