Comparing Two Popular Video Doorbell Systems: Ring and Control4

Let’s Reduce the Noise Around Video Doorbells to Help You Pick the Right Solution

It’s no secret that video doorbell systems are a popular vertical in the smart home technology market. Today, homeowners in Chicago, IL have a plethora of options to choose from, including products from Arlo, Nest, SkyBell, Ring, and Control4—just to name a few.

As the market becomes more saturated with video doorbell systems, it can be quite the task to compare solutions to decide which is right for you. After all, you must consider factors like power, connectivity, camera quality, motion detection, video recording, customization, and smart home integration.

To help you decide which is right for you, we’re comparing two popular video doorbell systems: Ring and Control4. As a certified Control4 company, we admit Ring offers some solid features too, but it’s important that you know the key differences between these solutions. Let’s dive in!


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Introducing Human-Centric Lighting

Tunable Lighting Is the Hottest New Feature of Residential Lighting Control

What is human-centric lighting? It sounds like a buzzword, but there is real science behind it. Saying something is human-centric is applying science to benefit the biological and emotional health and wellbeing of people.

As applied to lighting, human-centric means adjusting the color temperature and intensity of electric light sources to mimic what sunlight does throughout the day. Studies show that lighting can have a profound impact on the way we feel. Have you ever felt tired and sluggish on a succession of cloudy days in the depths of a Chicagoland winter?  Can you recall the positive difference the sun makes when it shines afterward?

The thrust behind human-centric lighting is letting technology simulate natural light to keep us in tune with our natural rhythms. It’s the latest smart feature in today’s residential lighting control systems, and we’ll explore why you should consider it for your Glenview, IL home.


Read on to learn more about human-centric lighting and its benefits. 


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Introducing: The New Control4 Neeo Remote

How Control4’s Smart Remote is Changing the Game

At Avidia, nothing gets us more excited than the launching of new technology. Control4’s recently released Neeo remote introduces an all-new way to approach smart technology. So let’s dive into what this new Control4 home automation device brings to the table, and how it can enhance your Glencoe, IL smart home control system.


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Why Residential Lighting Control Makes Sense for Your Projects

Lighting Control Is One of the Most Desired Smart Home Features

As builders and designers, you typically look for an edge in your projects. It may be the extra attention you pay to superior design inside and out, a unique flourish that you add like building a hidden room off of the den, or greater customizability in floorplans and finishes that gives clients more choice.

The explosion in the availability of consumer smart lighting products like Philips Hue and others shows that there is high interest and demand in residential lighting control solutions. And while these products are suitable for some applications, with new construction, the opportunity is there to add a comprehensive lighting control solution that is far more customizable for your clients.

Avidia works with Control4 for smart home automation and lighting control because it offers incredible opportunities to add smart home features your clients will love. It’s also far easier to add the infrastructure and fully customize it in the construction process than after the fact. Read on to see why adding a residential lighting control system to your Barrington, IL projects is a smart move for you and your clients.


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Want Great Audio Throughout Your House?

Control4 Multiroom Audio Shows You How

These days, there is no shortage of home audio solutions, from simple Bluetooth speakers or high fidelity two-channel to ultra-high-end multichannel home theaters. Each has its purpose and advantages. What if you want a solution that is simple to operate, can expand to every possible area where you want great sound, and can feed every music and audio source you can imagine all through your house?

For that scenario, we recommend Control4 multiroom audio. It will tick all the boxes you will want to check. Can it handle multiple sources, digital and analog? Check. Can it scale to many rooms or zones, even outdoors? Check. Can it deliver high-quality sound to every space? Check. And critically, is it easy to operate so the whole family can use it? Check.  

Why is Control4 the right multiroom audio solution for your Barrington, IL home? We’ll show you why below.


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Why Would You Want Home Lighting Control?

It’s All in the Scenes

What’s residential lighting control all about, and why might you want it?  It can do many things in your home. Admittedly, you might find it frivolous in one respect - do you really need automation for your lights? After all, you can always flip a switch, or slide a dimmer up and down. Indeed, some interior designers might specify dimmers in their electrical plans for almost every room but might not think about lighting control. 

We know smart technology is being imbued into all manner of products, even lowly kitchen appliances. Lighting control is actually one of the most requested for smart home features, and is also one that is easy to justify as more than a luxury. In commercial environments, from offices to warehouses, lighting control is used extensively for efficiency, worker comfort and productivity, as well as to extend equipment life. In your Wilmette, IL residence, lighting control can bring those same benefits - and a little luxury that you won’t mind as well

Read on to see why residential lighting control simply makes sense, and learn about the killer lighting control feature that will really win you over.


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Comparing Two Approaches to Multiroom Audio: Sonos vs. Control4

Which One is Right for You?

What sets a mood better than music? Spotify, for example, has playlists for driving, exercising, relaxing, falling asleep, and romance; and that covers just some of the activities and moods. Services like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music have made it ridiculously easy to dial up most of the world's recorded music on a smart device, so music is just a couple of clicks away with streaming.

As streaming has revolutionized music consumption, the equipment delivering it has changed quite a bit too. Old school stereo systems and vinyl still exist and are thriving, but many people have turned to the convenience of wireless speaker solutions for background listening. While wireless speakers (like the plethora of Bluetooth models) can sound quite good, most will fall short of audiophile class and not compare well to more traditional speakers. With Bluetooth in particular, the technology does not accommodate multiple speakers playing the same music in synchrony. Traditionally, multiroom audio systems in the home have been built around a music source, distribution amplifiers to power built-in speakers in multiple rooms, and a unified method of controlling it.

Sonos is a company that made a name for itself in multiroom audio by upending the traditional model. With its wireless speakers, a proprietary wireless network for synchronization, and a unified user interface from a smartphone or tablet, the company's products made it easy to have a multiroom system.

Does that mean that Sonos should be your multiroom system of choice? In some situations, it might do well. But there are many factors to consider for whole-home audio. If you’re considering a multiroom audio system for your Glenview, IL home, read on to compare two approaches to state-of-the-art whole home systems: Sonos and Control4.

SEE ALSO: 5 Great Speaker Options for Your Whole House Audio


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Meet the New Control4 OS 3: What You Need to Know

Meet the New Control4 OS 3: What You Need to Know

In case you missed the news last month, Control4 has unleashed a beautiful, brand-new operating system: OS 3. With an elegant appearance and helpful new features, OS 3 makes every interaction with your home automation system simplified and personalized. Whether you already have a Control4 system in your Northbrook-area home or you’re new to Control4 home automation, continue reading to learn how the Control4’s newest operating system can bring relaxation, convenience, and fun to your northern Illinois living space.

SEE ALSO: Why You Should Use Control4 in Your New Construction

New to Control4?

Control4 is one of the world’s leading home automation platforms that enables you to effortlessly manage your smart home’s devices from one universal interface. With a smartphone, tablet, universal remote or even a voice-command speaker, you can turn on all of your home’s lights at once, control music in every room, and check security cameras. With presets like “Morning” and “Night,” your home can automatically adjust the temperature, blinds, indoor and exterior lights at just the press of a button. On your way home late at night? Right from your smartphone, you can turn on the first-floor lights before the car is in the driveway. Control4 is a smart way to save energy, time, and peace of mind.

The New Features

Control4’s new OS 3 offers an evolved and smooth interface with larger icons that are easier to see from far away. With the “Favorites” feature, you can put the most frequently used icons on the main dashboard screen and save favorite rooms to the top of the list. Screens are now customizable with wallpapers, and new OS 3 icons represent the active state of your devices. That way, you can instantly see if the garage door is open, fans are on, or if the front door is locked – simply based on the status of the icons on your Control4 interface.

For whole home audio users, the new “Sessions” screens show what’s playing throughout the entire house. Sliders make it easier to change the volume in one room, multiple rooms, or the whole house at once. The new “Now Playing” screen enables you to adjust the volume, skip tracks, and even evaluate the audio quality.

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How Home Automation Helps You Care for Your Pets

According to a study by ECN Magazine, 70 percent of pet parents feel guilty when they have to leave their pets alone to go to work or on vacation. Home automation systems have become a way for owners to take care of their pets’ wellbeing without having to be in their Kenilworth, IL home. Whether it’s making sure fish aquariums have the right environment or the cat isn’t getting into the pantry again, owners can get peace of mind with these smart home features.

SEE MORE: How to Give Your Smart Home a Personal Feel

Your Personal Animal Channel

Why scour the internet for cute dog and cat videos when you can look in on your personal favorites? With a home automation solution, you can watch live surveillance footage from your smartphone at any time. See if your dog is still by the door waiting for you to return or check if the cat left you any gifts in the litter box. You can search from room to room and zoom in to get a good look at what your pets are doing.

Upgrade to a Smart Doggy Door

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What Are Some Ways to Enhance Your Home Theater Design?

Your home theater is only going to be as good as the equipment in it. Which is why a big focus of your installation will be on finding the right speakers, screens, and projectors. But a lot more than that goes into crafting a comprehensive home theater design. Check out some features you should consider when upgrading the entertainment in your Winnetka, Illinois home.

SEE MORE 4 Steps to Designing the Ultimate Home Theater

Enhance Your Style With Hidden Technology

When you’re purchasing equipment, focus not just on its performance but also how it will fit into your overall design. Most AV manufacturers offer ‘hidden technology’ options that provide a discreet approach to your home theater. This way you can show off your style without losing any of the quality.

When it comes to your speakers, you can go with KEF in-wall and in-ceiling speakers. Get all the benefits of a Dolby Atmos surround sound setup while keeping your equipment hidden. Your screen is also easy to conceal. If you don't want it to be seen when your theater is not in use, invest in a retractable screen that disappears into the ceiling at the press of a button.

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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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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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Product Spotlight: A Look at Control4’s EA Series

Product Spotlight: A Look at Control4’s EA Series

Figuring out which technology is the best fit for your Highland Park, Illinois home can be an intimidating task. Whether you’re looking for a full smart home solution or an upgrade to your family room, you want an impressive system that’s reliable while still falling within your family’s budget. As the premier Control4 dealers in the area, one of our primary roles is to be your technology advisers. As part of that role, we'd like to introduce you to Control4's new EA series which gives you intuitive control of your favorite technology and entertainment. Check out our latest review to see some of the series’ best features.

SEE MORE: How to Extend the Reach of Your Favorite Entertainment

Control of All Your Home’s Technology

The new EA series (which stands for Entertainment Automation) is focused on creating a unique entertainment experience while making your home smarter. It can control products capable of high-resolution audio and 4K video while managing your lights, thermostat, security and more from the same system. Your entire home can be controlled from a smart remote, touchpad or the Control4 mobile app.

Easy Access to All Your Favorite Entertainment

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What Are the Benefits of Smart Home Control Apps?

By now you’ve probably seen advertisements for a variety of home electronics that you can control from a mobile app. There’s one for your thermostat, one for your locks and one for your entertainment. But what if you could bring it all together under one umbrella, practically turning your IPhone or Android into your personal butler. You can do just that with a smart home automation solution in your Highland Park, Illinois property. Below we take a look at some of the best features from the Crestron and Control 4 Apps.

SEE MORE: 3 Reasons to Upgrade to a Smart Home

Four Main Features of the Crestron App

In conjunction with your smart home automation system, Crestron offers a free mobile app that lets you control your lighting, security, entertainment, climate and more. Some other features are also available as in-app purchases.

• Integrate Third Party Apps: Want to settle in for an all-day Netflix marathon? You don't have to navigate through multiple apps just to pick out the show you want and get the lighting just right. Crestron lets you open third party apps within your graphic user interface so you can keep everything under one roof.
• Stay Informed: Receive alerts when a door is left unlocked, someone comes to your front door. or your alarm goes off. This way you can stay connected without having to constantly check-in on your surveillance.
• Upgrade to PinPoint: This add-on lets your system recognize exactly where you are based on your smartphone’s location. This way your user interface immediately adapts your menu to the room you’re in.

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What Are the Best Uses for Your Home Theater System?

A home theater system is a movie lover's dream. You get to enjoy your favorite films in the best quality available without having to deal with long lines, stale popcorn or freezing temperatures. What if you haven’t gone to a theater since the Godfather came out? It doesn’t matter. A room optimized to get the most out of your high-end audio and video technology can have many purposes. Whether you want to enjoy a movie or watch the Bears with friends in your Glencoe, Illinois home, a private theater is the right choice for your family.

Invite Friends Over to Watch the Big Game

While home theater systems are designed with movies in mind, they've become increasingly popular with sports fans. Even the most die-hard fans will admit it’s better to watch a game –especially football—from home than at the stadium. You get close-ups of the action and replays on controversial plays. A private theater takes it a step further by creating an immersive experience that makes you feel like you're in the stadium while enjoying the perks of watching from home.

Install a surround sound system that booms audio from the front, back, side and even top of the room. From every corner, you can hear fans cheer and hear the power behind every hit. Older sports fans remember the pains of pre-HD days when it was hard to see even the numbers on the back of jerseys. With a large 4K Ultra HD display, you'll be able to see the details down to the millimeters to judge if, in fact, that was a catch or not.

Enjoy Theater Quality Without the Hassle

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3 Reasons to Upgrade to a Smart Home System

A smart home is a system in which a number of technology components are interconnected to make it easier to perform certain actions. These smart home automation systems simplify control over lights, entertainment, climate and more. Nowhere in the world has this concept taken a stronger hold than in the United States, where there are an estimated 4.6 million smart homes. That number is expected to grow to more than 24 million by 2020. Wondering if your Wilmette, Illinois home should join the movement? Read on to find out why smart technology is worth the investment.

Control of Your Entire System is in Your Hands

The primary benefit of an interconnected home is that you can centralize control. You don't have to walk from room to room or search through a mountain of remotes. Through a smart home automation system from Crestron or Control4, you can access your lights, entertainment, climate, security and more on one device. From a touchpad, tablet or smartphone, it’s all available on a customizable menu designed to match your priorities.

Experience a Home That Anticipates Your Needs

Smart technology can also give you peace of mind by being proactive. It does this primarily through the use of sensors and schedules:

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Northbrook, IL 60062
p:  (847) 868-9200

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