by Theatron | Jul 25, 2015 | Home Automation
DIY projects can be rewarding, but smart home technology installation is not for the average handyman. You wouldn’t guess it from the products you see advertised every day at Home Depot and even Ikea, but it’s true. It was hard enough to put together that Kallax with those wordless instructions — how do you think it’s going to go with their smart home system? Will it be made of particle board?
DIY for smart homes comes with two major problems: the task is difficult, and mixing and matching components can be asking for trouble.
Smart vs. Average
If you buy a smart home in a box, you get all the sophisticated technology available for $199, and setting it up is as simple as plugging it into your router and downloading apps. Like a bed in a bag, it’s the Hyundai of smart home technology. If you’re looking more for a Buick or even a Jaguar, you will want hard wiring and more advanced technology. Homeowners have had the ability to turn lights and TVs on and off via remote control for years, so the beauty of smart home technology lies deeper than that. For instance, streaming music into different rooms is a popular feature, and without speakers, this is an impossibility. Without good speakers, it’s merely undesirable.
Some homeowners want to jump into smart home technology with both feet, but more want to just dip a big toe in first to test the waters. They may want to automate just a few features, like lights and door locks, and see how they like that before adding on anything else. That’s why it’s good to start with a system like Savant, so you can expand to automate other functions in your home as you become more comfortable with the ones you have.
Trust the Leaders
Going with an established, professional-grade, platform like Savant is also handy because you can get everything you need in one place, and there’s no need for shopping around comparing functions and prices. Remember when you had four or more remote controls on every coffee and end table? You want to avoid that kind of setup in the future.
And time is on your side when you stay with the same company, because if you wait to get a particular feature, you may end up with an updated version of it, and you won’t have to worry about whether it’s compatible with what you already have. And if you ever need support or help of any kind, you’ll have more than an 800 number on the back of a cardboard box to turn to.
Theatron Home Theater and Smart Homes transforms regular homes into smart homes all over Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC. Don’t risk a DIY installation with your smart home technology — trust the professionals at Theatron Home Theater and Smart Homes to do the job for you.
by Theatron | May 26, 2015 | Lighting Control
Motorized Shades and Smart Lights for Home Security
As you pack up your car for a great summer vacation, are you also worrying about how well-protected you home is? Going away for a trip is stressful enough without having to think about what’s happening at your house. A smart home system that includes automated lighting and shade control can make your home more secure and let you focus on your fun instead.
Here are just a few of the security benefits of smart lighting and window shade control:
- Lived in look: Nothing tells would-be burglars that you’re away from home better than several days in a row of a dark house. If you leave for a week and simply turn off all the lights, that’s an invitation for a break in. Timers alone aren’t enough to simulate a lived-in look. Simple timers only turn on and off the same lights at the same time every day. A smart home system, even an affordable DIY system, can be set up to vary the operation of lights or even make them random, to make it appear someone is moving around adjusting the lights. Outdoor lights, with programmed schedules and motion sensors, can also be great crime deterrents.
- Keep prying eyes out: Just as a realistic simulation of house lights can make a house look lived in, so can the use of motorized shades. If your window shades and blinds are closed 24 hours a day for several days, the house will look vulnerable. Also, you run the risk of coming home to find all your house plants have died from lack of sunlight. Don’t be forced to choose between security and living plants. Use your home automation system to automatically adjust some of your window coverings throughout the day or evening to make sure your plants get the sun they need, while making sure the shades and blinds are closed up at night to keep prying eyes out.
- Smart security integration: The benefits you reap from automating your home lighting and motorized window treatments can be made even better when you integrate your lighting and window control with a security system. Both professionally monitored and DIY systems can be integrated with popular lighting control products. For example, when a security window sensor detects a forced entry, smart programming can turn on the house lights, direct a security camera to start recording and send an alert to your mobile phone.
Coming home from a great vacation may be a disappointment, but with smart lighting, window coverings and security systems, it doesn’t have to result in an unpleasant surprise.
Lutron Motorized Shades
Lutron Sivoia QS Shades
Lutron Sivoia QS Wireless Shades
Motorized Shades by Lutron
Lutron honeycomb and roller remote-controlled shades use an ultra-efficient (and quiet) drive technology and a 3-5 year battery life, so replacing batteries will be a rarity. And because the shades operate via a remote, you can adjust them from anywhere in the room, giving convenience and control. They can also be integrated with Lutron’s Smart Bridge or Smart Bridge Pro. Lutron Serena shades are an accessible do-it-yourself solution for your home. Roller and honeycomb style shades are available in over 150 fabric choices, opacities and colors to fit your tastes and match your application needs