How can home automation actually make life better for you and your family? It's a question we hear all the time. There's no denying the enhanced convenience of being able to turn on a light from the palm of your hand, or adjusting the thermostat from the comfort of your favorite spot on the sofa.

1. Smart locks reduce stress

Let's face it: kids lose things like house keys. It's what they do. And if your children happen to get home from school before you get off work, this can be a major concern. But with smart locks—and personalized entry codes—your children can let themselves in even without a key. And you'll receive a notification on your smartphone the instant they're safely inside.

What's more, you'll never find yourself five miles down the road after a rushed morning of getting ready and find yourself panicking over whether or not you remembered to lock the front door. A simple glance at your phone will put your mind instantly at ease (or let you lock the door on those rare occasions when you actually do forget).

2. Smart lighting keeps the peace

"Who left this light on?!" If your home is anything like ours used to be, this is probably the most-often uttered sentence on any given day. Smart lighting will give your family one less thing to argue about by making your lights more manageable. You might, for example, set lighting schedules, or put countdown timers on rooms that are only used briefly—bathrooms, laundry rooms, etc.—so that the light automatically turns off five, ten, or however many minutes after being turned on. And with the addition of motion sensors tied to timers, your forgetful family members won't even have to remember to turn the lights on, much less off. Putting lights on a schedule, particularly exterior lights, can save a family member from coming home to a dark entryway as well – program your smart lights to go on at sunset and you're good to go.

3. Automation makes homes more accessible

If you live with elderly family members or those with physical disabilities, you know that even the most everyday tasks can sometimes be a challenge for them. But home automation can help give them a new level of independence. How so? With a smart, connected home, devices can be programmed to work together in such a way as to reduce numerous physical actions into the simple press of a button. Or even simpler if you add voice control by pairing the Amazon Echo with a smart hub like SmartThingsWinkNexia, or HomeSeer. Motion can turn lights on, temp on the smart thermostat up or down, even open garage doors for easy entry and exist. By connecting devices and creating scenes, life becomes a little easier for everyone.