How to Get Started with Smart Home Technology

How to Get Started with Smart Home Technology

Smart home technology is rapidly growing in popularity. Now, you can add everything from intelligent thermostats to automated lawn water systems to even smart washing machines! With so many options to choose from, how do you create the system that will give you the best bang for your buck? Here’s our approach to designing the perfect smart home systems for our Texas clients throughout the greater Dallas area.

1. Decide Your Goals

People start smart home projects for lots of different reasons. What about the automated lifestyle appeals most to you? Here are a few of the biggest advantages that our clients often pursue:

  • Green Home:  Technology is often associated with wasteful energy consumption, but the right devices can actually help reduce your carbon footprint! If you want to lower your monthly energy bill, we recommend starting with a smart thermostat, lighting control, and motorized shades. This trifecta works together to maintain the sweet balance of comfort and energy efficiency in your home.
  • Stronger Home Security: With smart home automation, you don’t have to limit yourself to the standard home security systems. Instead, smart home security can use everything from your lights to your motorized shades to your home surveillance cameras to help keep your home safe and secure.
  • Greater Comfort: If you want a home that works 24x7 to keep you in comfort, there are a few smart home technologies that should be at the top of the list. Start with a smart thermostat that will keep every area of your home at just the right temperature. Add in a multi-room music system so that you can enjoy your favorite playlist wherever you are. A motorized shading solution will keep the sun from blazing right in your eyes while you’re relaxing with a good book—just pull out your phone, press a button, and the shades will lower to block out the sun.
  • Interior Design: You might assume that technology just serves to clutter up your interior design with cords or remotes, but it can actually help enhance the look and feel of your home. For example, with lighting control, you can create lighting scenes that highlight artwork or architecture. You can add hidden TVs and speakers that give you great sound and visuals while remaining out of sight until you want to enjoy a show or music. And best of all, you eliminate the need for unsightly wall clutter like light switches or volume knobs because everything is controlled via your smartphone, tablet, or voice.

SEE ALSO: How to Use Smart Lighting to Boost Your Interior Design

2. Decide on DIY or Professional

Many smart devices now are being marketed as DIY-friendly—the sort of devices you can just plug in and enjoy! And if you are satisfied with very basic functionality, that approach may be sufficient for your needs. But if you want a cohesive system that works reliably and can easily achieve all of your goals for your smart home, it’s best to bring in a professional. Smart home automation integrators like DB Media Solutions are experts at designing and installing all these different types of technologies, from home theater systems to smart security.

When you work with a professional integrator, they’ll be able to connect all of the smart devices into one easy-to-use system that works together to make your home more efficient, comfortable, and beautiful.

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How to Insulate Your Home with Motorized Shades

How to Insulate Your Home with Motorized Shades

Let’s face it: Texas homeowners are not well equipped to deal with cold weather. Anything below 70 degrees is practically foreign territory, and your home’s heating system (if you even have one) is likely rusty from lack of use. That said, the Southlake area has already seen some chilly days, and the fickle Texas weather could turn even colder at a moment’s notice. Is your home prepared? In this blog, we discuss how motorized shades can help keep your home cozy warm without blasting the heater 24x7.

The Need for Insulation

The big trend with home architecture these days is large windows in every room. While these windows promote an open, airy feel to the house, that ambiance comes at a price, a very tangible cost seen each month on your energy bill. That’s because glass is not a very good insulator. During the summer, those glass windows focus the sun’s heat, essentially baking each room and causing your HVAC unit to work overtime to keep things cool.

In the winter, the problem is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Your home’s heat seeps out of the glass, so even though your heater might be running, the odds are likely that you’ll still feel a chill in the air whenever you go into rooms with large windows.

The Solution: Motorized Shades

Obviously, you don’t want to cover up your beautiful windows for the entire winter season, so the trick is to find a solution that balances your view of the outdoors with smart energy management. Motorized shades are a perfect fit.

Window treatments form a barrier between your well-heated room and the glass that enables the heat to pass outside, essentially trapping the warm air in the room. You can achieve this effect through multiple shading styles, such as traditional drapery, but one of the best types of window treatment for heat harnessing is the honeycomb style. The design has pleats that open up to create and trap warm air pockets.

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Getting Started with Lighting Control

Getting Started with Lighting Control

As smart home technology becomes more and more popular, there are several terms that you’re going to hear quite frequently. One technology that is often considered an essential part of smart home automation is lighting control. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, don’t worry. We’ve put together a quick guide that goes over the features and benefits of lighting control systems so that you can decide for yourself if this innovative technology is right for your Colleyville, Texas home.

What is Lighting Control?

Lighting control refers to technology that allows you to easily adjust the lights throughout your home. Technically, anything from a light switch to a lamp dimmer is a form of lighting control, but in modern terms, lighting control typically refers to systems that automate the process of managing all the lights throughout your home. So instead of relying on individual switches for each light, all of the lights are connected to one centrally managed system you can control right from your smartphone or tablet.

SEE ALSO: 5 Ways to Manage Your Lights With Smart Control

What are the Main Advantages of a Lighting Control System?

The short answer to this question is that lighting control makes your life more convenient and comfortable. The longer answer is that the versatility of lighting control makes it possible for you to gain the benefits that matter most to you. Here are just a few of the ways a lighting control system can make life easier:

  • Energy Management: The intelligent system ensures that you never waste energy lighting rooms that aren’t in use or burning bulbs at 100% brightness when natural sunlight is available.
  • Security: Through automated “scenes,” you can use your lights to make your home look occupied while you’re away, thus convincing would-be burglars to move on to easier targets.
  • Time Savings: Instead of walking throughout the house every evening to turn off lights one by one, imagine being able to push a single button on your phone turn off all the lights immediately.
  • Interior Design: You can use your control system to display art and décor in the perfect lighting for every occasion.

How Does Lighting Control Fit into a Full Home Automation System?

Modern smart homes are fully customizable, so you can start with as little or as much smart technology as you want and then add on other elements as time goes on. Many Texas homeowners choose to automate their lights initially, then add on other smart home control elements such as audio video systems, home security, motorized shades, etc. The great thing is that all of these different technologies use the same interface that you’re already comfortable with, so each new addition won’t require learning a new system.

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Make Your Window Shades Smart with Home Automation

Make Your Window Shades Smart with Home Automation

The modern smart home has gone far beyond keyless locks and 4K Ultra HD TVs. Everything from your home surveillance cameras to your window shades can be automated with technology that adds convenience and comfort to your home. Below, we’ve covered two of the main ways that upgrading to motorized shades can make your Dallas, Texas home smarter.

SEE ALSO: 3 Reasons to Invest in Motorized Shades for Your Home

Energy Management

It takes a lot of energy to keep a home cool in Dallas, especially during Texas’ stifling summer months. The large windows that add so much beauty and character to your home are actually contributing to your high energy bill. Once the sun comes up, your windows can essentially bake your home in the sunlight, significantly raising interior temperatures.

The regular approach to this problem is to hang shades on all the windows, but with your curtains always closed, you don’t get to enjoy your outdoor views, and you have to rely on artificial lighting all the time (which also requires energy). Motorized shades solve this problem by intelligently monitoring your home’s temperature and lighting. The motorized shades automatically adjust throughout the day to ensure your rooms are adequately lit without the sun blasting heat into your home. Sensors detect the amount of sunlight hitting the window and cause the shades to lower or raise as needed.

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