Before the harnessing of electricity, artificial light was expensive, and therefore relatively scarce. Over the last 100 years or so, the cost of lighting our world has become negligible, which has had enormous economic consequences. The home and the workplace became safer, factories increased productivity, and social activities extended late into the night.
If there were ever a time we needed our home networking to work better, it would be now. If you were to do a quick google search on “best router,” you probably wonder where to start when you get 124 million results. The issue isn’t the answer (like 42), but are we asking the right questions? In this blog, I want to try and ask the right questions and give homeowners a place to look for the correct answers.
When humans first populated the earth, the largest influence on their lives was the sun. It determined when they woke and when the slept, when they hunted and when they hid. Even after the discovery of fire, the physical toll of maintaining an open flame limited its functionality as a light source. Even tallow candles, popular in the 14th century, were so expensive that only the most affluent members of society could enjoy more than a few minutes of light per day.
Who ever said bigger isn’t better has never walked the TV area at CES, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Reporters and news programs can give a misleading view of what CES has to offer, as they tend to focus on the ‘concept cars’ rather than the ‘production cars’ of technology. Last year, the stories about LG’s rollup TV and this year’s Samsung's swing-into-portrait-mode Sero TV fell into that bucket. Yet underneath all the hype, we find some real changes coming to TVs, and many of them are available today.
This shouldn’t be news to anyone, but your average home contains more “smart” devices than ever before. Nest thermostats may have brought the trend to the mainstream, but Alexa, HomeKit, Sonos, and others have taken that momentum and run with it. You might think that adding a few of these devices would take you to the pinnacle of the “Smart Home,” but is there anything that is missing from these consumer or DIY devices that is available in the professional systems like Control4, ELAN and Savant? Let’s take a look.
I often wonder “Why do we welcome technology more in our cars than in our homes?” After all, let’s go back to the last time you approached your car: You probably pressed the button on a remote that unlocked the door and disarmed the alarm. As you pull back on the door in your car, the light conveniently comes on for you inside and the seat moves back. When you sit down, and either put your key in or press start, the seat moves forward as the steering wheel moves down and towards you. As you take a drive down the road, your favorite music is just a single button press away on the six presets. Why doesn’t your house do all this? In our homes, thousands of products are available to give you the same experience as in your car; people just don’t know about them. For example, there are ways to install a remote on your keychain that unlocks your door and disarms the alarm. It’s also rather easy to install a simple keypad beside your entry door. These six buttons act as “presets” for you and your home. Much like the 6 buttons on your car stereo, press the #1 or “Welcome” button, and your house takes on the setting that you prefer, like having the lights illuminate the path to your bedroom closet, your thermostat change to “comfort mode,” and your favorite music to start playing throughout the house.
Does calling for help on your smart home problems give you Technical Support Derangement Syndrome? It’s frustrating for anyone, especially when dealing with a luxury custom integration company, that all you hear is: • “I’m sorry. The person you need to speak with isn’t in the office at the moment. Can I have him give you a call back?” • “Let me make a few calls and get back to you as soon as I can.” • Or the dreaded “Hold please,” only to be left hanging for an inordinate amount of time.
Do you want to experience more relaxation and entertainment in your backyard? Imagine late-summer afternoons lounging by the pool with the family or hosting a grill-side party. The outdoor equipment we’ll discuss pays off well beyond summertime: This fall, you can still enjoy your new technology to watch football with friends from a cozy patio TV area. All of these opportunities and more open up with an outdoor speaker system, a durable display and a landscape lighting setup. Tie all your outdoor entertainment together into a comprehensive solution you can enjoy all summer and fall!
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A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll reveals that 89 percent of Americans say that exposure to natural light elevates their mood, while 87 percent say that sunlight exposure has a favorable effect on productivity, alertness and brain function. Most of us aren’t getting the circadian lighting we deserve simply because we’re not exposed to enough sunlight. In fact, a study by the Environmental Protection Agency found that Americans spend the vast majority of time indoors – about 90 percent of their days, leading to mental and physical sluggishness. To exacerbate the issue, we can’t relax when we get home: We’re flooded with cool light late at night through tech devices like cell phones and computers, leaving us wired when we’re supposed to be sleeping.