As our homes become smarter, we're turning to technologies long used in industry and not thought of for around the house. Take, for example, a linear actuator.

What exactly is a linear actuator?

A linear actuator is an actuator that creates motion in a straight line as opposed to the circular motion of a conventional electric motor. According to Progressive Automations, linear actuators are used in machine tools and industrial machinery, in computer peripherals such as disk drives and printers, in valves and dampers, and in many other places where linear motion is required. Hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders inherently produce linear motion while many other mechanisms are used to generate linear motion from a rotating motor.

acutuator.jpgSo a linear actuator is equipment specially created and used to create motion in a straight line. They work by using a cylinder and a lead screw (as well as sometimes a limit switch) attached to the motor to take the energy that has been produced, and turn it into linear motion. Applications of linear actuators are varied, according to the variety of actuators themselves, both in terms of their overall type and the individual components that make them up. Actuators are used in a number of different industries, including robotics, computing, home automation and medicine.


Linear actuator usage is growing rapidly as people discover more and more ways in which they can be useful. The basic idea behind linear actuators is that they provide linear movement; so it makes sense that any industry, which requires regular linear movement would be interested in incorporating linear actuators into its technology and equipment.

The industries most likely to use a linear actuator are the ones that need repetitive tasks done all the time. While these task may at first have been done by humans, linear actuators are much preferred because they are much more accurate than humans, and they are also much faster. Similarly, small linear actuators can be used in equipment that does not have much space.

Why Should You Use Linear Actuators in Your Home Projects?

Linear actuators are very adaptable, and so are good for being incorporated into various home automation projects. Electric actuators in particular are small and quiet, so they can be used in any number of simple actuator projects without much fuss, such as TV lifts, drawer mechanisms, and more.

Using linear actuators is something that everybody should do because actuators are easy to use and highly customisable. The basic linear actuator might be useful for any number of projects, but the endless customisation, which is available and can make actuators suitable for possibly any type of project around the house where it might be needed.

Like where you ask? Here are some great projects to start...


Installing a TV lift is something that can make life easier for everyone in a household, as it means that the TV can be individually adjusted to suit whoever is watching the TV (just like the driver's seat of a car!). Not only that, it also doubles the amount of space available, as it allows for the TV to be hidden during the day, with its usual table free for other activities.


Security cameras were at first only able to be pointed in one direction, but security systems in general are good electric linear actuator projects because of the way in which they work – they extend the use and lifetime of the camera, and therefore the effectiveness of the overall security system, by giving cameras the ability to move, and therefore scan more area.

Linear actuators are extremely useful around the home for a variety of reasons, not limited to the fact they are quiet and they can be adapted into almost any moving structure, including TV lifts and security systems.

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