Distributed or centralized home automation: differences and which one to choose

Home automation is increasingly present in our day to day. We have very varied devices, such as smart speakers, ovens with Wi-Fi, vacuum cleaners that we control from our mobile… The range of possibilities is very wide, but sometimes doubts can arise when we see different terms. In this article we are going to talk about what is distributed home automation and what does the centralized. We will see the differences and you can see which one interests you the most.

What is distributed home automation

when we use smart devices For the home, one connection option is known as distributed. Where is this? It is basically a direct connection between the router and those devices. For example, a household appliance with a distributed connection will connect directly via Wi-Fi to the router without the need to use an intermediary.

We will find this in most of home automation devices. For example, light bulbs with Wi-Fi, refrigerators, smart ovens, televisions… They will be connected to the Internet through the Wi-Fi router, so they need to have coverage, and later we will be able to access the configuration from the mobile.

It is very useful as we can control them remotely, even without needing to be at home. We simply need to have the application configured and from the mobile, with an Internet connection, we can connect to these devices through the Wi-Fi router. You can turn on the robot vacuum cleaner, program the washing machine, etc.

How centralized home automation works

On the other hand, another alternative is centralized home automation devices. In this case it will not connect directly to Wi-Fi router, so it is a positive point if you do not want the network to be saturated. But of course, to be able to use them you will need a device that acts as an intermediary. This external device is also called a gateway. It will connect to all devices that are compatible and thus allow you to manage them.

If you have a light bulb or any centralized home automation device, they will not connect directly to Wi-Fi. What they do is connect to that intermediate apparatus. You will need to have another device to be able to use devices of this type.

It must be borne in mind that these devices work thanks to technologies such as ZigBee or Z-wave. For example, you will see many bulbs that use these protocols and do not connect directly via Wi-Fi. In some cases, such as light bulbs, you will find models that use centralized home automation and others that use distributed.


In short, as you see there differences between centralized and distributed home automation. You can find certain advantages in each of them, although in general the one that will interest you the most is the distributed one. In this way they will connect directly to the Wi-Fi router and you will not need any intermediary. You can control the devices directly from your mobile, simply by having an Internet connection.

You will see that there are very varied models to be able to have an intelligent home. For example, plugs, light bulbs, speakers, electrical appliances of all kinds… Choosing between all these options is important to find out what you really need and see their features.

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