Hawkes Place is a property like no other. Situated in Sevenoaks, Kent, one homeowner has created a truly unique building where every room is connected through home automation devices.
Designed and built by Tony Gotts as a personal project, the three bedroom, one-storey property was the first smart home he had built. The unique design sees each room completely curved, with no square corners in sight. With the entire house automated, including audio, lighting, heating, blinds and front door access, the property has been built to a high standard to create a truly remarkable home.
To support with the installation, Mr Gotts called upon the experience of electrical contractor, Luke Kavanagh of Lake Home, who suggested one single supplier to cover all of the home’s automation needs.
No stone left unturned
To transform his property into a smart home, the owner wanted to connect the heating, lighting, blinds and audio, while also incorporating a controlled entrance system. In addition, each room of the house required its own touch screen control system.
Hawkes Place was the first property with which the owner had utilised home automation systems to this extent, and therefore an easy-to-use all-encompassing system was required.
Electrical contractor, Luke Kavanagh, recommended Legrand’s User Interface range, including its MyHOME_Up system, coupled with its Bticino door entry and Nuvo audio systems. “As soon as I understood the brief, I immediately recommended the Legrand suite of smart home products”, Luke comments. “I contacted Chris Janes at Legrand, who drove out to Kent to discuss the different options with the homeowner in person. This was really useful as it enabled the owner to see exactly what was possible for the size of the property.”
Every room in the property had at least one element of smart technology installed. Throughout the house, the heating, lights – both inside and outdoor – and blinds are all controlled by the MyHOME_Up system, providing the end-user with full control at all times. The accessibility of the house was also enhanced, thanks to the use of a Bticino door entry system.
Additionally, the Legrand Nuvo multi-zone audio distribution system was installed throughout the property. Allowing audio to be managed and controlled in numerous rooms, users can connect music and audio streaming services and play in all areas of the home.
For this project, one major advantage is the ability to bring together control of door access, as well as the lighting, heating and blinds, on mobile phone apps. In addition to this, 7-inch touch screen panels were installed into every room, allowing complete control.
Ease of use and installation
For the installer, Legrand’s MyHOME_Up system served two key benefits: its ease of installation and the functionality for the end-user. Once connected to the BUS system and the app is installed, the devices will set-up automatically.
Luke comments: “Coming from an electrical background, the simplicity of Legrand’s systems means we are able to support project managers transform properties into smart homes. I don’t have expertise in IT, and I find that other similar systems require a technical knowledge in order to complete the installation, which often includes expensive and intense training courses.”
One of the key benefits of a MyHOME_Up installation is that the innovative app supports the connection of all devices and is easy to control for both the installer and end user. The app allows the installer to easily access multiple devices when starting up the system, thanks to the self-learning procedure, while the user can then manage their home automation scenes at any time.
Luke continues: “The whole installation process was very easy, not just from my point of view but the end user’s as well. The customer has gone from being a smart homes novice to confidently creating scenes which improve day-to-day living habits. Since the installation was completed, we have already successfully recommended the system on another three projects.”
Taking advantage of training
In addition to installation and account support, Legrand also offers free training courses. The MyHOME_Up range can be installed after just one day’s training, and installer Luke Kavanagh utilised this free service before installing the system.
Luke adds: “I had previously undertaken a number of Legrand’s training sessions, including a session in Belgium, as well as for MyHOME_Up. It is a really good programme, and makes the system incredibly easy to install for anyone in the profession.”
The course explains the role of smart devices in the home, and shows how creating smart scenes and actions can help end users decrease their energy usage and waste. Free to attend, the training programme is ideal for contractors and system integrators, and takes place at Legrand’s state-of-the-art training centre in Birmingham.
Home automation is not new. In fact, YouGov’s Smart Homes 2018 Report indicated that almost one quarter of Britons own one or more smart home devices, excluding smart meters, while one in ten have two or more.
While adoption is becoming more common, electrical installers and contractors are tasked with the challenge of understanding this often-complex technology, to enable them to enhance their services to customers. Taking advantage of training from manufacturers, like Legrand, can make the installation much easier, while also providing high customer satisfaction.
Luke Kavanagh concludes: “This project is an excellent example of how a simple, slick and extremely efficient home automation system can be installed. The Legrand products are very easy to install and the customers are always left smiling, testing new combinations each day. While not all systems are the same, I would recommend taking advantage of any available training because it not only equips you with the ability to install effortlessly, but it also provides the knowledge to answer any customer questions.”