All right stop, Collaborate and listen
Ice is back with my brand new invention...

VANILLA ICE - "Ice Ice Baby"
For better or worse, the industry and the Audiophile industry share a few commonalities. You will even see Custom Home Automation systems sold together with High End audio equipment, all in the same stores! This is not to imply all are sleazy or disparage audiophiles. There are good, reputable people, and there are the rotten ones. Why I bring this up is that its important to research and educate yourself before making a jump. If you don’t know the difference, you won’t be able to protect yourself from the snake oil salesman.

Don’t buy something that won’t work for you!

Building your custom home automation solution should be an expression of you and your families lifestyle. Ultimately, the best solution for you is what suits your needs. Don’t be that person who purchases something and only later discovers that the system they were promised could grow with them and their needs in reality lacks important features, and isn’t flexible. blah blah blah

Don’t become trapped by an inflexible system

All too often someone will buy a packaged solution and later discover it isn’t compatible or won’t fit the original vision. Sometimes its found out that the solution offers only a limited number of modules, completely locked out to the home owner, or unable to talk with common components.

What could be more frustrating than discovering

  • Your new system will never be able to grow with you
  • The system you had installed a year ago cannot be upgraded, despite all the promises that it could be

Avoid these and other pitfalls by educating yourself.

What your choose will live on

I believe you’d agree a flexible solution would have:

  • A flexible solution is a tool that doesn’t tie you to one possible solution, and limited offerings
  • Is customizable by the owner
  • Opens the world to choosing the best in class
  • Easily expandable

The Future is Upon You

Technology is developing quickly. Choose unwisely – Your new system will rapidly become the next BetaMax. Don’t become trapped by an inflexible system unable to adapt to you and your families changing needs.

Before you jump

The first step is carefully considering your needs. Create a list of what you want.

  1. What needs do you have for your home security?
  2. How important is it to automate lights, doors, blinds and audio?
  3. What other functions and features are important to you?
  4. Are you looking to expand an existing system?
  5. Are you looking to integrate two or more different systems?

Starting here helps greatly drive toward the best fit for your unique needs.
Lastly, consider future needs. Is there a baby in your future? Is there a possible move in your future (some things are harder to take with you in the future).

Unlocking Your Needs

Like building a custom home, each person has a different need. Start by identifying what your goals are. Each system has its strengths and weaknesses. By clarifying what your priorities are, it quickly limits the field down. Ask yourself, how important are each of these items to my family and myself? (While reviewing this list, give each one a value between 1 and 5 on how important each is to you and your family members.)

  • Remote Access (Mobile Phone, tablet, etc)
  • Home Theatre
  • Whole Home Audio
  • Home security video and camera
  • Lighting control
  • Blinds and Window
  • Automate home functions
  • Integrate with existing system (home security system [GE, 2Gig], Lutron, Caseta, etc)

What level of support will you want or need?

  • I’m the DIY type. I love to solve problems, and rarely if ever call a support line.
  • I’m happy to solve the occasional problem. I’ll spend a few hours on a problem, than I know I need a little help.
  • I don’t have the time or interest. Turn key, is what I want.

Caveat Emptor

Despite the marketing literature promising everything under the sun, as you begin designing your system, You likely will find compromises being made. A full turnkey solution from a manufacturer will promise the best support and ease of install, while at the same time being the most limited. It’s easy to understand the reason, they are expected to support and resolve any issue arising. They also control what types of hardware supported. These are the least flexible, and definitely the most expensive. Some of them even lock the owner out completely. To add actions or scenes, you pay an hourly rate for someone to do it for you. No matter how technical or experienced you might be.

The most flexible is what I call the buffet approach. This provides you with the widest possible range of functionality and features. The support options are more limited, and its definitely caveat emptor with some hardware.

Get In Touch

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