Updated: Nov 18, 2019
Smart Homes are only as smart as the people who design them. Some integrators connect all your devices to one platform and leave it at that. But they're leaving out loads of potential for making the system easier to use and more enjoyable. We have spent thousands of hours programming these systems and have learned a few tricks that bring home automation to the next level.
1. One-Touch Source for Media Room
Every family room should have an RTI Custom Programmed remote to control all devices from one place. Instead of using 5 remotes to control 5 elements of your media system, use a single controller to do it all. Perhaps you've heard from friends, or even experienced this yourself, that universal remotes didn't work correctly or made things more complicated. That's a fair concern, but we do things differently at Westfair. Learn more about our top-of-the-line universal remote company, RTI, in this related blog post.
The most common and simplest demonstration of automation is in the media room, or whatever room has a TV and multiple input sources. When we install an RTI remote, we make sure the entire system turns on in one click. To watch cable TV, you would click the "Cable" button which would fire off a series of commands that links together all the devices associated with playing it.
One button starts your TV, switched to the correct input, turns on your surround sound or soundbar, and tells the remote which signals to send to control your cable box. One button, multiple commands, infinite possibilities.
2. Preset Scenes to Set the Mood
If you're thinking of building smart technologies into your home, you should definitely consider implementing some preset scenes around the house. For example, one customer of ours has a button called "Eat" that, when pressed, dims the overhead lighting, brightens the chandelier, and turns on the under cabinet lighting.
Another customer has a scene called "Pool" that turns on landscape lighting, pool lights, and patio lights. We have several scenes we can recommend for your home, or we can spend time together to custom design preset scenes that fit the way you live.
3. All Off
Our favorite and most used one-touch button is "All Off". For every media room or home theater we install an All Off button that shuts down every device in the system. But you can use All Off throughout your home, too.
Our Showcase Home in Fairfield has an All Off button for the entire basement. All lights, televisions, and music will shut off with one touch of a button located at the top of the stairs. Another customer has a "Good Night" button that includes an All Off for all music, media, and first floor lighting. This button also locks all the doors and ensures the garage doors are closed for the night.
4. Theater Controls for Maximum Luxury
Every theater room will include several automated functions and preset scenes. When you click Watch TV, or any other input, all the media devices immediately start up. Furthermore, the projector screen drops down from the ceiling (if you go with a motorized screen), window shades close to black out the light, and overhead lights dim and accent lighting turns on - all creating the perfect vibe for movie night.
5. Path Lighting
Another useful preset style is to create path lighting. For example, you may build in a "To Garage" button that turns on lights from the kitchen to the garage. When you get to the garage, just use All Off to shut it down when you leave. Other customers have put in "To Shed" that turns on the lighting from their patio to the shed for those trips to grab firewood in the darker winter evenings.
However you choose to use preset scenes and one-touch automations, make sure you use a company you trust to do it right. Poorly designed scenes and automated systems can be frustrating to use and could even cost you money in electricity bills if they don't work as expected.
Contact Westfair to take a tour of our Showcase Home or to set up a consultation about which automated systems you want to include in your home.