When a young couple approached integration firm eXperience ONE to design and install smart home technologies in their new house, Smart Home System Designer Mat Daley knew right away that the clients’ satisfaction would hinge on delivering an easy-to-use, reliable solution that virtually disappears into the home’s ultra-modern aesthetic.
“These clients created a boldly-styled, uniquely modern home with a focus on art and outdoor entertaining,” Daley says. “Our role was to make the home easier to use while providing special features such as keyless entry for the babysitter with push alerts that notify the homeowners of her arrival. Since they had clearly spent a lot of time designing the home itself, we chose products that could blend into the environment and reduce the visibility of technology overall.”
To achieve the desired look and feel, Daley designed the home’s systems with flush-mounted Control4 Touchscreens, custom-painted Triad speakers, custom engraved buttons for the Control4 dimmers and keypads, and wireless control of TVs, speakers, motorised window shades, climate systems and security. Daley’s system design also consolidated the electronic footprint in the home to a single room by installing most of the required hardware and A/V devices into an equipment rack, allowing the homeowners to enjoy advanced smart home capabilities in a way that improves the home’s aesthetic, rather than detracting from it.
“The clients had used some individual smart products in their previous residence, and they wanted to avoid having speakers on tables or having to use a bunch of different apps just to manage the living room,” Daley adds. “We showed them how professional-grade smart home tech can actually benefit a space’s ambiance by providing precise control of lighting, window shades and climate systems to create whatever experience they desire. While their prior experience had shown that sometimes gadgets can complicate a room, our solutions built with Snap One products are designed to make everything simpler.”
Like many first-time smart home users, the couple wasn’t 100% sure what to expect. In particular, the wife had concerns over boxy equipment ending up in visible spaces and wasn’t fully aware of how much a full-fledged smart home solution would benefit her daily activities and appreciation for the house. After months of living in the completed home, they said they would never go back to a non-smart home.
“The client actually said to me, ‘If you have female customers who are hesitant about adding tech to their home, tell them to call me and I’ll share how happy I am with it and how much better the home is because of the smart technologies’,” Daley states. “They both agreed they have no intention of ever living in a ‘dumb’ home again. I couldn’t ask for a better client testimonial!”
As a busy couple working full-time jobs and raising a family, their list of must-have features also included robust security, surveillance, door locks and outdoor lighting. Through Control4, all of these systems are tied together and can operate in partnership to produce advanced automations such as ‘welcome home’ lighting that illuminates the carport when they open the driveway gate, and then lights up a path from the carport to other areas.
Whenever they are away from home, the owners can easily check the status of any system, including viewing live surveillance camera feeds and arranging automatic alerts for when their babysitter enters or leaves the house using her specific entry code. For daily in-home control, they mostly use Neeo Remotes for Control4, which are wand-style remote controls that look and feel like traditional TV remotes but offer an advanced touchscreen and full access to all of the connected systems.
“Special features like the outdoor TV and the ability to activate the pool’s waterfall feature from the Control4 mobile app show the owners and their guests that there are countless possibilities for professional integrators to add fun and helpful technologies to their living spaces,” Daley explains. “It’s a vastly different experience to live in a home where you can turn off every light at night with one touch on your smartphone and arm your security system from bed.”
When it’s movie time, the home’s media room provides a theatre-level experience by pairing a Triad Bronze Series 5.1.2 surround sound system with a 4K projector and screen. The Triad speakers are custom-painted to match the walls and blend seamlessly into the room, so when action is happening on screen, viewers enjoy a focused and immersive experience with exceptional audio and no visual distractions. In other areas, motion detectors are painted to match various surfaces.
Since technology is always evolving, eXperience ONE’s standard wiring package for new construction projects includes extra in-wall cabling that makes future additions much simpler and more affordable to implement.
“Once a project is complete, we become a technology consultant to help ensure each client gets maximum satisfaction and utility from their systems,” Daley concludes. “We provide a full year of free system customisation as they settle into the new house and become familiar with the capabilities of the system. We also handle manufacturer’s warranty claims for the client if they arise and we give a lifetime warranty on our workmanship, and we provide product selection assistance when they want to add or upgrade items in their home. Reliable service and attention to detail are vital to a successful installation, and Snap One’s vast catalogue of compatible products and solutions help us deliver premium smart home experiences for every client.”