Your Home, Your Way: TALKING TECH

Your Home – Your Way: Talking Tech

It’s what the cool kids are all doing these days!

 

Our homes represent a very expensive, and likely highly sentimental, chunk of our savings. It’s where we enjoy meals with family and friends, raise children, celebrate milestones, relax, unwind and where we always want our family and loved ones to feel safe and secure. 

With this in mind, Carl and Amy from Calibre Custom Homes recently had a chat with Pete from Secure Solutions to discuss all things Security and Home Automation.

 

Where to start: What is Home Automation?

Home Automation is designed to make everyday living easier. With a touch of a button, an app of your phone, or a click of a remote, you can open doors, turn on lights, open blinds, alarm/disarm your home, control irrigation in your garden, secure gates and ensure overall security. 

Each item can be activated individually via a centralised device, or one button can activate a sequence of events. For example you may have a “going to bed” sequence, which turns off interior lights, dims lights (handy for those nighttime bathroom visits for the kids!), arms the security system, shuts and locks gates, garage doors, and switches on any exterior security lights.

 

We were surprised to hear that despite having security systems, many people don’t arm them regularly! This was often due to difficulties with usability. The more steps or barriers to ease of use, the more likely it is that the alarm will be forgotten. This is where home automation can be a perfect solution!

 

If you have an integrated home automation system with your alarm system, you could set your system so that as you arrive at your gate, it unlocks and opens, your garage door unlocks, and then opens, your security system is disarmed, and lights you choose can be activated – all with the touch of one button! The brilliant thing is, the reverse can be true also, so you can leave your home with full confidence that your home is safe, your garage is shut, your gates are locked and all your lights are off!

 

Home Automation – does it have to be ALL or NOTHING?

The beauty of home automation is it is scalable and fully customisable. Perhaps just set it up to ensure your garage is locked and your home is alarmed. Then you could plan to later introduce lighting or other doors to be locked, or to include Google Home or Siri so you can give voice commands. All these items can be gradually built upon so they can grow with your budget and your family’s unique needs. 

Can you Retro-fit or does it have to be thought out before you build?

The advantage to installing home automation with security in a new build is that you can achieve wiring for far less – it’s easier to pop wires in walls that aren’t yet completed! 

The earlier you can tell your installer, the better. It’s less expensive and less hassle to have told your installer the grand plan at the get-go so they can prepare for when it’s time for your Home Automation and security system to grow. 

However, it’s definitely possible to add on without warning, there are MANY options for retro-fitting security systems and automation. Talk to your installer for how to add in what you’re after – we know the guys at Secure Solutions will make it happen!

Wifi or Hard wired?

Hard wired systems are often preferred, as you don’t have to worry about interrupted wi-fi due to multiple devices trying to connect in your home. A hard-wired system is better, and offers more stable connectivity. However if Wi-fi is your only option, Secure Solutions advises there are also options to upgrade wifi, even to a commercial grade to ensure optimum performance of your home automation and security systems.

 

Top Tips when thinking about Home Automation:

  • Bring your plans when you are discussing what you’d like automated
  • Think ahead about all the options:
    • Lighting
    • Security
    • Audio/Music
    • Alarms
    • Irrigation
    • Gates/Doors
    • Locks
    • Temperature control/Air Con
  • Consider your budget and your long term plan.
  • Think about your Wifi, is it likely to be adequate, or do you need to consider and upgrade or hard wired system?

Consider the biggest mistake people make with home automation…

not asking enough questions.

Your technician needs to get a real understanding of your home, and your lifestyle. Many times we hear of families who paid money for home automation of one or two devices that don’t work with each other. Eg: Air con was automated, but can’t talk to the security system or lighting. Remember, the more steps you have to go through, the less likely you will use it! 

Keep it simple – it’s best to link ALL the devices and ALL the automation so that it works together across all devices/applications according to what you really need.

 

It can feel overwhelming…

The Home Automation products out there are endless! We recommend talking to a professional so that they can advise the best way to use your budget for the best application of technology for things you will actually use. Talk to someone who uses it every day!

 

Last word of note:

All home automation should be user friendly for those who are not tech-savvy. This can include other family members, children, and even visitors or house sitters! 

The biggest downside to a DIY home automation system is that only one person in the household can use it. Everyone else just neglects your super “awesome” complicated system (mostly because they don’t want the 3 hour lecture on how to use it!).

Usability is the biggest advantage to a system that is installed by a professional who has the experience and knowledge of how to make it all simple for you. 

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