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Home automation is here

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You can automate the lights in several rooms of your home for less than $100. You can automate the lights in several rooms of your home for less than $100.

By Joel Craig, NEWS 9 Contributor

Do you ever wish the lights in your home could turn themselves on and off? Or calling your home on the phone to turn something on or off?

Well, home automation has been around for over 30 year and it doesn't have to be expensive. You can automate the lights in several rooms of your home for less than $100.

Currently, there are 2 types that are reasonably readily available home automation products, each easy to use and install.

One is called X10 and the other Z-wave.

X10 has been around for about 30 years. Z-wave has been building up its line for over a dozen years.

The products you find in stores or on-line may have other brand names but look for the name of the underlying system - X10 or Z-wave. Both of these systems essentially do the same thing from the perspective of the user, but they do it in different ways.

One costs twice as much as the other and the systems won't cross operate with each other.

Both systems will turn lights and appliances on and off, as well as dim lights. They both can be operated by remote control, by a home computer or even by calling-in on a phone.

They have ability to adjust your air conditioning, interface with a home alarm system, have your window curtains open and close, as well as other functions.

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