Tech enthusiasts often like to set up and configure their new gadgets themselves. Adding smart devices to your home to make life more convenient could be something you’ve considered trying your hand at – but before you go out and get all the latest hardware, you should be aware of the pitfalls of DIY smart home automation. Here are some reasons why going professional could make things simpler in the long run.
How complex do you want to go? If you’re simply adding a little ease by letting Alexa switch your lights off at night, then sorting this out yourself is simple enough. However, if you’re looking to automate thermostats, lighting, TV and audio, security and more, you’re looking at a complex integration that will be difficult to operate unless it’s designed and configured to work through one solution. Having a plethora of remotes and interfaces to control individual components can be a hassle too. With professional installation, you can access everything with one universal remote or interface.
Often, DIY smart installation doesn’t take into account the nature of the property itself. If you have a large home or there are fittings such as mirror walls and radiant floor heating, you may experience issues with the wireless connectivity. In such cases, it’s far better to seek professional help from specialist home automation installers, who can ensure the wiring is correct.
When you’re setting up your own home automation system, what you can’t necessarily do is ensure that security is maximised. With professional installation and systems such as Control4, your components can all be configured to minimise gaps in security, and updates can be made on your behalf. What’s more, your system information is used only to improve your experience; there’s no risk of your data being sold.
You may be into your gadgets, but do you know your network capabilities just as intimately? Your home automation system will only be as good at the network it runs on, and getting a pro involved is the best way to ensure every device will operate reliably. There’s no point in having a fancy system if you’re constantly waiting for buffering or lags.
If you put all your smart components in yourself, it’s up to you to sort it when you’re having an issue. Software needs updating, hardware needs maintenance, and sometimes things go wrong for no apparent reason. If you’re not up to the job of looking after all your devices – or you’re already time-poor – it’s much easier to have a professional available to monitor your system and perform maintenance when necessary.
When it comes to the physical installation of hardware, including wiring, are you ready and willing to scramble up to the roof to mount cameras or pull wires through fiddly spaces? And can you do it all so that there’s minimal intrusion from cables and devices? If you’re at all unsure about your capabilities, it’s in your interest to have a professional service that saves you the headache of getting everything in place.
I have been in the AV industry for over 20 years, working alongside some very high profile brands. More recently I have been heavily involved in Smart Home Technology, Home Cinema & Lighting Control which I very much enjoy discussing with clients, as well as providing CPD's for a variety of construction partners.