How to Automate Your House With Your iPhone

The iPhone’s ability to connect to wireless systems via Wifi and/or Bluetooth opens up a wide range of potential devices that the iPhone can control. This functionality isn’t limited to your television or stereo but expands over a variety of electronic equipment in your home.

Today we’ll take a brief look at ten iPhone applications that are built to control elements of a home automation system. Examples include everything from video cameras and security systems to lighting rigs and automatic blinds. What will you control?

Read Before You Buy

The big disclaimer that you should be aware of before buying any of these apps is that almost all of them require extra hardware of some sort. Some require a generic device that creates an IP address for a wall socket, thereby allowing you to control whatever is plugged in, while others require very specific home automation systems.

Needless to say, many of these apps are targeted at serious technology geeks already familiar with home automation technology. They also tend to be on the pricey side so make sure you fully understand the requirements of each before making your purchase!

HomeWorks Light Control

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“The HomeWorks Light Control application allows you to control your Lutron HomeWorks system over a Wi-Fi, Edge, or 3G network with the convenience of iPhone and iPod touch. A key feature of this application is that it automatically configures itself using the information stored in the HomeWorks system.”

Required Hardware:

A Lutron HomeWorks System (more info…)

CozyHome

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“With CozyHome you will be able to control and monitor your home automation systems. This application can control/monitor Lighting, Motor, HVAC, Audio/Video, Security, and Access Control Systems. All of these systems can be controlled separately for each room in the house.”

Required Hardware:

A Pre-programmed automation controller from AMX

House Control

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“House Control WiFi for controlling electric devices via radio outlets through Wi-Fi. Steer with your iPhone or iPod Touch your electrical appliances and devices: table lamps, floor lamps, outdoor lighting, computers and peripherals, electric heaters, coffee machines …”

Required Hardware:

A wireless radio module and one or more power plugs. (more info…)

HW Remote

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“HW Remote gives you the power to control your Lutron HomeWorks installation from your iPhone or iPod touch. Its flexible user interface allows you to organize your control as you see fit. Trigger scenes, raise and lower lights or blinds, group per rooms, person or scenario, the decision is up to you.”

Required Hardware:

A Lutron HomeWorks installation with a P5 Series processor, connected to the same network as your iPhone. You also need to have access to the configuration of the processor, as adding a user account for HW Remote is required.

eHome Controls

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“e-Home CONTROLS is an advanced software program that enables users to communicate with, and control their property through, their iPhone/iPod Touch, the Internet or even via voice commands. This enables access to a host of services including security, surveillance cameras, lighting, heating, air conditioning, entertainment and Internet services. ”

Required Hardware:

eHome Controls claims to integrate with “a wide range of automation products, services and third-party application” but I was unable to find an acutal list of compatible products (more info…).

Control4 My house

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“Whether you have one room or whole home automation, you can control it all from your iPhone and iPod Touch. Whole house audio, video, lighting & HVAC control. You can do it all with My House for Control4.”

Required Hardware:

Works with Control4 home automation systems running Director version 1.7 or later

Home Control Pro

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“Welcome to the iPhone and iPod Touch App designed to control your Vantage Infusion System. This is a standalone application that requires no additional software or hardware. No time consuming manual design or technical code input required on your iPhone or iPod Touch. Works over 3G and WiFi.”

Required Hardware:

Despite the claim above that the app requires “no additional software or hardware,” it does in fact require a Vantage Infusion home automation system. (more info…)

[email protected] 2.0

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[email protected] allows you to control your HAI Omni or Lumina home automation system from your iPhone or iPod Touch. Adjust your lights, thermostats, music, webcams, security and more from anywhere, anytime with [email protected] You may wish to try [email protected] 2.0 Lite first, a free version of [email protected] 2.0 that will validate your connection settings and list the status of all available devices on your system.”

Required Hardware:

HAI Omni or Lumina home automation system (more info…)

Casa Remote

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“CasaRemote is the home automation control software for all of us. It provides you with a nice and easy to use interface to control many IP enabled devices (Ethernet or WLAN) in your home and office. With CasaRemote you can switch or dim your lights, check the room temperature, check who’s at the door and control your entire A/V entertainment center by replacing all your IR remotes. CasaRemote is already supporting many devices out of the box, but can easily be configured to talk to new devices.”

Required Hardware:

Casa Remote supports a wide variety of third party hardware. For a complete list, check out the application’s website.

iDoControl

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“Control your home from your iPhone or iPod Touch provided you have installed an iDo Automation system. An iDo Automation system is an Apple Mac based system for integrated controls for access control, security, video surveillance, climate, light, irrigation and more. Using the iDoControl app for iPhone you can watch live or recorded video from your security cameras through WiFi or over the GSM network (if your home has a properly configured internet connection).”

Required Hardware:

iDo Automation System (more info…)

Conclusion

The idea of integrating your iPhone into your home automation system is simply too cool to pass up for anyone currently using one of these systems.

Unfortunately, these systems can be quite expensive and require costly professional installation. Consequently, most of us will, for now, have to continue to get off the couch to turn on the lights!