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The Smart Home: What You Need to Know

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"The Smart Home: What You Need to Know" HTA Certified; Accessed July 6th 2021

The Smart Home: What You Need to Know

"So, what’s holding you back from adding a smart home system to your home? Maybe it’s the cost that is intimidating you. Perhaps you’re skeptical of the reliability of the technology. Or in the back of your mind, you may be thinking that it’s going to be a hassle to have it installed. These are all valid concerns, and years ago when smart home technology was in its infancy, this logic was legitimate. But as with any budding technology, smart home systems have grown increasingly smarter, dependable, and economical. Yes, economical. Over the past several years, big names in the smart home industry have taken huge steps in making their professionally-installed system more affordable. Today, you can have a very capable smart home system installed and configured by a professional integrator for less than you would spend on a family vacation."

 

Professionally-Installed or DIY?

"Still, it’s an investment, and you might be wondering if those DIY-friendly smart home systems available online and at your local home improvement store are worth a look. With these basic solutions, you will not need to worry about running new wires. These smart devices connect to their hub (the smart home system’s “brain”) wirelessly, usually via Wi-Fi. Sounds easy, right? But be aware, if the Wi-Fi in your house is finicky, your wireless smart home system will suffer from communications glitches, like the lights not turning on when you tell them to. You may also run into minor (or major, depending on your level of technical aptitude) hiccups during the configuration of a DIY home automation system. As simple to install as they promise to be, like any home improvement, it’s never THAT easy. Many of the stores that sell these systems offer some level of technical assistance, though if you are even the slightest bit nervous about tackling the design and installation of a home automation system on your own, it’s wise to consider the systems and services offered by professional home technology integrators. "

Capabilities and Scalability

"Part of getting it right involves “sizing” a system to the scope of the project, your budget, and your expectations. The Home Technology Association's Budget Calculator is a great resource for this, which you can access at this link. For example, a family living in a 2,000-square-foot home interested mainly in security can get by with a less sophisticated and less expensive system than a family occupying a 10,000-square-foot home that wants to automate everything but the kitchen sink. A professional home technology integrator will explore your needs first and then recommend a suitable system.

Also, consider a system’s scalability. Technology advances at a dizzying pace, so be sure your smart home system can be easily updated and expanded to handle new features and technologies as they come along. Some of a system’s expandability has to do with its level of integration friendliness. You will be able to incorporate a variety of different products from different manufacturers when an automation system supports a high level of integration. Professionally-installed smart home systems excel at this; typically DIY solutions are much more limited.

Your life doesn’t stand still; neither should the capabilities of your smart home system. Your control system should be able to adapt as your family dynamic shifts—a new baby, kids moving out, a kitchen remodel, caretaking of elderly parents, or a million other things that impact how you live in your home. Some systems are better at adjusting to a person’s lifestyle than others. Modifying them is usually easy and will not cost an arm and a leg. Some of these changes can be made remotely from your technology integrator’s office. Manufacturers are increasingly opening their pro-level systems to allow homeowners themselves to make minor adjustments; no longer is there a need to call your home tech pro every time you want a lighting level changed, for example. These types of flexible systems are particularly helpful to households as you can customize your system throughout its life so that it always seems new and fresh—never old and outdated."

To keep reading this article by HTA Certified click here to see all the benefits adding this solution with Control4 or Crestron Home can make your life easier.

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