'Smart Home' automation, plain or fancy, always practical

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You might have heard a great deal about it in print and on TV, but what is it that's really being talked about when someone refers to a "Smart Home"?

The definition is probably much simpler than you think. It's a home equipped with network-connected products, via Wi-Fi or other networking methods, that allows the home owner the control and optimization of functions such as temperature, lighting, security and entertainment remotely by a phone, tablet, computer or a separate system within the home itself.

Smart Home functionality ranges from the simple to elaborate, but is always practical. For example, imagine finding yourself in bed and trying to remember if you've locked the front door.

If you're like me, this is a fairly common occurrence.

Systems like Control 4 give users the opportunity to not only check and then lock a particular door from a device like a smartphone, but they also provide options such as a "Goodnight" button, effectively "putting the house to sleep" by turning off lights and securing all doors.

Here's a very short list of the variety of functions available through this and other systems that can turn your abode into a Smart Home:

  • Get notified on your smartphone when your kids return home from school
  • Have your heat turn on when you're on your way home from a getaway
  • Schedule your shades to automatically open to varying levels throughout the day
  • Fill your home with your favorite music, have it follow you from room to room, or let every individual in the home listen to their own playlist in their favorite spot of the house
  • Program lighting scenes for different types of occasions, and if it's movie time, group lighting scenes with other functions such as adjusting volumes to home theater levels and initiate the grouped commands with the tap of just one button

The scope of tasks these systems are capable of is truly surprising, and Control 4 is not alone in the world of home automation.

Founded in 1968, Crestron, like other companies in this field, manufactures programmable controllers including touch panels, keypads and lighting switches.

In addition to their standard platform, this manufacturer's new system, Crestron Pyng, provides the unique options of both integrating into an existing Crestron system, or for a complete and simple setup of home automation in just a few steps right from an iPad.

This very brief review of Smart Home wonders only scratches the surface of the virtually countless features that can be incorporated into the types of systems that make up a Smart Home.

Visit your local integrator and let their team walk you through the comforts and conveniences they offer and which are available to you through Smart Home technologies.

Carlos Ramos is the sales and marketing manager with Custom Audio Video in Bluffton. www.custom-audio-video.com

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