3 Ways Smart Home Technology Gives You Hands-Off Control

3 Ways Smart Home Technology Gives You Hands-Off Control

Do you want to add a touch of luxury to your technology? Switching from remotes to elegant touchpads is the first step, but what if your home automation system went even further? Allow yourself more freedom and efficiency with hands-off control. We can create a custom solution that takes advantage of sensors, scheduled scenes and voice control to make life easier in your Wilmette, Illinois home. Read on to find out how each of these features contributes to your smart home. 

SEE MORE: 7 Ways to Go Green With Smart Home Technology


How many times have you found yourself having to walk back to a room after realizing you left the light on? Eliminate the problem entirely by installing occupancy sensors in every room. Lights will turn on when you walk in then turn off after the room has been unoccupied for some time. You can also have certain appliances or electronics automatically turn off in unused rooms. In your outdoor spaces, get better surveillance footage by having lights turn on as soon as unwanted activity is detected. Have walkways light up as you walk past to eliminate tripping hazards.

The other type of sensors you should include in your home automation system are photo sensors. These sensors are placed on windows and react to the amount of natural light available. Help your thermostat cool down by having shades automatically close when hit by direct sunlight. You can also save energy by having artificial lights turn off when natural light is available.

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How Control4 Lets You Stick With the Brands You Love

One of the perks of using a Control4 dealer for your smart home needs is that your system can be custom-designed to include what matters most to you. You can choose to include lighting, security, AV, climate control, and more depending on your family’s needs. You can also decide how you want to incorporate that technology into your Lake Forest, IL home. While Control4 offers most of the software and hardware (from speakers to thermostats) needed for your smart home, it also gives you the opportunity to work with the brands you’ve come to love.

SEE MORE: Product Spotlight: A Look at the Control4 EA Series

What Companies Are Compatible With Control4?

Since the company was founded in 2003, Control4 has expanded its list of industry partners every year. They now work with the top brands in the HVAC, audio, video, and security industries to offer smart home solutions that include the best technology in the world. Among the official Control4 partners are Sony, Amazon, Lutron, Apple, McIntosh, and Nest. Anyone that wants to become a certified partner, can inquire on the company’s website.

How Does Control4 Make Partners Compatible?

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5 Great Speaker Options for Your Whole House Audio

Every family uses their whole home audio in a different way. Which is why it’s important to offer varied solutions, from the type of speakers that are being used to the preferred control devices. In this blog, we’ll go over some popular speaker options and their best applications. Depending on whether you’re looking to invest in a dedicated listening room or simply play background music when hosting friends, you’re going to have very different needs when it comes to your equipment.

SEE MORE: How to Upgrade your Outdoor Music System

Architectural Speakers

These speakers are very popular in modern luxury homes, as they offer high-fidelity sound without interfering with the interior décor. Architectural speakers are hidden within your wall or ceilings, sitting behind painted grills that camouflage with the rest of your home. These type of speakers offer wide dispersion, so you won’t hear a difference in sound when walking right by them, making them perfect for background audio in your living room or dining room.

Bookshelf/Cabinet Speakers

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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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Creating the Perfect Atmosphere for Enjoying High-End Audio

Designing a high-end audio system for your Highland Park, IL home involves a lot of moving parts. It all starts with purchasing the right loudspeakers and amplifiers. You want to find equipment that offers sound that is crisp, natural and powerful. We recommend going with KEF’s Muon or Blade speakers paired up with an amplifier from Audio Control. In this blog, we’ll focus more on your system’s supporting cast: the technology and environment that enhance your brand new equipment.

SEE MORE: Amplifier vs. Receiver: Which should you use in your High-end Audio?

Choosing the Right Location

You need to find a room that is small enough to contain the sound but not too small that your sound becomes cluttered. You should also match your speakers to the space by investing in more powerful speakers if you're going to have to fill a larger area.

Invest in the Best Source Components

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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

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.

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

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