A Smart Home Is an Integrated Home
Make Sure Your Projects Are Ready for Tomorrow’s Smart Technology
We’ve written before about smart devices and home automation. As you know, there are many choices in smart technology available in the market. Many of your clients might think that home automation is about a collection of smart devices that can be cobbled together to make a smart home.
We want to present a different, more comprehensive view of smart home technology and automation. It is not about offering apps on a smartphone to control a light or a camera, nor is about another form of remote control away from home. Smart technology, ultimately, is about total home integration. What do we mean by that?
Traditionally, home systems and functions do not work with or talk with each other. Heating and cooling is its own subsystem. Electrical outlets and lighting are another. Water and plumbing are another, and the typical irrigation system does not tie into anything either. Consider pool and spa equipment as well. While those systems may not change much in terms of what they do, what is radically changing is how they are controlled, how they can report and inform on what they are doing, and how they can be made to work in tandem with other functions.
As designers and builders, you want to plan residences for your clients that are ready for this new integrated future. That means planning for the infrastructure that will support smart technologies. In most cases, we can't accurately anticipate what technology will be available 5-10 years down the road, but we can plan for the foundation that makes it easy to integrate new technology.
So how do you plan for the new future of total home integration in your Memorial, TX projects? Keep reading to learn more.
SEE ALSO: Build Home Automation into Your Next Home
The Future is Not Completely Wireless
To make a home ready for the future, building the underlying infrastructure is critical. Much like laying fiber optic cable and covering areas with high-speed 4G (and soon 5G) has enabled our hyper-connected world, wiring still has an important place in the home. Cat 6e cabling is a good choice for today's homes for higher data speeds, but bandwidth speeds will continue to rise and today's wiring may be limited. Today 4K video is only now becoming mainstream, but 8K resolution is on the way — demand for bigger data pipes will only increase.
Wireless speeds continue to improve, but one way to future proof a home is installing conduit throughout. Installing it when slab foundations are poured and before walls are up is an inexpensive way to be ready for whatever cable might be needed in an upgrade several years down the road. You can envision other areas where installing wiring becomes much harder later — in vaulted ceilings with no attic access, or under a driveway. Why not spend a few more dollars today to be ready for tomorrow’s technology?
Smart Means Working Together
Total home integration means everything works together. Today’s conveniences are likely to be tomorrow’s necessities, much like no one wants to buy a house without a dishwasher. Motorized shades and window treatments are likely to be one of those features that will be increasingly standard. While battery-operated systems work very well, if you are starting building new or working on a major remodel, why not run low voltage wiring to every window that might employ an automated shade? Or run low voltage wiring for accurate temperature sensors in every room? That way, the integrated future home has intelligent means for controlling light and heat in a fierce Houston summer home, and the smart home system can control various elements to maintain both comfort and efficiency. Or consider the irrigation system that works with the weather forecast to more precisely use water where it’s most needed. A home prepared for this future is a home your clients will find highly attractive.
Systems That Won’t Be Obsolete Tomorrow
History is littered with devices and technology that were popular for a short period but were quickly superseded by superior systems that solved larger problems rather than offering one great feature. Smart home devices and automation is no exception. You want to look to systems that are flexible enough to solve today’s automation needs but are flexible to accommodate those of tomorrow. Home automation systems like Crestron is an example of one that stands the test of time; the company has been in the home and commercial automation business for decades, incorporating the latest technology — like voice control — into its comprehensive smart home platform.
Refined Systems is ready to work with you to incorporate total home integration into your next Memorial, TX project. To learn more, just use the chat below to connect with one of our experts, or contact us today!