It's amazing how powerful smart phones and tablets are these days. And it is also interesting to consider how much many of us use these devices to keep us connected, no matter where we may be. One could argue that connected all the time can add stress and strain to our lives by not allowing us to get a break from work, errands and our never ending to do lists. That argument has a great deal of validity.
On the other hand, one area in which smart phones and tablets can actually reduce stress and anxiety is by allowing us to be in control of our homes
, even when we are far away. Having remote access to your home security, surveillance, lighting, climate, and even TVs can provide us the peace of mind that, although we are not there, all is well and as it should be back at the ranch.
Below are some specific examples of the benefits of remote access to your home.
1. Security, Cameras & Automated Door Locks
What is more important than the safety and security
of your family and home? With remote access you can remotely arm and disarm the security system, lock and unlock a door, check to make sure all sensors are working, and knowing that if any alarms or detectors (including smoke detectors, CO detectors, or water sensors) are triggered, you will receive immediate notification via text message or phone call so you can take immediate action. No need to worry that you will return from your sun-filled vacation holiday to a flooded basement!
Cameras allow you to check in on things back home to see what is going on for yourself in real time. Adding a recording device lets you investigate occurrences at a later time.
2. Energy Monitoring, Management & Savings
Properly controlling the heating, cooling and lighting when you are not at home can be a significant energy saver. With a smart control system that is programmed to an "Away" or "Vacation" scene, the home can appear lived-in to the outside world, while still reducing wasted energy
on lighting, heating and cooling. Being able to use your smart phone to understand energy usage and make changes remotely can help you be a better green citizen and save on your energy bills.
3. Lighting & Shading
Have you ever forgotten to turn of the lights when you left home? Or better yet, have you ever left the house and could not remember if you did or did not turn off the lights? Fortunately, those occurrences can be a thing of the past. Your home can be programmed to automatically turn off lights
, raise and lower shades
depending on sunrise, sunset, or your personal preferences. And with your smart phone, you can make any changes as you desire, no matter where you may be.
Forgot to set your DVR to record
the football game? No problem. That's what smart phones are for.
Who would have thought that appliances could be so smart
, but many of them are. For example, you can get a notification on your phone from your refrigerator that the door is ajar. Even though that might not be a fun notification to get, you can take action to fix it, which may be much better than arriving home to a fridge full of spoiled food!
The good folks at Mass Save want to help you to save energy and money on your heating and cooling every month. Because they know how much a smart, programmable thermostat can make it easy for you to significantly save energy, money, and help fight global warming, they are sweetening the deal for Massachusetts residents.Mass Save
is offering a $100 rebate per Wi-Fi thermostat (limit $200 per household) purchased before December 31, 2013.Contact simpleHome
to learn more. We can install and program your thermostats and fill out the rebate paperwork for you. We make it easy for you to be green and save money, too!
The Boston Society of Architects (BSA) is proud to announce the second annual ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX), New England's leading building industry event.
Team simpleHome is excited to once again be an exhibitor at the ABX.
If you are interested in obtaining a free pass to the exhibit hall, please register at abexpo.com and use promo code SMH13.
We invite any of our clients and friends who are attending this event to stop by and visit us at Booth #665.
Exhibit Hall Hours:
Tuesday, Nov 19
11AM - 6PM
Wednesday, Nov 20
11AM - 6PM
Thursday, Nov 21
11AM - 4PM
We hope to see you there!
"Destination America," a cable channel owned by the Discovery network, recently aired an episode of a series called "Epic Tech Homes" that highlighted Tim & Nancy Howes' beautiful Vermont home. We at simpleHome are thrilled to have been part of such an amazing team of talented design professionals, builders, trades people, and of course, wonderful homeowners who created this stunning vacation retreat. Check it out for yourself...enjoy!
The leader of a Westborough boy scout troop, Brian Silva, asked us if he could use the simpleHome design center on Friday, October 25 to host a combination movie night/career day for the boys. We were happy to say yes to his request!
Brian, a well-respected electrician in town and all around great guy, has done a lot of work for simpleHome as a sub-contractor over the last 10 years. Brian thought it would be a good way to educate the kids about career opportunities that they may not know exist, such as owning a business like simpleHome that helps people make their homes safer, easier to manage, and more fun!
The boys will listen to a brief presentation about the things we do at simpleHome and get a tour of our design center. They will then enjoy the movie "Croods" on a large projector in our demo home theater, along with freshly popped popcorn. We hope the boys have a nice night and also get excited about thinking of careers that may interest them. Maybe even in the field of home technology!
," a cable channel owned by the Discovery network, has produced an episode of a series called "Epic Tech Homes
" that will highlight a simpleHome project. The program will air on Wednesday, October 2nd at 10PM EST
You can find Destination America on Directv channel 286, Dish channel 194, FIOS channel 668, Comcast channel 233, and Charter channel 102.
Like many people, the kitchen is probably my favorite room at home. The fact that many people share my opinion is clear to anyone who has ever hosted a party at their home. You quickly realize that it's the room that most of your guests want to be, in spite of your efforts to gently nudge them into other rooms.
Why the kitchen? Maybe it's because we have had so many great memories over the course of our lives of times hanging out in the kitchen, sharing food, stories, and laughs with our family and friends that we like the comfort of being in that place.
Whatever the reasons, the kitchen is a very important room in today's homes and we 21st century Americans spend a lot of time there. So maybe it's time to bring your kitchen into the 21st century with some smart home technology.
There has never been a better time to add brains along with the beauty and function of your kitchen.
Why now? The answer can be summed up quite well in a catch-phrase used by leading home automation company, Control4
, "Dream big. Start small." What that means to you as you consider making changes to your kitchen to make it a more beautiful, functional, efficient space is that the process can actually be easy, fun, and not break the bank. You can do a little at a time and add more features over time on your schedule, according to your family's needs and budget.
Where do you start? The first step is learning about the smart home technology features and benefits that are available. Next, decide what's right for you now, and what might be something you may want to consider sometime down the road. Before you know, you will be on your way to a smarter kitchen!
To help you get a handle on what's available and may be of interest to you, we will present some options to get you thinking and dreaming. Don't worry about getting carried away, though, we'll remind you that it's fine to start small and let your system evolve with you.
In the photo to the left, the #1 shows a touch panel that is used to control many different systems, both in the kitchen and in the house. Examples of the systems that can be controlled by this one touch panel include lighting
, and the list goes on
. This concept of one device to control many different systems is possible because the various, separate systems all communicate to the control system brain. All you really need is the brain and a way to control it. This photo shows a touch panel, but the controller can be as simple as a remote control, an in-wall keypad, or your smart phone or tablet. Once you get the brain, you are on your way and the sky is the limit for what you can simply and easily control.
The #2 points out automated shades
in the kitchen. They can be programmed however you want, to manage the natural sunlight that enters your kitchen and help maintain the privacy you desire. In addition, the lights can be controlled
and programmed to work in conjunction with the shades to save energy, and create the perfect atmosphere at the touch of a button.
The #3 points out the hidden speakers that can fill your home with the music
you want at the touch of a button.
Appliances continue to get smarter and, when they are tied in with your home control system, have the ability to provide you with timely and important information to make your life easier. For example, the lights can be programmed to flash when the oven is pre-heated. Send a notification to the family room TV when the roast has reached the optimal temperature. Program the ice-maker to increase ice production when you are in "party" mode. You can even send appliance maintenance and service requests through the control system, keeping your appliances working at peak efficiency and extending their life.
Please feel free to contact us
with any questions you may have. We want to help you get the smart and beautiful kitchen and home you desire.
How many times have we heard it said that the key to a good relationship is good communication? When it comes to making sure your home technology is working the best way possible for you and your family, good communication with your custom electronics (CE) professional is very important, too..
Electronic House Magazine recently posted a great article
that highlights the importance of good communication between a homeowner and those installing the entertainment and automation solutions in their home. We are all different, so the more your CE professional knows about your lifestyle, your likes and your pet peeves, the more he or she can create a technology solution just right for you and your family.
At simpleHome, we recognize the importance of listening to our clients and creating and maintaining strong long-term relationships. Our mission is and always been to provide outstanding music, video and automation solutions that are reliable and make your life easier and a little more fun.
Control4 has a fun graphic on their blog
that illustrates the capabilities and functionality of a smart home. As they like to say, "Dream big, start small." You can start with just one area, like using one remote to control your TV and music
, and add other features to the platform later, if and when you chose to do so. Isn't it nice to be in control?
Relax. Enjoy the sunshine. Our Snowbird Solution package is thoughtfully designed to keep your home safe and secure while you are away.Why Do I Need a Snowbird Solution?
We have all heard the horror stories of people returning home from an extended absence to ﬁnd a major catastrophe - water damage from a frozen pipe or leak - or even a burglary.
simpleHome has developed our “Snowbird Solution” package, designed speciﬁcally for those people who travel away from home for extended periods of time. Our systems provide you with added security and peace
that all is well back home so you can relax and enjoy your time away.
Our basic package includes:
Power Outage Monitor: When you are far away, you still want to know when you lose power back home. Our system will notify you, as well as whomever else you want notiﬁed, immediately via text, email or phone, when the power is lost, as well as when the power is back on. This critical information allows you to take the appropriate actions to avert major problems occurring to your home.
Water Sensors: Nobody ever wants to return to ﬁnd a ﬂood in their home. Water sensors can easily be positioned near the sump pump and underneath sinks to text or email you an alert should it detect moisture. Then you have the ability to decide whether to send someone over to investigate.
Being able to rest assured that the temperature in your home is at a proper level
goes a long way to knowing all is well back home. You can easily check on your home’s thermostat via your smartphone, tablet, or a web browser from anywhere. Even better, the system is set up to automatically notify you, and/or
whomever else you wish to be notiﬁed, that there is a problem with the temperature in your home. Electronic Door Lock:
Having a smart door lock
is a great convenience all year long, but is especially nice to have when you are away from home. They are the safest and most convenient way to allow trusted friends or caretakers into your house while you’re away. You can provide a different code to every person you choose to have access to your home, and receive notiﬁcations informing you each time someone enters and leaves your home. You can even deactivate the lock remotely or provide a temporary access code to someone you choose.
For those who are looking for even more security and peace of mind, we provide additional features, including:Surveillance Cameras:
If you are the kind of person who needs to see things for yourself, surveillance cameras
may be something to consider. For example, you may want to check to see if packages have been left at the door, the mowers or snow plowers came when they were supposed to, or just see for yourself that everything looks ﬁne. If that idea sounds appealing, then you could beneﬁt greatly by having surveillance cameras installed in those areas you want monitored.
Nothing is more inviting to a would-be burglar than a home that looks unoccupied. A few properly programmed automated lights
make your home look lived in and prevent intruders from picking your house as their target. And automated lights are a great feature to have all year long. You may wonder how you ever lived without them!
In the same way that automated lights can create a "people are
living here right now" look, automated shades & draperies
achieve the same effect.
In addition, automated shades that are programmed to drop at the proper times block the harmful UV rays from the sun which can damage your artwork, furniture and ﬂooring.Contact simpleHome today
to learn more about how our Snowbird Solution packages can
keep your home safe & secure.