Back to School: 7 Ways a Smart Home Can Help: automated door locks, back to school, home automation,

Back to School: 7 Ways a Smart Home Can Help

Posted August 5, 2014

It’s that time of year. Shopping for new clothes, buying new backpacks and school supplies, registering for classes, getting the first-day jitters. And for a lot of parents (like me), it’s time to figure out how to manage kids before and after school. Here are a few of my favorite ways to use my Control4 home automation system to “school” my family.

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The Right Way to Customize Keypads:

The Right Way to Customize Keypads

Posted July 31, 2014

Being able to press one button to control multiple devices is one of the most appealing features of home automation. Creating these one-button “scenes” requires programming of the keypad’s companion home automation system, which is a fairly simple task for a trained custom electronics (CE) professional. Surprisingly, what’s often the most challenging part of a keypad design is deciding what to name each button.

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The Control4 App is on FIRE!:

The Control4 App is on FIRE!

Posted July 25, 2014

Amazon Fire, that is. Today, Amazon started shipping their new Fire smartphone and the Control4 app will be one of the first apps available for customers. The Amazon Fire phone comes with a year membership of free Amazon Prime shipping, along with an entirely new sensor system called Dynamic Perspective which responds to the way you hold, view and move the phone, 3D and face-recognition technology (the screen actually moves with your eyes!) and Firefly, which lets you point the phone at items and click to identify them.

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Total Home Control in Black & White—And Red.:

Total Home Control in Black & White—And Red.

Posted July 25, 2014

So what is home automation, anyway? And how might one explain Control4’s approach to the concept of “whole home control” in two minutes—or even less. With the possibilities as endless as the sea, we thought we'd tackle the complexities of what “one remote” (or smartphone, tablet, etc.) can do with the most basic animation of all…

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Lighting the Way:

Lighting the Way

Posted July 23, 2014

In a previous article, I wrote about a number of ways to use technology to make things easier on moms. I’m now excited to share with you the nuts & bolts of how I use lighting in our smart home to make my job easier as a mom. Now don't worry, I'm not going to get technical, but rather will give you an overview with real life scenarios that show you just how easy, convenient and practical lighting automation can be. Since I can't give you a personal tour of my house, I will show you how I control the house...while I'm home and away!

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Remote Monitoring: Peace of Mind on Your Next Vacation:

Remote Monitoring: Peace of Mind on Your Next Vacation

Posted July 21, 2014

You’ve hit the road with the family for the annual summer vacation. You can’t help but feel apprehensive about the well-being of your house and property while you’re away. Thanks to innovative home technology, your worries can be over.

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A Winning Combination:

A Winning Combination

Posted July 18, 2014

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:

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Home Automation Terms Defined:

Home Automation Terms Defined

Posted July 16, 2014

In the world of Control4 and home automation, some terms may not be entirely clear to those who are just being introduced to the smart life. For example, we talk a lot about creating “scenes” to fit your lifestyle and “zones” in which you can listen to music. But what do those words actually mean?

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Getting Your Control4 System to Adapt to You:

Getting Your Control4 System to Adapt to You

Posted July 14, 2014

One of the biggest mistakes we as tech consumers make is trying to force ourselves to adapt to the electronic systems in our homes. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t technology adapt to the way we live? Yes and yes.

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Home Theater: A Great Place to Start Automating:

Home Theater: A Great Place to Start Automating

Posted July 9, 2014

The thought of placing your entire house under the command of a single home automation system can seem like a daunting task. And in some cases, it can be. Whether your home is in the process of being built or is already completely finished, its layout and your budget can all influence the difficulty of the design and installation of the processors, wiring and other components that make up a control system. Fortunately, manufacturers like Control4 offer solutions that allow you to add home automation gradually, one component at a time, as you deem necessary and financially wise.

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Controller–in–Chief:

Controller–in–Chief

Posted July 3, 2014

Control4 system has a monumental effect on home’s White House inspired design.

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Beam me up, Scotty!:

Beam me up, Scotty!

Posted July 2, 2014

The only thing better than having a glass of wine after work is having a glass of wine from your own personal wine cellar collection. One Control4 owner took it a step further and combined his love of Star Trek with his love of wine in his personal wine cellar. This custom cellar is equipped with opaque walls that go from frosted to translucent with a touch of a button from a smart phone or iPad. The door opens and it’s like you’ve transported yourself onto the U.S.S. Enterprise complete with sound effects from the ship. The owner hopes to one day install a retina scanner at the entrance of the cellar to keep out the Klingons, of course.

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The Home of His Dreams:

The Home of His Dreams

Posted June 30, 2014

When an electrical engineer envisions his “dream home” you can be certain that some pretty sweet technology will be high on the list of requirements. That was definitely the case for this Florida homeowner whose house is surrounded by water, infused with light and leverages Control4 to provide seamless, elegant control of virtually everything.

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More Bits & Pieces: For Big Laughs & Little Did-You-Knows:

More Bits & Pieces: For Big Laughs & Little Did-You-Knows

Posted June 27, 2014

The application revolution has taken mobile technology by storm. Nowadays, there is even an app to help you avoid getting involved in accidential incest. Wait, there's an app for that? No really, for THAT?! Yep, you read it correctly. Just by touching your phone with another, this app will tell you if you are barking up the wrong tree, as in, your own family tree. Click on the image below for more snippets of technology-related random facts.

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Wireless Sensors Offer Control Based on Motion, Light, even Humidity Levels:

Wireless Sensors Offer Control Based on Motion, Light, even Humidity Levels

Posted June 26, 2014

Forget to turn on the bathroom ventilation whenever you take a shower? If so, the Axxess Industries Wireless Motion Sensor with humidity control is a perfect addition to your Control4 home automation system. Recently HD Living reviewed the device and had great things to say about it. “The Wireless Motion Sensor is incredibly well made and attractive at that,” says Dennis Burger Editor in Chief of HD Living. He has currently set it up to turn on the bathroom vent fan whenever it senses humidity.

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What Does a Smart Home Mean to Future Homeowners?:

What Does a Smart Home Mean to Future Homeowners?

Posted June 25, 2014

Recently, Control4 asked a few future homeowners their thoughts on home automation and what living in a smart home means. We received a lot of great ideas (and a very strong silent treatment) on what features the next generation are looking for in their smart home. Check it out!

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Control4 Update on Nest Integration:

Control4 Update on Nest Integration

Posted June 23, 2014

Control4 announced our support of Nest’s Developer Program and API initiative at CEDIA Expo in September 2013 and we remain intent on releasing a driver to integrate the Nest Learning Thermostat with our home automation platform.

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Control4 Named Top 100 MDU Provider:

Control4 Named Top 100 MDU Provider

Posted June 20, 2014

When I hear the term “Multi–Dwelling Units,” I think of the not-so-awesome apartment I shared with three of my closest friends in my early years of college. Well, times have changed. Unlike my shabby college apartment building, today’s MDUs are high-end, luxurious and high-tech. As a matter of fact, Forbes recently noted that “super towers” are “the next big thing in luxury housing.” As land becomes less available in many popular and densely populated cities, like New York and Miami, luxury residences are headed skyward. Many property owners, developers and builders are looking to create exclusive condominium and private residence developments that can house many owners with a smaller footprint. These aren’t just condos. In order to appeal to luxury-minded buyers, developers are appealing to potential residents with private elevators, the best furnishings, elite concierge services, stunning views, and technological amenities.

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MainStreet America Showcases Control4:

MainStreet America Showcases Control4

Posted June 18, 2014

In the heart of Houston, Texas, there’s a parade of showcase homes where home aficionados can peruse the latest and greatest in home design, décor and technology. It’s called MainStreet America, a collection of 12 fully finished, decorated and designed homes that will never be lived in but serve solely to let people shop for the features and functionality they envision for their next home. As developer Mike Feigin states, “There is no place like this in the world.”

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Control FORE!:

Control FORE!

Posted June 17, 2014

An Indoor Golf Center Scores with Automation

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An Innovative Office for Innovative People:

An Innovative Office for Innovative People

Posted June 16, 2014

For high-tech entrepeneurs, having a high-tech space where they can share their passions, percolate their business ideas, and rub shoulders with potential investors who also happen to know a little something about starting a business is key to success. The Winklevoss twins (yes, those Winklevoss twins) recently founded a private investment firm to support budding start-ups and their 5,000-square-foot office in New York City features innovative technology designed to promote digital collaboration and high-speed innovation.

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What Does a Dad Really Want On Father's Day? Extra Time in the Man Cave!:

What Does a Dad Really Want On Father's Day? Extra Time in the Man Cave!

Posted June 13, 2014

Father’s Day can be such a great day. It provides us with an excuse to spend some extra time with the family and celebrate all the wonderful fathers out there. But it also provides dads with an excuse to spend a little bit of extra time relaxing and hanging out in the man cave. Man cave is a phrase that is thrown around quite a bit to represent a space that a man (or men) can go to enjoy whatever activities they like to enjoy during their down time. This obviously means different things to different people. One father might be a sports nut while another father loves to play video games. This Father’s Day let’s celebrate the three most popular types of man caves.

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5 Ways To Save—Automatically!:

5 Ways To Save—Automatically!

Posted June 10, 2014

It's getting warmer outside, which also means that people will begin cranking up those air conditioners. And if you are the accommodating type, house guests may start coming out of hibernation and heading to your place for their entertainment benefit, which can oftentimes be quite expensive. Heed these home control tips and you might notice a little less cash leaving the checking account every month.

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5 Easy Ways to Save Energy:

5 Easy Ways to Save Energy

Posted June 5, 2014

Conserving energy at home shouldn’t require you to sacrifice comfort or make you feel deprived. Smart energy conservation shouldn’t require a change of routine or lifestyle or create a lot of extra work. With an automation system at the helm of your house, you don’t need to be uncomfortable or inconvenienced to conserve energy, as the system is able to operate the lights, thermostats, and other power-hungry devices with the utmost efficiency. The system empowers you to easily shave money off your monthly utility bill. Here are five ways an automation system can foster energy efficiency:

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5 Need-To-Knows: Designing Your Smart Home:

5 Need-To-Knows: Designing Your Smart Home

Posted June 4, 2014

Imagine waking up in the morning, not to the glaring blare of an alarm clock, but to your favorite song streaming through speakers in the ceiling, as your blinds slowly open to reveal the morning sun. Touch one button by your bed and the lights in the hallway turn on so you can safely navigate to the kitchen where the TV is already tuned into your favorite morning news program. As you race out the door for work, smile as everything powers down—the lights, the TVs, the audio—even the thermostat dials back to a more energy-effi cient setting. The alarm arms, the garage door closes and every door in the house gets locked. Automatically.

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