Louisville business professional Ryan Wight started a small audio / video / car stereo shop a decade ago, which has blossomed into an “all-encompassing” empire of cabinetry, electronics wiring and home furnishings known as Century Entertainment today. “I’ve always been interested in electronics. Before I worked at Century Entertainment, I worked at Circuit City for 10 plus years,” he explains. Louisville custom home builder Artisan Signature Homes works with Century Entertainment for their home automation needs, which is the focus of this particular podcast.
True home automation, Wight explains, is “taking all those things that you can maybe use a separate app for and combining them all where they talk together.” For instance, “when you leave the house, that your thermostats would go to away mode. Your lights would go off. Your alarm would arm, all with one touch of a button. You could be notified while you’re gone.”
His crew prefers the Control4 system. Often, his team consults with customers during the early stages of planning or framing a custom build. “We still do a lot of keypads in the wall. Those being hardwired are the best way,” he explains, though a wi-fi retrofit is possible as well. Customers like that the wall pad unit is just always open and ready to go. However, there are still a lot of people who like just using their iPhones or tablets to control stuff as a matter of personal preference.
Homeowners looking to get started with home automation can purchase a modest one room package for $599 that comes with a remote and home controller and offers complete control of the home theater system, with add-ons for the room’s lighting, thermostat, and security cameras.
Other Louisville home automation trends include:
Home Security: Many people are using their iPads from the office to switch security alarms on or off, check on the kids, and lock or unlock doors, control garage doors. If the homeowner was planning to have a contractor come to the house, it would be possible to set up a text alert when someone arrives and unlocks the door or when someone leaves.
Music Streaming: Pandora is still the “Queen Bee” in audio streaming throughout the house because it’s free. Tune In Radio, which includes about 70,000 internet radio stations worldwide, is another free one commonly integrated into the Control4 system. Subscription services like Rhapsody, Tidal and Deezer can also work with the Control4 system. The benefit of a paid service like Tidal or Deezer, says Wight, is an end to pesky advertisement interrupting the music flow to essentially give listeners a “4 million song library.” They can create playlists, search specific songs and enjoy high-resolution audio quality. For homeowners with extensive CD collections, the Control4 system can digitize that for easy on-demand playback. Speakers are commonly built into the kitchen, master bedroom, master bath, and outdoor areas to set the mood when entertaining, getting ready in the morning, or unwinding after a long day.
Lighting Control: “The most popular lighting control system is for the outside lights and maybe a few indoor lights that can be maybe seen from outside for security purposes,” says Wight. A basic lighting package will usually run homeowners around $1,000 – $1,600.