The home automation market has continued to experience good growth in 2014 and is currently considered to be in its initial growth stage, supported by over 83% rise in sales over 2010-14. Growth is currently forecast to continue into the medium-term, with market value forecast to double again by 2019.
Although home automation systems have been available in the UK for many years, it is only recently that they have moved away from an upper market niche into a more mainstream market.
The principle behind home automation systems is the linking of electrical/electronic devices to provide increased whole house controllability either through a single control panel or single control device for each element. Elements included in home automation can include access & security controls, climate control, lighting and shading controls, home entertainment systems and communication systems.
Technological advances driving the home automation market include the progress of wireless controls and LED lighting, but also include the widening market for connected audio and visual content via home networks. Take up of wireless routers/internet has also benefited the home automation market, with increasing numbers of suppliers offering wireless systems based around the home WiFi network. Growth of wireless systems has also resulted in lower installation costs and reduced the complexity of the installation.
“One factor contributing to growth has been the adoption of an “app” driven control interface, which has changed the perception of how user-friendly some home automation systems can be” said Andrew Hartley, Director of AMA Research. “Remote control of systems has also been a key driver for growth as it enables control of all aspects of the connected home from within the house, at work or even abroad via smartphones and tablets.”
The offering of modular systems which offer the opportunity of future expansion has also driven growth. Increasing focus on domestic energy efficiency has also been beneficial, with development of smart heating and hot water controls that allow more flexibility than traditional heating controls. In addition, the development of systems aimed at the experienced DIYer has meant that the average price of an entry level system has become more affordable and placed home automation systems within the scope of a much wider, appreciative audience.
The UK home automation market is dominated by a number of global suppliers with significant experience of more developed home automation markets than in the UK – e.g. USA and Europe. However, the growth of home automation systems in the UK has seen a number of smaller suppliers and re-sellers enter the market. In addition, wireless connectivity has also encouraged larger global lighting, electronics and heating controls groups to release products that can easily be incorporated into a home automation systems.
Recovery in the housebuilding sector will encourage use of home automation systems in the near future, particularly under the Zero Carbon Homes Standard. Recent growth of intelligent heating controls is likely to continue into the medium-term, with rapid innovation likely to be the key driver. The roll out of the Smart Meters programme is likely to mean that householders will have more direct information regarding energy use in the home and could invest in connected controls in order to obtain optimum energy efficiency.
Micro-generation is also likely to provide a key driver for growth in future years, with power hungry appliances likely to be set to turn on only when power is being generated or when cheaper tariffs are available. Forecast growth of “the internet of everything” is likely to result in increased connectivity within home networks and include more intelligent appliances such as cooking, refrigeration and washing, etc.
Recent innovations in streaming of audio visual content is likely to lead to multi-room systems increasingly becoming the norm, adding further opportunities for home automation systems. The lighting controls sector has been transformed by the advent of LED technologies in recent years, which are likely to continue to develop into the medium-term resulting in increased applications.
Comparisons with other regions where the home automation market is more developed indicate that there is significant growth potential in future years. Medium-term prospects for home automation remain positive with over 90% growth currently forecast to 2019, with market value of around £210m, with components accounting for over 50% of the market.
The ‘Home Automation Market Report – UK 2015-2019 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242 235724.