Amica become a Loxone Gold Partner

25th July 2018 in Backstage
Amica has gone from strength to strength as a Loxone Silver Partner and it is very exciting for us to finally be able to announce that Ben and his team are now Gold Partners. An achievement that they can be very proud of. Ben came through to our show facility in Reading to catch up with Partner Consultant, Matt Emberson and Loxone UK MD, Philipp Schuster. This time last year, we published photos of some smart gardens that had been worked on by Loxone Partners. Amica were one of the Partners that contributed to the blog; including a rather impressive ‘office pod’.
There is no doubt that Amica have been exceptionally busy with smart home installations but we managed to pose some questions to Ben to find out more about the company and their path to Gold.

Could you start by telling us about your background and how you became interested in home automation?

Having worked in the electrical industry for over 20 years I wanted to take on a new challenge and offer something more to my customers. Realising that homes are becoming more reliant on technology I wanted to introduce ‘Smart Homes’ to my clients and show them that a complete smart home can save them time, money and be fun to use.

What made you decide to become a Loxone Partner?

I tried a few other systems before in the past but Loxone was the only one that ticked all the boxes when it comes to home control. Setting Loxone up was nothing compared to what I tried before and it gives the homeowner so much more.

The Team

Ben is an electrician himself. He also has a few other electricians on the team. Mainly; Louis and Tom.

Louis worked for me years ago and I spent a lot of time training him up, now he works on a lot of my projects getting the right cables in at the right times.
Tom used to work for a security company installing intruder alarms. He wanted to take a slightly different approach in his career and re-trained as an electrician. Having a background in alarm systems he is very keen when it comes to installing the smart and the ‘techie’ side that smart home installations bring.
At our headquarters, we have a couple of IT engineers Ian and Gareth that look after the networking side of things to make sure we have good foundations for a smooth running and reliable install.
Then there is Darren, Darren owns his own company as an architect and builder at Chewton Bespoke Homes, we work very closely together with Chewton when it comes to electrical work and Loxone projects. With Chewton Bespoke homes we have undertaken some fantastic projects, from little heating systems to impressive homes and even a hotel in Bournemouth.

What makes Amica different?

There is a lot more to Amica than meets the eye, there is the install side that I run (electrical, smart homes and home cinema) and Amica Tech which looks after networking installs & maintenance, broadband/VoIP services & much more. All together Amica can offer anything when it comes to home and business technology.

What has your dedicated journey to Gold involved?

It wasn’t an easy journey at times. With big learning curves and difficult challenges to overcome, but it’s all worth it as the customers get their dream home.

How would you encourage other Partners to reach for Gold?

Be honest, open and upfront with your customers is key for me. One of the other biggest things is to simply be interested in what you are installing and promoting. As we love Loxone so much here, it really shows when I’m talking to anyone about the system. Perseverance & hard work!

What has been your biggest/favourite project (with Loxone)? What challenges have you faced?

One of my favourite projects was the Marsham Court Hotel in Bournemouth. As they were renovating their ball/dance room this was a perfect opportunity to show off what Loxone really has to offer when it comes to lighting, heating & security.
Having such a large area to work with it was a challenge to get all the lights in the right places to ensure enough light was produced in the right way around the room.
Being such an old building too, there was lots of steel in the fabric of the building which meant that wireless signals did not reach as far as you would expect. Though thanks to Loxone Air and their mesh network; we were able to get the Loxone Valve Actuator Air devices online throughout the entire room! We also had shutter doors on the system to protect the bar area and used Nano devices for outside lighting and automatic Christmas lights. Colour changing lighting schemes are an excellent addition to promote clients company colours.

Which features are popular with your customers?

I would say from experience a big feature would be the ‘Holiday’ or ‘Away Mode’ as this pulls many features of the Loxone system together. When the mode is activated the burglar alarm will be armed, the heating sets itself into frost protection, and presence simulation will be activated for the lights & music in key rooms.

How have your customers benefitted from living in a Loxone Smart Home?

I think the biggest thing is simply the house looking after them for once. Not needing to interact as much, because the lighting and heating just looks after itself. When it comes to the alarm, a simple triple tap of the switch as they leave and the entire house shuts down allowing the customers more free time for other things.

What would be your ultimate home automation project?

My ultimate smart home project would be something that looks after all the aspects of the home and pushes me to be challenged further. lighting, heating, security, music, AV, PV, swimming pool; just a bit of everything really!

In your opinion, where will the smart home industry be, in the UK, in 2020?

If we look at the current new car market and notice that a lot of this technology is going into every new car (automatic headlights, wipers & arm/disarm brings on/off functions of the car), I don’t see why this wouldn’t become the standard to homes in the near future as the market is already opening up much more to this type of industry.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking of having Loxone installed, what would it be?

Truly experiencing it shows so much more than words can describe. Getting a demonstration of the system would be a great place to start if you’re thinking of having a Loxone system.

How does it feel to be a Loxone Partner?

I feel incredibly proud to be a Loxone partner, especially from being a complete novice to the system to where I am now. It’s been a long journey but thanks to Loxone and the people I work with, it all feels amazing and worth it.
Ben Tozer

Director, Amica

From left: Philipp Schuster (MD, Loxone UK), Ben Tozer (Director, Amica), Matt Emberson (Partner Consultant, Loxone UK)

Case Study: Ferndown

Amica recently completed a Loxone Smart Home installation in Ferndown. Take a look at this magnificently beautiful case study.
From all of us at Loxone UK, we’d like to congratulate Ben and the team at Amica on achieving Gold Partner status. It is an accomplishment to most certainly be proud of. We look forward to working on many more Real Smart Home projects together.