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smart-home technology 57 Caption

Smart thinking

Tennant, Marketing Director of smart homes specialists Cyberhomes, discusses the latest automation technology and features that house-buyers are increasingly looking for

homes, provided by the latest intuitive software. For example, home automation can enable every light in and around the property to be dimmed or switched on and off with touch-screens in the house and occupiers’ smartphones, as well as discreet local wall panels replacing conventional light switches. Pre-set scenes can be added to create specific lighting moods, which can form part of interior design schemes.

C Peace of mind

From a security perspective, all the lights in a house can be turned off with a single button or lighting can be set to holiday mode, with simula- tions creating the impression that the house is still occupied. Smart technology also allows discreet CCTV cameras and door or gate entry systems to display on any of the touch-screen control panels throughout the house as well as on smartphones – a particularly important facility

ustomers today are interested in a flexi- ble, user-friendly approach to remotely control and programme devices in their

to give peace of mind when away from home. Owners can also check and adjust heating, lighting and other functions when they are not at the property.

“With this growing trend towards more automation and technology, reliability and long-term performance are essential”

Intruder alarm systems can also be integrated

with home automation, allowing additional actions to be triggered automatically. For exam- ple, when the intruder alarm is armed, lights can be automatically turned off, vacation mode occu- pancy simulation started and heating levels reduced to save energy. Then, when the alarm is disarmed, an entry lighting scene automatically activates and the heating returns to comfort levels. But home automation can make the most of other devices as well. Whilst the intruder alarm system is unarmed, security sensors can be

used as occupancy detectors triggering actions such as turning lights off if rooms are unoccupied for a period of time; or turning off heating in a room if a window is opened.

Home entertainment

Home entertainment is also an important area for homeowners. Multi-room audio and video systems are popular and can include a music player for each family member to enjoy his or her own diverse music collection and streaming serv- ice. Discreet ceiling speakers in various rooms and external speakers in the garden can be organ- ised into audio zones to suit occupier lifestyles, each providing music and sound selected from the central AV system. Similarly, video content from multiple, centralised sources – such as Sky, Virgin TiVo and Apple TV boxes, Blu-ray discs and movie servers – can be streamed to TVs located anywhere in the house. Although some companies design dedicated

home cinema rooms for many luxury properties, very often a single room has to work both as an

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