If you’re just starting to think about installing a new smart home system, you may be overwhelmed with the number of ideas and options out there. Read on to find out exactly what you could include in your complete smart home system, but also know that there is no simple answer or one standard solution – at IndigoZest, all our designs are fit for each household’s unique purpose.
What Elements of a Smart Home System Can You Customise?
There are several elements of a smart home system that we can integrate as standard. These include:
- Lighting control
- Temperature control
There are many parameters within each of these services that make them bespoke. The choices that you make about them are down to the way you live in and move about your home, the amount and layout of physical space you have, and your budget.
You can customise the automation of these services to make your smart home system perfect for you. Consider these questions, for example:
- Do you want the TV and the lights in the kitchen to automatically turn on when you disarm the alarm?
- Do you need the awnings to come out if a certain amount of sunlight has entered your glazed façade to prevent the paintings on the wall from fading?
- Do you want your house to shut down at midnight every day and put your alarm on to ‘stay’ mode?
We often say that if you can think it, then we can automate it. Whether you are concerned about home security, looking to save energy, or simply want to make your life a little easier, there are so many ways in which you can achieve this with smart home automation.
Types of Smart Home Installation
There are a few ways in which you may want to make your house a smart home – through part-renovation, a whole house renovation, or by designing a new build.
Whole House Renovation or New Build
This is a prime opportunity to add all the necessary cables into your home, even if you’re not sure of what you want. By installing cables you may not yet need, you are futureproofing your smart home installation and preparing your home for any additional features you may want to add later on.
You may be renovating one part of your home and want some smart home elements just in that area. Typically, this is a large kitchen/diner/living space. In this case, you would not be rewiring your whole home, but there is always the possibility to “part smart” it or hardwire to the extension and retrofit to the rest of the house.
How Could a Complete Smart Home System Revolutionise Your Home?
It’s important to recognise that we no longer live in a world where there is only one central telephone in the hallway, one TV in the formal lounge or one radio that we listen to.
Technology has forced us into the 21st Century and even if you are not interested in ‘gadgets’, you are probably interested in a home that will work for you. Here are a few considerations to get you thinking about the activities you take part in at home, and how a smart home system could improve your family’s way of life.
With so much to think about, it’s a good idea to start simple. Think about the number of TVs you have in your home – how do you want them to work in their entirety? Do you want each to have their own Sky Box (if that is how you watch programmes) or would you like the option to distribute the viewing across all TVs, allowing everyone to watch individual channels on different TVs without having multiple set-top boxes?
In fact, do you even watch TV? Do some members of your household watch shows on their handheld devices? If this is the case, do you need to have a secure networked infrastructure and reliable WiFi?
This is a magical room. It should be the space that you can retreat in to watch an all-time classic, to have family movie time with blankets and popcorn or to impress your mates with during a big game. In order to have that wow factor, it needs to just work at the press of a button. We can help you design your cinema room with the ideal projector or fixed screen, and find the sweet spot with perfect Dolby Atmos surround sound, acoustically treated materials and cinema seating to fit your space and requirements. With our detailed designs, cabling and networking experience you can just step into your retreat, press one button to ‘watch movie’ and let the automation set everything else up for you. We can programme different scenes that will determine the lighting, volume and mood for ‘date night’, ‘big game’, ‘family fun’ or perhaps ‘scary’ atmospheres.
Lighting and Audio
Do you have a large open plan kitchen/diner/living room that is your main family hub? How many light switches will you have on your walls to control the different zones? With a smart home system, you can control the lighting from one panel, reducing wall clutter and making it easy to manage your lighting.
The keypads could also include buttons for music or a pre-set dinner mood that will turn off your task lighting, set the ambient lighting and play your favourite dinner time music at conversational level.
Speakers can be installed throughout your property for whole-house audio but with the benefit of zoning your spaces so that you can listen to different music in different rooms. Alternatively, you can play the same music throughout your whole house as you meander from room to room. A favourite of ours is having a party mode scene where the music follows you from the lounge to the dining room to the garden (and to ensure that you really don’t miss a beat, the WC ).
Please contact us to discuss the range of invisible, in-wall, decorative and garden speakers that we can install for you.
Alarm and Door Integration
If you are considering an alarm system and a door intercom, we can integrate all these functions into one touch screen that can be wall-mounted in your hallway. This will offer a clean solution with all your control in one place – and will look and function much better than having a host of controllers on your wall.
If you arm your alarm when leaving the house, you can also set other things to happen at the same time – such as your blinds closing, your heating turning down, and your home going into ‘Mockupancy’ mode. This is when your lights randomly come on to give the impression of an occupied home.
Swimming Pools and Recreational Spaces
Swimming pools and recreational rooms are spaces that need minimum effort and maximum joy. It can get frustrating if you have to remember to maintain the temperature of a pool, deal with humidity, or consider the acoustics and ambience. We have the expertise to bring all these considerations into one solution. We can programme the temperature to be set to a certain point and measure the levels of humidity. Should the pool require the cooling function to be activated, then we can program that, too. We can also install underwater or waterproof ceiling speakers and recommend the correct IP rated lighting, all with efficient maintenance.
Heating, Air Conditioning and Shades
If you have an air conditioning system and underfloor heating, you will want to make sure they are not working against each other. We can programme them to ensure that the heating will turn off if the air conditioning comes on and vice versa. You could also consider whether you would like the air conditioning system to go into heating mode and give out a boost of heat when you return home on a cold day. Furthermore, we can have your shades partially control your room temperature by automatically closing when the temperature rises, to avoid a hothouse effect. Conversely, on a cold but sunny day, the blinds will respond to the sunlight sensor installed outside and will remain open to allow your room to naturally heat up.
We will help you to define your spaces, create moods and reduce your wall clutter.
This can all feel quite overwhelming and we haven’t even touched on how important it is to get the correct cabling and allow for some space for a server rack somewhere. There are many factors to consider, but it is part of our service to ensure that we manage all of this for you and help you to make the right decisions at the right time.
How to Get Started with Installing Your New Smart Home System
The ideal way for you to make all of these exciting decisions is to come and visit us in one of our showrooms in Amersham and Northampton. We can demonstrate all the possibilities and allow you to explore your options. This will give you the opportunity to appreciate how simple a smart home is to use, how efficient and seamless it will make your home and how much control you have over what a smart home can do for you. Our showrooms are a relaxed environment where you can have a play and ask a lot of questions.
Generally, we find that once customers have visited our showroom, they then create a wishlist of what they would ideally like their home to do for them. We put together a proposal of options to give you a more informed idea of what is possible, knowing the options and costs. Being informed will allow you to decide how much of the technology you want now, and how much you could possibly add in later. Once you have refined your choice, we can then agree to proceed and as the first step, we will get working on wiring diagrams for your electrician to work to.
We’re excited to take the first step with you and to help you create a complete smart home system that works for your family! Contact us online to book an appointment at one of our showrooms, or call 01923 883979.