Journalist, IFSEC Global

June 21, 2018

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Smart homes: 10 essentials to consider as an installer

At the Home Automation Theatre at IFSEC 2018, Geoff Meads, senior instructor at the CEDIA gave his talk, ‘Exploring the smart home skillset: what do installers need to know?’ and shared the top elements to consider as a smart home integrator.

With so much smart technology out there, it’s easy to buy ‘DIY’ smart products like Ring, Amazon Echo or Nest thermostat, to make some aspects of your home smarter. But a group of those small devices doesn’t make a smart home. Here are 10 things that make a home or business go from having ‘DIY’ smart solutions to fully integrated ones.

Cable Infrastructure

The basis of a smart home is the infrastructure – the cables. A simple phone line and an antenna are no longer enough to support all the technology that homeowners now have. A smartly wired infrastructure will enable home owners to lay the ground work so that all their current technology runs to the best standard while also ensuring that they have the infrastructure in place for future installations.

IP networking

The switchover to IP is happening and the change can not be avoided. Using this in smart homes will make all the systems relying on secure networks more robust. The CEDIA offers a whole certification in this particular area to provide installers with the knowledge they need.

Audio and video

A lot of people do not have an aerial for their TV anymore, this means better TV services and entertainment and the possibility of streaming it anywhere you are.

Lighting control

Lighting changes the whole purpose of a room. With smart lighting, there are many more options, colours can be added to suit an occasion, lights dimmed to suit a mood as well as being able to control them for security purposes.    This is changing the way homes are wired and some incoming technologies such as POEplus will enable the power to be sent over an Ethernet cable.

Home cinema

Home cinema is usually an integrator’s first foray into smart living and it can all be made possible with advancements in the realm of home cinema from laser projectors to Dolby Atmos speakers that enable surround sound in the comfort of your home.

Control systems

Better remote control systems are crucial and it is the job of a smart home installer to balance smart technology with making it possible to activate those smart systems with one touch.

Security

Smart technology can be implemented for both physical and cyber security purposes from protecting your data through to knowing who is on your premises.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)

Being able to control the temperature of your home at the touch of a button has revolutionised a home’s overall feel. And if your home cinema doesn’t have the right temperature, the overall investment won’t have been worthwhile so it’s important to consider the technology you need to prevent that from happening.

Sub system integration

All the smaller systems that a home owner implements can all be brought under one system to help make your home ‘think smarter’ and be more efficient from altering its temperature depending on how many people are at home, to deterring burglars with animals sounds.

Everything else!

Project management, sales, marketing, accounting, HR, training, installation… the possibilities for smart technology integration are endless. With the correct infrastructure as a base there are many more options for the implementation of smart technology.

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