So you’ve just built a new home and you’re ready to drop the veil of secrecy and show it off. Unfortunately, you weren’t planning on it being tonight and, as luck would have it, you’re not alone in the car as you head towards home. You begin to imagine having your guests wait outside while you go in and turn on the lights, music and AC to make sure it gives the perfect impressions when they enter. Then you remember that you installed a home automation system and dig out your iphone while you’re driving.
A push of the button and everything is set. The shades are raised, the lights are all turned on to your favorite setting in all the different rooms, the music is playing your favorite tunes, the AC is cooling down the interior and the landscape and house are illuminated worthy of a magazine cover. Suddenly your anxiety turns to pride as you pull in the driveway.
This scenario could play out in many different ways. Like waiting at the airport wondering if you set your alarm, or lying in bed at night wondering if you shut off all the lights downstairs, etc. For those who like having more order and control in their daily lives while being environmentally conscious, conveniences like a smart home make a lot of sense.
What was once only a techno-fantasy has made its way to the mainstream homeowner. But a smart home system is no small feat of engineering. It’s a very sophisticated, highly computerized home automation system. In order to customize a home to connect to the system, each component must be directly connected to the main interface. This includes outlets, phone, cable, sound system, security system, air conditioner/heating systems, window shades, landscape lighting, ceiling fans, etc. While it’s possible to remodel a home to accommodate a home automation system, it can be a costly venture. For this reason, some companies now offer infrared remotes for some household items but they have limited flexibility. For most customers, it makes more sense to install a smart home system while a home is under construction so the wiring can be done before the walls are finished.
There are many different types of systems on the market that will achieve similar effects. My favorite system is the Lutron HomeWorks system which is available at different option levels. They also offer an advanced HomeWorks QS system adding energy control and efficiency to your home with things like sensor controls to turn lights on and off at doorways, power grid monitoring, and more. It’s another option for decreasing your carbon footprint, saving money and supporting a “green” home concept.
Controls are easy to use and as with most systems, it can be accessed by your iphone or ipad from anywhere outside of the home. There are also hard-wired wall mount controls for use upon entry or while in the home. Each setting can be completely customized to your taste for different daytime or evening themes.
Smart Home system pricing is coming down with every passing year. The iphone and ipad have reduced the need for costly controls and have brought smart home systems within everyone’s reach. Consumers have been accustomed to using electronics in every phase of their life and now that flows through to the management of their homes. We can expect these types of systems to become an industry standard in luxury homes.
So if you feel your house is a bit of a dimwit and a little dim lit, maybe it’s time to opt for a little education in the form of the addition of a smart home system. Just keep your wits about you when you do your homework. A top of the line luxury system could easily set you back the cost of a small college degree.