This post comes to us from Lisa Montgomery, Senior Editor at Electronic House and freelance home technology writer.
You might think that using an app on your iPad to operate the electronic devices in your home is convenient…and it is. Sometimes. There’s no doubt that the iPad is a great device from which to manage a home, but for many families, using a combination of different types of controllers is often a better solution than sticking strictly with a mobile device. Be sure to also consider integrating wall-mounted keypads, portable touchpanels and handheld remotes. Here’s why:
Unlike mobile controllers that float around the house, wall-mounted keypads are always in the same spot. Stationed to the wall, they never get lost between the cushions of the couch or lose battery power. Keypads are ideal controllers for quick, on-the-spot adjustments of lights and motorized shades. They’re also effective at minimizing wall acne, as one keypad can usually do the job of what might have required four or more independent light switches to accomplish.
On the surface, a portable touchpanel may seem a lot like an iPad, where graphical icons and menus guide you through the control options. However, unlike an iPad which might also be used to store photography, download music and watch movies, a touchpanel focus on one thing and one thing only: controlling the electronic devices in your home.
Many people prefer the tactile feel of buttons over icons on touchpanels and tablets to launch commands, particularly to the A/V equipment of a home theater. Handheld remotes are ideally suited for media rooms and home theaters for adjusting the volume and playing and pausing a movie. With some programming, a handheld remote can provide couch-based control over the media room’s lights.