TOP 10 Home Automation Systems in 2020

Culture and climate needs vary from country to country, so system needs and controllers are different

BRAND CONNECT
Published: Jul 7, 2020 01:01:03 PM IST

5 900_600
Real smart home systems are not the wireless gadgets that you often hear about that are available from many companies. Those products only offer part of the solution, like security system, lights, or air conditioning control. Additionally, they can only be used for small projects—typically those that do not exceed 4 to 5 rooms.

Culture and climate needs vary from country to country, so system needs and controllers are different.  For example, the USA uses ducted-split with 24V thermostats in 80% of projects,  while Mexico uses the mini-split more, which is also more popular in Southeast Asia, where 70% of air conditioning systems use this infrared-based system.

Moreover, in Europe, floor heating and radiator valve thermostats are widely used, while this technology is rarely used in the USA and or the Middle East.

Another difference is that while people in the Middle East love lights and may use tens of channels in each room, people in the USA usually use one light per room.

Also, priorities and needs for every customer vary from state to state and from house to house. While Audio Video Automation is of primary importance in California and Texas, security is more important in Africa and energy savings in Europe. 

Accordingly, each manufacture tries to take the best share of its market. Thus, we found that USA manufacturers make better A/V systems than anyone in the world , while European brands are stronger in heating systems and lighting control.

We studied 100 of the best brands in the world of home automation, took into consideration every comparative aspect of the systems, and we assigned points based on each aspect.

We searched the oldest to the newest companies, got into every detail of the products, tested the software and checked the apps, read manuals, and tested the functionality of many products.

We checked the quality, prices, and software.

Finally, we selected the top 10 brands of Home Automation of 2020.

How we chose the brands

We selected the brands that offered solutions for wired products and retrofits (wireless products) that can cover most project needs and most home automation solutions, including lights, air conditioning, motorization, A/V control, security system, energy saving, metering, software and application, logics and timers, sensors and health, and more. 

Then, we gave each brand points as per the following details:  

Solution / Products: 75% of the points

Installation, programming, software and apps: 15% of the points

Price: 10% of the points

Products / Solutions

Products / Solutions

Points

Lighting Control

Centralized Lighting Modules

3

Wall Panels /Plugs (user interface)

 

3

DALI, DMX, X10, UPB, KNX Gateway

3

Wireless Keypads /Controllers

 

3

Air condition Control

Wall-wired Thermostat - Low and High Current

2

Controllers include HVAC, 0-10V

1

Mini-Split Infrared Control

1

VRF /VRV Integration Ability

1

Floor Heating Controller

1

TRV (thermostat Radiator Valve)

1

Wireless Wall Thermostat - Low and High Current

2

Weather Station

1

Motorization – Shutter, Shades and Curtains 

Motors

2

Relay Controllers

1

Integration to 3rd-party System

1

Sensors and Energy Saving

Wired Motion Sensors

1

Wireless Motion Sensors

2

Light Intensity Sensor

1

Ultrasonic Sensor

1

Room Temperature Sensor

1

Room Partition Sensor

1

VOC / Co2 Air Quality

1

Noise Sensor

1

CO

1

Humidity

1

Outdoor Temperature

1

Dry Inputs

1

Door Sensor 

1

Smoke

1

Gas

1

Water Leak

1

Audio / Video

Audio Players / Amplifiers

2

Audio Integration with 3rd-party Systems

2

Serial Rs232/RS485 port with 3rd-party Integration

1

Infrared (IR Emitters)

1

IP A/V Control

1

TV Streaming

1

Digital Inputs/Outputs

1

HDMI Matrix

2

Speakers

1

Intercom / Door Phone 

2

Security System

Wired Security System

2

Wireless Security System

2

Integration to 3rd-party Security

1

Locks / Access Control

1

BMS, Metering and Standard Protocols Integration

Electricity Meter

1

Water Meter

1

Gas Meter

1

Timer and Logic

1

Modbus Gateway

1

BACnet Gateway

1

Lonworks Gateway

1

IP / WiFi Gateway / Server

1

Zigbee3 Gateway

1

Z-wave Gateway

1

Integration to 3rd-party System 

4

Total

75

System Installation, Programming, Software, Skills and Apps

Category

Points

Wiring Topology Simplicity

3

Installation

3

Do-It-Yourself Capability

3

Software Programming Simplicity 

3

User Interface (friendly, ease-of-use)

3

Total

15

Price

Price was rated from 1-10 (1 is the most expensive; 10 is the least expensive).

Total points 100

Full Home Automation Top 10 Brands of 2020

Brand

Lighting

AC

 

Shade

Sensors

A/V

Security

BMS

Inst / Prog

Price

Total Points

Legrand

12

8

3

12

8

4

10

9

5

71

TIS Control

11

10

3

12

5

3

7

11

8

70

Crestron

11

3

3

9

14

5

9

10

3

67

Schneider Electronics

11

8

2

9

2

5

10

9

5

61

Gira

11

7

2

11

4

4

7

8

6

60

ABB

11

7

2

8

2

5

10

8

5

58

Leviton

8

3

1

9

7

6

8

8

6

56

Philips Hue & Dynalite

12

4

1

8

2

3

8

11

6

55

Control4

7

2

2

4

14

2

8

10

5

54

Jung

10

8

2

7

4

2

6

7

5

51

Based on our above assessment, we found that Legrand Technology is number one in the world, possibly due to the fact that it has acquired many other brands, such as Vantage and Nuvo. Legrand is followed by TIS Control because of its strengths in lighting, air conditioning control, and energy savings, as well as its simple, DIY programming and price.  Creston, one of the oldest companies in home automation, came in third. Although it had more technology points than TIS Control, it is also priced higher. Schneider Electrics, which acquired Mertin and Clipsal, was fourth, followed by GIRA, with very elegant interfaces and a variety of wired and wireless technology. Then, we get to the giant tech companies, such as ABB, followed by Leviton (thanks to their acquisition of HAI, Inc.). Next, we see Philips, the company using Dynalite Australian products and Zigbee Technology, followed by Control4, which makes the top 10 thanks to its strong A/V controllers and integration ability. Finally, Jung is number 10 this year due to its nice panel’s variety of wired and wireless products and its AC control strength.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.

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