Misconceptions About Smart Home Automation

misconceptions about smart home automation - Specialized AV Sacramento

Misconceptions About Smart Home Automation

Looking back, smart home automation has come a long way. Smart home automation will continue to grow, which just means more and more Sacramento homeowners will have smart homes. For those who are a little cautious about smart home technology, consider the misconceptions about smart home automation below.

Smart Home Automation 

Home automation systems allow homeowners to control lights, security cameras, entertainment systems, HVAC systems all from a smartphone or tablet. This advanced technology truly makes life so much easier. Many people have misconceptions about their efficacy, cost, how they function, and why they should be invested in. Our smart home automation installers share the truth in the following article. 

Myth #1 – Smart Home Automation Is Expensive & Time Consuming to Install

Contrary to common opinion, smart homes can be as affordable or as expensive as you want them to be. For example, if a person wants a custom-built design with only connected devices, the price would almost certainly be higher than anticipated.

However, updating in stages will cause the value to fluctuate. So, if you’re just getting started and want to dive into the world of home automation, a smart switch would be a great place to start. These switches, which can be operated by a smartphone, tablet, or voice command, allow you to manage individual lights, curtains, electrical appliances, and other devices, enhancing user experience and providing comfort on a daily basis.

Install additional devices as and when they suit the budget from here on out. When it comes to installation, home automation devices with sleek and compact designs are simple. They can be easily and efficiently incorporated into your home. Our friends at Tureks Plumbing, a company that offers home remodeling services, recommend getting smart home automation installed from the get-go (if you can). 

Myth #2 – Smart Home Users Must Be Tech Savy

Another common fallacy that prevents people from embracing smart technology is the belief that it would be too difficult to use. It should be noted that the vast majority of devices are either wireless or feature plug-and-play ease of use. Furthermore, if users choose to use voice commands, incorporating a smart speaker into the mix will work wonders.

Once your devices are connected to your home WiFi network, simple onscreen instructions must be followed to monitor appliances effectively. Even though this may seem to be a difficult job, it only takes a few clicks to turn your home into a smart one.

Myth #3 – Smart Devices Use a Lot of Power

Surprisingly, smart devices have the opposite effect. They are built with power consumption in mind and are energy efficient. They will adapt to your behaviors and desires without requiring you to input a predetermined schedule. As a result, they use less power than traditional devices by actively observing user insights and trends to save resources.

The actual energy savings will be determined by the type of system you choose and its automation capabilities. However, device suppliers say that the devices will help customers save between 10% and 15% on their heating and cooling bills. the source

Myth #4 – Smart Home Security Is Easily Breached

Another source of worry for many customers is the risk of stolen personal information or a data breach. Most businesses go to great lengths to ensure that smart devices are tamper-proof, maintaining protection and privacy. There are, however, a few steps you can take. Using a secure firewall on your router, for example, and installing encryption are effective ways to protect the information in the event that a hacker gains unauthorized access.

It is also a wise decision to thoroughly protect all devices equipped with cameras and vocal microphones. As in all aspects of home automation, there is no excuse not to feel absolutely secure inside your own home if proper planning is done. Our smart home devices at Specialized Audio and Video are fail-safe and provide you with all the security you need to keep yourself and your family members safe.

Myth #5: Building a Smart Home Isn’t a Good Investment.

This is commonly posed by those who are unwilling to spend money on home automation, but as previously mentioned, updating your home with smart technology is not always costly. Smart home solutions also provide concerned parents with an excellent way to keep an eye on their children while they are away from home.

Home automation, on the other hand, makes life more convenient and safer. Furthermore, any investment in a smart device yields an instant return on investment. There is typically an immediate advantage, whether it makes your life faster, better, or more available.

Furthermore, if you plan to sell your house, smart home technology, and home automation systems will increase both the desirability and the overall price. If not, you as a homeowner will benefit from using these devices on a regular basis.

Contact Specialized Audio and Video for a smart home estimate today! We service Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks, Roseville, Rocklin, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, and more. Our audio and video techs look forward to hearing from you soon.

Outdoor Automation for Your Smart Home

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Outdoor Automation for Your Smart Home

Smart home automation is a must in today’s world. What’s not to love about it? It makes life so much easier. If you’re on a mission to transform your home into a smart home, consider adding features to the outside as well. Deciding on the right outdoor automation for your smart home can be tricky. Our smart home installers discuss a few outdoor automation options.

Before Installing Smart Outdoor Technology

Before you can make the most of smart outdoor living and realize your outdoor smart home ideas, consider the following:

  • Purchase waterproof appliances. Anything you put outside should be water-resistant. This includes your outdoor speakers and other smart devices.
  • Make it simple to connect power to your new system. Connecting electricity to your smart outdoor technology is simple enough. Check to see if your smart outdoor lighting is within range of your home’s WiFi.
  • Please see that it is compatible with your home automation system. Confusion can be caused by competing home automation systems. To make your smart outdoor home ideas as seamless as possible, make sure they are compatible with any existing elements of your connected home, such as smart indoor lighting or your smart home hub.

Outdoor Lighting Automation for Smart Homes

Most household components have smart capabilities now, lighting being one of them. Here’s a short rundown of the different types of automatic outdoor lights you can monitor with the tap of a finger:

  • Motion-activated outdoor automatic lights can either frighten would-be burglars or provide welcoming lighting for visitors. You might also use your smart outdoor lighting to trigger the porch lights when you’re away from home.
  • Lights for entertaining: Set the tone for your backyard oasis as you and your guests relax! With the help of your smartphone, you can power your outdoor lights. Add some energy-saving dimmer light bulbs to make your lighting more environmentally friendly and flexible.
  • Automated solar lighting: Energy efficiency is a vital aspect of smart outdoor living. Installing solar-powered lights outside will help you save money. What could be better than solar outdoor lighting? You can power your solar wifi outdoor lighting from your phone!

Automatic Awnings

A key feature you must have in your outdoor oasis is smart awnings. There’s nothing like pressing a button, and your awnings or windows automatically retract.   

  • Smart exterior windows and shutters: Virtually every aspect of your house, including your windows, can be automated. Bring a little bit of the outside in without even getting out of bed by activating your automatic window shutters with the push of a button.
  • Automatic window screens: On the other hand, if too much light from outside enters your house, there is an automated solution for that as well. With smart outdoor technology, you can lower your window screens instead of shutting your automatic window shutters, allowing light while keeping wildlife out.
  • Automatic awnings: Awnings are no longer strictly for sidewalk businesses. Installing a retractable awning will turn your backyard patio into a modern, sophisticated outdoor dining experience, a fun outdoor smart home concept.

Outdoor Security Systems

Smart outdoor technology isn’t just about looks and comfort. You can also use apps to keep your family informed of who comes and goes from your home even though you are not there. Our friends at Headwaters Construction Inc., a commercial construction company in Sacramento, recommend incorporating security systems in your home and business. It’s always better safe than sorry.

  • Smart floodlights: Floodlights are perfect for instantly illuminating a room and can be easily programmed to turn on when it gets dark, at a certain moment, or the touch of a button. When combined with a motion sensor, this can assist you in finishing an outdoor project that lasts into the evening or stop trespassers from entering your house. Using WiFi outdoor lighting will help you with whatever you use your floodlights for.
  • Security cameras: The mere existence of a camera can discourage trespassers, but smart security cameras can also provide live footage of outdoor disturbances.

Smart Speakers and Entertainment Systems for the Outdoors

Turning your backyard into another living space is the pinnacle of smart outdoor living. These automated outdoor entertainment systems will assist you in combining the best of both the indoors and the outdoors. Look no further if you’re wondering which outdoor audio and video systems you need.

  • Home theater projectors: Setting up a projector outside is a perfect way to watch your favorite movies and shows while enjoying the nice weather. On an outdoor screen, a home theater projector with at least 2,000 lumens would really stand out.
  • Smart speakers: Adding Bluetooth or wireless wifi speakers to your outdoor space can help create a relaxing zone or set the tone for an outdoor party. And, with smart outdoor technology, controlling outdoor speakers is as simple as opening an app.

Make sure to hire a professional for audio and video installation. Contact Specialized Audio and Video for an estimate on smart home installation. 

Conference Room Technology

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Conference Room Technology

The conference room is usually the first thing you see when you walk into a corporate office. As a business owner, you should want to make a good first impression. When you walk into a corporate office, and you see a standard definition TV on a wobbly cart, you’ll know that they’re not committed to innovation and efficiency. Similarly, if you step into a conference room and see a 4K TV perfectly flush with the wall, you’d be impressed. In this article, our audio and video specialists discuss conference room technology must-haves.

4K Television

There are many items you can justify purchasing— furniture, computers, appliances. Unfortunately, a non-negotiable is a decent television. A large shared screen is needed for video conferencing and business presentations to function properly. And, though they are more costly, 4K TVs are significantly better than their 1K counterparts. Even if you don’t use the TV to play full 4K video, having 4K resolution is worth it.

If you can afford a 4K TV, you can possibly afford to hire an audio and video company in Sacramento to install it on the inside of the wall as well. This restricts easy access to the HDMI ports in the back, but if you use a wireless presentation solution, providing easy access to the HDMI ports is not needed.

Telephone

Although many of us use our smartphones to call people, landlines are still important. The telephone is here to stay, and you will undoubtedly need one for your conference room. You’ll need telephones that can provide clear audio, link several lines at once, and has hands-free capabilities (speakerphone and microphone included). Pro tip: avoid purchasing cheap telephones from Amazon. Instead, contact an audio specialist near me

Projector

If your meetings are regularly attended by more than 20 people, a 4K TV, no matter how beautiful it is, might not be enough. Consider purchasing a projector and turning an entire wall into a movie screen. Aside from providing a larger picture, today’s conference room projectors also provide more light. They work clearly in both dark and lit spaces and are small enough to be portable. High-end 4K projectors will cost as much as $10,000 or even $20,000, so definitely consult with an audio and video specialist to see if this is a necessary purchase. 

Sound

Purchasing a 4K TV or projector without also purchasing a good sound system may be counterproductive. If the sound is muffled, the amazing 4K resolution would be even less impressive.

It’s necessary to make sure that the sound is good on both ends. So, in addition to speakers, you may want to invest in a few microphones and place them strategically around the conference table. Our friends at Headwaters Constructin Inc., a tilt-up construction company, recommend having your sound installed when initially building your conference room. This makes the sound that much better.

Wireless Presentations

Without a wireless presentation solution, your conference room isn’t complete. A corporate conference room that relies on cables and wires to link laptops to the TV or projector is simply not feasible in today’s world. To accommodate any laptop that enters the room, you’d run out of outlets. If you tried to use all wires and converters at the same time, your conference room may spark. It is always best to go wireless these days.

Contact Specialized AV 

If you need help with making your dream conference room come to life, contact Specialized AV in Sacramento. Our team will help you choose the right brands for your conference room. We’re happy to provide you and your business with an estimate on our services. 

Home Theater Audio Tips

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Home Theater Audio Tips

Movies are filmed to make viewers feel like they’re a part of the story. That’s why a good surround-sound system is crucial to a good movie night. With multiple speakers in a surround sound system, the movie is brought to life. If you’re planning an upcoming movie night, follow these home theater audio tips recommended by Specialized Audio and Video in Sacramento, CA.

Home Theater Surround Sound

If you can, we recommend purchasing the best audio speakers from an audio and video company. Although standard surround systems may seem easier, an AV specialist will have the best recommendations for your unique needs. Sacramento homeowners often purchase standard surround sounds, but it’s not adequate for something like a home theater. Trust us. There’s a lot more that goes into speakers than you think.

Keep Your Chairs Away from Walls/Speakers

Many people make the mistake of putting their chairs against the wall. Doing this can actually affect your surround sound experience. If you’re spending time and money on creating the best home theater, then you should avoid any chance of too much bass. A good rule of thumb is to put at least four feet of distance between you and the wall/speakers. Our friends at Headwaters Construction, Inc., a general contractor in Sacramento, agree that both homeowners and business owners make this mistake. Although it may seem like a good idea to purchase home theater chairs right away, it’s important to make sure they fit the space properly. 

Add Enough Subwoofers

Two subwoofers are needed for a single row of seats. If you have two rows of seats, you would need at least four subs, if not more. Smooth bass will not be provided by a horn-loaded mega sub. It will definitely provide you with a lot of it, but you will also experience huge peaks and dips while listening. To provide clear, smooth bass throughout your seating area, our AV experts recommend using more subs. 

Acoustics Are Key

Your audio system accounts for just half of the sound you hear, says Sacramento AV experts. The other half of the equation is the bed. Room acoustics are a minefield of differing opinions and self-proclaimed experts. Our recommendation is to stick to the fundamentals. Add enough bass trapping to monitor your room modes. Deep fiberglass traps are extremely efficient and inexpensive; the only drawback is that they take up a lot of room. 

After that, add just enough absorption to make your room sound good. It should not have a “dead” or “echoey” tone. It should feel normal to have a conversation with someone in your theater. When you have wall-to-wall carpet and home theater chairs, you don’t usually need any more absorption.

Hire a Professional

One of the most common mistakes people make when designing their home theater is doing it themselves. More often than not, you’ll spend more time and money figuring it out compared to hiring a professional to do the job. At Specialized Audio and Video, we want nothing but the best for our customers. Contact Specialized AV today for an estimate on custom home theater design or our other audio and video services.