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Getting Started with Smart Home Automation

We Answer the Most Common Questions

These days, the term “smart home” is everywhere. We can thank the popularity of devices like Amazon Echo speakers with Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google Assistant for getting people familiar with smart devices and automation — even if it has been in our repertoire of services for quite some time.

You may have many questions about smart home automation and if it’s right for your Armonk home. Here are the questions we get most often:

  1. What does smart home automation actually do? Do I have to use apps to do everything?
  2. Is smart home automation expensive? Do I have to do my whole house? Or can I start small?
  3. Does the system take over my house? How do I control it?
  4. How do I choose the right system?

Fortunately, we have the answers right here to get you started on the road to the automated lifestyle. If you already know what smart home automation is, then great — you can ask us deeper questions about what you want to do and what solutions we recommend.

Are you ready to begin? Let’s dive into these questions.

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Question #1: What does smart home automation actually do?

First, we have to define “smart.” Concerning devices and automation, smart denotes a certain level of intelligence built into the device for managing its functionality. In simplest terms, a “dumb” light is one that only turns on and off with a switch. A “smart” can turn itself on and off based on a schedule or some other event happening, like you walking in the door. Most of that intelligence comes from connectivity, which means the device can connect to other smart devices that can tell it to do something — like an app on your smartphone. Or it can be a cloud-based internet application that exercises control of that device. Some devices have quite a bit of intelligence built into them; others rely mostly on connectivity to applications to provide the “smarts.”

Smart home automation, then, is the ability to orchestrate all these smart devices to do things that make your home easier to manage, more efficient, and more comfortable. For example, a smart lock might enable you to lock and unlock your door with a smartphone app instead of a key, and even do it remotely. That’s a nice feature. But with smart home automation, you can leave the house, your system will automatically lock the door and set your alarm, and it will adjust your climate control to an eco-friendly temperature — automatically. Of course, when you want to do those things individually, you can do so as well. That’s what smart home automation can do; automate routine functions without help, but give you complete control when you want it.

Question #2: Is smart home automation expensive?

It can be expensive if you choose to automate every aspect of your property, and your home is large. But the beauty of today’s technology is its modularity – you can start with simple solutions. If your immediate need is smart energy management, you can do that. If the most important thing is to have coherent, automated control of your AV systems, you can start there as well. Or maybe you want automated lighting control for the main living area of your house. We have solutions for all of these, and when you are ready for more, we can add it — without changing everything out.

Question #3: Does the system take over my house? How do I control it?

Just because the system is smart, it doesn’t mean operating it will be complicated or that you lose control over anything. It’s not all about smartphone apps for control, although if that’s a favorite mode for you, then we can enable that. Depending on what you want and like, you can have redundant controls for functions. You can have wall-mounted keypads for individual lights or lighting scenes or both. You can control your AV system with a tablet or with a remote control with real buttons custom programmed for your setup. You can have a wall-mounted tablet that’s always ready for a variety of smart home functions, and even use it as an in-home intercom or to view who is at your door. You can have voice control of your smart house from devices like Amazon Echo speakers and Alexa. The choice is yours, and you can choose the level of automation you want. And with systems like Savant, you can easily create your own automation scenarios.

Question #4: How do I choose the right system?

This is where a professional, smart home company like Soundworks comes in. We have experience designing and installing smart homes from the simple to the complex. We can recommend the right system for you, based on what your current needs are and what you may want in the future. If your house must have a Nest thermostat, we will make sure it integrates well with your home automation system, so that it can work in tandem with functions like motorized shades and smart lighting control. We know what devices work well with specific systems, and what level of control and automation they offer. We evaluate your needs and desires carefully to choose the technology that will best work for you. Want to know even more about smart home automation and how it can benefit you? Give us a call or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation with our team. We’d love to hear from you!

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