Here is how Mjtrinihobby from instructables automated his home.
He needed a means to;
- manage solar power system including the ability to switch to/from utility supply should I need it.
- manage the food and water to my three doggies.
- control the outside lights.
- provide metering for the power consumption within the home.
- remotely control/monitor the home.
- Provide voice annunciation for key events (yes, having your home talk to you like a person).
- a couple other functions. Instead of using arduino, raspberry pi, Micro controllers he used the The labjack u3 hv
Read on at; http://www.instructables.com/id/Creating-a-home-automation-system/