Published: Dec 27, 2012 6:47 AM EST

A home automation system allows you to control everything from temperature and lighting controls to security and audio/video systems from a smart phone or computer.
"When it comes to home automation, it obviously  allows a lot of convenience; I forgot to turn the lights off; I left the coffee pot plugged in. There is a lot of peace of mind you can get from it, but it also can provide security. Knowing that your house is safe and you can monitor it can really prevent problems from cropping up," said Angie's List founder Angie Hicks.
Depending on your technological savviness and your wants you can pick and choose what's most important to you then add things later when your budget allows.
Annie Reist re-modeled her grandmother's home to include automation.
"We did the home security, surround sound, speakers, audio system throughout the house and savant control so with that we can control everything from out TV to our alarm to music to audio all on our iPhones and iPads," Reist said.
Cameras in every room can be controlled remotely too allowing you to keep an eye on your home while you're away.
Home automation systems cost around two-thousand dollars.. if you think that seems a little steep.. check with your homeowners insurance. many will give a discount if you can do things like set your alarm remotely.
"You can arm and disarm your security system from wherever you are and see the zone status. You can control your climate; you can adjust your temperature. So it's all from this easy-to-use interface," said home automation system installer Ryan McDaniel.
Home automation systems can provide safety lighting too for instance turning on outdoor lights before you get home so you can see as you walk inside.