Home automation, you may have heard of it but what is it really? Home automation can be broken up into a few different categories, audio/video, lighting controls, temperature controls, security, and motorized shade controls are your typical items on many home automation systems.
All of these systems can work as standalone systems or can be joined together and work in unison with each other by a master controller like Crestron, or Control4, just to name a few. Depending on how advanced you want to get and of course your budget, the options seem endless. Here we will discuss these main items a little more in depth to give you a better understanding of exactly how they work.
For starters the master control system is basically the brains to your system, instead of controlling each system individually this system can be programmed to send out multiple signals to multiple systems with the touch of a button. For example if we programmed a button to watch movie the control system will send a signal to your TV to turn on, to your surround sound to turn on to the level in was in last, to your lighting system to dim or turn off, and to the motorized shades to close. Now wasn’t that a bit easier than grabbing 4 different remotes to make this happen, not to mention how cool it is to watch this all happen.
The 2 system that we install are Control 4 and Crestron, But mainly install Control 4 in residential projects as they are budget friendly and more user-friendly, Crestron is one of the best systems but are more often used in commercial settings. Along with these systems you will need to install the other systems for the other devices to connect with the master system, like a lighting system, WIFI thermostats, WIFI audio receivers, smart TVs, and smart security systems.
Control 4 and Lutron have some nice lighting systems, lighting system come in many forms but we like to install centralized lighting panels in our new construction projects, but can also install in existing homes by replacing your light switches with smart switches and dimmers that connect to a receiver that gets the signal and controls the lights from a device like your smart phone or a master controller. You can also program your lights to dim and intensify at certain times of the day along with occupancy sensors will take your lighting system into a more sustainable level.
The audio video portion of your system consist of your TV or projector system, your receiver that takes the audio signal and sends it to your speakers and of course your speakers and sub woofers. LED TV and projector system or the best you can get today they come in many variations but as long as you get a medium priced one they have very good quality. Your receiver should be a top quality one, Yamaha is one of our preferred receivers that has great quality and a reasonable price, but Denon and Pioneer or good as well. Also, it’s a good idea to get one with 2 zones and at least 400 watts of total power. When it comes to your speakers you can get recessed speakers or book shelf speakers, we prefer recessed speakers as they give a nice clean look and most of the time you can’t even see them. They are fairly inexpensive from 50 to 200 dollars a piece depending on the brand and where you buy them. Now the sub woofer, this speaker is what ties the audio all together, if you do not have a sub woofer you feel like the sound is missing something, but with a good sub woofer it fills in the gap of the low frequencies and give your system a movie theater sound at your residence. We like to recommend a sub woofer made by Prestige that has 2 sub woofers in 1 and fire both out and down for a more complete sound.
These components are often overlooked but can help you make your system complete, most WIFI enabled thermostats like the NEST thermostat will connect to you master system and be able to be controlled by your smart device and master control system, and give you the options to program it through your system.
Security is usually provided by your security provider as long as their system is compatible then it will work with your master system. also, your security system cameras can also be integrated into the system to avoid false alarms and send you a notification when something appears out of the ordinary.
Door lock are just like your normal door lock but can be controlled via WIFI and your motorized shades will do the same. As long as they are compatible with your interface meaning your master controller you can program into your system and also control them indipentandly with your smart device or master controller.
Will all this new information it might be a bit difficult to decide what items you may want to add to your system, but we like to recommend to our customers to pre wire for everything and the slowly build your system, pre wire is less expensive and is half the battle, once you have the prewire installed getting the components installed and programmed is alot easier, also it’s always best to get the pre wire installed at one time because it helps with the cost for patching drywall and painting, and not to mention the work involved and the inconvenience of having to be home waiting for the project to be completed.