Home automation, the discreet charm of infrared

3 minutes of reading

Many, in the approgo to personal home automation, lack (as is normal) in knowing the real possibilities of this great, growing set of techniques and technologies. One of the common places most widespread in this area is the belief that, to make the smart prohome, it is necessary, in practice, replace most of the appliances and the devices already owned - a limit that, of course, most often distances itself from this world.

What many do not know is the concrete possibility of succeeding in to domotize what of course would not be using techniques simple, inexpensive but still very effective. In this focus we will focus on one of the most banal but also the most widespread techniques to achieve the goal, the use of infrared light technology.

Broadlink RM Mini 4
il Broadlink RM Mini 4.

La infrared light it is of a type not perceptible to the human eye. Used by the vast majority of remote controls for domestic use (as well as from many other devices for different uses, eg from robot vacuum cleaners for orientation in the rooms), this light is used to convey the binary sequences (codes) interpreted by electrical appliances receivers (TV, air conditioners, Hi-fi systems, air purifiers, consoles and so on and so forth) as true and propri commands, which once received come for theappanointed executed.

Press the power button on the TV remote control triggers the sending of a very fast infrared light sequence contain the code provided (and included by the TV) for switching on; the TV receives this sequence e proit then goes on to light up. Each key therefore corresponds in principle to a code. There are more complex cases: in air conditioners, for example, the single press of a key always results in sending a code, but this code varies in relation to all the parameters (temperature, speed, mode, etc.) sent instantly to the air conditioner. If the code sent to a TV is metaphorically a word, the one sent to an air conditioner is a phrase - but still of language let's talk.

On the basis of this rapid excursus it is easy to understand that, by equipping ourselves with an element capable of sending codes instead of the remote control, we might be able to control the appliance in question as if we were using the remote control; it goes without saying that if this element were also "smart", we could also indirectly control the appliance in a "smart" way.

That's why the title of this FOCUS: the discreet charm of infrared. In fact, installing one or more infrared emitters is mostly something economic (especially in the case of very basic devices), sustainable (these are elements that consume an almost irrelevant amount of energy) e profondamente effective.

Just think of one of the most emitters, for example apprezzati on the market, the Broadlink RM Mini 3. It is a very small device, costing less than 20 euros, which can be driven by one proman appfor smartphones as well as (and above all) from HUB personal which Home Assistant, openHAB etc., through which it is possible to "model" real e profirst virtual accessories which are translated in the sending of infrared codes. A great example of this concept has fallen into the projet of home automation of traditional air conditioners through Broadlink e Home Assistant.

Then there are more complex, true and effective actuators of this type propri devices which - usually designed for a specific task - prothey not only want to domotize something traditional, but also to provide them with a superset of additional features.

This is the case with devices like Tado° V3 + Smart Conditioner o Sensibo Sky v2, similar devices able not only to domotize conditioning systemsnaments of a traditional type, but also add artificial intelligence elements in order to control (even completely automatically) such systems in order to achieve a balance between well-being and reduced energy consumption.

Returning to the family Broadlink, many are the projets that can be implemented: for example to succeed a domotize the control of a robot vacuum cleaner, rather than controlling different systems and much, much more.

Home automation, where to start

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