How Smart is Your Home?

Smartphones and Smart TVs are both loaded with widgets and apps to make your life sweet, but did you know that homes can also be smart? A Smart Home is guided by home control, which automates the electronics. For example, a party ‘button’ can be created to control the music, lighting, and whatever else you’d like for a festive atmosphere. Now that’s what I call the sweet life!

I remember seeing celebrities on TV holding panels that looked like iPads to control their home theater systems, lower motorized shades, and adjust lighting about 10 years ago. I wanted to do this to my home, but figured if they have such systems the cost must be astronomical. However, I always kept the idea in the recesses of my mind.

Suzanne Kantra from Techlicious led a group (with yours truly) through the CEA Line Shows during CE Week in New York. We stopped at the Control4 table, and got a quick demo of how home control can be the ultimate lifestyle system for the 21st century home.

The Control4 system makes me think of the Jetsons. It’s an amazing feel to not only control everything from a convenient panel from within the house, but also with a smartphone from the next town, a different state, or even in another country.

Control4 Home Control System for a Smart Home

To be able to see if there’s flooding in the basement after a hurricane while on vacation, or check if the front door has been locked from the airport, can certainly put anyone’s mind at ease. Unlike a standard timer, lights can be switched on at different times while you’re away to give a more authentic in-home presence. The home temperature could be made comfortable, lights turned on, and music playing for a nice welcome home.

A keypad lock would allow a babysitter or neighbor access to your home with a code just for one day, or if you need another key, you can quickly replicate an existing one in minutes. The door can be programmed to lock/unlock on a schedule, or work with an alarm system. The possibilities seem endless, and just depends on your budget.

What I find most interesting is that these automated systems are more affordable than I thought. A starter kit that includes a controller and remote control costs under $1,000. If lighting, a deadbolt, licensing, and installation are added, the project would cost about $2,000. I actually thought an automated home system started at $10,000.

My group was fortunate enough to receive a smart home set-up courtesy of Control4 in order to test out the system. I’ve decided to graciously accept their gift, and start out with the smaller system they provide, and once I use it, I can always add on from there if I choose. I anticipate that I will love this system, and will soon have a really cool smart home. After all, it does add value and lots of appeal to a home. I’ll write a review once it’s been installed and I’ve tested everything out.

Below is a video that shows how home control can help with security, entertainment, childcare, elder care, energy efficiency and more.

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