Smart Homes in India

Smart Homes in India

Smart Homes in India

A smart home, or smart house, is a home that incorporates advanced automation systems to provide the inhabitants with sophisticated monitoring and control over the building’s functions. Using ‘home automation’ technologies, smart homes give an intelligent feedback while monitoring many aspects of the home. A smart home connects and controls all the appliances of the house from a central unit. This home automation system can be controlled from anywhere in the house, and also from afar.

A few examples of a smart home are as follows:

• In a smart home lighting, temperature, multi-media, security, window and door operations can be controlled.
• The smart homes allow schedules to be set in the appliances, including pre-heating the oven.
• You will never again forget to lend the key to the neighbour with the help of an alarm system in case you are travelling far.
• A smart home can have the option of controlling the refrigerator of the house by cataloguing its contents, recommend healthy alternatives, suggest menus and order replacements.
• It might even feed your pet and also water the plants.
• There are options where a smart Home even knows how the owner likes the temperature and thus adjusts accordingly, saving energy.
• There is an ‘away’ mode available which turns of power for all unnecessary services saving further energy.
• Some automation systems learn from your usage and even make suggestions on how you can use it more efficiently.

Smart Homes in India

There is no doubt that technology has changed the concept of automated homes. It has now evolved from pressing buttons to open doors to remotely observe and control this space. India has seen a boom in the realty sector in recent years and it has been observed that new home buyers are opting to add on the element of smart homes to their house even if it means a certain amount of extra capital investment. While some real estate developers offer houses with the ‘smart home’ feature already added on, it is also possible to get the comprehensive solutions of a ‘smart home’ from a third party.

Smart homes in India at present include the following features:

Lighting: From integrated entertainment hubs to sensor-based LEDs that switch off automatically, the options are many. ABB presence sensors are available in the range of Rs 3,500 to Rs 7,000, while timers and switching units are available for Rs 2,500. ABB brightness sensors cost about Rs 3,000. These control lighting according to the ambient light. Schneider Electric can help you control lighting from a mobile device.
Security: CCTV surveillance is available along with a video door phone. Zicom and Eureka Forbes have such systems for less than Rs 20,000, and fingerprint or biometric locks for about Rs 12,000.
Climate Control: The temperature of the house can be controlled from a mobile device even from remote locations. Thus, if you are on your way from the office and want the house to be cool when you arrive, it is just a click away.
• Miscellaneous: You can open and close curtains, control appliances like refrigerators and ovens and sync the home entertainment system to a single remote.

The Cost Factor

Speaking about the capital investment involved in ‘smart homes’, CP Singh, founder and chief mentor, Smart Automation, a firm that offers home automation services says, “The initial investment will turn into savings in a few years. An energy efficient home can reclaim the amount spent on automation within two to three years from the reduced power consumption alone.”

The basic automation cost at present in India is Rs. 3,50,000 for a three-bedroom apartment. The price can be further reduced if one includes only the features one requires. Generally security and automated and energy-efficient lighting systems take a priority in the wish-lists of buyers.

Steps towards getting a ‘Smart Home’

• The decision for a smart home has to be made before the layout is prepared so that a well designed solution is available.
• Old houses can also be converted into smart homes; however, the entire electrical layout would have to be retrofitted which means additional cost.
• Old houses opting to convert into a smart home can also opt for a wireless home automation solution, such as the Schneider EZInstall3.
• Smart homes are controlled by a crucial centralised controller which receives information from multiple sensors or other devices and generates the orders for the devices.
• The automation can also be through a distributed architecture, wherein all intelligence is through sensors and actuators.

Feasibility of Smart Homes in India

The popularity of any product or category is dependent on its value for target users, availability and last but not the least, the price. Taking into consideration these factors, a feasibility check would show the following:

• India is embracing technology with open arms and smart home is not far behind.
• With the increase in the earning capacity of the middle class, and a rise in disposable incomes, Indians are ready to spend an extra rupee on comfort and style.
• Nuclear families in India are on the rise. The house is locked for extended periods of time as both the husband and wife have to step out to earn a living. In such a scenario, spending extra for safety and security is no longer an option but is becoming mandatory.
• The smart home concept will pick up momentum once more locally relevant uses are available in the Indian market.
• New-age technology has made it possible for smart home solutions to be available at affordable rates. A smart home today can be created at 1% of the total construction cost.
• Costs will further come down with increase in demand through awareness about the benefits of a smart home.

The Downside

At the end of the day, smart home is a technological concept and many may not be comfortable using it. It is a ‘fiddle factor’ where one has to get used to complex mechanisms. Sometimes even learning the algorithms may not be enough for the system just refuses to understand one’s preferences, and one may come to a house too cold as the air conditioner temperature has not been set right, or the curtains open at the wrong time, or the sprinklers go off in the garden when not required. However, if looked into closely, the benefits do outweigh the small problems.


Connected homes are no longer a futuristic concept in India. It is fast gaining popularity. The first leap into the world of technology was from the cell phones to smart phones. Today India, according to the International Data Corporation, is the fastest growing smart phone market in Asia Pacific. The people of India are already dependent on technology. Thus, the day when most of the houses in India will be smart homes is not far away.