Home automation is on the rise across the globe and South Africa is swiftly following suit. It’s easy to see why, as tomorrow’s tech savvy consumers can easily control energy efficiency, ensure safety, and reduce their carbon footprint, conveniently from the palm of their hands thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT).
“The world has embraced the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which has changed the way people manage their daily lives,” explains Charl Osborne, Organisational Head at CBI-electric: low voltage, a local manufacturer of quality low voltage electrical distribution, protection and control equipment.
Noticing a gap to assist South Africans to manage their electricity from anywhere and anytime, the company introduced the Astute Range which features locally manufactured products such as the Astute smart controller, isolator and smart plugs - all managed via the CBI Home App.
Today, IoT products are putting the power back in South Africa’s hands. Here are five ways smart devices are revolutionising home automation:
1. Improve energy efficiency
In the past, South Africans have had relatively little control over their electricity usage, aside from choosing energy-efficient appliances. Now they can proactively manage their demand and easily schedule their peak power use while also reducing their impact on the environment. This is especially important as Eskom has predicted more power cuts for the next 10 months. Now locals can reduce their electricity load during peak hours from the palm of their hands which will assist in alleviating the national grid.
This can be done via a “set and forget” option with schedules controlled with a smartphone or tablet. Scheduling can be set for different days of the week, with automation according to time, weather conditions, and more. Electricity usage is displayed in daily graphs and monthly usage on the app.
2. Minimise costs
As energy prices increase, South Africans are feeling stretched with their budgets. The cost of electricity has doubled in the past decade with another 15.06% increase expected in 2022. For maximum energy savings, smart devices can control when power-intensive appliances are run – such as air conditioners, geysers and heaters – so that consumers benefit from the comfort they offer while minimising costs.
Additionally, appliances that are not in use but still plugged in the wall can still use electricity costing South Africans unnecessary money. With smart devices users can turn these products off from the palm of their hands to ensure they aren’t wasting money on electricity that isn’t being used.
Smart devices offer greater convenience. The CBI Home App allows consumers to control when devices are powered, with settings including weather and time of day. An air conditioner can be remotely turned off when no one is home, or only set to run during warmer conditions.
Subsequently, consumers can also use smart devices to automate their homes or turn geysers off while on holiday.
4. Set safety measures
Many people can relate with the anxiety of wondering whether they’ve turned off fire-hazards such as heaters, irons and electric blankets when they’ve left the house. Now they can use the app to see whether these appliances are still switched on and effectively turn them off at the wall if-and-when necessary.
For home security, users can also take precautionary measures by switching on lights when needed.
5. Customised requirements
The Astute devices allow for multiple on and off programs and have manual by-pass capabilities with maximum control.
As the products work with already-installed electrical infrastructure, the Astute Range provides an affordable and practical solution. However, the products allow people to decide which product to install first according to their needs with no added costs above that of the device installed. For example, if they want to tackle the heaviest electricity usage first.
The Astute Range of Smart IoT products can be managed via the CBI Home App, available on the App Store and on Google Play. This allows for monitoring, control and scheduling of energy at the touch of a button. The only requirements to use the Astute range are a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi with an internet connection and a smartphone or tablet.
The Astute Smart Controller and the Astute Smart Plug are listed at R348 and the Astute Smart Isolator is listed at R417 (ex VAT). Please note distributor and retailer prices will vary. The range is available from leading homeware stores.