Smartphones make life easier on the go — but what can smart devices do for you at home? Plenty, it turns out. Home automation is catching on as a convenient and, frankly, cool way to customize your living spaces. Consumer-ready voice-controlled products like Alexa and Sonos are accessible to the DIYer, while larger-scale “total control” systems from URC, Savant, and Crestron require specialized programming to ensure that they’ll work exactly as you expect. Experts recommend consulting a professional AV company about how to best accommodate your needs, budget, and how you personally interact with gadgets in your home.
We asked two smart-home designers who serve Westchester, Michael DeMello of AV Design & Integration in Elmsford and Jack Gonzalez of JS Home Automation in Cold Spring, to share information about the advantages of gaining smart control over your home:
Energy Saving: Smart temperature control allows you to change a thermostat from your handheld devices or even set motion sensors to adjust temps based on which rooms of your home are in use. Motorized window shades allow or block heat from sunlight either at will or on a set schedule. These features take pressure off your HVAC system and lead to an immediate reduction in energy use.
Security: Motion-sensing cameras and remote-controlled electronic locks give a significant boost to your home-security system. Smart window shading adds a layer of protection to your privacy.
Convenience: Manipulating lighting, temperature, and appliances all around your home with the touch of a button lets you customize your surroundings to best fit your own personal comfort.
Entertainment: Integrating your TV, lighting, and sound systems to work in concert makes a home theater fully immersive. Setting the right mood with smart lighting will raise the stakes when you’re entertaining guests.