With the window wait nearly over & the basement prep work complete, we’re finally back to focusing on our plans for the main living space. We thought we’d take a break from all of the heavy construction talk & get a little bit into some of the fun stuff.

Anyone who knows us knows we’re a gadget family. We eat, sleep & breathe technology. So its only fitting that we’d be curious about cool ways to integrate technology into our home. In a perfect world we’d go full on Tony Stark and have J.A.R.V.I.S. running things, but since Kes is not a “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist“, we had to do a bit of research to find a more achievable alternative.

Outside of the comic book world, when most people think about home automation it’s to the extent of what you see on tv – push a button to set the mood – lights dim, fireplace kicks in, some Barry White on the stereo….ooooh yea... But in reality it’s so much more than that! Things like: the ability to close your blinds based on the weather report & the probability of morning sunlight; or turning on your home’s exterior lights at dusk & having them automatically shut off along with locking the doors & arming the security system at bedtime – all possibilities of having a “smart” home.

When it comes to home automation the costs can vary hugely depending on how crazy you want to get with the features and customizations. We read about systems that ranged anywhere from the cost of a small country to the cost of a nice tv. For us, we wanted to find a system that would allow us to start small & build on it over time.

The Control4 system caught our eyes at one of the home shows we attended last fall and after researching it a bit further, then finding a local distributor and learning even more about its capabilities, we were sold. For us it’s the perfect happy medium between an entry level DIY system & the much more cost prohibitive systems that require a full scale design & a team of engineers just to get started. The Control4 products are modular, so they lend themselves well to our start small and add components as budget permits approach.

discussing wiring for home automation.
Kes & Riaz of Durham Smart Homes discussing wiring for home automation.

In the coming months we’ll be digging further into our Control4 configuration, the features we’ll be starting with as well as some of the components we’ll be future-proofing for. We’ll also get into our relationship with Durham Smart Homes, and how we’ll be working closely with them to make our Control4 dreams a reality.

Have any of you automated any part of your home? What feature has made the most difference?

  • September 4, 2013

    Great post. Looking forward to hearing about all the features you guys choose to go with!

    We are using Insteon light switches with ISY-991 as a controller and Elk M1 Gold for our security system. One of our favourite features is turning all the lights in the house off from the master bedroom by double tapping off on the switch. The exterior lights fade on at dusk and shut off at 11 which makes a huge difference too since I never remember to turn them off. We also have the interior entry lights set up so if we are entering the home and our alarm is set, as soon as we open the door the lights inside fade on.

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