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Build Home Automation Into Your Next Home

Design Your Dream Home with Smart Home Technology

The truth is, home automation technology has been around for quite a few years. Yet it seems like the introduction of the Nest smart thermostat in 2011 ushered in the new era of intelligent, connected home devices that is upon us. Today, you can buy all manner of smart devices for your home. From security cameras and thermostats and smart lights, we are moving to smart refrigerators, ranges, irrigation control, mirrors, and much more.

There is almost a bewildering array of choices that exist with smart devices. Many rely on different communication technologies, and some need specific hubs to make them work. It is possible, depending on what devices you choose, that you might need several different hubs to control them. More importantly, some work within one software ecosystem or another. One ecosystem is Amazon with Alexa; another is Google Home. A third is Apple Home, and a fourth is Samsung Smartthings. To be fair, some of these devices, like the Nest thermostat, work across several ecosystems. However, sometimes some features are limited on one ecosystem versus the other.

If you keep things simple with automation, you might get by with some of these consumer smart devices. But if you want a more cohesive package of smart capabilities, with the capacity to expand what you can control and automate, you will end up looking at a professionally designed and installed smart home system.

Read on to find out how a professionally designed and installed home automation system can help you build your dream smart home in Houston.

SEE ALSO: Smart Home Control VS. Automation: What’s The Difference?


If home automation is just a nice novelty or convenience, then maybe you will accept some glitches here and there. But if you are designing around smart technology — for example, with security — the consequences of something not working can be serious. If you have smart cameras monitoring your property, you want to ensure that you are notified, or an alarm goes off, if something is amiss. If you have a water sensor because you have a part of your house that could be flooded, you want to make sure it works when it’s needed.

Consumer solutions exist for putting smart devices together to achieve some levels of automation. However, devices from different vendors don’t always work well together, and while they are compatible within a particular ecosystem, they may never have been tested in an environment similar to yours. Some communication protocols in certain devices are more prone to have glitches than others. One reason we use established professional-grade brands like Lutron for lighting control and Crestron for home automation is that these vendors have carefully chosen, integrated, and tested the technologies they use to ensure that they work in many environments. They also have various systems, some that are designed to work in smaller properties and others that can handle much larger ones.

Sophisticated Automation

Do you like to program computers? Then you might enjoy do-it-yourself (DIY) home automation. The problem is that most DIY consumer systems stop short of giving you enough control over automation sequences. In the same way that programming of universal remote controls has frustrated many people because some devices have delays responding to a command that can upset an entire automation sequence, DIY home automation tends to have the same headaches. Again, simple things might work fine, but if you design your home with automation as an integral part you will depend on those sequences working every time — or you will be unhappy.

A Well-Orchestrated Home

Let’s paint this scenario. Your dream living/family room space doubles as a media room for movies or watching the Texans in the fall, or cheering on the Rockets in the upcoming NBA Playoffs. The room has big windows, and you have a combination of automated shades for clerestory windows and motorized window treatments for lower windows. There are overhead lights in the rooms, sconces on the walls, and some table lamps as well. For daytime viewing, you have a large flat panel TV, and for nighttime movies and big games, you have a projector. The projector and screen are hidden in the ceiling and drop down via motors when it’s time for the show. Of course, there’s a full surround sound system too, but sometimes you like listening in stereo only for broadcast shows or music and use full surround for more focused viewing.

The type of system you need to control and automate what we just described is hard to do with most DIY solutions. Even if you put it together with a variety of products, there is work to do to program that system, tie it together, and ensure that it works consistently. Because if the projector drops down and the screen doesn’t, or the lights go up instead of dim, you know you are going to be upset.

Making that scenario work is what Refined Systems does day in and day out. We choose the right technology, design the system, program the automation you want, and install it, and ensure that you also know how to use it. And we are here in case something goes wrong, so you are not spending your evening debugging your home automation.

To learn more, just click below to connect with one of our experts, or contact us today!