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How to Give Your Smart Home a Personal Feel

You’ve gone to great lengths to design the perfect home in Barrington, IL. You’ve personally chosen the kind of foliage you want in your landscaping, the artwork you show off in your living room, and the perfect layout for all your furniture. It should be no different when it comes to your technology. One of the greatest perks of a smart home automation system is that it can be customized to your specific preferences. In this blog, we show you how to make sure your system is uniquely yours.

SEE MORE: 3 Reasons to Upgrade to a Smart Home System

Choosing the Scope of Your Project

What technology is the biggest priority for you? Some families may want to focus on enhancing their entertainment, while others may care more about strengthening their security. The first step is figuring out what you want to include in your smart system. The possibilities are endless including climate, lighting, entertainment, security, and surveillance.

We recommend a full home automation system that encompasses your entire property, but we know some clients may want to start small. One-room solutions can be useful when it comes to entertainment centers—like using the Control4 EA-1 for a media room. All installations are primed for growth, so if you want to add more rooms or components in the future, it's easy to do so.

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Stream Music in Every Room of Your Home with Sonos

Music is powerful. It can transform gloomy days into happy ones, inspire creativity, energize you in the morning and soothe you to sleep at night. To take advantage of music throughout your day, you need a system that enables easy listening wherever you are, especially when you’re at home in Park Ridge, IL. That’s what you get with a whole house audio system by Sonos, the leading provider of smart wireless speakers. To learn about Sonos and how it can add value to your home, read on.

SEE MORE: How to Upgrade Your Outdoor Music System

What is Sonos?

Sonos provides high-performance wireless speaker systems ranging from dedicated home theater systems to whole house audio systems. Their selection of speakers, audio components, and home theater equipment ensures they have something for every room of your home. In addition to having all the components you need to boost your listening experience, Sonos provides components that can upgrade your existing audio equipment to work with Sonos for wireless music streaming.

Why Choose Sonos for Whole House Audio

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Home Theater Design Guide: Choosing the Perfect Screen

To get the traditional movie theater experience in your Kenilworth, Illinois home, you’ll need more than a popcorn machine and great acoustics. The size, shape, and type of theater screen will have a huge impact on movie quality. In this home theater design guide, we’ll teach you what to look for in a home theater screen as well as what factors may impact the installation process.

SEE MORE: 4 Steps to Designing the Ultimate Home Theater System

Size
When it comes to home theater design, bigger does not always equal better. The size and shape of the room, the seating arrangements, and the type of projector will all impact the size of your home theater screen. Here are some tips to keep in mind when calculating size:

  •  Leave room for speakers: You may think you have an 180-inch space to house your home theater screen, but don’t forget about the components that may need to go next to it: speakers. While you can get away with placing speakers behind the screen (we’ll cover that more in the Materials section), you may need to budget for space below or to the sides of the screen, which will require a smaller screen size.
  •  Accommodate for seating locations: When you go to a conventional theater, the first row of seats isn’t likely your ideal choice. Sitting so close to a large screen strains the neck and eyes, and the image may show up slightly pixelated. For a 120-inch home theater screen, you’ll want a minimum distance of 12 feet between the screen and the first row of seats. If you have more space to work with, you can pursue a larger screen.
  • Verify Your Projector’s Capabilities: Is your projector a high enough quality to handle a large screen size? If your projector isn’t powerful enough to cover the size of your screen, your movies will look washed out and dull. If you haven’t chosen a projector yet, your home theater installer will be able to calculate the needed specifications and choose the best projector for the job.

Material
There are many materials available for home theater screens, each designed to optimize viewing quality for different environments. The two biggest factors that will impact what type of material you choose for your screen will be where you place your speakers and whether you want a fixed placement screen or a retractable one.

For home theater designs where the speakers are behind the screen, you’ll want to choose a perforated or woven screen. These screens have pinprick holes that let sound pass through without visually compromising the picture.

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7 Ways to Go Green With Smart Technology

Although a lot of the information on smart home automation systems focuses on the convenience factor, smart technology can also have a significant return on investment. Through efficient use of all the technology in your Glencoe, Illinois home, you can reduce your carbon footprint and monthly energy bills. From lighting control to smart thermostats, here are some ways we can help you go green this year. 

SEE MORE: 3 Reasons to Upgrade to a Smart Home System

Change the Default Settings on Your Lights

With centralized control from a touchpad, tablet or smartphone, it's easy to make widespread adjustments. Except for some rare occasions, you don't need to have all the lights in your home at 100 percent intensity. You can dim each fixture from 100 to 90 percent to significantly cut down on your monthly energy use.

Take Advantage of Natural Light

Another way to give your artificial lights a break is to embrace natural light. You can install photo sensors to gauge the amount of sunlight throughout the day. During the brightest times of day, your shades rise and your lights dim so you're not wasting energy.

Install a Smart Thermostat

Whether you’re trying to keep a large home cool in the summer or cozy in the winter, it takes a lot of energy for your thermostat to adjust the temperature. Smart technology helps in a variety of ways. For one, it’s easy to change the temperature in each room so you can spend fewer resources on those that aren’t being used. Turn up your thermostat when you’re not home and alert it when you’re on the way back so it can have the right temperature ready when you return.

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How Networking is the Backbone of Your Control4 System

As your local Control4 dealers, we’re proud to work with one of the most innovative companies in the home automation industry. Recently named the 2016 ProSource Custom Integration Vendor of the Year, Control4 is always improving on its products and creating comprehensive technology solutions for your Winnetka, Illinois home. One of the ways that the company has done this is by emphasizing the importance of robust networking systems as the backbone of your home automation. 


SEE MORE: Product Spotlight: A Look at Control4’s EA Series

Why is Your Home Networking So Important?

A network is kind of like a referee in sports, the better it is the less you notice it. When was the last time you thought about your internet connection? It likely wasn’t when you streamed a movie uninterrupted on Netflix or sent an email to your secretary. It was probably when your Blu-Ray player wouldn’t connect to your Hulu app or your Facebook wouldn’t load on your computer.

It’s the same with smart home automation. You’re not going to notice how well your AV system communicates with your security system or how well your control system handles network traffic unless it becomes a problem. And it is our job to make sure those problems don’t arise.

Is Your Network Prepared to Handle the Load?

Every second of every day, data is traveling at break-neck speed throughout your system. Smart control devices—whether standalone or part of a Control4 system—place a huge burden on your network. This is for a variety of reasons.

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Office:
655 Academy Drive
Northbrook, IL 60062
p:  (847) 868-9200

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Office:
655 Academy Drive
Northbrook, IL 60062
p:  (847) 868-9200