Over the last year plus we have all found ourselves spending more time at home and as a result, looking at ways of making home improvements or enhancing the way we live within our home on a day-to-day basis.
Notably, there has been an increase in the desire of many people to turn their home into a Smart one. But they sometimes don’t quite know where to start and have lots of questions;
► What are the benefits?
► Can you only have a system installed if you are already looking to affect or alter walls and ceilings to allow any required cable to be run?
► Can you only automate certain rooms, or do you have to automate the whole house?
► What functions can I control within my home?
► Can you still control the system if away from your home?
► What is the likely cost associated?
To help answer a lot of these questions and more, we explain below most of the key ‘need to know’ elements when considering making your home a smarter one. Thereafter we would encourage you to take advantage of our Complimentary Consultation so that we can explore your exact requirements and answer any specific questions.
Why do we recommend Control4?
We aim to create an intelligent home for you that is both versatile and easy to use, without you having to be a tech ‘whizzkid’. For the majority of our installations, as an accredited and authorised company of Control4, we recommend their systems as it meets those demands and helps to keep things simple. As one of the market leaders worldwide, apart from having a solid stable of technology brands under its Group umbrella which can be built into the overall solution, its intelligence and flexibility to communicate and control other third party manufactured equipment is impressive.
Functions of your home you can automate and control
All of the main functions that you would normally look to control manually or individually, can be automated and integrated into your Control4 system for convenience and simplicity:
► multi-room audio
► curtains or blinds
► access control
► intruder alarms
Or perhaps something a little quirkier?
► hidden TV’s to appear at the touch of a button
► sliding doors to automatically open or close
► operation using face or iris recognition
► controlling kitchen appliances whilst on your way home to save time!
It’s all possible!
Ease of control
Again, with the flexibility of Control4, there are various options of control to suit your personal preferences, you could choose from:
► a smart device App to use whether at home or away
► a sleek touchscreen remote
► an in-wall or portable 8” or 10” touchscreen
► a stylish keypad on the wall instead of a traditional light switch
► operation via the command of your voice
Enhance security and peace of mind
Often security is one of the first topics that our clients want to discuss, to give them more control and peace of mind. Typically, that is relevant to CCTV, intruder alarms and gate or door access control. With the ability to control all of these functions, whether at home or not, including being able to see and hear anyone that is outside your door or gates, to decide who gains entry and who doesn’t.
With smart technology, even CCTV can send real-time alerts to your smart app if boundaries or invisible trip lines are breached so that you can take appropriate action. However, by using the cleverness of the system, other security measures can be brought into play, such as creating the effect that someone is at home whilst you are out or away, by automating blinds to open or close, internal room lights to come on or off and even audio music to play – all in a random fashion that mimics the way you normally function or behave in your home, which we call ‘phantom occupancy’.
Create a mood or ambience to suit any occasion or time of day
To set the scene; You’ve had a hard day at work, the winter night is drawing in, and all you want to do is arrive home, gain access with simplicity, kick your shoes off and sit in your favourite chair, to the sound of your chosen tunes, behind the privacy of your opaque blinds, in a soft-lit room creating a chilled ambience whilst enjoying a glass of your favourite tipple.
At the press of a button on your smart device app, all of the above can be activated before you even get home (except the pouring of your drink and kicking off your shoes – we are still working on that bit)!
The beauty and convenience of pre-setting scenes is that a host of disciplines can be set so that various functions simultaneously and harmoniously come together, at the press of a button or even the command of your voice.
Personalising your system
The beauty of Control4 is that it’s designed to be personalised to how you prefer to live and function in the comfort of your own home. So, when we are designing a system for you, we need to know what is important to you! We can then create a system that is bespoke. Plus, unlike a lot of other systems in the smart-home market, you can change the programming with ease, giving that extra flexibility should you change your mind on certain settings without having to rely on the installer.
Implement a system that is hidden away and all cabling concealed within the fabric of the building.
From the early stages of our awareness of home automation or smart home technology, often first seen or evident to us as a child in films like ‘James Bond’, the perception has often been that a ‘state of the art’ home is minimalistic and looks cool! In keeping with that, all systems we implement will be hidden away often in a centralised rack, with all cabling back to that point being concealed and invisible to the human eye, helping to create that sleek luxurious feel.
New build, extending or just modernising your home with options to suit
In terms of the type of properties that we have installed Control4 into, we have a fair mix of clients who have either built a new home from scratch, extended an existing property, or just modernised an existing home internally. So, all is possible and with a mix of technologies, we can accommodate a solution that works, whether that’s implementing a fully wired solution (ideal in new builds or extended properties) or a wireless solution where running a cable to all areas is not feasible or economic. Ultimately, we will create a network within your home that allows communication of Control4 with all its counterparts, irrespective of whether it's wired, wireless or even a mix of both.
The flexibility to start small and then grow bigger
You also don’t have to start ‘big’ with a system that controls all functions or even all rooms in your home. Whilst many clients do have Control4 throughout their home, others start with one room knowing that they can expand their system at a later date, providing great versatility.
What about controlling functions in the garden or grounds?
We see a garden as an extension to your home, so why not create ambience in your outdoor space, by extending the lighting, audio and even watching TV on a specially designed outdoor TV? Better still create scenes within your Control4 system to ‘Wow’ your friends when they step out into your garden on a summer’s evening, and everything comes to life at the command of your voice! Even the control of water features can be brought into play to add a bit of tranquillity when required!
Likely costs of implementing a Control4 system
The last thing we ever want to do is build someone’s expectation of what can be achieved in their home only to then be disillusioned when we introduce a proposal that stretches beyond their budget. From the offset, we will therefore always look to understand how much of the home (in terms of rooms/areas) you want to control ideally, what key functions you want to include and whether you want to create the overall solution in timed phases to suit the budget.
We can then give you an idea of likely costs, albeit indicative, in the early stages before we get into the detail.