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The Latest on Home Technology

We're here to help you navigate the complex world of home technology. Peruse our blog for the latest information about the solutions that matter most to you.
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5 Convenient Ways to Command Your Motorized Shades

Lutron Makes Shading Control Easy for the Whole Family

Like many smart home technologies, motorized shades are meant to make life simpler, more comfortable, and more convenient—from form to function. That means commanding the shades throughout your Atlanta, GA home should be effortless, too.

Lutron, a leader in motorized lighting and shading solutions, offers a variety of intuitive ways to control your window treatments that are easy for the whole family to use. Start planning the new year with motorized shades you can manage with wireless handheld remotes, in-wall keypads, the Lutron app, voice commands, or Control4. 

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3 Innovative Projector Screens That Scream “Wow!”

Upgrade Your Media Room or Home Theater Design with a Display from Screen Innovations

Creating the ultimate movie experience in the comfort of your home requires state-of-the-art audio and video technology to deliver the latest in vivid picture and immersive sound. But as more homeowners invest in quality media rooms and dedicated home theaters, design also plays a critical role in order to complement home décor and personal styles.

That’s why our team partners with Screen Innovations to deliver cutting-edge projector screens that not only blend in with your media room or home theater design but also add to the beauty of your spaces.

Explore three wow-factor screens from Screen Innovations below and decide which would work best in your Alpharetta, GA home.

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New to Home Automation? Start with Smart Lighting Control

Create the Perfect Scene for Any Moment with a Control4 System

You may be familiar with the unrivaled benefits of a smart home. A home automation system can dramatically simplify your daily routines, strengthen your home security, elevate the way you relax and entertain, and even help you live greener. But incorporating smart technology in your Atlanta, GA home can feel overwhelming if you’re unsure where to start.

If you want a solution that makes your life more convenient and your home safer, more comfortable, and easier to enjoy, then we recommend you start with smart lighting control from Control4. Get the details below.

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The Perfect Home Theater Design for the Minimalist in You

There’s a lot of equipment that goes into creating a top-quality home theater. The list begins with a projector, a display, and a speaker system, but those are just the basics. You must also consider source components, an AV receiver, a control system, cabling, seating, acoustics, and much more.

If you practice feng shui or prefer a minimalistic style throughout your Atlanta, GA home, we understand why a home theater system could seem like the perfect way to clutter your house with bulky, intrusive technology and disturb an otherwise sleek interior design. However, there are plenty of solutions that can complement any minimalistic style while delivering the home theater of your dreams. Explore a few clutter-free solutions below!

SEE ALSO: Tired of Clunky Tech Cluttering Your Home? Here Are 4 Ways to Hide It

Gear Be Gone

Our team at Atlanta Audio & Automation specializes in custom home theater designs for any unique style, no matter how simplistic. We work with world-leading brands to offer homeowners intelligently concealed solutions that hide excessive wiring, source components, bulky speakers, and even do away with that pile of remote controllers.

Consider a custom ceiling soffit to hide your projector or select a projection screen that retracts to the ceiling when not in use. Motorized lifts are also a notable option to conceal speakers, displays, and other equipment until you’re ready to use them. What’s more, say goodbye to that big rack of AV equipment that typically lies underneath or beside the projector screen—we’ll create a dedicated AV closet hidden behind moveable wall panels or artwork so that it stays completely out of sight.

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The Starter’s Guide to Your Whole Home Audio System

The benefits of a whole home audio system are endless, especially when you’re a music fanatic. Whether you have tens of thousands of songs in your personal collection or you’re a fan of streaming music apps, Control4 gives you the power to control your entire Atlanta, GA home’s musical experience with a button tap on a touch panel, keypad, remote, iPad or your smartphone.

You’ll be able to group your audio by room, stream through Pandora, and connect via AirPlay in no time! In this blog, we present a starter’s guide to controlling your home audio with a Control4 system. Keep reading to find out more.

 SEE ALSO: Everything You Need to Know About In-Ceiling Speakers

Audio Grouping

Are you enjoying music while playing with the kids in the family room? Why not distribute audio throughout the whole home so everyone can enjoy the music? Use your Control4 device to easily spread the joy throughout your Atlanta home by adding a room or area to the audio grouping. From the “Add Room” screen, choose which rooms you’d like to play music in, as well as quickly control volume, muting, and the power. If you’d like to play different music in different locations, you can set that up as well!

Pandora

Are you a Pandora fan? This music streaming system is great for listening to your favorite songs and finding even more artists with a similar sound. There’s no need to juggle multiple music apps when you have a Control4 integrated whole home audio system installed in your Atlanta living space. Simply select the “Listen” icon on your Control4 smart device to manage your Pandora, Rhapsody, TIDAL, or other audio apps. Once you tap the Pandora app, choose your favorite Pandora station tailored to your tastes.

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Home Safety Features You Absolutely Need in Your Home

Every homeowner has unique safety and security needs for their property, but there are several basics you should know before you begin to add home safety features to your Alpharetta, GA home. Some homeowners opt to go the DIY route by adding one smart device at a time, creating a Frankenstein’s monster of a security system where all of the devices don’t cohesively function as one robust unit. Several apps are necessary to run that type of system setup, and you’re left switching between apps on your smartphone just trying to turn the alarm off.

A custom installer can solve that fragmented system problem by designing a fully integrated home safety system.  

This blog will cover the essentials for which smart devices you should consider when selecting home security features in your Alpharetta, GA home. Keep reading to learn more.

SEE ALSO: Can Your Security System Do These Things?

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What Kind of Motorized Shades Should You Install?

Usually, when people think of motorized shades, they're envisioning traditional roller shades. Despite the name, though, smart shading solutions from Lutron include a wide variety of models, fabrics, and designs, including popular drapes and blinds. All models offer control from the device of your choice, hem alignment, and ultra-quiet motor technology. Lutron’s Sivoia QS comes with the options outlined below. Once you get a better understanding of what you can add, it’ll be easier to find the ideal solutions for your Alpharetta, GA home.

SEE MORE: Are Wireless Shades the Best Option for Your Home?

Roller Shades

Roller shades are by far the most common motorized shades installation. Different color and fabric options let you customize them according to both your preferred style and their overall application.

Go with sheer shades to protect your space from UV rays while enjoying the view. Opt for blackout shades in home theaters or bedrooms to keep all light from coming in. Dim-out shades offer a little more privacy than sheer ones but still provide some inside lighting.

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Improve Your Yard with Powerful, Stylish Outdoor Speakers

Summer has come to Atlanta, and with summer comes backyard cookouts, lazy days hanging out poolside and warm summer nights perfect for enjoying the company of friends and family. And the ideal complement to the sizzling sounds of the grill, the splash of the pool and the chirping of crickets at night is outdoor speakers.

With the right outdoor speaker setup, you can enjoy your favorite music while tanning by the pool or listening to the big game as you grill. One of our favorite outdoor audio brands is Origin Acoustics, so today we’d like to highlight their landscape speakers and what makes them special. If you want to enjoy the highest-quality outdoor entertainment at your Atlanta home, keep reading to learn more.

SEE ALSO: What is the Best Way to Take Your Entertainment Outdoors?

BOLLARD LOUDSPEAKERS

Origin’s collection of Bollard Loudspeakers (pictured above) are some of the best outdoor speakers available today. Bollard speakers are an excellent first purchase when building an outdoor audio system, or they can make for a worthy upgrade.

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What Are the Best Outdoor Speakers and Televisions?

Having the right equipment is vital when taking your favorite entertainment outdoors. Employing indoor speakers and TVs will result in lower quality and damaged equipment. You can get more out of your outdoor spaces during the warmer months with products that deliver the ultimate quality and withstand extreme weather and debris.

Are you curious as to where to find the best outdoor speakers and televisions for your Alpharetta, GA home? Read this blog to learn about two of our favorite manufacturers: Origin Acoustics and SunbriteTV. Do you want to watch the baseball game on the patio or listen to music while you lay out in the backyard? Each of these companies offers a wide range of products to meet all your outdoor entertainment needs.

SEE MORE: What is the Best Way to Take Your Entertainment Outdoors?

Outdoor Sound System

No outdoor entertainment solution is more popular than a dedicated sound system. Anyone can take a portable speaker outdoors or mount a couple on the exterior wall, but to cover the entire space efficiently, you need a dedicated outdoor sound system. Not only do you need products designed for outdoor use, but also the right layout to make them work.

Do you want to hear music on your patio? Then Origin Acoustic's Bollard Loudspeaker is an excellent option with an omnidirectional sound that will cover the area evenly. With a 70-volt amplifier behind it, you get great reach and power to overcome ambient noise.

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Are Wireless Shades the Best Option for Your Home?

Very few technology upgrades are as simple and rewarding as adding motorized shades to your home. Even just adding a few throughout the house will reduce your monthly energy bills, make your TV sessions more enjoyable and enhance your family’s privacy. Not only that, but motorized shades reduce clutter by eliminating the need for cords and wands to manage them.

If not installed correctly, though, motorized shades can bring some dangerous clutter of their own. Once you add the shades, you need to power them, which in a worst-case-scenario means messy wires running from the window to the nearest outlet. 

Wireless battery-operated shades offer one excellent alternative for a more streamlined installation. You can also go with professionally installed hard-wired solutions with wires hidden behind walls. Once you read this blog outlining the pros and cons of each option, you’ll be able to gauge which is the best one for your Atlanta, GA home. 

SEE MORE: Why Your Shades Need to Be About More Than Just Style

Should You Go with Battery-Powered Shades?  

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How a Control4 Lighting Automation System Simplifies Security

Whether you’re trying to avoid tripping over shoes left at the foot of the stairs or illuminating the perimeter of your property, lights can help make your nights a little safer. Featuring both indoor and outdoor solutions, Control4 Smart Lighting can brighten up your home with ease. Thanks to centralized control, customizable configurations, When >> Then personalization, and more, you’ll never have to walk into a dark room or yard again.

How can Control4 keep your Atlanta, GA home safe? In this blog, we’ll explore the important role your lighting automation system plays in the safety and security of your home.

Control4 Unifies and Simplifies Lighting

Control4 Smart Lighting simplifies use of all your lighting fixtures with centralized control from a smartphone, tablet, wall-panel, or dedicated controller. Its easy-to-use interface lets you dim or ramp up the lights in one room, multiple rooms, and throughout the entire property with a few swipes or with a simple voice command.

Completely customizable, Control4 can orchestrate and unify even the most expansive lighting systems. Imagine automating smart lighting fixtures throughout the yard, in the pool, on walls, under the stairs, and along pathways that can be scheduled, triggered by motion sensors, or set to come on at sundown. Imagine being able to control and even modify lighting scenes around your home from anywhere—whether you’re in the garage or on vacation. Total home control and peace of mind is possible with Control4.

When >> Then Lets You Adjust and Personalize

Not sure which routine or lighting scheme works best for your lifestyle? With When >> Then, a feature of the new OS 2.10.4, you can adjust and personalize your lighting scenes and other smart home settings without having to contact a pro. For instance, if you’ve become concerned by mischief in your neighborhood, you can intensify your outdoor lighting and set all perimeter lights to turn on automatically when you lock the door at night so you never forget. With When >> Then your home is yours to command.

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Video Intercom Plus Smart Home Control: What’s Not to Love?

When you think of an intercom you probably imagine a clunky eyesore with limited capabilities circa 1985 and, given the technology we have today, it’s not something you'd expect to consider as an upgrade for your home. But with so many new ways to communicate, we need to redefine the “com” in intercom. That’s exactly what Control4 has done with Intercom Anywhere. Not only does Intercom Anywhere let you speak with anyone in any room, but it also lets you see and control what’s going on in your home while functioning as a highly effective video doorbell. Read on to find out all the things it can do for you.

Answer and Unlock Your Front Door Remotely

The Intercom Anywhere app works with the Control4 Door Station to provide homeowners with two-way audio, high-definition video, and motion sensor snapshots when someone is at the front door. When visitors ring, the door station then calls all connected touch screens and mobile phones giving you the ability to not only see and hear the visitor but also control certain smart home functions. These actions, or scenes, appear in the Intercom Anywhere app and are defined by the owner.

These scenes can be quite comprehensive. For example, you might choose to have a “Welcome” scene that turns on entryway lights and unlocks the front door, then locks it again when the door closes. Alternatively, you might design a “Secure Home” scene that locks all outside doors, rolls down window shades, and arms the alarm just in case you do not trust the visitor.

You might even have a “Delivery” scene that unlocks the front door or rolls up the garage door just enough for a package to fit through. The “Delivery” scene could temporarily disarm your home security and then two minutes later rearm the alarm and send you a notification if the door is not closed.

Of course, scenes like these would mean having smart door locks and other smart home and security devices, all of which can be installed and programmed by Atlanta Audio & Automation located in Atlanta.

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Our Alpharetta Control4 Certified Showroom is Now Open

We are proud to announce that our Alpharetta Control4 Certified showroom is now open to the public. You can come to check out the best in smart home technology Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or schedule a visit to get a private demo of the showroom. 

The brand-new showroom helps us showcase the best technology from dedicated outdoor music speakers to Contro4’s home automation systems. Below we highlight some of our favorite items to demo at the new location, but there’s much more for you to explore.  

Control4 Certified Showroom

Our Alpharetta and Atlanta locations are two of the few Control4 Certified showrooms in the country. Designated as one of the best dealers in the market after an extensive vetting process, we’re proud to show off the many ways Control4 technology transforms your home. In our showroom, you can take part in demos showcasing the one-touch whole home experience.

Do you want a more natural way to manage lights, music, climate, security and more? A smart home solution from Control4 gives you intuitive control from dedicated touchpads, mobile apps, or even Amazon Alexa. Now you can experience the smart home difference firsthand in our showroom.

Séura Mirror TV

During your visit, you’ll also be able to interact with some of the coolest products on the market. A customer favorite is the Séura Mirror TV, which does double duty as a vanity mirror and a dedicated touchpad to manage and adjust your smart technology. Integrate your devices through skills or apps you download directly on to the mirror. Séura Mirror TVs also integrate with Amazon Alexa so you can use voice commands when your hands are occupied while you get ready in the morning.

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Can Your Security System Do These Things?

Everyone wants to feel safe in their homes.  A recent survey by real estate firm Coldwell Banker revealed that homebuyers were highly interested in smart security features.  70% of respondents said they wanted smart fire and carbon monoxide detectors in their next home.  Over 60% of the people surveyed were found to be interested in having smart locks, smart lighting, and smart surveillance cameras installed before they moved in.  

This kind of data would indicate that homeowners are motivated to use newer technology to keep tabs on their homes and make sure that their homes, possessions, and loved ones are safe. So, if that old-style alarm system with the timed beeps for arming, the inconvenient control pads, and the sensors that inadvertently go off at random aren’t going to cut it, what are consumers looking for?

They’re looking to be aware and be informed at all times about what’s going on at their home. But beyond alerts and viewing a video feed from a security camera, they want a system that is flexible, as well as proactive in its ability to react to potential incidents. 

A Control4 smart home security system has the power and intelligence needed to take your [location] home’s security to the next level.  Read on to learn about the security features that can deliver true peace of mind. 

See Also: [Previous C4 Blog]

Always Be in the Know

With today’s Internet-connected devices, people expect to always be informed of what’s going on.  Control4 smart security delivers on that and more. Naturally, you can call up a video feed from a security camera on a smartphone with the Control4 App.  When inside the house, the video feed can be seen on a TV screen or a Control4 Touch Screen. 

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Multi-Room Audio: Why You Need to Try Before You Buy

The internet is changing things. It makes it easy to find information, communicate with family and coworkers, and use complex technology.

One of the greatest benefits of an Internet-connected world is how simple it is to shop. Online retailers abound, and you can get anything your heart desires with a few taps on your keyboard. The only problem is that when those items arrive at your door, they’re not always what they’re cracked up to be. No matter the sizing chart, reviews, or specs, you just can’t ensure quality unless you try things out before you buy them.

It goes for your clothing, your car, and especially your multi-room audio system. If you’re thinking about adding audio distribution to your property, here are three great reasons you should stop by our Atlanta, GA Control4 Certified Showroom before you make an investment.

See Also: Hands-Free Smart Control is Here

 

Physical Test

For all of the technology that goes into a modern sound system, speakers are relatively uncomplicated devices. By that, we mean most of the quality comes from the physical makeup of the unit, not digital manipulation.

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How to Expand the Limits of Your Home Theater With OpusCube

Recently Opus Brilliance released the OpusCube, a fine-pixel LED video wall ideal for commercial and home theater applications. It repurposes the same technology used in supersized screens like you’d see at sports stadiums to help expand the reach of residential displays.

The OpusCube is a state-of-the-art screen you can configure to meet any size, without sacrificing clarity or brightness. This modular video wall combines panels that automatically adjust to be the same color age and brightness as current panels to create one uniform image.

In this blog, we go a bit more in-depth into why OpusCube and similar video walls could make projectors obsolete in home theater installations in Atlanta, GA and throughout the country.

SEE MORE: The Secret to Stunning 4K in Your Atlanta Home Theater

Size

The number one benefit of the OpusCube is the ability to customize it to any size. Many traditional flat screens don’t go beyond 80 inches, and even then they’re exorbitantly priced. Which is why many homes opt for projector-and-screen installations. The OpusCube eliminates those limitations. As long as the room allows it, you can go as big as you want without having to sacrifice a big chunk of your budget. It's easy to add and remove the magnetized panels as needed to create the ideal configuration. 

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Hands-Free Smart Home Control is Here

When you speak, you want to be heard. It makes you feel like what you say matters. It’s essential in every relationship you have.

So why wouldn’t you want it out of your smart home technology? Voice-controlled home automation is one of the biggest developments to hit the market in decades, and it’s changing the way we interact with each device in our system. That’s why Control4 has joined forces with Amazon Alexa.

How will the new technology affect your Control4 system? Keep reading to find out.

See Also: Smart Technology is A Smart Investment

How it Works

Voice control can’t be as simple as it sounds, can it? What about regional dialects, accents, and pronunciation?

Actually, it is that simple. Thanks to the Internet, popular voice control platforms can easily understand most commands. And they receive periodic updates that improve their understanding over time.

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Smart Technology is A Smart Investment

According to a recent study by real estate website Zillow, home values have recently been rising at an 7.7% clip in the United States. While real estate values do not grow in a straight line, home ownership has often been viewed as an investment that builds value over time, with the added benefit of having a place to live tailored to your lifestyle.

Over 50% of homeowners plan to spend money on home improvement projects, which are great ways to customize your space to your lifestyle and aesthetic taste, and also increase a property’s resale value. Beyond bathroom and kitchen makeovers, wall and floor finishes and other popular improvements, smart home technology should also be a top consideration.

Why? A recent Houzz survey found that nearly half of renovating homeowners are adding smart systems to their homes, indicating very high interest in smart technology as an important feature desired in a new dwelling. 

With these current trends, read on to find out how Control4 Smart Home technology can not only enhance your lifestyle in Atlanta, but it can also add to your home’s resale value. 

See Also: Using Your Control4 System: Find the Method that Works for You

Smarter Kitchens

Kitchens are perhaps the area where remodeling investments have the highest return. Whether you’re considering cosmetic updates or rethinking your kitchen’s entire layout, don’t underestimate the importance of lighting. 

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How to Spruce Up Your Holiday Music This Season

Every December, we welcome the most wonderful time of the year in the best way possible—through music. Whether you’re a fan of Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” or Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You," nothing gets the holiday vibe going better than the right music.

That’s why it’s so important to have a whole home audio system which lets you pull up your favorite holiday tunes at a moment’s notice. When relaxing with family or hosting friends in your Alpharetta, GA home, the mood transforms with the right playlist. In this blog, we highlight some ways your system helps you create the perfect celebratory atmosphere.

SEE MORE: How Does Home Automation Help With the Holidays 

Build the Perfect Holiday Playlist

Relying on a short list of songs on repeat is how you end up with jingle fatigue. Our multi-room audio systems make it easy for you to access multiple music sources so you can create a soundtrack that will last the whole night.

Pull up a holiday Spotify playlist through your Sonos speakers or listen to a classic Crosby record on your turntable. Easily play digital libraries, CDs, or dedicated satellite channels through all of your home’s speakers. If you need some inspiration, check out this list of the 50 best holiday songs of all time.

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It’s All About the Light

Professional photographers obsess about optimizing the lighting in their pictures. If a photo shoot is outdoors in natural light, the amount, the shadows, and the exposure are all critical to getting great shots. Indoors, photographers use different types of flashes, or they use specific lighting for posed pictures. 

Think of your home as a photo shoot.  With the right lighting, you can set just the ambiance you want—for cooking, eating, relaxing, entertaining, sleeping or any other endeavor. But beyond making it bright or dark enough for an activity, the right lighting can highlight the aesthetic appeal of your living space. 

What’s the best way to do that?  A Control4 lighting system can set just the right scene, deftly blending light and shadow just like a professional photographer. Read on for ways to make your home look like a perfect lit composition, day or night.

See Also: Let the Music Move You

Shine a Spotlight on Art

Perhaps it’s your favorite piece of art or a family portrait.  Feature it prominently with light.  An LED track light could illuminate that prized painting or draw attention to an incredible photograph. 

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Atlanta Showroom
631 Miami Circle Suite 15
Atlanta GA 30324
(770) 977-9110

Alpharetta Showroom
2500 Old Milton Pkwy. Ste 120
Alpharetta, GA 30009
(770) 977-9110

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