Whether you are remodeling your home or simply upgrading your electronics, now might be the perfect time to embrace smart home design and technology. Automation, when used correctly, can save electricity, reduce your utility bills, and make your day-to-day life a little easier. In this blog post, we will discuss smart home ideas in three principal categories: sound, temperature, and lighting control.
Sound and Audio Control
When most people think of smart home automation technology, their minds go first to security implements or home automation hubs that allow for control of thermostats, locks, and other systems from afar. However, one of the best things that smart home technology can do is take your home theater or audio system setup and elevate it to the next level.
Perhaps your number one goal is to turn your home media room into something that rivals the local movie theater in sound, video quality, and overall atmosphere or experience. At Starpower, we specialize in developing ideal home entertainment systems for our clients. One of the biggest challenges of setting up an awesome media room is making every piece of the system work together seamlessly. You might have a setup with a big screen, surround-sound speakers, and a high-end stereo receiver, but having to keep half a dozen different remotes nearby to control everything is enough to make using that set-up a colossal hassle. There is nothing “smart” about this kind of installation.
Starpower can provide a home media room installation worthy of the “smart home” tag. Our systems are intuitively and seamlessly networked and integrated. You will be able to control everything from a single, smart home hub network system controller. Instead of having to juggle all those remotes, you can put them away and rely on a single universal remote for everything. We will even set your system up so that you can adjust volume, zones, and other settings from your iPad, iPhone, or Android device.
Plus, speaking of zones, we can turn your home A/V system into a true whole-house setup. Maybe you want to be able to switch seamlessly from watching something on the screen in your kitchen to watching it in your living room, bedroom, or home theater space. Our systems can allow for that flexibility. The joy of zone control is double for music, as you will be able to have your favorite songs playing in any room in the house. Many customers install outdoor speakers and use zone control to determine when (and how loud) those speakers play. Whether you are hosting a party or simply cleaning the house, you will love the audio flexibility that our home automation installation can provide.
Most homes these days have semi-smart thermostats or programmable thermostats. These types of thermostats offer homeowners quite a bit of control over the interior temperatures of their homes. It’s easy to use their digital interfaces to program changes in temperature throughout the day or the week. By doing so, you can maximize your heating or cooling budget—whether by reducing how much your system works at night or by giving it a break when no one is home.
Smart thermostats are the next evolution of the programmable thermostat model and are becoming increasingly common in many residential homes. As with programmable thermostats, smart thermostats allow you to input settings for temperature control based on the time and day of the week. The crucial difference is that smart thermostats can be controlled remotely.
Where a programmable thermostat can only be reprogrammed at the thermostat itself, smart thermostats can be tweaked from afar through use of a mobile phone or tablet app. If you leave for vacation and forget to adjust the thermostat, you can easily access the app and drop or raise the thermostat a few degrees to preserve energy. In a fully realized home automation setup, with voice-activated technologies such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa, you can tweak your thermostat settings with just a few words.
Another advantage of smart thermostats is that they often come with other unique features designed to help you be more efficient and sustainable with your HVAC system. It’s not uncommon for these thermostats to offer “energy usage reports,” delivered directly to your phone app. Here, you can see where you are using the most energy to heat or cool your home—and how you can adjust your habits to be greener and to save money on your monthly utility bills.
Home Lighting Automation
In a smart lighting system, all the lighting fixtures and lightbulbs in your house are linked together through a central home automation hub. This hub is connected to the internet, and as with a smart thermostat, it gives you the freedom to control and adjust your lighting from a remote location via a mobile device.
There are a few significant benefits to this type of home lighting automation. For one thing, being able to adjust lights remotely assists with security and peace of mind. Whether you want to have the lights on when you get home from work at night or want to adjust your lighting when you are away so that it seems as though you’re home, smart lighting gives you the freedom to do so. For another thing, a smart lighting system gives you the ability to adjust the brightness of all the lights in your home, even without dimmer switches. For times of day when it seems too dim to go without lights but too bright to justify the electricity of turning on a lamp or overhead light, smart lights provide a fix.
Finally, smart lighting makes it easy to automate the lights in your home. Set up times throughout the day that different lights will switch on or turn off. Decide how bright or dim the lights will be at those moments. For visibility, security, electricity usage, utility expenses, and mood alike, automating your lights is a smart and attractive option for most homeowners.
Work with Starpower on Your Smart Home Design
Whether you are interested in smart home sound, temperature control, lighting, or other smart home ideas, Starpower can help you realize your vision and bring your home firmly into the 21st century. Contact us today to get started.