Dot Dot Dot??? What are these Control4 Remote buttons for?

Customizable Buttons A question I get a lot is…”What are these buttons with dots at the top of my Control4 remote?” My answer….they are for whatever you want them to be. The dot buttons are customizable. At our house they represent different lights of the most popular area of our house. We can fully control the lights from our Control4 remote by going to list and selecting lighting and choosing the light we want. This is great, but with some things I want a fast button without having to look at a screen. This is what we use our dot buttons for. The single dot represents the light above the couch which will inevitably be turned on and off as we watch TV in the evening but then get up to get a snack or need more light for my daughters play. We have 2 remotes in our home one for the living room and one for the bedroom. The bedroom remote also has customized dots to turn the bathroom and the main bedroom lights off. There is no limit to what you can program for those buttons. But my answer to the initial question is they are fast buttons for anything you want. I’d love to hear from some of our clients or anyone who has Control4 to see what they use them...

The “Smart” Device Market Rises 30% in 2018

The global sales of smart devices are on the rise. The market for these smart products is expected to grow 31% from last year. Wow! That’s a lot of units accounting for almost 100 million units and projected to be 230.5 million by 2022. The entire smart devise market is comprised of smart speakers, video entertainment products, connected lighting, smart thermostats, and home monitoring/security products. In the 2018 sales are we see a dramatic rise of smart speakers with built-in voice assistants such as Google Home or Amazon Echo. Though the 30% increase also consists of many new types of devises, made for both inside and outside of the home. Privacy and security for smart devices remains one of the key inhibitors to adoption. And frankly, if you have read many of my blogs you know that many of these devises are constantly data collecting on you and sending it to some corporation. It sometimes feels like tattling, when you consider that your Fitbit is probably selling your fitness level to your health and life insurance carriers. Some people don’t care if their devices are listening and selling information about them. If you are one of these people buying a smart devise and plugging it in and downloading the app may be your way to go. If security and privacy is a big concern to you, I encourage you to reach out to a smart home professional. I have many blogs on the difference, but I will review quickly here. Smart home professionals like Nexus Electric create an internal server to connect all your devises to. With an internal...
And…SCENE!  What is a smart home scene and what does it do?

And…SCENE! What is a smart home scene and what does it do?

At the door press the “Away” button and the shades close, the lights turn off and the thermostat lowers.  Want to watch a movie?  Press “Movie” and the lights dim, the shades lower and turns the projector and the TV on.  These designed buttons are called Scenes, when one button controls many different items to create a mood or activity.  We can create all kinds of scenes for people and we do it based on their habits and lifestyle.  My award for most innovative scene goes to one of our client’s whose scene is called “Namaste.” The “Namaste” scene turns on the meditation music, a water fountain and an oil diffuser, then dims the lights and turns on faux flickering candles in their reflection space.     The most popular scenes are typically “Away,” “Home,” and “Entertain.”  “Entertain” is the lights, heat, speakers, and anything else you can imagine for entertaining or throwing a party in your home.  As I write this blog it is currently 14 degrees outside.  My personal favorite scene is “Goodnight.”  Ever jump into bed and realized that you left the kitchen light on or wonder “did I remember to lock the door?”  That problem never happens to me anymore because of the “Good night” scene.  This button turns off any remaining lights in my house, locks the doors if not already locked, turns down the thermostat and closes the blinds.  I’m so...
Tiny Smart Home

Tiny Smart Home

Control4 unveils a tiny smart home at the Las Vegas Building Show. Have you seen the show Tiny homes?  My husband and I are always so fascinated by how every inch of the home is designed for functionality.  A 250 square foot home housing one or multiple people must be well thought out and maximized.  Then at the Last Vegas International Builders Show Control4 (one of our very favorite smart home control systems) rolled out a 250 square foot Tiny Smart Home and it peaked my interest.  Not just because Tiny homes are interesting, but I was wondering, could a smart tiny home increase the efficiency?  In other words, how would the home automation benefit a tiny home? The tiny smart home came with a fully-loaded smart home system that includes smart lighting, Wi-Fi connectivity, and smart appliances.  One of the more surprising aspects was how discreet the technology smart system was even in such a tiny home.  There was no compromise to the aesthetic.  This 250 square foot wonder boasted engraved wall keypads, handheld remotes, touch screens, mobile devices, and voice controls.  Smart lighting and shading, multi-room audio with speakers, Control4 Intercom Anywhere, video distribution, temperature control, security, and more.  Here is my tiny smart home analysis:  The smart home features do enhance the efficiency of the home.  If you live in 250 square feet of home, the last thing you need is several remotes and devices using up any of the square footage.  The devices were all built into the home and negated any use of the many remotes.  At most if you choose to have a...

Plug and Play vs. The Smart Home

Plug and Play vs. Smart Home I get a lot of questions about Smart Homes.  If you’re like me you think of the home of the Jetson’s where robots do everything for you.  Well sorry George, software has become king and while robots still exist the savvy home owner wants a digital army helping not a big clunky maid robot maid.  Most of the time the conversations I have break down into an understanding of what a smart home is verses what plug and play means.   Many products offer “Smart” services. So, is a Smart Home a home with many “Smart” devices? NO! The bulk of these “Smart” devices such as smart coffee pots, smart refrigerators’, thermostats, cameras, ect. are handy but they are considered plug and play devices.   What Is a Plug and Play Device? These Smart devices are independent from each other and do not work together.  These types of devices all have separate aps typically by different companies to be controlled on your smart phone or device and do not work with each other or communicate with each other.  These apps are all proprietary and work differently, look different and have different things to learn about each.  I am personally not a fan of having to learn seven different apps and how to maneuver them. The Plug and Play Devices do what they are designed to do.  If you read the instructions of a plug and play device, they will tell you exactly what they do.  You can expect them to do that, and not expect to change any aspect of this, they simply...