Articles tagged with: Knoxville home automation

What's Hot for Homes in 2014

on Tuesday, 11 February 2014. Posted in Knoxville Home Automation

With the new year in full swing and winter beginning to melt away (finally), we are getting a better view of the top design trends on the horizon. Let's take a look at the list!

Home Contro
l is everywhere these days. I'm sure you've noticed the recent commercials for automation services big name companies now offer. Automation is quickly becoming a feature that has made its way on many homeowners' wish lists. I mean who wouldn't want to control multiple aspects of their home such as temperature, lighting, and security with the touch of a button? Just be careful if you decide to go with one of the big companies for your automation needs. This new service they are offering means it's new to the company as a whole as well as their technicians. Are you thinking the prices look too irresistible? My advice is if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is. Sure the intro rates may be cheap, but how much does it jump up after that? One of the companies now offering automation doubled my cable and internet bill after the "introductory" period. Yikes!

High Quality Audio Systems are HUGE right now. The big focus is on high resolution audio or HRA for short. HRA basically refers to anything over CD quality. Products like the new Sony 500-gigabyte HAP-S1 high-resolution music system offers audio quality far beyond compressed formats such as MP3. Plus, there has been a huge influx in download services such as Universal Music, Sony Music Entertainment, and HD Tracks. 

Anyone remember the Sonos ad during the Super Bowl this year? Wireless audio solutions are becoming more popular than ever. With systems like Sonos that offer a variety of speakers and subs, users can completely customize their desired sound and easily fill every room with music. Plus, the Sonos app is great for streaming your favorite tunes from Pandora and Spotify.

Cloud Video Surveillance 
is the perfect tool to keep an eye on things while you're away from home. Cloud video surveillance is a great option for homeowners that can't afford on-site recording and storage equipment; however, homeowners should be weary of DIY equipment. Opting for cheaper equipment may mean slower low quality video which isn't what you want if you have any unwelcome visitors on your property. For video surveillance, it's best to trust professional integrators. You'll be able to benefit from professionally hosted services that offer higher quality video, police dispatch, and false alarm reduction.

Automated Door Locks and digital credentials have been on my radar for a while now. Automated door locks are especially handy because of their versatility. I know I hate fumbling for my keys when I arrive home with groceries in tow. Automated door locks can actually be programmed to lock/unlock when your smartphone is in the vicinity. Do you have a housekeeper, babysitter or contractor regularly coming in and out of your home? Automated door locks would be especially perfect for you because they can be programmed to unlock when they arrive and lock up when they leave. My favorite part about automated door locks? Not wondering if I forgot to lock the back door all day while I'm at work because I can keep tabs even when I'm away. 

Which top trend is on your wish list for 2014? We would love to hear from you!

Interactive Demo

on Monday, 20 January 2014. Posted in Knoxville Home Automation

Ever wondered what automation can do for your home or business? I know I have wondered how a lighting system could change my space or how whole house audio would be perfect for my next get-together. Sometimes it's hard to envision things if you don't really know that much about them and exactly what they can do. That's why we decided to create a way to help you see what your space could be like with automation.

Meet the interative demo !

virtual demo
Our interactive demo gives you the opportunity to play with all kinds of automation which include music, lighting control, surveillance, temperature, and shade control. We can also bring a laptop version of our interactive demo to you.

Could you see your space upgraded with automation?

Home Theater Design Tips and Mistakes

on Tuesday, 03 December 2013. Posted in Home Theater

Have you recently decided to install the home theater of your dreams? Before you get started, we have some design tips to ensure the final product is exactly what you hoped for.

Work together with installers and the interior designers. Installers want the room to function and sound great. Interior designers may focus more on the design of seats and furniture placement. By working together, everyone will be on the same page and reduce the risk of miscommunication about the design. What may look best to an interior designer may not be optimal for home theater sound to an installer. By working together, both sides can achieve a beautiful and fuctioning home theater.

Furniture selection is a huge factor in any home theater. Comfort, viewing angles and sound quality should all be taken into consideration. For example, many experts recommend cloth seats vs. leather because leather tends to be more reflective. Also try to keep seat backs low. If your home theater has surround sound, you want your ears above the back of the chair. Don't make the mistake of purchasing high back chairs that will interfere with your home theater experience. Also, don't try to fit too many seats into a space. It won't do you much good to have more seating if the number of seats minimizes the overall quality of listening and viewing. Instead, decide on the number of seats first so that the screen size and projector layout reflect those number of seats.

Equipment location is important in the overall design of your new home theater. Did you know that your devices don't even have to be in the same room? Creating a separate room for equipment can reduce clutter and wireless remote devices still allow you to control the system with the touch of a button.

Audio systems should be installed first. This sets the parameters for you and the interior designer to work within. If everyone is on the same page about the balance of room design and good sound, then the end product will be that much better. If your interior designer has already designed the home theater, it is important to go back in with the installer to create a plan that incorporates beautiful design as well as screen visibility and sound.

Paint is also a huge factor in the design of a home theater. Many commercial theaters are painted with dark colors to allow viewers to focus on the screen and not the walls. If you're not wanting to necessarily mimic a commercial movie theater cave, you should still opt for a darker color in a matte or flat sheen. Semi-gloss paint may be easier to clean, but its reflective nature can be very distracting. Shy away from traditional ceiling paint as well. Opt for a darker color like flat black or gray.

Lighting control is another factor to take into consideration during the design process of your home theater. Misplaced lighting can cause some major problems so it's important to get it right. The biggest focus is making sure no lights point directly at the screen. It's also a good idea to create different lighting zones so you can keep the screen dark, but light up other areas like a snack bar. Wireless dimming products like Lutron allow you to control lighting right from your chair.

Hopefully these tips will help you create the home theater of your dreams. While these industry standards can help in doing so, the ultimate goal is to create a space that you and your family can enjoy together for many years!

Benefits of Home Automation During the Holidays

on Friday, 15 November 2013. Posted in Knoxville Home Automation

Tis the season! Before you pack up the kids and head over the river and through the woods it's important to make sure you're leaving your home secure and out of the eyes of thieves. Almost 400,000 break-ins occur in the US during November and December, according to the FBI. The last thing you want to worry about during the holidays are burglars. Fortunately, home automation is a great tool to keep your home safe and sound while you're away enjoying the holiday season.

Alarm.com and RTI offer home automation solutions that can simplify your life and ease your mind while you're traveling. For example, experts say one of the best ways to ward off intruders is by leaving lights on. Home automation allows you to take it up a notch by controlling a variety of lights in your home. While leaving a front porch light on may be helpful, burglars may notice if the light is left on during the day as well. Automated light systems allow you control lighting to mimic your usual activity and patterns.

Another great benefit of home automation is the ability to get notifications when there is any activity in or around your home such as doors opening or someone pulling into the driveway. Even when you're away, home automation allows you to still feel constantly connected to your home.

Not going out of town this holiday season, but instead having the family come to you? Home automation can make having company over for the holidays a breeze. Houseguests can come and go as they please with temporary entry codes on smart doors and locks. They can even be programmed to expire when your guests head home. Automate your lights inside and out to come on at dusk and off at midnight. Also, don't worry about pulling down shades and blinds in the evening. Control them all with the touch of a button so you don't have to miss a beat. Keep guests entertained with festive holiday playlists that you can control right from your smartphone.

In today's fast-paced world it's important to slow down and enjoy time with friends and family. Home automation is a great addition to any living space, but also a huge added safety feature and tool for keeping guests comfortable.

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