Learn Step-by-Step How to Build a Smart Home System
3.1 (70 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
819 students enrolled

Learn Step-by-Step How to Build a Smart Home System

Discover how to use your Smartphone or Tablet to Control your Home Lighting, Thermostats, IP cameras, Music & Security.
3.1 (70 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
819 students enrolled
Created by Gerard ODriscoll
Last updated 6/2013
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $15.99 Original price: $24.99 Discount: 36% off
18 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 9 hours on-demand video
  • 12 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Explain Home Automation 2.0 (HA 2.0) and understand its benefits.
  • List the different types of HA 2.0 applications that you can implement.
  • Describe briefly the steps that are required to build an end-to-end HA 2.0 system.
  • Plan your HA 2.0 System Requirements.
  • Understand the main HA 2.0 Technology Platforms.
  • Discover how to install a structured wiring system.
  • Explain Z-Wave and how it operates from a technical perspective.
  • Install various types of home automation modules
  • Use HA 2.0 to improve your home security & family safety levels.
  • Describe how a HA 2.0 alarm system works.
  • Explain the different types of HA alarm types.
  • Install a HA 2.0 Smoke Alarm System.
  • Interface an IP video surveillance camera with a HA 2.0 system.
  • Describe HA 2.0 access control and Door locking systems.
  • Install flood and freeze detection sensors in your home.
  • Describe some real life usage of HA 2.0 security solutions.
  • Plan and install your HA 2.0 Alarm and IP video surveillance system.
  • List the main benefits of implementing a control system for your lights.
  • How to build a wired based whole house lighting control system.
  • Explain the differences between wired and wireless lighting control systems.
  • Describe examples of how lighting control is used by our own family.
  • Plan out your own wireless or wired lighting control system and establish a budget.
  • Use a HA 2.0 system to save money on your electricity bills.
  • Describe the various types of energy saving devices.
  • Describe the different types of smart thermostats available for your home.
  • Plan the installation of a number of energy saving devices in your own home.
  • Explain multi-room music (MRM) 2.0 systems.
  • Describe the various types of MRM 2.0 Systems.
  • Install a Wireless MRM 2.0 system.
  • Install outdoor speakers and add music to your back or front garden.
  • Analyse and plan your MRM 2.0 System.
  • Describe the various approaches associated with distributing HDTV content to multiple rooms.
  • Build a Cat5e or 6 based HDTV distribution system.
  • Understand the benefits of using a technology called HDBase-T.
  • Describe powerline and wireless HDTV distribution systems.
  • Identify your requirements and budget for your own HDTV distribution system.
  • List the bits and pieces you need to transform one of your rooms into a family home cinema area.
  • Setup an iPhone, iPad or Android Smartphone as a universal remote to control all of your in-home AV equipment.
  • None really, some Dollars, Sterling or indeed Euro to implement some of my many guidelines :-)

This Step-by-Step Home Automation DIY video program shows you everything from A to Z on how to create your Home Automation system, which will reduce energy Consumption, create a comfortable family living environment & protect your home against Intruders.

So what will you learn in this Home Automation DIY program?

Here’s what you’ll learn in our Home Automation video training course:

  • Understand why HA 1.0 Failed!
  • Describe the term HA 2.0 & Associated Market Drivers
  • List the benefits and Applications of HA 2.0
  • Describe the different types of HA 2.0 smart controllers
  • Explain Essential and ‘Nice to Have’ home automation functions
  • Understand the benefits of structured wiring systems.
  • Design a wiring plan for your own home or extension.
  • Understand the benefits of wireless home control systems.
  • Explain Z-Wave.
  • Describe Z-Wave network architecture.
  • Plan the install of a Z-Wave network.
  • Describe the elements of a home automation alarm system.
  • Plan & install a HA 2.0 alarm and fire detection system.
  • Plan and install outdoor and IP cameras.
  • Interface new IP camera’s with your HA 2.0 controller.
  • Build a HA 2.0 access control system for your home.
  • Describe the benefits of a lighting control system.
  • Plan & install a wired lighting control system
  • Plan & install a wireless lighting control system
  • Choose between wired or wireless systems to suit your requirements!
  • Use your HA 2.0 system to monitor the energy you use every month.
  • Install various energy saving devices that will help to decrease your monthly lighting electricity bill.
  • Install smart thermostats and interface with your HA 2.0 controller.
  • Configure your HA 2.0 system to monitor your home's electricity usage in real time!
  • Describe the benefits of MRM Systems
  • Plan & install wired Basic MRM and advanced MRM 2.0 systems
  • Plan & install a Sonos MRM 2.0 system
  • Plan & install an Airplay MRM 2.0 system
  • Connect outdoor weatherproof speakers to your MRM 2.0 system
  • Describe the different types of HDMI equipment.
  • Build a Cat5e or 6 based HDTV distribution system.
  • Describe HDBase-T Technologies.
  • Plan and install a wireless HDTV distribution system.
  • Describe the benefits and downside of Powerline HDTV distribution systems.
  • Add Home Cinema Functionality for your HA System.
  • Describe the elements of a home cinema system.
  • Plan and install a WI-Fi to IR system.
  • Control your home cinema equipment using an iPad, iPhone, Windows or Android devices.

What People are Saying about the Challenge

“Gerard was really helpful and provided encouragement over the 8 week period. The exercises at the end of each video module helped me to take action every week. Gerard was really helpful and provided encouragement over the 8 week period.”

Bogdan Dragoi, Romania

“When I started the 8 week challenge last March, I knew very little about where to start and how to go about using my iPhone to view IP camera’s, remotely changing temperature levels and playing music in ever room of our home. After the 8 weeks with Gerard, I added all of these systems to my smartphone and lots more. Highly recommended!”

Stella Stopfer, Croatia

“For me the biggest benefit of the challenge is that it pulls together many disparate threads of information about home technologies into one cohesive program.”

John Cahill, Kilkenny, Ireland

Here’s what you’ll get?

In this action video course I take you step-by-step through the whole process of building your own Home Automation 2.0 system. During this 8-week course, you will get the access to the following 40 video modules:

Who this course is for:
  • This course is right for you if you say YES to any of the following:
  • Do you want to use an iPhone, iPad or Android App to remotely view your home via an IP camera, arm your alarm, adjust your lights and thermostats while away from home?
  • Would you like to be re-assured that your home and family are safe and protected — whether you’re there or not?
  • How about enhancing &#39;Peace of Mind&#39; in knowing that your belongings are protected?
  • Don’t have 10,000 hours to research the global home automation and control industry?
  • Interested in receiving text and email alerts on your Smartphone once an intruder enters your home or smoke is detected?
  • Don’t want to spend thousands of Euro or dollars on a smart home system that does not work?
  • Save up to 10% on your energy bills!
  • Do you feel that home automation sounds like a cool idea; but the cycle of installing sounds expensive and complicated?
Course content
Expand all 41 lectures 08:51:03
+ Introduction to Home Automation 2.0
5 lectures 01:19:02
This is really just a kick off video, where I go into a bunch of background stuff about home automation, why is never achieved mainstream adoption until now etc... - I suppose there is an element of demystification and I want you to become more comfortable with the topic.
Preview 14:25
In this video I explain some of the awesome benefits of introducing automation into your home or in some cases a small business. I then explain the perfect storm of market drivers that are starting to drive the mainstream adoption of home automation - finally :-)
HA 2.0 Benefits and Market Drivers
In this video, I run through the range of daily functions that you could 'outsource' to your home automation system :-) ranging fire monitoring to control of your lights and monitoring energy usage. I also provide my analysis on costs towards the end of the video.
Preview 21:50
In this final teaching video lecture, I run through your options when it comes to choosing a home controller hardware device and cover the 'thorny' subject of costs....
Home Controllers & HA 2.0 System Overview
Here is this weeks worksheet, which will help you identify what your goals are for your new HA 2.0 system?
Lecture 6: Week 1 - Summary & Homework
+ Choosing a HA 2.0 Technology Platform
5 lectures 01:08:51
General Introduction & Structured Wiring
There is a bit of a battle going on within the standards worlds between wireless protocols such as INSTEON, Zigbee and Z-Wave. If you do not have the luxury of running new cable, then please adopt one of these systems. Z-Wave has the most traction at the moment and in this video I explain this technology, benefits etc....
Introduction to Z-Wave
As the name implies, I do some techy talk here about how Z-Wave works. No harm to check this one out, because you will find yourself doing some light troubleshooting from time to time - for instance, a sensor running out of batteries etc...The main objective of this video is to explain how this magical protocol works.
Z-Wave Technical Characteristics
Like everything in life, you need to plan. In this video, I list some of the considerations and limitations that you need to be cognizant of, before rushing into buying a wireless system. Towards the end of the video, I show you how to go about installing your system.
Plan Your Z-Wave Install
Here are 3 exercises to help you plan both a structured wiring and wireless system - Enjoy!
Week 2 - Summary & HomeWork
+ Week 3: Step 1: Add Family Security & Safety Systems to Your Home
7 lectures 01:20:00

This video module provides some practical steps on how to 'Appify' your alarm system....In my mind, this is one of the most powerful features of home automation and is driving growth of the industry at the moment.

HA 2.0 Alarm Systems Introduction
In this shortish video, I run through the setup for particular type of home automation controller. There are probably between 5 and 10 serious home automation products in this space.
Initial Setup of Your HA 2.0 Controller
Yep, got in one this video explains what's involved in setting up a 3 Zone alarm system in your home, that will send messages to your smartphone once a 'nasty person' enters your house. Note: I could have used a not so 'politically correct' name also :-) Anyway, this video is longish, so sit back and enjoy.
How to INSTALL a HA 2.0 Absence Alarm
We use this feature religiously every night and it really does improve your peace of mind. In this video I show you how to setup this functionality. 
How to Configure a HA 2.0 Night Detection Alarm
I've done lots of stuff in the world of emergency services over the years and in fairness, the number of deaths resulting from house fires has reduced over the years - Thanks be to God. As some homes are getting the basic smoke alarm systems, more homes are starting to connect these 'dumb' smoke detectors to their iPhones, Apple and Windows devices. This video reveals all!
How to Install a HA 2.0 Smoke Alarm System
Hmm, a big fan of IP Cameras, they are everywhere. You can buy one, interconnect with your smartphone and everything is hunky dory...this video explains IP cameras, shows you how to plan their installation and most importantly shows you how to integrate cameras with your home automation system. What's the point in having an App for every electronic systems in your house; you need to have it all on the one interface, ideally!
Interfacing IP Camera's with HA 2.0 Controller
The purpose of this weeks homework is to take action and start to improve your families safety and security levels at home.

Week 3 Summary & Homework
+ Week 4: Step 2: Add Lighting Control to your HA 2.0 System
4 lectures 01:01:42
This video explains the practical benefits of using your smartphone or tablet to control your lights. We have been walking up to walls to switch lights, lets start to change that habit over the next decade:-)  Light control can also be used to reduce crime, so enjoy this 16 minute video lesson.
Lighting Control Introduction
Hardwired lighting control systems are suitable for extensions and new builds. You need to check this really 'loooonnng' video to learn how to do it. It's pretty easy but as explained inside, you need to plan the wiring your your builder or electrician.
How to Install a Wired Lighting Control System

For houses that are already built with NO Cables, then you will need to run with easy-to-install wireless lighting control products. This video explains how to retrofit your light switches and plugs. In other words you are adding wireless HA 2.0 modules to your home. Currently doing some extra work in this area in one of my rental properties, so may come back with an update to this video in the coming weeks....stay tuned..

How to Install a Wireless Lighting Control System
You are going to be busy this week - 3 exercises to do. If you are not putting in wire then skip to Exercise 2 - I won't tell anyone :-)
Week 4 Summary & Homework
+ WEEK 5 - Step 3 Adding Heating & Smart Energy Control to your HA 2.0 System
5 lectures 56:48
There is a strong relationship between HA 2.0 and energy management. This video explains and outlines how your home automation system can cut the costs of running your family home.
Smart Home Energy Management Introduction
To be more specific, I created this video to demonstrate how you can use some low cost lighting control modules to cut your monthly electricity bills.
HA 2.0 Devices used to Reduce Lighting Bills
Smart thermostats are coming to a home near you! Before getting a standalone smart thermostat, check this video out and use as basis for integrating into your existing home automation system. Having 15 standalone apps is not the correct approach! 1 App 1 Smart Home!
HA 2.0 Devices used to Reduce Heating Bills
In this video, I show you how to install a smart energy monitor that integrates with your new home automation system. The unit in this video is installed at the outside of the house, and attached to our meter. At the end of the video, you will see how the O'Driscolls use this to monitor our electricity usage.
HA 2.0 Energy Monitoring Devices
Week 5 Summary & Homework
+ WEEK 6 - Step 4: Adding a Multi-Room Music (MRM) System to your Home
4 lectures 01:09:17
This lonnnnnnnnnnnng video is all about next generation multi-room music (MRM) systems that require cables in the wall. I show you exactly what to do and how to get your very own next generation MRM 2.0 system up and going.
Wired MRM 2.0 System Options
Early on in this video, I explain the characteristics of wireless based next generation systems. Wireless will be relevant to most of you, because nobody wants to run cables and break walls etc...Towards the middle and end of this video I run through the physical setup and configuration steps for a popular wireless MRM 2.0 system.
Installing a Wireless MRM 2.0 System

Outdoor entertainment is increasing in popularity. In this video, I explain to you how to fill your back garden with some rock n'roll. Nice thing to do, if you have sunshine - we have limited amounts in Rainy Ireland, but we are delighted with our rock speakers out the back.

Preview 10:18
This video outlines a couple of exercises that will help you to plan and install your very own MRM 2.0 system. 
Week 6 Summary & Homework
+ WEEK 7: Step 5 - Add Whole House HDTV Distribution to your HA 2.0 System
5 lectures 44:13
This is one of these videos where I explain some boring acronyms such as HDMI and HDTV. For the sake of 10 minutes, I would be inclined to run through it, because it makes understanding the install videos easier. Enjoy!
HDTV & HDMI Overview
This video shows how to build a Cat 5e or 6 based HDTV distribution system. In other words instead of having multiple digital set-top boxes and DVD players have one one of each. Once centralised, you will be able to plug them into a HDTV distribution switch and send to TVs hanging in different rooms. Helps to tidy up your home - kind of a minimalist approach! Oh and finally, I cover some of the drawbacks associated with using Cat 6 for these systems.
Building a Cat5e or 6 based HDTV Distribution System
Although far from a mainstream technology, wireless HDTV distribution system do have some endearing qualities. In this short video I outline and explain to you how to go about using one of these systems in your home.
Plan and install a Wireless HDTV Distribution System
This is a reallllllyyyyyy niche product and standards are pretty non-existent. However, if you live in an old cottage build with lots of concrete, where wireless or cable are non-runners, then you could use a powerline system. This video is short and to the point.
Plan and install a Powerline HDTV Distribution System
In this second last week of the challenge, these exercises will help you define your requirements and identify how much you are willing to spend - very important in these times of austerity:-)
Week 7 Summary & Homework
+ WEEK 8 - Integrating a Home Cinema into your Home Automation System
5 lectures 01:02:05
First video of 2013! Enjoy, provides details of how you might re-use an area of your home for both day to day living stuff and home cinema functionality.
Add a Home Cinema to your HA 2.0 System
This is really 'icing on the cake stuff' where you get to use your smartphone or tablet to control your DVD player, AV-receiver, streaming device, cable set-top box etc....Reduce the number of remote controls you have and take my advice in this video :-)
Wi-Fi to IR Control Systems Overview
How to Install a Wi-Fi to IR Control System
Week 8 Summary & Homework
Thanks and Course Conclusion
Thank You
+ Bonus Content
1 lecture 09:05
Automated access control is cool - you can basically use an App to unlock your home. Important in situations where you have a rental property and want to let tradesmen into the house without driving miles and wasting time. In fact, with the cost of diesel nowadays, it is certainly worth considering!
HA 2 0 Access Control Systems