Home automation is the ability to for multiple house systems to communicate and interact with one another. You may have a form of this already – a single remote that controls your main audio video system. This device communicates to multiple pieces of equipment so that turning on your TV and surround receiver is an easy process for you.
Take this example and amplify it to the whole house – audio, video, lighting, shades, HVAC, security, fire places, garage doors, pool systems, energy management…the list goes on and on. By installing a centralized automation controller all of these system can “talk” to one another – allowing a single action to activate multiple systems. An example of this would be a good bye button on the lighting control keypad at a garage door – when the button is pressed the house will go to a preset lighting scene, all of the audio video devices will turn off, fireplaces will be off and the security set to alarm in 2 minutes. Very cool!