HomeNewsDesigning a Smart Home – What you Need to Know
Designing a Smart Home – What you Need to Know
30th September 2022
Designing your Smart Home
Smart technology is here to stay. Just look at how most UK homes are now set up with WiFi for working at home and smart TVs that will stream the latest series directly from services such as Netflix. Then there’s our thermostats that can be adjusted from our smartphones. Suddenly installing smart lighting, security and integrated audio-visual equipment doesn’t seem such a huge leap.
When it comes to designing a smart home, there are several things to consider. What elements are most important to you? Do you have an internet connection that can deal with the extra demand? How can you ensure hardware remains unintrusive? Let’s take a look in more detail at designing and planning your smart home setup.
The initial plan
The first step in creating your new smart home is deciding what is necessary and what is simply a nice-to-have. Essential elements, for example, would include a reliable WiFi connection (more on that later) or dependable security, while a nice-to-have might be a dedicated home cinema. When thinking about how your smart home is going to operate, consider the following:
How you plan to use each room
How the house will function as a whole and where you might need integration
How long you’re planning to be in your home, and if your tech requirements might change over time
The design stage
Once you’ve got an idea of what you need, your budget, and where you want to have the various elements, it’s time to work on the design. There are two options here: a DIY job or engaging professional smart home technology installers.
If you only want one or two elements linked up to your Amazon Alexa, you can get off the shelf smart products that can be fitted yourself. However, for anything more sophisticated, such as full home automation, integrated functionality, or the potential to scale up your requirements, it’s best to chat to a home automation specialist.
A smart home professional can design and install every aspect of your smart home according to your exact requirements. They can also help you choose the best equipment for your budget and integrate everything so that it’s operated via a single source of control. Make sure you hire the specialist early on in the project, as they may have ideas for the design, or solutions to problems, that you hadn’t considered.
Before you install a single light bulb or automated blind, you’ll need to ensure that you have the infrastructure in place to operate everything effectively. That means robust WiFi that can cope with the demands being placed on it for lighting, heating, media and more.
Ideally you want to have several WiFi access points throughout your home, connected back to the central router with data cables. The best systems can enable your device to hop to the best aerial as you move about your home.
A home automation installation expert can provide the best possible solution for your home, ensuring your WiFi is set up to meet both your present needs and any future needs you might have.
The equipment you choose will be key to your overall experience, so you’ll want to get the best possible products for your budget.
Lighting and blinds
By automating lighting and blinds, you can achieve the optimum level of light in each room throughout the day. We work with Lutron lighting systems to help you make the most of your space, integrating lights and blinds so that they work in harmony to meet your needs, whether you’re working at home, watching a movie or having dinner.
Heating and ventilation
Integrated heating enables you to control your home’s temperature via a centralised system. Not only can you heat or cool certain rooms in your home when required, you can also sync your thermostats with other aspects of your smart home – such as lights and blinds – to create the ideal ambience when you get up or return from work.
From cameras and locks to sensors and electric gates, choosing the right security equipment is essential for your peace of mind. All elements of your system can be linked and operated at the touch of a button, allowing you to enable or disable it remotely when the kids get home from school or the cleaner has finished their jobs.
Your audio-visual equipment needs to be on point for the best possible experience when you’re watching movies, catching up with your favourite TV series, or gaming. You’ll also need speakers that are positioned optimally for an immersive experience, whether you’re using the TV or simply listening to music or a podcast. The requirements for each room might be slightly different too.
With products such as Artcoustic speakers, you can turn speakers into pieces of art in their own right or hide them in the walls and ceiling without compromising the sound quality.
Once you’ve chosen all the hardware, it’s time to get it installed. Engaging a professional installer for smart homes is the best route to ensure the smooth and secure operation of your system. Not only can professional installers get the project completed quickly, but they are also on hand to provide system updates and maintenance when required.
When having your equipment installed, the ideal solution is to be able to control it via one interface. Having all your technology integrated through a system such as Control4 delivers optimum convenience and enables you to create whole home scenes or a mockupancy – an occupancy simulation that follows the pattern of your general habits while you’re away to make it seem like you’re at home.
Control4 is compatible with most leading brands, and also produces its own products, meaning whichever equipment you choose, it’s the perfect option for control.
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.