6 Smart Home ‘Luxuries’ That Aren’t As Expensive As You Might Think

Lucinda Wood
26th June 2015 in Know How

‘There’s no place like home’. That’s true in many ways. When you think about it, there’s really very few other places within our busy modern lifestyles where we tolerate such a lack of technological advancement. Our cars are more advanced than ever before. If technology fails us in our offices, cafes, or even the train station, we get irrationally angry about it. We’re busy people after all.

Yet we think nothing of going around the house manually switching the lights, TV and appliances on and off and yanking the curtains open and closed. Every. Single. Day. Something doesn’t add up.

Up until quite recently, home automation was more often than not the domain of the rich and famous, installed only in the most lavish of houses (with a rather large price tag to match!)

However, the rapid growth of the Smart Home market, and in particular, the rise of off-the-shelf products has been a real game-changer. More homeowners than ever are familiarising themselves with smart technology that was previously considered too technical and too expensive to install in the average home.

However, the rapid growth of the Smart Home market, and in particular, the rise of off-the-shelf products has been a real game-changer. More homeowners than ever are familiarizing themselves with smart technology that was previously considered too technical and too expensive to install in the average home.

So, with budget in mind, we’re looking at six features of a Smart Home system that are often considered as ‘expensive luxuries’ including lighting scenes, multi-room audio and intelligent monitoring. We’ll look at how you can get the most from these features without needing to spend big.

1.) Automated Lighting

Energie_Lichter_ausIt wasn’t that long ago that “fancy” lighting was little more than simply being able to dim your lights.

At just the touch of a button, it is now possible to control, dim and zone your lighting to suit the way you live. So whether you are cooking, dining, entertaining or just relaxing on the sofa with a film, you can dim the lights automatically, highlight specific areas of your home (and garden) and create an atmosphere with different colours to suit your mood.

At just the touch of a button, it is now possible to control, dim and zone your lighting to suit the way you live. So whether you are cooking, dining, entertaining or just relaxing on the couch with a movie, you can dim the lights automatically, highlight specific areas of your home (and backyard) and create an atmosphere with different colors to suit your mood.

Automated lighting is also a great way of cutting down on unnecessary electricity usage. Are your kids always leaving the lights on? A presence detector can turn the lights off automatically once they’ve left the room. Alternatively, you can have your lights switch on automatically as soon as you arrive home from work in the evenings.

The really smart part about automated lighting is that the brightness can be adjusted throughout the house according to the time of day. If it’s late at night and you get up to visit the loo, the lights will only come on dimly to light your path without blinding you and disturbing your sleep. The next morning, it’s bright and sunny, so the lights won’t come on automatically at all during the day to help save energy.

The really smart part about automated lighting is that the brightness can be adjusted throughout the house according to the time of day. If it’s late at night and you get up to visit the bathroom, the lights will only come on dimly to light your path without blinding you and disturbing your sleep. The next morning, it’s bright and sunny, so the lights won’t come on automatically at all during the day to help save energy.

So rather than costing more, automated lighting can actually save you money in the long run by ensuring you’re using your energy efficiently!

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2.) Multiroom Audio

Komfort_MusikThe chances are that each member of your household has their own taste in music.

If you’d like to enjoy a more harmonious environment at home, a multiroom audio system could be a sound investment. Multiroom audio allows you to listen to music in different rooms of your home or to have your music follow you as move between rooms.

The Loxone Music Server is available for 4, 8, 12, 16 or 20 zones, so regardless of the size of your home, you can enjoy your favourite tunes throughout. You can also use the Music Server as an siren sounded for your burlgar alarm, as an alarm clock in the mornings, and for your doorbell.

The Loxone Music Server is available for 4, 8, 12, 16 or 20 zones, so regardless of the size of your home, you can enjoy your favorite tunes throughout. You can also use the Music Server as an siren sound for your burlgar alarm, as an alarm clock in the mornings, and for your doorbell.

You can set up room groups in the the app too, so if you’re hosting a barbecue, you can ensure the kitchen, downstairs loo and patio speakers are all singing from the same hymn sheet.

You can set up room groups in the the app too, so if you’re hosting a barbecue, you can ensure the kitchen, downstairs bathroom and patio speakers are all playing the same station.

The best part? There’s no need to dig out your phone to change the song or adjust the volume. A simple 5 button switch on the wall lets you play, pause, adjust the volume and turn the music on and off.

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3.) Automatic Blind Control

Komfort_AutomatikmodusRemember that thing about running around closing blinds and curtains? Enough already! Automated blinds can save you so much time and hassle. If you ‘overindugled’ at the barbecue and need a little longer in bed the next morning, you can close them via your phone or remote control…all from under the duvet. Zzzzz.

If you’re thinking of adding large glass windows or bi-fold doors to your home, automatic blinds can be set up to let the sun in when the room is cold, and to close when the room reaches the desired temperature. No more returning home to a hot and stuffy house!

Once you’ve chosen your motorised blinds, controlling them is really simple. In fact, you can drive your blinds directly from the Miniserver, Extension or Relay Extension, so there’s no need to pay out for additional hardware just for your blinds.

Once you’ve chosen your motorized blinds, controlling them is really simple. In fact, you can manage your blinds directly from the Miniserver, Extension or Relay Extension, so there’s no need to pay out for additional hardware just for your blinds.

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4.) Smart Home Cinema

4.) Smart Home Theater

Komfort_Kinostimmung

Whether you’re settling down to the latest episode of your favourite show, or snuggling up to watch a film, you can transform your living room with just a flick of a switch. One click is all it takes to switch on the TV, close the blinds and dim the lights. Now who’s making the popcorn?

Whether you’re settling down to the latest episode of your favorite show, or snuggling up to watch a movie, you can transform your living room with just a flick of a switch. One click is all it takes to switch on the TV, close the blinds and dim the lights. Now who’s making the popcorn?

Click here to see how the architects behind this stunning newly built home in Richmond created a cosy home cinema without losing out on serious style points.

Click here to see how the architects behind this stunning newly built home in Richmond created a cozy home theater without losing out on serious style points.

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5.) Intelligent Intercom

Komfort_FernsteuerungYou can integrate a video intercom in your smart home to help keep an eye on things when you’re not there. For example, if a visitor comes to the door, you can receive a phone call that notifies and allows you to speak to the person and let them in, even if you’re not at home.

This also works really well for deliveries; if you’ve been a little overzealous with your Amazon Prime trial, you may have forgotten to select your work address for all your new purchases. No problem, when Royal Mail arrives at home to drop off your stuff, the garage door can be opened remotely and the parcels placed safely inside. If you forget to close the garage door, it sends you an alert… handy!

This also works really well for deliveries; if you’ve been a little overzealous with your Amazon Prime trial, you may have forgotten to select your work address for all your new purchases. No problem, when parcel service arrives at home to drop off your stuff, the garage door can be opened remotely and the packages placed safely inside. If you forget to close the garage door, it sends you an alert… handy!

You may think a system like this would be a serious budget buster, but the Loxone Intercom comes in at just £867.00*, so it’s well worth considering. Cheaper than a butler, too!

You may think a system like this would be a serious budget buster, but the Loxone Intercom comes in at just 1149.00 USD*, so it’s well worth considering. Cheaper than a butler, too!

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6.) Presence Simulation

Komfort_Gegensprechanlage

Lets be honest – how many precious minutes of your holiday have you wasted worrying about your home? How many hours of wasted electricity have been used by leaving the landing light on to make it look like someone’s home? Too many!

Lets be honest – how many precious minutes of your vacation have you wasted worrying about your home? How many hours of wasted electricity have been used by leaving the front porch light on to make it look like someone’s home? Too many!

A smart home eliminates these fears with presence simulation – the house records your activities over the period of a week. Then, when you head out for your holiday, the house replays your actions- like switching lights and music on and off, and raising and lowering the blinds. It’s a surefire way to deter intruders (and nosey neighbours!).

A smart home eliminates these fears with presence simulation – the house records your activities over the period of a week. Then, when you head out for your vacation, the house replays your actions- like switching lights and music on and off, and raising and lowering the blinds. It’s a surefire way to deter intruders (and nosey neighbors!).

The best part about presence simulation? There’s no extra hardware to buy whatsoever, as it’s just a matter of setting it up in Loxone Config (which is completely free!).

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Free Software & Apps!

Don’t forget that you can download all of our software for free, including our configuration software, Loxone Config, and our Loxone Smart Home app (available for iOS and Android).

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Interested? Why not visit our website to find out a bit more about how Loxone can enhance your home or request a free brochure? (It’s worth it, we promise!)

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*Including VAT, excluding setup and configuration.