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Home Control…Selecting The Most Efficient And Powerful Home Control System For You.

Automated Home Control

As discussed in my previous article on Home Automation, your key decision is whether you prefer a system that is controlled by your personal computer, a standalone system, or a composition of both.

This article assumes that after due consideration, you have opted for a standalone home control system and are now concentrating on selecting the most efficient and powerful home control to fit your requirements. 

Research for my articles on Home Automation has revealed some excellent products from respected companies, which fall into the standalone category and I am providing a summary of one here and others in future linked pages.

Comfort Home Control The Control Panel is at the heart of this security and home automation system and there are three models on offer from this company with various capability levels:-

Comfort Entry, Comfort Pro, Comfort Ultra.

Control and Security Comfort is one of the most flexible security and automation controllers available today. The Comfort system impressed me because it is built upon the foundation of a powerful security alarm system with these features:-

  • A flexible programming language called ‘Action Codes’ enables installers to easily achieve elaborate automation sequences involving lighting, cameras and relay etc.
  • Each alarm type including, Intruder, Panic, Duress, Abort, Power Fail, New Message Forwarding and more, may dial up to 8 telephone numbers.
  • Up to sixty four zone inputs and outputs are available, enabling the protection and control of both small & large homes. Alarm zones may be monitored for tampering, using end of line resistors and a choice of 31 zone types and 31 Alarm Types
  • A built-in digital communicator can link with an Alarm Receiving Centre, using Contact ID or RedCARE.
  • An event log recording 255 events is provided, as well as bell and strobe and speaker outputs, with 12 siren sounds.
  • Security camera systems linked to the control can switch on your video to record any visitors or activity around your home.
  • Comfort can also be programmed directly from a Windows PC using the Configurator PC software program.

Home Control-Automation Comfort’s home control option enables you to manage, control and operate electrical equipment within the home such as the heating, lighting, air conditioning, curtains or garage doors, in fact almost any appliance.

The system can also be controlled via the user interfaces such as keypads, home telephone, touch screen or a mobile phone from anywhere in the world. The security can be set to one of five modes, with just one or two keystrokes, such as:-

Away Mode – when leaving the house, Night Mode – for bedtime, Day Mode – for protecting an area separately when you are at home, or Holiday Mode – when going on holiday.

This operates the lights audio and curtains randomly, emulating your usage while in residence and providing a valuable deterrent to a prowling intruder.

You can telephone Comfort and interrogate the system for any current information you need, just as if you were at home.

Special Power Modules Using the X-10 protocol are used to control your lighting making the house look occupied, or to illuminate your escape route during a fire alarm, also to control heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC).

You can contact the control to check the heating status at home and Comfort will report the temperature over the phone using a voice.

To save energy costs the home control system adjusts the home heating based on occupancy modes and will setback the temperature for night-time or, when leaving the house for work and when on holiday.

Installation is simple, because the modules require very little wiring and receive their instruction as a code through the existing ring-main circuits. The home control menu has eleven sub-menus, making over 100 custom control operations possible.

The Messaging Centre Is another useful integrated feature, providing several answering machines, giving each family member their own personal voice-mail system, with their unique pin-code. A caller first chooses from a family list in order to leave their personal message. The system can be programmed to forward the messages to your mobile phone as they arrive or, you can phone in to collect them.
Upon arriving home, a steady light on the keypad shows that a memo has been left; a flashing light indicates that an outside caller has left a message.

Intelligent Door-phone The home owner can talk to any visitor from inside the home or, using their mobile phone or telephone from wherever they happen to be, allowing them to communicate with the visitor as if they were at home. He can also remotely open a door such as the garage to receive a home delivery. A camera version of the door phone provides vision on the internal TV/monitor or, via the Internet using web cam software.

Home Entertainment Comfort does not directly process any audio or video, however, the Companion Touch-screens interface with other media, providing users with a graphical interface for controlling PC’s within the home network, DVD players, Internet radio and Audio stored on servers.
The touch screen can also receive infrared commands from a remote control within other rooms and relay it to control equipment, such as a media centre located elsewhere in the home.

Infrared Transmission This system control triggers events automatically in response to movement, an alarm event or, occupancy mode, such as changing the TV channel to see who is at the door, or switching on music when you arrive home or, pausing the DVD when the phone rings etc. This extends to manual control of lights and other infrared commands.

Comfort Accessories A very comprehensive quality range of accessories including X10 compatible modules, are readily available to encompass all areas of home automation.

Reliability and Quality Comfort has been available since 1996 and has a proven track record for reliability and trouble free operation with a complete backup service. The system can be easily upgraded and completely integrates with other systems, providing you with expansion on demand in the future. You will be amazed at what this system can achieve!

Comfort recommends that prospective buyers use a Comfort Dealer/Installer in their area, to take responsibility for installing their system and provide ongoing maintenance and support.

The British Approvals Board of Telecommunications have approved the system; it is CE marked and capable of installation to BS4737; also to ACPO and NACOSS codes of practice.


The Lukwerks Digital Video Surveillance System… Provides Professional Quality Security Surveillance.

The HAI Home Automation System…Is A Reliable And Versatile Home Controller.

The Harmony Home Controller…Provides Complete Control Of Your Home Automation Devices.

The PowerMax+ System Provides For A Secure, Managed and Interactive Home.

The Comfort Web Interface…Controls Your Home Automation System Over The Web.

The ConvergeX Home Automation System…Controls All Home Automation From One Device.

The MicroLink dLAN Highspeed HomePlug…Provides The Easiest Broadband And Network Extension.

Zigbee Wireless Network Sensors…Offer Automated Control Of Multiple Home Systems.

X10 Home Automation…Controls Your Home Systems Via Your Existing Power Line.

The HomeLink Garage Door Opener…Is Ideal For Connecting Your Vehicle To Your Home.

The Home Automation Control (Homeseer PRO-100)…Provides a Single User Interface to All Sub-Systems in Your Home.

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