contact refined systems button offcanva subscribe

Contact Us

Don’t hesitate to let us know how we can help you. We are here to answer any questions you might have or assist you with a project.

Subscribe

Join our mailing list and stay up to date on the latest smart technology news and events.

Call Today (281) 907-9620   |   18801 Intercontinental Crossing Drive, Houston, TX 77073

                       Pay Now

Articles tagged with: Smart Home Design

Why Design Smart Lighting Control into Your Next Project?

Four Reasons Why Smart Lighting Will Differentiate Your Residential Projects

As a designer, architect, or builder (and we know some of you do all of these), you intuitively understand the importance of lighting in a project. You cringe when you walk into a room with a single light and no cans, and when that one light needs to share its installation with a ceiling fan. You don’t want to see an art niche that missed an opportunity to be highlighted with the right spotlighting.

While you understand lighting, you might be on the fence about smart lighting control for your projects in Memorial and Houston. Texans are straightforward and might ask, “what's so smart about lighting?”

Smart lighting is all about bringing today’s intelligent technology to bear on the lowly light switch. And there are many advantages to smart lighting over banks of light switches. While smart lighting is not particularly difficult to retrofit into existing homes, it’s even easier to take advantage of all the features if it’s designed in from the start.

Read on to learn more about why smart lighting control is a smart feature to add to your projects.

SEE ALSO: Build Home Automation into Your Next Home

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.

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.

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.

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.