The Smart Way to Plan Your Home Automation Project
A List of Do’s and Don’ts for Your Next Smart Home
In most of life's endeavors, there's a good way and a not-so-good way of doing things. Sometimes you can learn from mistakes without major repercussions. Sometimes, mistakes can be extremely costly and aggravating. Bear with us here; this is not a life coaching blog.
GHT Group is in the home technology business and not trying to compete with Tony Robbins. What we can do, based on our over three decades in business in the metro Atlanta area, is give you solid advice on how to go about planning for smart home automation in your residence.
Keep reading for our tips on what to do and not to do when planning your smart home. Did you know lousy home automation has been known to break up relationships? Trust us on that one; we've seen a few things.
- How Much Smart Do You Really Need?
There is a wide array of things you can automate in your home. How much do you need? What is important? If automated lighting, shading, and HVAC control are the only things you have to have, you can prioritize that. If a whole-home audio system sounds nice but is not something you need right now, you don't have to do it – you can add it later.
- Plan for Future Needs
Beyond being good life advice, it’s good home automation advice too. Home automation requires underlying infrastructure. For example, remember that whole-house audio system? Even if you don't want it now, if you are building or remodeling, it's much easier to integrate the infrastructure necessary – like speaker and network cabling – so that it's easy to add that feature later. It also works with home automation system controllers; some have extra features (like audio distribution) as well as the ability to control more rooms in a house. You don't install a 15 cubic foot refrigerator in the kitchen of a 6000 square foot home, right? We think you catch our drift here.
- Remember the Network
Unlike the well-remembered Alamo, home networks often get neglected. This year, we’ve all appreciated the importance of a fast and stable network with so much work, school, and entertainment happening virtually at home. Home automation depends on a reliable network, too, with many devices like security cameras and control screens depending on fast network response. When you are thinking about home automation devices, allow in your budget for the network upgrades you may need to ensure it all works smoothly and consistently.
- Don't Mix Too Many Brands of Equipment and Solutions
In the technology world, you may have heard of the concept of ecosystems. Devices and solutions that are part of an ecosystem are designed to work well within that system. They might work outside of that system but work better within it. With home automation, things can work the same way. Some vendors have specific integrations that make their solutions (like Lutron lighting control) work well with some home automation platforms. Other things may work too, but they may require more effort, cost, and forego some reliability. This isn't to say home automation solutions only play within their own sandbox. Control4 systems, for example, are compatible with over 13,000 devices. Invariably, though, one system may have advantages over another for something particular that you may want to automate.
- Don’t Forget to Call a Professional
We could fill up many blog pages on what not to do, so we thought we would give you the best advice here. Home automation projects – something more than controlling a few lights or a simple Sonos speaker system – can get complicated fast. It's wise to call a professional (preferably us, of course) to get the results you want from your smart home. We are not tied to one vendor or approach. We will listen to your needs and desires and plan a solution that works for you on day one while allowing for expansion in the future.
Shorten your “Do” list for your home automation project by calling GHT Group. Reach us at (770) 955-8909, contact us here, visit our Marietta showroom, or use the chat box below to connect with us right away. We look forward to working with you!