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The Important Role of Prewiring in New Construction

The Important Role of Prewiring in New Construction

If you’re a home builder or an architect in the Bellevue, WA area, you should be paying attention to this statistic:

According to S&P Global Market Intelligence research, the United States had an estimated 20.1 million smart homes at the end of 2017.

By the end of 2021, that number is expected to grow to 35.6 million.

The smart home technology and home automation industries are growing at rapid rates, and the truth is that the standard wiring that is usually installed during construction simply isn’t sufficient for smart homes.

One common key to success in any smart home construction project: Accounting for and including home automation prewiring.

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Does Your Smart Home Have What It Needs to Succeed?

Does Your Smart Home Have What It Needs to Succeed?

Recently, the Beyond Hi-Fi team started working on a Control4 smart system in a Seattle, WA area home. This home’s Control4 system had been set up by another smart home company years ago, but the homeowner had found themselves dissatisfied with the system’s performance. Once we started looking into the system’s setup, we found a huge issue: the home network was practically non-existent.

Solid home networking is essential for any smart home automation system. Whether you’re dissatisfied with your current smart system’s performance or you’re considering jumping into the world of home automation for the first time, I’m confident saying that investing in a solid network is the key to smart home success.

In order to understand why, here’s a bit of background on how a smart home automation system works….

The Internet of Things

In order for a home to be “smart,” it has to have real-time communication between different devices throughout the property. Smart lights, window shades, thermostats, televisions, and more are all connected to a central control system. This is commonly referred to as the internet of things.

This communication between devices occurs over your home network. When set up correctly, your home network will ensure that communication happens quickly and reliably. But what happens when that home network is nothing more than an ISP-provided standard router with the default settings? Here’s what I’ve seen firsthand:

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How to Get Started with Smart Home Technology

How to Get Started with Smart Home Technology

Many Washington residents dream of living in a smart home one day, but that dream is often of a Jetsons-style future where we’re all traveling via flying cars and robots are making our meals. The reality is that while robot cooks and flying cars aren’t available just yet, you can have a fully automated smart home today. If you’re just now dipping your toes into the possibilities for smart home technology, then keep reading to learn about the most popular starting points.

Most Popular Smart Upgrades

There are tons of things you can make smarter throughout your home, but some options are far more popular than others. Here are the smart upgrades that are taking Seattle by storm:

  • Lighting Control: Say goodbye to the standard light switch. With home lighting control, you can turn the lights on and off via phone, tablet, or voice. You can also use the smart technology to dim lights to just the right brightness for specific activities and connect the light fixtures to other devices throughout the home (like the window shades or security system).
  • Motorized Blinds and Shades: Cut down on solar heat gain with window shades that open and close automatically. You can set the shades to adjust at certain times each day or based on occupancy or the amount of sunlight in the room. And with a single push of a button, you can control whether the shades are opened or closed throughout your home.
  • Connected Audio and Video: From the same app that controls the lights, shades, etc., you can also reach all of your home entertainment. Control TVs, multi-room audio systems, home theater systems, and more. Using your smartphone, you could turn on a TV in a specific room (or multiple rooms at once), pick out a movie to watch, and start playing it. Or how about pushing a single button to start playing your “party” playlist throughout your entire home?
  • Smart Home Security: Ditch the standard lock and key setup for a smart security system that keeps your home protected at all times. You could get smart door locks that allow you to unlock or lock entryways remotely. Pull up real-time, high-definition surveillance footage on your phone whenever you’d like. And get notified whenever there’s an issue with your home, whether it be a fire in the kitchen or a garage door left open.
  • Climate Control: Get the perfect temperature in every room of your home with a smart thermostat. You can adjust the temperature remotely, set climate schedules, and include the thermostat in smart “scenes” that adjust all of your home’s smart technology settings at the push of a single button. It helps save a lot of energy while increasing comfort.

 

How to Control the System

One thing that sets full smart home automation apart from “a home with smart devices” is that the entire system is connected as one cohesive platform. You don’t have to open up 15 different apps if you want to adjust the technology throughout your home. Instead, preset scenes can create the perfect environment with a single voice command or press of a button.

In order to achieve that one-touch control, you need the right platform. Our recommendation goes to Control4. It’s a user-friendly, powerful system that can do just about anything you want. As Seattle’s top Control4 dealer, we can confidently say that you’ll be happy with the reliability and ease of use that you get through Control4.

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The Best Technology for Interior Designers: Lighting Control

The Best Technology for Interior Designers: Lighting Control

Interior design is an art form. It’s no easy task to choose the perfect décor, color scheme, furniture placement, etc. to make a room flow or evoke a certain feeling. Technology is starting to make that task a little bit easier. Smart home devices are changing the game for interior designers, offering new ways to make each room look its best for any given occasion or activity.

One of the best technologies to implement into an interior design plan is lighting control. Keep reading to learn more about how automated lighting can enhance the look and feel of homes throughout the Seattle, Washington area.

The Need for Lighting Control

The amount and quality of light in a room (and where it’s located) can have a big impact on how everything looks. If you want to draw the eye to a portrait or sculpture, you’ll want ample lighting focused on that area. Too much light can make everything appear washed out. Too little light can make a room look dingy.

Up until now, the solution to this challenge was a strategic lighting design that included spotlights around artwork or architecture and lamps that you could turn on or off to adjust brightness as needed. This is a step in the right direction. However, with such a manual process, homeowners often find that getting that perfect lighting is more trouble than it’s worth. 

The better approach: lighting control.

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3 Reasons Why Builders and Remodelers are Embracing Smart Home Tech

3 Reasons Why Builders and Remodelers are Embracing Smart Home Tech

In the early 2000s housing bubble, smart home technology was all the rage. Bellevue builders and remodelers quickly embraced any feature that would give them an edge above the competition, and smart tech was a hot item. After the crash, builders took a wide step back, preferring to leave smart homes alone. However, smart home automation has recently been a rising trend in the Washington area for builders and remodelers both. Why is that? As the largest Control4 dealer in Bellevue, here’s our theory…

1. Smart Home Automation Has Gone Mainstream

People want smart homes much more now than they did a decade ago. Technology is a part of everyday life, and many homeowners view home automation as an essential aspect of the luxury lifestyle. A recent study by Houzz found that 45% of homeowners add automation systems while remodeling a property. That number will only grow as more technology becomes available, especially with devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home offering the novelty of voice control.

SEE ALSO: The Biggest 2016 Smart Home Trend: Voice Control

2. The Technology is No Longer Cost-Prohibitive

The profit margins on smart homes simply weren’t lucrative enough for early builders and remodelers to consider them worthwhile. But the growing popularity of smart technology has had another beneficial impact: larger manufacturing efforts have significantly decreased the cost of the products. On top of that, as the technology has improved; implementing it into new construction or renovations is now a much simpler process. All of this results in plenty of opportunities for increasing feature offerings without breaking the bank for builder or homeowner.

3. Builders are Getting Smarter about Implementation

Back in the early 2000s, nobody knew which smart home brands were reliable or top quality. Everything was brand new, which resulted in a lot of guesswork and speculation. As history shows, it didn’t end well for many construction companies. Fortunately, finding an established and reputable smart home automation brand is a much easier process now. Builders can have a solid idea of what they’re getting before they jump into the smart home movement.

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Headquarters:
14210 NE 21st Street
Bellevue, WA 98007
p:  (425) 998-8008


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