Four Cool Smart Home Automations We Love

At IndigoZest, our purpose is to enable home automation, and as Control4 integrators, we are trained to install their systems to do this. However, one size does not fit all and it is down to us to understand each customer’s requirements, discovering why they wanted the solution in the first place and how it can work for their individual lifestyle. We always say that if you can imagine it, we can automate it. This requires not only our understanding of a system but experienced programming skills to configure individual requests.

Often we can pick out the nuances of a customer’s requirements in our meetings and conversations, but sometimes the customer may not even realise they want something. As part of our service, and once we have handed over, we let the customer live with their new smart home for a while and then meet again to see if they need to make any tweaks. We call this the last 5% of the service. This is where new ideas may suddenly come to life.

Not all bespoke automation is groundbreaking but in our experience, the addition of certain features makes a real difference to the individual and that is what we will always aim for. So here are four examples of cool smart home automation features we love, and that have really made a difference to our customers’ lives.

1. “Can you put my favourite functionality front and centre?”

If you can imagine it, we can automate it!

A standard button on the Control4 touchscreen is an ‘air con function’ which is not always necessary but available if required. However, on a standard solution, you would have to scroll through a few pages to find the control function for this service – frustrating if you want to cool down quickly! At Indigozest we have the capability to tweak that option and make the air con function appear in your favourites list on the first screen.

This is just a small example of how your smart home can be customised to your needs, but one worth mentioning so that you know you don’t have to live with functionality that frustrates you. Obviously, if air con is not an important feature to you, then you wouldn’t want it cluttering up your most-used functions page, but you may want your control panel to be customised in other ways.

4 Cool Smart Home Automations We Love

2. “Can you help me see whether the garage door has opened?”

If you can imagine it, we can automate it!

This example is of a part retro-fix, part new-build smart home project. These projects can be a little trickier as they involve integrating new smart home features into traditional homes where most things, if not everything, is yet to be automated. The customer has a button in the hallway that opens and closes the garage door for when they are going out or arriving home. They can tap the garage button and by the time they have walked down the long pathway the garage door has opened and they can drive out. However, because it is an old garage door mechanism, they initially didn’t get any feedback as to whether it was open or closed. This was frustrating as it happened several times a day for different members of the family. We made it so that when the client taps the garage door button, the CCTV camera on the garage door pops up so they can physically see that it’s opening before they walk out. Enabling the camera image to pop up is a standard Control4 function, so this was a simple idea but one that required thought and resolved a longstanding problem for the homeowner. Sometimes problems can be solved by using simple functions in an innovative way.

3. “Can you make the TV turn off once I’ve fallen asleep?”

If you can imagine it, we can automate it!

If you like falling asleep to the sound of the TV, you’re on the same wavelength as this customer and you’ll be interested to know how we automated the TV to turn off after he falls asleep. We gave the homeowner a button on the keypad by his bed, which he can press to start a 60-minute timer. At the end of the timer, the TV switches off – or if he is awake, he can cancel the timer and carry on watching. The button lights up red to tell him when the timer is running, so he can set the timer each night and disable it if he wants to stay up, or sleep soundly if he’s already in the land of nod – and this saves on electricity, too.

 

4 Cool Smart Home Automations We Love

4. “Can you reduce the light shining out of my windows?”

If you can imagine it, we can automate it!

A project that we are currently working on is for a client that lives in E1 zone area where spill light after a certain time is restricted and he has to adhere to ecological guidelines on night time sky glow. The house has a lot of glazing and light from inside will inevitably be considered as obtrusive. Initially, we spoke about automated blinds as the answer but on further enquiry, we are able to provide a much more intelligent solution that involves both shading and lighting control. Using sensors that respond to the astronomical clock, we can program lights to gradually dim, and have blinds close throughout the house according to the guidelines. Watch this space for more details on the finished project.

Blackout Blinds - 4 Cool Smart Home Automations We Love

Starting to wonder if your wildest smart home dreams are not as pie in the sky as you’d thought? Your imagination and our technological know-how could make an unstoppable team! Let’s talk about your vision for your new smart home and the cool smart home automation features that could make all the difference.