Alexa, Turn on the T.V.!

  Imagine having the ability to turn on your T.V. and Surround Sound to your favorite news channel for background noise while you do household chores, just using your Voice!  No Juggling Remotes Needed!  Simply say "Alexa, Turn on NBC"  and your T.V. turns on, Surround Sound Receiver turns on, Cable Box turns on and all "inputs" are set as needed.  You barely even need to brake concentration from what you were doing.

  When you want to watch a Movie, you can say "Alexa, Turn on Movie" and again, your T.V. turns on, Surround Sound turns on, and Movie player turns on-  again everything adjusted to their proper input.  Alexa can even be setup to Dim the Lights Automatically.  

  At bedtime you can say "Alexa, Turn Off House" so your T.V./Surround Sound turn off, any connected lights can either be turned off or dimmed to a "Night Light" level and any connected locks will be locked if not already.

  A lot of the routines of turning things on or off and the worry that you may have forgotten to lock a door or turn off a light can be replaced with short sentences.  Now you'll have more time to focus on the things that are really important in your life... Alexa can cover the details.

Smart Locks

  Smart locks and Garage Doors are one of our most popular offerings.  Locking/Unlocking is easy for everyone.  Locking can be automated and checked from anywhere to give you one less thing to worry about.  

  Keyless Entry-  We can set your Smart locks or Garage Doors to automatically unlock/open when a family member approaches.  You can also set up to 30 "digital keys" for house guests and/or contractors.  No more fumbling with keys to open the door and no more passing out or hiding keys for guests/workman. 

  Notifications-  You can now keep track of who's coming and going and when.  Whether you're wondering when your cleaning person or contractor showed up, or when your teenager rolled in last night, the user activity is logged.  Now you can even have alerts sent to your phone when someone uses a lock or garage door.

  Total Control-  As part of a "Total Control" system, your locks will work together with the rest of your "smart" devices.  Opening your front door or garage door in the evening hours can automatically turn on lights in the entryways so you never walk into a dark house again. Running the "Goodnight" command can lock all doors, make sure garage door is closed, turn off tv/surround sound and adjust lights to bedtime levels.  The options are completely customizable to fit your lifestyle. 

What Can Smart Home Do For You?

It seem's like there's a "smart" version of everything now a days.  Thermostats, lighting, door locks, door bells, garage doors...  The list seems endless.  

There is definately a potential for these products to make our lives simpler but many of us grew up in the pre-internet age and might not consider ourselves exactly "tech savy".  If we weren't born with an I-pad in our hand and we don't have a computer science degree, how can we take advantage of these technologies?  How do individual technologies benefit us and how can they work together to make our lives simpler?

I'll look at the most common technologies to see how they can benefit you and how they can fit together.

Scenes/Activities

Scenes are where your home truly becomes "Smart".  Hit the "Goodnight" button on your remote, smartphone, tablet, keypad,  even say "Alexa, run Goodnight" and your TV/Surround Sound shuts down, your doors lock, your lights turn off with enough delay for you to get to your bedroom.     

Leaving home? -  Run the "Away" scene to turn off all lights and electronics and lock all doors.  If you're leaving for an extended period you can use a "Vacant" scene that would also raise/lower the temperature about 10 degrees and set the lights and/or shades to mimic your normal habits to make your home look occupied.  When you return your door will unlock, your lights will turn on/shades will adjust and your heat/cooling will adjust AUTOMATICALLY!

Activity Scenes can be used in any room.  In a Home Theater a "Watch Movie" scene will turn on TV/Projector, turn on surround sound, start Blu-Ray and dim the lights.  In the Kitchen a "Cooking" scene might set the pendant lights over the island, under cabinet lights and ceiling light fans to 75% and play a favorite Pandora station through the speakers.  A "Dining" scene might lower the level of the kitchen lighting to 30% and put the lights over the table at 75% while turning off the music.  You can use your imagination on bedroom scenes.  Everything is completely customizable, we normally use "stock" scenes and follow up around a month after installation to adjust to your taste.

Smart Locks

Smart locks are another great technology to have in your home. Think about it, your car allows you to unlock, start, and lock without having to touch your keys. So why not your home? Imagine being able to walk up to your front door and enter without having to fumble around trying to find your keys. 

Having a smart lock will also give you peace of mind about who is entering and leaving your home throughout the day all with the convenience of an app accessible on your phone or tablet. Want to make sure your kids get off the bus and are safe at home? Want to make sure the Handyman locked the door after he finished working on your home? This is all possible with having a smart lock installed. 

​Going to bed at night could not be any more convenient. Smart locks can be integrated into your home's other smart devices. You would be able to create a "Goodnight" feature on your remote, tablet or cell phone and have everything turn off together. Your lights, shades, TV, and door locks would turn off and lock with the touch of one button. 

​Lighting

​Lighting can be so much more than just a switch on the wall. Set the scene! Movie nights with the family made easy by turning lights down low and playing your movie without getting up from your seat.

​Improve your lifestyle- Imaging waking up to increased lighting over time instead of that body jarring, noisy alarm. You walk into the kitchen to make your coffee and the room senses you enter... your kitchen illuminates. 

At the end of a long stressful day you can transform your entertainment room to a tranquil space to unwind. With the touch of a button you can lower the shades, set the lights down low and listen to relaxing music all while savoring that well deserved glass of wine. ​

​Home Entertainment/Music

​Do you have a stack of remotes to control your TV/Surround Sound?  Does turning your TV and Sound System on involve juggling 2-3 remotes at a time?  You're not alone and the process can be much easier.  Our systems are one button touch or even one voice command.  Want to watch Cable TV-  Simply touch the "Cable TV" button or say "Alexa, turn on Cable TV" and everything else is taken care of.  The TV turns on, the Sound System turns on, the Cable Box turns and all inputs are set to where they need to be, all with one command!  You can even lower the lights or shades at the same time if you have them integrated.  Teaching babysitters or house guests to operate will take under 2 minutes.

Music throughout the house can really help set the ​mood.  Whether gearing up for the day, energizing for a workout or unwinding at the end of the day, music can help create the energy you're looking for.  Our systems easily allow you to play multiple sources like Pandora, Sirius, Spotify, your own music, ect  from most anywhere you want- inside or outside.

With our smart home systems you can start small, perhaps with just Home Entertainment control with a couple of lights and build until your home is like the Jetsons!  Just be warned, once you start it's hard to stop.  Anyone who's had a properly programmed Universal Remote can tell you there's no going back.  Automating lights, shades, locks and heating/cooling is truly gamechanging.

The future is here, if you can think it we can most likely make it happen.  Contact us today with any questions. 

Cameras for your vacation property

Are you considering a surveillance camera system ​for your vacation home?                                          

There are some considerations to make before making an investment​.  Cameras vary in style, technology and performance.  A camera system that meets your needs can give you peace of mind while you're away from your property.

CCTV

Dome Camera installed in landscaping

    • ​Style- Generally cameras are available in a dome or a bullet style. You may want the cameras to be noticable but you don't want them to be an eyesore. Bullet cameras are generally better where they will be a little more hidden and/or if exposed to alot of rain/sun.  Dome cameras generally blend better aesthetically, we usually use them in covered spaces and/or living spaces. 
    • Type- Cameras come in either I/P or Analog. While the gap has closed on both fronts, generally I/P cameras offer better picture quality while analog are a little less expensive.                                                                          
    • Lenses-  Cameras are available with fixed or varifocal lenses.  A fixed lense is going to give you a broad view and outside of moving the camera, cannot be adjusted.  A varifocal lense can be zoomed in to capture a more specific space.       Want to cover the full front of your home?  A properly installed fixed lense will probably do the trick.                                                                                                             Need license plate/face recognition or something else very specific?  You'll probably need a varifocal lense.
    • Viewing/Storage- Are you looking for a system that only plays back live or one thats capable of rewinding months if necessary? If you want to rewind, do you want to store in "the cloud" or have a dvr on site? Do you have high speed internet on the property?  How often are you there/how long could it be before you realized an event took place?                                                                                        Our typical systems will record about 2 months of footage, we can do more on request.   
    • Reliability- In typical environments with cameras, people are around them and/or dealing with them near daily. If an issue arises its typically noticed quickly and can be taken care of quickly. Vacation homes are often vacant or used by people other than the owner. A problem with a camera system can go unnoticed until the cameras are needed. A proper installation with quality equipment can ensure minimum downtime making it more likely that the cameras are working if/when needed.

We know that you work hard for the things that you have.  A vacation home should be a getaway from your stresses, not add to them.  Having a camera system in place can help avoid many incidences that could arise and help resolve those that do.  Most importantly it can give you peace of mind...  It's also pretty cool to be able to look at your property whenever you want.