Over the last 20 years the home automation market has experienced some dramatic changes. When we first got involved with home technologies in the early 2000's there were two big players. Now the space is crowded with dozens of manufacturers all proclaiming to offer the best home automation solutions.
And while there are some great systems out there, one in particular has truly changed the smart home game over the last 15 years.
When they first appeared on the scene in the early 2000’s Control4 was looked down upon by most of the industry. Most professionally installed smart home systems were expensive, time consuming to install, and relatively difficult to maintain and service. This limited the smart home market to the few that could afford the high price tag and were willing to put up with equipment failures and disruptions.
Control4’s mission was to change all of that by bringing automated home technology to the masses.
They started bringing products to market that were literally half of the price of competitors like Crestron. And even more importantly they devised a programming interface that made their systems easy to install, upgrade, and service. To the average user this might not sound all that important, but in years past the installation and programming of a home automation system would sometimes exceed the price of the equipment itself.
It was literally a game changer. And over the last 15 years they’ve continued to innovate allowing more and more devices to be connected to their system. This along with a reputation for reliability and standing behind their product is why we at Innovative Sight & Sound work exclusively with Control4 products.
Let’s take a look at what goes into modern smart home automation systems.
A well-designed and implemented home automation system is nothing short of a digital concierge putting you in total control. This includes your lighting, security system, climate/thermostats, window treatments such as blinds and shades, pool and spa, and of course your home entertainment system.
An automation system makes controlling all of the various systems in your home easier and more efficient. Using a touch panel, remote control, or even a smart phone or tablet, full control of your environment is at the tip of your fingers. Here are a few of the technologies that we implement.
Light plays a crucial role in our world. Nothing can impact the ambiance in a room as quickly as the lighting. Automated lighting systems have become an essential part of today’s high end homes. They deliver a wide range of benefits and conveniences that improve both the look and functionality of a home. Standard lighting requires banks of light switches that must be turned on and off manually.
An automated system replaces these banks of switches with a simple and elegant keypad. Not only does this cut down on wall clutter, but it also allows you to use your lighting to enhance the interior details and architectural features of your home. One keypad can control anything from a single light, to an entire room, to the whole house. In addition to simple “ON” and “OFF” functions, each keypad can be pre-programmed to carry out multiple “scenes”. Perhaps you’re entertaining tonight, simply press the “Entertainment” button and all the lights in the house can be set to a pre-determined level.
Or perhaps you’re ready for bed? Press the “Sleep” button on the keypad next to your bed and all of the lights in the house will be turned off for you. You can even have a few lights stay on for security purposes.
Outdoor lighting can also be added to your system to enhance both the look and security of your home. And just like the interior lights they can be controlled from any keypad, remote, or smart device. We use both Control4 and Lutron lighting products.
Another popular feature of today’s smart home is automated shades and blinds. Natural light can help enhance the look of any room but in the South it can also cause your energy costs to skyrocket. Automated shades can lower and raise based on the time of day, keeping your cooling costs down in the summer.
Innovative Sight & Sound offers a full line of controllable shades and drapery to suit both your design needs and lifestyle. Shades are simple to operate and are integrated into the same keypad as those used to control your lights. This allows you to quickly and easily change the amount of natural light in any given room with the touch of a button.
Drapes, shades and blinds can also be used to enhance security and energy efficiency. If you’re away on vacation your system can be programmed to make it appear that someone is still at home all while reducing the amount of sunlight entering the home thereby lowering the ambient temperature. Shades can also be used protect valuable furniture and artwork from damaging rays of the sun.
Integrating your heating and cooling system into your smart home system delivers convenience and significant energy savings. Quickly and easily set the temperature for any room in your house using a smart phone, tablet, or touchscreen remote. Our automated thermostats are completely programmable, allowing you to set the schedule for each climate zone in your home.
Since you’re entire home is accessible via your phone or tablet you can even control the temperature of your home while you are away. Perhaps you left on vacation but forgot to turn down the air conditioning. No problem, simply open your control app and set the system to vacation mode from wherever you are in the world.
Tired of dealing with multiple remotes to control your home entertainment system or home theater? We can integrate your audio video and home theater system into one simple-to-use remote or touchscreen device. This makes watching your favorite movie or TV show as simple as the press of a single button.
Innovative Sight & Sound specializes in implementing whole house audio video systems. Gone are the days of multiple pieces of electronics in each room. We design and build centralized systems that keep all of your equipment in one central location that is out of sight and easy to service. These components are then distributed throughout the various rooms of your home. This helps reduce the impact of electronics components on the decor of your home and also reduces the amount of equipment you need to own. Your favorite recorded shows, movies, and music will be available in any room you like from the living room, to the gym, to the master bedroom.
Imagine easily listening to all of your favorite music from any room in your home. Your CD’s, MP3’s and of course your favorite streaming sources such as Pandora and Rhapsody can be accessed from any remote, touchscreen, or smart device. Enjoying your favorite music has never been easier. It’s only the touch of a button away.
Want music in every room in the house? No problem, simply select the rooms you want and the music you want to listen to and you’re ready to go. Our systems are designed to enhance your enjoyment of your home.
Who isn’t concerned about home security? Our smart homes allow you to leverage your home’s security system to create even more peace of mind. You can monitor your home from anywhere inside the house, or from anywhere in the world. Need to disarm the system while you’re out of town to allow someone into the house? No problem. Simply hop on your smart phone or tablet and you can disarm the system in seconds.
You can even check your security cameras while you’re at it.
Integrating your security system also allows you to control lighting functions based on alarm events such as a fire or intruder. If you’re system detects either, it can turn on the lights, potentially scaring off a burglar, or giving you light to quickly and safely exit the house.
Let Innovative Sight & Sound turn your home into a Smart Home. We’ve been designing and installing home automation systems for the last 10 years. From one-room systems to fully automated homes we can design and deliver a systems that meets all of your needs.
To find out more about how an automation system can enhance your home, contact us today. You can also visit us at one of our three showrooms located in Charleston, SC, Clearwater, FL and Destin, FL for a demonstration of what we can do in your home. We are also happy to serve the greater Tampa area including St. Petersburg, Largo, Seminole, and Bay Pines.