Bring convenience home with smart switches
Saurabh Goel, president, Havells India, shares how modernised IoT-enabled switchgear can re-shape modern living
Smart homes is not just a phrase in vogue anymore. According to Statista, revenue in smart homes market in the country is expected to show a CAGR of 22.9%, resulting in a market volume of USD 7,102 million by 2023. With higher discretionary spends, growing internet penetration and Internet of Things (IoT) gaining more prominence with smart devices such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa, traditional way of living is getting a modern makeover – at the flick of a button.
Switches are intrinsic features of a building’s electrical system. While initially switches were quite functional, helping users to control electrical equipment in the room, today they have evolved exponentially to become technologically advanced devices. From being plugged into wireless technology and being controlled remotely from a smartphone to sporting programmable dimmers and timers with mood setting switching option, there are wide arrays of technological innovations to choose from.
Conventionally, for any automation product, there is a need for pre planning from the initiation stage. However, with the innovation in products enabled with IoT technology, we can automate a home at any given point in time. This is because these products are designed for retrofit installation i.e. they can be snapped into existing switch plates without any change in the structure or wiring. These products help customers upgrade to home automation at an affordable cost.
As consumer propensity to install smart home solutions continues to grow, let’s have a look at some new and upcoming trends that are re-defining wiring devices usage.
Make your existing products smart
IoT in consumer durable product is much in vogue, but what about products which are not IoT enabled? To address this need, there are plug and play smart sockets which will help one monitor and operate any equipment intelligently. For instance, with a water heater or air-conditioner powered by a smart socket, one can remotely control or switch off the device through an app, thereby eliminating potential dangers and saving energy.
Smart manoeuvring with motion sensors
Visiting restrooms or kitchens during the night can often be troublesome, especially for the elderly and children. Foot lamps with motion sensors can sense movement of the user and lit up pathways accordingly. Convenient, responsive and functional, these devices help residents avoid undue obstructions or accidents easily.
Save energy with smart sensors
Many smart switches come with sensors and the option of scheduling lighting as per room occupancy. While sensors detect movement and turn on lights automatically, scheduling allows you to set a vacation mode that keeps few lights on. Both features help in conserving energy drastically. Smart switches impart greater control in the hands of homeowners. These sensor also exhibit features of day light harvesting.
The advantage of a USB charger – on your switchboard
Over the past decade, we have seen a proliferation of smart phones, laptops and smart home assistants. Most of these devices are hooked on to USB chargers (2.1 for fast charging) for a lion’s share of the day to avoid being drained of battery. Today, it is imperative to integrate USB ports in switchboards that can recharge gadgets faster with AC supply, while ensuring seamless connectivity. Not to mention, this also eliminates the hassle of carrying separate charging adaptors while at home or office.
Enhance connectivity with wireless doorbells
Wireless remote doorbells, available in multiple DIY tunes, have a wide-ranging access and are highly utilitarian in large, multi-floored houses. Even for incapacitated patients in home care, these devices bring many benefits. With integration of camera, smartphone integration and hi-definition video, one can also monitor callers with more scrutiny.
However, it is also essential to ensure safety by ensuring the right switch for the right electrical load. For example, in the kitchen, the wiring and switch/socket specification of a microwave is 16Amp whereas it is 6Amp for a refrigerator. Also, to ensure child safety, all sockets must be fitted with safety shutters to avoid any unfortunate incidents. Electrical switch plates are often susceptible to be the birthing ground for bacteria and germs, as they are exposed to rampant usage. Hence, to reduce chances of infections, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal switch plates can maintain hygiene and well-being for the entire family. ROHS compliant electrical switches, made with green and recyclable material, ensure longevity and help contribute towards a greener and more sustainable environment. Smart switches amplify the smart home ecosystem. As the market continues to evolve and Indians inch towards a more connected lifestyle, faster uptake of evolved, modernised and IoT-enabled switchgear will re-shape modern living.