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Smart Home Automation from your Smart Phone

At HollandGreen, we funnel our passion for the latest technology into discovering new ways of modern living that we can pass on to our clients.  We are not alone in our love of Smart Home Automation, as increasing numbers of property briefs now include requests for automated driveway gates, streamed CCTV security apps, as well as fully integrated lighting controls and home cinema technology.

Working closely with the award-winning Smart Home Automation experts, Chris Lewis Smart Home, we are able to propose the best options in smart technology at the beginning of our design process. Not only does this create efficiencies in the overall build process, as technology installations form part of our plans, but it also helps us present our clients with a vision of their fully integrated dream home.

Oxford-based Chris Lewis Smart Home have been experts in this sector for more than ten years, installing systems in a variety of buildings, including royal palaces, Oxford colleges and luxury homes.

Justin Rhodes, Managing Director and Chris Lewis, company founder and CEO, recently talked us through some of the most commonly asked questions on the topic of home automation.

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What exactly is a ‘smart home’?

A ‘smart home’ is a property that automates lighting, heating, multi-media and security on a network and can be controlled remotely by smartphone, computer, tablet or remote. There are a huge variety of options available, from single room control to fully-integrated smart home solutions. This allows homeowners to set moods in each room of the house, creating the perfect ambience throughout their living space.

Is the whole system wireless?

A combination of a structured wired network cable system with high-quality WiFi products will provide the most reliable backbone to a home automation system. Some products respond better to wired connections, such as sending 4K/UHD live video. Combinations of wired and WiFi networking work well for the majoring of systems, such as home control, security, lighting, audio, heating and automated blinds.

How will I know if my wireless coverage is suitable?

Good wireless networking is critical for all of us, both in homes and at work. People’s expectations are now very high and it is essential for systems to be reliable. We use surveying and heat mapping to predict the highest level of coverage possible.

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How secure is smart home technology?

Installed properly, a smart home system is very secure. Professional smarthome companies will recommend a business–grade router and firewall to secure all the devices in the home. It is important to choose a reputable manufacturer with a high level of app functionality and security.

Why should I use a professional installer?

If you’re looking to integrate different aspects of home automation, doing it yourself can be extremely challenging and the results often quite disappointing. If you want something high-end and tailored to your property’s needs, calling in the experts to design, install and demonstrate your system is the best choice.

We often work alongside architects planning a new build, so our smart home design consultants can ensure your automation system and cabling will meet your exact requirements to be ready to go when you move in.

Can smart home technology be installed in a listed property?

Absolutely! We work with Grade I and Grade II properties, and even World Heritage sites. In these cases, it is crucial to have a carefully planned design in the early stages, as well as a sympathetic view of how technology will blend in with the architecture of the building. We have had to come up with some more inventive methods to work with the building’s original features and hide technology whenever possible.

Why is lighting control an advantage?

We often get asked this question! Lighting systems can get very complicated in modern homes, especially when you have large open areas that require multiple, well-designed lighting solutions.

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Often one area can have several lighting circuits which can mean lots of complicated switches. Lighting control systems simplify this and provide much greater control of lighting levels, especially for LEDs. And it’s not just for inside the home. Automated lighting systems work brilliantly for controlling lighting in a garden, driveway or outbuilding. Lighting control apps can allow a variety of features, such as geo-fencing, which turns lights on automatically when you arrive home. Ironically, a client’s favourite switch is often the ‘All Off’ button, which gives them total control from one location.

It sounds quite complicated! How user-friendly is this technology?

Our job is to make each system feature-rich yet easy to use. Good smart home technology needs to work for modern day living –from instant streaming of Netflix and Spotify to making sure every room in your house is lit and heated just the way you like it. And when you leave the house, it has to be as simple as possible to make sure that the whole of your property is secure. 

From opening your driveway gates to checking your CCTV cameras – your security systems can be controlled with an app, so you can check up on your property wherever you are. What’s more, smart tech really adds another level of security to your property because your home can do things like turn lights on and off, even open and close your blinds, when you are away on holiday.

Do you offer post-installation support?

This is an important question. Not many companies offer a dedicated support team. It is really worth checking that this is available. Some Smart Home installation companies, like Chris Lewis Smart Home, offer some great support packages, making them available for help and advice 365 days a year. Being expert installers is not enough, you need a company that has the resources to offer aftercare back-up to make sure your technology is maintained in the long-term.

What is the best part of having smart home technology?

Our mantra is to make things convenient, intuitive and most importantly fun for our clients! Home cinemas deliver all of this and families love having the technology that gives then a cinema experience in their own home. Seeing our customer sit down to their first screening in their new cinema room is always rewarding, whether it is a simple room set up or a dedicated home theatre with seating, lighting, surround sound, projection screen and the obligatory popcorn machine!

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About Chris Lewis Smart Home

Creating bespoke smart homes is our speciality. We combine exceptional design, the latest technology and equipment from some of the most prestigious brands. Home automation system designed and installed by Chris Lewis Smart Home will make life simpler, smarter and easier to manage.

How can we help you design your smart home?

As leading high-end residential architects with vast experience in integrating smart technology in our projects, we provide architecture services throughout the CotswoldsOxfordshireBuckinghamshire, Berkshire, London, and Surrey,. We’d love to help you plan your new smart home.  Find out more about how we work or get in touch for an initial meeting with Ben Holland or Stephen Green