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What makes a house “Smart”?

Oct 16 '13

What makes a house “Smart”?

House brains

A “Smart Home”(AKA: Intelligent Home), is a house with computer, sensor and activation systems that can monitor and control a wide range of daily living and home control tasks. Imagine extending the simple conveniences you already have like your TV remote, to include control for lighting, appliances, entertainment components, heating and air conditioning, communication, security, draperies and blinds and more – from anywhere and everywhere, automatically and remotely. That’s the beauty of a Smart Home. Smart Homes aren’t simply houses with lots of separate remotes that control individual systems such as the lights or window shades, a “Smart Home” has systems that are integrated to work with each other and can “think” for itself. Smart Homes are controlled by a central computer enabling the homeowner to command the all aspects of the system via an intuitive control interface from anywhere they may be. A Smart Home’s controller can also make decisions and take action based on preset conditions and/or events.  A truly Smart Home is designed to enhance the safety, security, convenience, and comfort of your home. Your Smart Home’s functions are customized to meet your family desires and the property’s needs.

Home automation

Smart ideas

Let’s say you’re about to leave the office for home, it’s late, dark and raining, wouldn’t it be nice to come home to a warm, well lit house even though everything was off turned off to save energy when you left in the morning? Your Smart Home could turn on the heat the moment you left the office because it knows it will take that long to get the house up to a comfortable temp. You simply hit a button on your Smartphone telling the controller you’re on your way. The Smartphone can automatically tell the controller when you are rounding the last corner in your neighborhood to turn on the exterior lights for you. Pulling into the driveway the interior lights come on, the garage opens, the intruder alarm is deactivated, and the interior security camera views come up on your smartphone so you can see everything is as it should be prior to stepping out. All that and you didn’t even have to press a button, the controller is preprogrammed for these responses! Walking in, the interior lights in the entry and family room are on and the lighting “follows” you as you make your way to the bedroom to change, always lighting the path and room ahead. When going to bed, with one touch you can ensure all unessential lights are off, blinds are closed, heating is reduced to standby/night mode and the security systems are armed. With a predefined “exit” button, you can effectively shut-down your home as you leave, ensuring that the interior lights are off, HVAC system is set at a standby temp, the security systems are armed and the doors are locked. Another function of a Smart Home is monitoring the house’s various systems to ensure everything is functioning properly. A Smart Home will have sensors strategically placed to monitor for water leaks, electrical usage, HVAC issues, well monitoring, pool pH, and/or a host of other things depending on the property. In the event of a problem, it will notify you and/or a serviceman via a text message.


What else can a Smart Home do?


Really the only limitation on what your Smart Home can do for you is your imagination. Headed home from skiing, tell the hot tub to be at temp by 8pm. Having a pool party, press one button and have the entire property’s lights and A/V system set for the party. Want to watch a movie, a single button can command the lights to dim, the window shades to close, turn on the appropriate A/V systems, lower the projector and screen, and bring up the Movie menu. Going to be a hot day, the controller will automatically lower window shades as the sun begins to shine on the exposed windows and raise when the sun is no longer beating down on them. Set the irrigation system to water specific areas based on moisture levels in the soil but only between certain hours. It got windy in the afternoon while you’re out, no problem the system is monitoring the wind speed and knows to pull in the awnings. Your housekeeper is coming today, send her an  electronic “key” that will let her in once or every other day or only between the hours of 10am and 3pm on Mondays and Fridays, its up to you. Want to make sure everything’s fine back at home even though you’re 6,000 miles away, no problem, pull out your tablet and pick the camera views you’d like to see.

Control panelSecurty cam viewcanary-2-home-check-in-600x1001

 Choose a Smart Home systems integrator wisely

A&E is an experienced systems integrator with a wealth of expertise in controls and systems and making them work as one. We can integrate several separate systems (lighting, security, access control, HVAC, entertainment, etc.) into a single control system providing you, the home owner, with simple integrated intuitive controls. We keep all that sophisticated technology “behind the wall” so its easy to use and enjoy without having to know much about it.  A&E documents everything we do so years down the road there won’t be any guess work about what’s doing what where. We also service what we install, if issues arise we’ll be there to help.

So let your imagination run wild, we can make it a reality.

Give us a call at (1-408-353-4223) or email ( to arrange for a free in-home consultation. Planing a new home? We can meet you at your architects office to discuss integrating Smart Home features into you dream house. WE look forward to working with you to make your Smart Home dreams come true.

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