Regularly we hear people ask the question, which home automation system should I use?
Well, in an ever-expanding market this is a hard question to answer but here are 3 helpful tips for making sure you’re heading down the right path.
1 – Are you starting from fresh or are you swapping out your old switches and sockets?
The way you install the system will define its limitations, many of the retrofit systems will require some additional rewiring but nothing too taxing (like the Octo system); whereas starting from fresh means rewiring the whole house, but rewiring does mean THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER.
With the rewired systems you can switch the lights on with a single word or close the curtains with a tap of a mobile phone and never have to worry about Fred next door peeping in your living room again when you’re lying about watching your favourite episode of EastEnders. Looking at the retrofit systems such as Octo these are super quick and easy to install with amazing connectivity but you can’t attach any motors or link it to a system like Alexa.
2 - What do you want the system to control?
The systems you install from fresh can encompass a lot of different functions but do have a few limitations (you will still have to get up to blend margaritas). The retrofit systems on the other hand whilst easy to install and very easy to control come with quite a lot of restriction; take the Clicksmart system from Scolmore; It can be designed to work most if not all on/off, dim or movement functions across a whopping 40 easy to install modules all from a smartphone. But to be able to get more units across more than 30 meters you’ll have to start investing in additional smart boxes and extenders which all of a sudden start to weigh on the old purse strings.
3- What’s your budget?
So having read up to this point you’re probably sitting there and going, well I might as well start from fresh, I might have to pay a bit extra for installation but even the retrofit needs some wiring and starting from fresh I can do almost anything, I could even set up a home automated nerf gun to stop Fred’s damn cat from leaving its “mark” on the front lawn!!….yes you could, starting from a measly £10,000 before installation or programming (back to spraying the cat with the hose). Whereas it’s somewhat restricted counterparts such as the Click smart or Octo system can be bought and installed through an entire house from as little as a grand, they can also be programmed by most tech-savvy users.
I hope these little tips help in your journey to finding the right home automation system for you, but if you’re still left with more questions than most of the general population after watching Inception, then drop an email to one of the team at 7 Core Electrical.