Nov 20, 2020
Home automation, smart homes, integrated homes; like any system, elements of these can be implemented yourself, which is usually fine for plug & play, simple functionality. However, these systems are usually tailored towards whoever set them up and can get old for any other occupants very quickly...
Smart homes are now becoming far more mainstream, and 57% of homes in the UK now have a smart device controlling some aspect of their home1.
With Amazon, Apple and Google at the helm of consumer smart home products, they are also now far more accessible. However, there are varying levels of a smart home; starting with DIY plug & play devices, all the way up to a professionally installed and maintained home automation system.
Read on to find out why you need a Smart Home Automation installer to help you build a functional, reliable, and practical intelligent home.
Let's begin with the basics. The traditional home has no smart devices attached, with basic on/off/dim light switches, thermostats running on analogue timers, and Wi-Fi emitting from a single location in the house, from the service providers supplied modem.
There is no intelligent lighting control or any smart thermostats and certainly no home automation.
The DIY home begins once a smart home device has been introduced. Nest thermostats and Ring doorbell cameras are some of the most common consumer products providing the homeowner with some level of convenience when controlling the home.
Phillips Hue lighting is another, allowing for control over lighting via wireless communication and battery operated devices. Primary control of these systems is via a mobile or tablet app. These devices are not connected to each other and therefore operate as standalone systems.
The majority of homes stop here, with a few smart devices plugged in around the home.
The connected home goes one step further. By introducing Amazon Alexa or Google Home, there is now has a degree of intelligence which can interlink devices through commands. This allows for cross-communication between different products in the home.
For example, Amazon Alexa can command a Smart TV to turn on, whilst triggering Phillips Hue lighting to dim, creating a cinema like viewing experience.
For this type of system, the homeowner must first learn about routines and secondly find a way to connect the lights, TV and speaker system together. They may also potentially require a third party to help with this, and will most certainly require communication to and from the cloud.
There is also an element of education required with a system such as this, ensuring all other occupants understand how the feature works.
At this point, frustrations may begin to surface; either the novelty starts to wear off, or the response time is too long, or the device simply does not work.
Furthermore, smart devices such as these can visually stand out in a room, drawing your attention and becoming a distraction with untidy cabling and devices plugged into sockets.
Google Home Mini & Google Home
Many of these devices are Wi-Fi ready, meaning that they connect wirelessly only. Having a high number of products on the same wireless network will begin to create strain on the home Wi-Fi and impact internet speeds of other wireless devices such as mobiles, laptops, PCs and gaming consoles.
If hardwired to the router this may also reach capacity and begin to lag, with so many extra ports filled by hubs for control. Also causing the smart home products to become unresponsive or fail completely.
With many devices, it can also become cumbersome controlling everything from your phone. Additionally, if a device stops working, as often happens, the homeowner may not have the time or know how to fix it. The result is usually it continues to operate at half-speed or gets switched off altogether.
Amazon Alexa not responding to a command
The tech giants have good intentions when it comes to smart home, however their lack of clear guidance and simple install often leads the average homeowner to leave the tech behind and go back to what they know works, even if it takes longer to control the home.
This is where the homeowner usually begins to crave a professional to do things correctly. Just as you would call a certified electrician to manage electrical circuits in the home, you need a smart home professional to deal with the network, the lighting, the AV, the security and integration of all of these separate systems. Building not a home with smart products, but a real automated home.
A pro smart home is designed and installed by certified industry professionals. Pro smart homes focus on functionality, reliability, and design. A skilled integration company will work with the design team to deliver a system which meets the clients brief and budget, is considerate towards to the other design elements in the space and most importantly, it works.
A pro smart home hides all tech
Homeowners today want technology that simply works, and more commonly to be out of sight. It is the same approach Apple takes to the iPhone - advanced technology that simply works.
This is why using an industry professional is vital, they have the knowledge and experience to set up systems that work.
Pro smart homes usually begin in the basement or cloakroom, where hardware such as amplifiers, routers, set-top boxes are all situated. This removes these distracting black boxes from the main living space entirely, allowing architects, designers and homeowners free-reign to design the room they want, and without compromise.
All cabling is run behind the walls and connected to the hardware within an AV cabinet. Cabling in the main living areas is kept to a minimum, and connected only to the hardware on show such as TV, speakers, and perhaps in-wall touch screens.
This ensures all devices are always online and always connected to the network. This level of infrastructure ensures the wireless network is not impacted, meaning phones, tablets, and laptops all have a good connection.
Equipment is placed out of the way. Often in the basement of a home.
Pro Smart Homes introduce a home automation OS such as Crestron or Control4. This allows integrators to connect several devices and control the home intuitively. For the homeowners, this means they have one simple interface to control the entire home.
A smart home OS provides the homeowner with more points of control. Rooms can have keypads for lighting or shading control at the entrances and also at bedsides. Remotes can control TVs and speakers but also display feeds from security cameras.
In-wall touch panels can be located throughout providing control of absolutely everything from lighting, audio, video and security, all from one point.
Control at the bedside
Whereas a DIY smart home force the users to use their dedicated app, a pro smart home encourages you to take control in the most natural way you know.
In our experience, homeowners will naturally gravitate towards control points that are familiar to them, as opposed to a mobile app. Using a smart home OS, the occupants have the option to control the property as they wish, from wherever they are.
Pro Smart Homes appeal to the lifestyle of our clients as most technology is entirely hidden from view, and what is on display is customised and colour matched to the interior design. Properties are often larger than average and therefore a smart home is beneficial to managing the entire home efficiently.
Smart home installers work with interior designers and architects to provide a completely integrated solution, ensuring the home responds to, and reflects the homeowners lifestyle.
Location enabled tracking allows for automated and intelligent control of the home. For example, to make sure heating and lighting are already prepared prior to the homeowner walking through the door.
Discreet sensors can also be positioned to activate or deactivate rooms as the occupants arrive or leave.
DIY Smart Homes are for tech enthusiasts but not for luxury high-end residential properties. Our aim is for our clients to have a home that is responsive and tailored to their needs.
Providing a professionally installed smart home that works behind the scenes of a beautifully designed home, providing complete efficiency, functionality and most importantly convenience.
If you would like to know more about the services we offer, please feel free to get in touch.