On its own, a smart home system can transform your day-to-day life, massively improving the comfort and convenience of your property. The more systems you add, the greater the improvements.
- Smart Blinds and Smart Lighting
- Smart Lighting and Smart Security Systems
- Smart Sound Systems
However, if these technologies stay isolated and individual, your smart home will never be more than the sum of its parts. This article explores some of our favourite integrations that will take you from the owner of a collection of automated systems to a true smart homeowner.
Smart Blinds and Smart Lighting
These are two of the most popular smart home systems, and also one of the most effective integrations when it comes to improving your quality of life. The way your home is illuminated can transform your property’s aesthetics, make it more energy-efficient, and even increase its security. It can also have an enormous effect on your personal wellbeing.
Starting with the convenience added, by integrating your smart blinds and smart lighting, you can adjust both simultaneously, through a single interface. This makes balancing the artificial and natural light levels in your home to create your desired ambience effortless.
Imagine it’s a bright, sunny day outside, but you want to watch a film without glare on your screen? However, you also know you’ll be in and out of the room and don’t want to be fumbling around in the dark? One of your preset lighting modes can simultaneously lower all the blinds and raise your lights slightly. The result? A clear, distraction-free picture, and no risk of blindly locating your coffee table with your shins if you have to get up.
You can also automate your lighting and blinds to respond to the weather, the position of the sun, or time of day. In the morning and evening, your lighting and blinds can work in concert to maintain a consistent light level as the sun sets. If you’ve been working away on your laptop, you may not even have noticed that it’s gotten dark outside, due to the smooth transition from natural to artificial light.
Likewise, if the day is especially overcast and gloomy, your smart lights can make up the difference in illumination, saving you from having to strain to read documents.
This is just a handful of use cases in which integrated smart lighting and blinds can transform your home living. If you’d like to learn more about these systems and how they can impact your life, why not check out our blogs on the subject:
“What Is Smart Lighting and How Can It Benefit You?”
“How Smart Lighting Can Transform Your Wellbeing in the Home”
“The Benefits of a Lutron Lighting System”
“Blind Automation: 5 Key Benefits of Automated Blinds”
Smart Lighting and Smart Security Systems
Though on the surface these two technologies might seem unrelated, when integrated, they improve each other’s effectiveness dramatically. Your smart interior and exterior lighting can make your security systems a more powerful protector of your family and property, and your security system can increase the intelligence and practicality of your smart lighting.
As mentioned above, when you’re away from home, activating your smart security can tell your lighting (and smart blinds, if you have them) to initiate simulated occupancy. Otherwise known as “mockupancy”, this sets your home’s lighting on a schedule that makes it appear that you are still there. Criminals are far less likely to break into a home while the owners are inside, so this provides an extra layer of protection in your absence.
Alternatively, if you are home, and there is a break-in, or another emergency, your security system can set your lighting to flash or change colour to alert you and your family. This allows you to take appropriate action quickly, and won’t tip off the intruder as obviously as an alarm.
Your smart lighting can also be used to deter a criminal once they have breached your property. When a break-in is detected, your lighting can be set to flash, and if your sound system is integrated as well, a verbal warning can be played. This alone can be enough to scare off any potential burglar.
This integration isn’t only useful for increasing your home’s protection, or for signalling you in an emergency. Your security can also act as motion detection for your lighting. As you approach your front door in the dark, the security system can tell your outside lighting to illuminate the area, helping you find your keys.
This illumination can, in turn, improve your home security further. If intruders are detected, the sudden, bright lighting may scare them away, or at least provide a clearer view for your CCTV cameras, allowing them to record in greater detail.
Outside of security purposes, your smart alarm can be part of an “all off” system. To save you the effort of turning off every system and set of lights in your house individually, you can have a button by your front door that switches off everything at once.
Even better, with a smart alarm integrated into your home automation systems, you don’t even need a button. Instead, by setting your alarm, you can turn off all devices at the same time, or even initiate mockupancy. That way, you can avoid unnecessary energy usage from lighting and heating an empty home, or powering your audiovisual equipment.
To learn more about home security systems, as well as some of their integrations with other smart home technologies, we have a couple of blogs on the subject:
Smart Sound Systems
One of the most transformative pieces of technology to add to your home is a smart sound system. A professionally-installed whole-home sound system allows you to play music that flows seamlessly from room to room and even out into the garden. This is perfect for entertaining on both the large and small scale.
If you have a big get-together, having the same music playing in every room can make your whole home feel like a party space. Alternatively, if you’re hosting a small dinner party and the kids are upstairs asleep, you can restrict the music to just playing on the ground floor.
When integrated, a smart sound system will also improve your other entertainment technology. Watching an important match, but need to answer the door or put something in the oven? Just set your TV audio to play in all rooms and you can hear the commentary, even as you deal with other important things. Or maybe you’re sick of telling family members that you’re starting the film and they need to hurry up? Broadcasting the THX or Universal theme tune is sure to get them running!
Want to create a relaxing mood for a night in? If you integrate your sound system with your lighting, you can have the perfect ambience at the touch of a button. One tap on your Control4 app or wall panel can set the lights to dim and lower or limit your speaker volume. That way, even if the loudest song on your playlist starts up, it won’t disrupt your mood.
Your sound system doesn’t always have to be the sidekick to your other technologies either. Control4 gives you the ability to integrate your smart home assistants like Google Home with the rest of your home automation technology. As a result, with a smart speaker voice assistant like an Amazon Echo or Google Nest, you can control your entire home using voice commands. This is ideal if you want to turn on the lights while your hands are full, give yourself a soundtrack to accompany your cooking without needing to wash and dry your hands again, or turn up the heating on your smart thermostat without getting out from under your blanket.
Finally, integrating your home sound system with your security gives you the option of having notifications announced through your speakers. For example, if your CCTV detected movement within your property boundaries, it could alert you via the sound system, letting you know to check your video feed and visually verify if there was a genuine threat, or if it was just the neighbour’s cat again. Or, if it's an expected visitor, your video doorbell can let you know that there's someone at the door through your speakers, then you can unlock your smart lock with a voice command!
If you’d like to know more about smart home voice control and sound systems, look no further:
This is just a taste of the impact that smart home integrations can make to your property. As you add more systems, you create even more integration opportunities, and can tailor your home more precisely to your needs.
However, most DIY smart home systems will be limited when it comes to their capabilities, and how easily they can be integrated. To get the most out of your smart technology, and for the smoothest integrations, we would always recommend you have your systems professionally installed.
We have been designing and installing top-of-the-line home automation systems in properties across the UK for over 15 years. Using only the most advanced smart home technology, we have created systems for listed country mansions, sophisticated new builds, and everything in between.
Let us bring your smart home dreams to life, get in touch with our experts today:
If you’d like to learn more about how we can use home automation systems and integrations to transform your house, simply fill in the form below, and we will be in touch.
When looking for smart home technology to improve your property, it's tempting to purchase the most popular option on the market. Many of the smart home devices currently available to the general.