There are a number of compelling reasons to go with smart home technology whether you are building from the ground up or in need of a retrofit.
I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly reminding my son to turn off the lights when he leaves a room. And I distinctly remember my father singing the same chorus to me when I was growing up. And then there’s the battle my husband and I have over the thermostat. I like the house warmer in the morning and I crank up the heat to help get me going. The problem is that I often forget to turn it down when I leave the house. But with today’s technology, these sorts of battles (and charges) are unnecessary. Automation and modern building techniques give homeowners new levels of control, comfort, and security.
Convenience is a strong motivator for many homeowners deciding to incorporate smart home technology. There are products that offer users remote access to systems including music and multimedia devices, heating and cooling systems, intercoms, elevators, garage doors, and more. Kirk MacKay, president and lead technology designer at RED Group in Park City, says that clients come to him looking for “a way to simplify their lives and enhance their lifestyle.” Imagine, he says, “running out the door and setting your home in ‘away’ mode with a single press of a button—set the alarm, scale back the thermostats, and turn off the lights. A smart home can save you time and give you peace of mind.”
But convenience is only one reason to smarten up. Efficiency and resale values also play into the equation. Because smart homes are more efficient, you save money over time. The initial expense that goes into the technology—a factor that deters some—has less impact when you consider the monthly savings that the technology produces. As for resale value, more and more owners are looking for fully integrated homes and won’t settle for anything less.
RED Group has extensive experience with automation control systems, lighting control systems, home cinema, single and multi-room audio/video systems, board/conference room and class room presentation systems, video conferencing systems, sound and room acoustics, system integration, security and surveillance, motorized window coverings, and system infrastructure. MacKay says, “As with any good product or service, our behind-the-scenes process is extensive and meticulously implemented to ensure that we are able to deliver an elevated experience for the homeowner every time. However, for the homeowner, the process on the surface is rather simple and straightforward.”
MacKay says that it’s all about the partnership between homeowner and technology advisor when integrating tech into a home. He recommends finding a technology partner who is not partial to particular manufacturers and technologies but is open to all and keeps up with the rapid developments in the field. “The home tech field has changed so much in the last five years and innovations develop rapidly. The way we approach technology in the home,” he says, “is so different than it was a decade ago. Then, technology in the home was segmented and what should have made life simpler actually complicated it. Today, we have the ability to seamlessly integrate tech into every aspect of our lives.”
For MacKay, it’s a matter of pride that clients who initially resisted integrating tech into their home experience because of past difficulties have come around to embrace it after working with RED Group. “When we first started exploring the options for this one client’s home, she said that she did not want house audio or smart remotes for her televisions. She had those systems in her current home and never used them. When we explored why she didn’t use them, we determined they were complicated and unreliable.” After working with this client on the way she wanted to use technology and the details that would make her experience with tech simpler and more reliable, Mackay designed a system that this client now says she “couldn’t live without.”
As for MacKay’s must-have smart home technology, he says, “The first must-have for a homeowner is self-healing technology, which has the ability to monitor system performance and reliability and to automatically make changes to the system to increase performance or reliability. Think about when your modem gets locked up. The self-healing tech would recognize that and reboot it before you even notice it’s down.” The second must-have on MacKay’s list? “Smart cameras—surveillance cameras that can sense objects such as a person or a vehicle and will automatically zoom in and follow those objects. As the object moves around, the camera can hand off to another camera to maintain seamless coverage. An email or text alert can also be sent to the homeowner or property manager to alert them to the movement.” In resort areas where many residences are second homes, this sort of technology is very useful.
MacKay sums it up saying, “We live in an exciting time where home technology can now be seamlessly integrated into our lives. There is no reason why technology should not be a natural extension of the way that we live, communicate, and enjoy life.”
Kirk MacKay and the pros at RED Group can help you at any stage of your smart home installation project. There are obvious advantages to having a technology partner involved from the beginning as they are trained to foresee potential issues and come armed with a plethora of solutions. A project from start to finish involves the five following steps:
1. Project discovery
– determining the project direction, project scope, and budget allowances.
2. System design
– designing/engineering the exact solution for the project needs, based on discovery.
3. Product procurement
– purchasing the right products for the project.
4. System implementation
– installation of products and systems.
– ensuring that the smart home systems are reliable for many years to come.