How Do I Get Started On My Smart Home?
Getting started on a Smart Home can seem like a huge ordeal, but with a little bit of knowledge, you can enter the process with ease. Automation has definitely become more affordable in recent years, and much easier to use. We hope that the information and tips that we give you here will get you started with confidence!
**IMPORTANT– The most vital piece of your Smart Home is a knowledgeable and trustworthy Smart Home Professional. No amount of information or advice is a substitute for years of expertise. In order for your Smart Home to function properly, you should have a qualified expert looking out for your best interests. There are things such as wiring and your network to consider, as well as structural aspects that go along with installing equipment.**
A Smart Home should bring together the best in entertainment, comfort, convenience, and security technologies and make them simple for you to use. There are dozens of elements that can be included in a Smart Home, let’s look a bit closer at some of the most popular ones.
There are many ways that Lighting Control will add convenience, security, and savings to your life. One way is with automated lighting control that is custom to you, and the way you live.
Your home should be designed to complement your needs. Therefore, when your needs change throughout the day, your lighting should adapt.
Through programming, “scenes” are set up that activate at the touch of a button, like “Welcome Home” to turn on certain lights when you arrive, or “Goodnight” to shut down when you’re ready for bed. Other “scenes” can be set up to activate automatically, at a certain time (like select lights coming on at dusk every day).
In addition to convenience, automated programming helps you save on your energy bill as well, by reducing unnecessary power use.
Audio and Video
Choosing your Audio and Video usually means choosing what you see, and what you hear. Your Smart Home Expert (like us!) will sit down with you and go over what you’re trying to achieve. They will be able to help you decide what brands are right for your project, and help you come up with an appropriate budget. They should ask you questions such as:
- Do you want ambient music throughout the home?
- Where do you want surround sound?
- TV’s in every room, or is there a place you want a projector and screen? (We’ll dig deeper into this one later)
- What sources do you want access to? (Blu-Ray, Streaming Services, Media Servers, etc)
- Do you need/want a media server? (A Media Server stores all of your music and movies in one place. More about that down the page)
There are hundreds of Audio and Video brands, available in hundreds of configurations. Therefore, it’s important to have a professional you can trust, who can show you the ropes.
Motorized Window Treatments
Bring beauty, comfort, convenience, and even savings to your home. Programming your motorized window treatments will maximize the use of natural light, or keep out the heat from the sun-both can help you save on your energy bill.
Motorized Window Treatments are available in a wide variety of options:
- Solar shades can greatly reduce sunlight without sacrificing your view.
- Black-out shades are made from opaque materials that provide privacy and maintain darkness in the room.
- Customized drapes and shades can be made from the fabric of your choice, complementing your decor.
Your Smart Home Expert will make sure you get a professional measure and installation. Once installed, you can then decide how you want your motorized window treatments programmed.
Security, Surveillance, and Access Control
It’s easier now than ever before to protect what’s important to you. With the variety of affordable equipment available, you can monitor and control the safety of your home from anywhere in the world:
- Surveillance cameras let you see what’s going on, anytime-from anywhere.
- Access control and smart locks let you keep track of and control who is coming and going.
- Video doorbells, gate boxes and door stations add additional security.
Safety technologies have gotten more affordable, and camera technology has advanced considerably in recent years. No more grainy camera footage!
Dedicated Theaters and Media Rooms
The definition of “Home Theater” has changed a lot in the last several years. It doesn’t necessarily mean building a full dedicated miniature theater in your home anymore, though it certainly can!
If you choose to go the way of a traditional theater room, your Home Theater Professional should be able to assist you with all aspects: acoustic treatments, seating, projectors, screens, even the carpet.
Any room can be a Home Theater, even an existing completed room. It’s important to choose the right Home Theater Professional, as they are creating a system that will immerse you in sight and sound. Choosing an experienced professional will bring the movie theater experience home.
Music and Movie Servers
Music and Movie Servers give you an almost infinite music & movie library, with access at the touch of a button to almost anything you want to see, or hear. Through the cloud, or stored locally, you will be able to easily access your favorite media, from anywhere in your home.
A good Music and Movie Server makes technology disappear. You’ll simply interact with your favorite movies and music from an easy-to-use, intuitive interface. Use a hand-held remote, tabletop touch screen, the phone in your pocket, or even the simplest interaction method of all—your voice.
Outdoor and Poolside Entertainment
You can enjoy all the beauty of your backyard, without missing a thing. There is a vast selection of outdoor High Definition TVs, manufactured to be safe from weather, insects, and dirt. They can even withstand temperatures up to 122 degrees! Wouldn’t it be nice to lounge in the pool while watching your favorite show or game?
You can bring your music outdoors with a variety of speaker choices. Specially designed speakers that seem to be only flower planters or rocks can bring high quality sound outside. Or, you can hide them completely, so you see nothing at all.
You can play music from all the same sources you use inside: AppleTV, MP3, Spotify, Pandora, Satellite Radio, & more.
This category certainly isn’t necessary, but we think it’s a lot of fun. Though some Smart Home and Audio Video technology is pretty cool looking, you may not want to always see it.
With what we call Conceal and Reveal Technology, your equipment can completely disappear. Projectors and screens screens hide in ceilings, TVs tuck away into walls, or under the bed. Invisible speakers are hidden in walls, or even behind wallpaper. Your TVs can be disguised behind your favorite art, and even mirrors.
There have been many interesting innovations in this area, so be sure to talk to your Smart Home Expert about the possibilities.
Now it’s time to think about how all this technology pertains to your specific Smart Home. Though any home can be a Smart Home, each one is different. So, here are some questions you’ll want to contemplate:
- What do you want your system to do?
- Where do you want your equipment?
- Is entertainment the main goal, or is security also a concern?
- What is your budget for the project?
A reputable company goes over these questions and more, before you sign a contract, and before you ever pay a deposit.
Let’s talk about getting started on your Smart Home: 305-652-1138, or click here.
Intelligent Design Custom Electronics has been your Smart Home, Audio Video, and Home Theater experts in South Florida since 2006. Call us for a showroom demonstration, or we can come to you for a free consultation.
Follow @IntelligentDesign on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM