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Articles tagged with: Smart Home Automation

Future-Proof Your Home for Smart Technology

Plan the Low-Voltage Wiring Early in Your Next Project

A new build or remodel project has many details that must be well thought out and planned. It’s easy for architects, designers, builders, and the homeowners to get wrapped up in many decisions that must be made to balance requirements, desires, budget, and time constraints. Often there are many design revisions to floor plans, lighting plans, materials, and much more. Something like low-voltage wiring might not be the thing that most of the parties involved are worried about – yet it is critical infrastructure for enabling many smart home functions. Low-voltage wiring is easier and less expensive to do before drywall is installed, and even if changes are required in that stage where the framing is still uncovered, it is still relatively simple to do.

What kind of things depend on low-voltage wiring? Quite a few with today’s smart home features. LED lighting is one excellent example. A home with LED lighting and smart lighting control might have more low-voltage wiring requirements than regular electrical wiring. Other features like smart security sensors, alarms, and cameras all depend on low-voltage. If the owners want a whole house audio system, planning for that early makes it considerably less expensive than adding it later. How about a media room or home theater? Planning the low-voltage infrastructure makes it easy to install all these features when construction is completed.

Refined Systems is expert in residential AV systems and smart home technology. Read on to learn more about the benefits of bringing in a low-voltage contractor like us early in your next Houston residential project.

Smart Homes Depend on Robust Networks

Is Your Home Network Up to Par?

In today’s world, it seems like smart technology is invading almost every device or appliance in our daily life.  You may remember when a phone was, well, just a phone. Today our smartphones are always with us, a powerful pocket computer that can do banking, serve up audio and video entertainment, keep us connected to the world via social media, and make phone calls too. This smart device is joined by smart doorbells, locks, cameras, motorized shades, lights, thermostats, refrigerators, and more in the home.&

The common thread across all smart devices is that much of the intelligence that makes them “smart” comes from their connection to powerful software applications on the Internet.  Amazon’s Echo speaker is just a speaker unless it is connected to Amazon’s cloud, which has the processing power and intelligence to enable the little speaker to accomplish a wide variety of tasks. Without an Internet connection, some of these devices don’t seem very smart.

As we add more and more devices for smart home control and automation of lighting, climate, security, and entertainment, we need networks with the capacity to handle it all. Is your home networking system up to the task in Houston?

Read on to learn more.

The Crestron Difference

Why Crestron Is The Leader in High-End Home Automation

You might say that home automation technology is almost mainstream these days. Google, Apple, and Amazon are making devices and home control platforms that enable control of smart home devices like thermostats, lights, AV equipment. But home automation technology is older than you might think, and some companies have been at it for a long time.

Crestron is the company that practically invented home automation. Starting in 1971 by building a variety of automated machines, it began focusing on electronics control in the late 1980s with one of the first wireless remotes for commercial systems. The company’s long history and focus on automation have made it a staple of control systems from corporate boardrooms to the largest homes.

As the premier Crestron authorized dealer in Houston and operator of a Crestron showroom, Refined Systems has the experience and expertise to automate virtually any aspect of your Houston residence. Read on to learn more about what makes Crestron stand out from other home automation systems.

What Can Smart Home Control Do For You?

3 Ideas to Reap The Benefits of Smart Home Technology

If you have heard a lot about smart home technology, you know there are a plethora of devices out there that promise to make your life so much easier.  Smart devices can make your home function better, adding convenience, luxury, and often energy savings too. 

But what are the best ways to really take advantage of this technology?  Some solutions add real value, and some are more of a novelty that may not make much difference in your daily life.  In this blog, we want to identify what we believe are the best smart home control applications that will make your life easier, day in and day out in Houston.   

Read on to find out more!

Do Smart Homes and Good Design Mix?

4 Design Ideas for A Sleek Modern Look

Smart home technology is everywhere.  From smart speakers to smart thermostats to smart cameras, there are a host of devices that can automate home functions and make everyday life simpler.  But as a designer, you don’t want a bunch of electronics or devices dominating your interiors.  Can the desire for the convenience and automation of modern smart devices mix with great design?

The answer is yes.  In fact, some of the new tech has beautiful industrial design that makes a statement. And other smart home technology can be discreetly incorporated without taking anything away from you and your clients’ design sense. 

Read on for 4 excellent ways to marry smart technology and style.

Customized Home Automation

Why Crestron is the Ultimate Smart Home System

If you’re looking into adding smart features to your current home or perhaps building or renovating a new one, there are a few home automation systems to consider. 

You might wonder what the differences are between these systems.  There is one overarching reason why we at Refined Systems recommend Crestron – it is supremely flexible.  Crestron’s approach to home automation is to deliver the best customer experience, and that means one that is as personalized as possible to the customer’s requirements. 

Intrigued as to what that means?  Read on for a couple of examples of what’s possible with a Crestron-powered smart home system in Houston. 

Smart Shades For The Smart Home

Beat the Houston Heat With Motorized Shades

Perhaps you’ve already invested in some home automation.  You may have a smart thermostat that you can control and program from your smartphone.  Maybe you have smart lights that go on and off at specific times or groups of lights that you can easily brighten or dim.  You may even have security cameras that alert you to presence or activity in your home or outside.

But there’s one piece that you may not have thought about to complete your very efficient – and convenient – smart home technology, and that’s motorized shades.  Of course, there are regular motorized shades that can go up and down at the push of a button on a remote or a smartphone app. But the advantages of automating your shades – making them smart – are more significant when you integrate them with your other smart technology. And with our Texas summer getting into full swing in Houston, smart shades can keep you cooler and more comfortable. 

Just keep reading to learn more.

Working with a Crestron Dealer: The Step-by-Step Process

Making your Client’s Dream Home a Reality is a Breeze

Homeowners these days want the latest and best features for their new living spaces – which most likely means they’re ready for smart home technology.  Smart homes are no longer a concept of the future; they’re in the here and now.

If you’re a builder or architect in the Memorial, TX area, you always want to design your clients the home they’ve been dreaming of owning.  But how can you incorporate new automated technology into their houses, when your knowledge on the matter is slim to none?

That’s what a Crestron dealer is here for.  You can make every smart home project a success when you have professional installers on your side.

In this blog, we’ve put together a guide to what the installation process looks like, and how it all goes down with a Crestron dealer on your team.

Read below to learn more.

Make Your Client’s Homes Smart from the Start

Crestron Provides Comprehensive Home Automation Solutions

As a designer or architect, you are no doubt being asked by your clients about home automation technology.

Your most sophisticated River Oaks clients will want a complete and flexible solution – one that may incorporate automation of lighting, climate, security, audio and video, pool and spa, and perhaps even a wine room.  You want that solution to be well integrated, fit with the home’s design, and be easy to use.

Crestron is one of the original names in home automation. Their technology is among the most robust and flexible in the industry.

Read on to learn more about how Crestron home automation can fulfill your clients’ vision of the ultimate smart home.

Is Your Crestron System Working Like It Should?

Trust a Certified Crestron Dealer With Your System Re-Work

You get what you pay for, right?

It’s a simple truth, but that doesn’t keep us from looking for the best deal. In fact, it’s like human nature to want to save some money.

But sometimes that can lead you to unsatisfactory results. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. It happens to the best of us.

For instance, you may have invested in a Crestron home automation system for your Houston, TX property and you’re just not getting the benefit out of it you’d like.

It may not be your fault. It may be a poor installation. And you may need to speak to a certified Crestron dealer to correct it.

If that’s the case for you, this blog will help. Just keep reading for more.

Smart Home Control vs. Automation: What’s the Difference?

Understand the Options for Upgrading Your Home Technology

Smart home control” and “smart home automation” are terms that are often used interchangeably, but are they the same thing? Short answer: no. Although both technologies are part of the same overall smart home system, they are very different ways of achieving a desired result. Below, we break down the definitions of these terms and what sets them apart from each other. If you’ve been considering adding smart technology to your Houston, Texas home, then keep reading.

Why Should You Invest in Motorized Shades?

3 Key Advantages for Houston Homeowners

If you’ve done any research into the possibilities of smart home automation, then motorized shades have probably cropped up on multiple occasions. That’s because upgrading your window treatments with automation is a simple step that makes life better in so many different ways. To learn more about the difference motorized shades can have in your Texas home, read on.

How to Make the Most of Your Lighting Control System in Winter

Break through the Darkness with Smart Lighting Control

There are a lot of great things about wintertime. The holidays offer many opportunities to spend time with family and friends, and the Texas heat finally starts cooling down to a reasonable temperature. But one aspect of winter that isn’t so great is how quickly it gets dark in the evenings. Fortunately, smart lighting control systems can help keep your Houston home cheery and bright all winter long. To learn how, keep reading.

Take Your Dedicated Home Theater From Good to Great with Automation

Smart Home Automation Creates a Luxury Theater Experience

Creating that larger than life cinematic experience in your home theater requires more than just a 4K UHD screen and surround sound. Top-quality A/V equipment can certainly create a good theater environment, but if you feel like something is missing from the dedicated home theater in your Houston, TX residence, you might be right. Below, we discuss how smart home automation can greatly enhance your movie-watching experience.