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  • Outdoor Automation: Energy Saving Outdoor Tech That Turns Off When Not in Use

    You want your home’s exterior to be secure and safe at night. You invested in security lights, path lights, and landscape lighting to make the night-time view of your home spectacular. But if you’re leaving your outdoor lights on all night, it adds up. You are wasting electricity and money!If you have outdoor landscape lighting, porch lights, fans, or other outdoor technology, and they’re not automated, you could be spending tons of extra money on energy costs over time. We all know that turning off lights when they are not in use is a good way to save money on your electric bill. If you’re not taking advantage of smart technology, you will need to manually turn your lights on and off. While turning your lights off manually can work, there are more efficient, convenient, and affordable ways to upgrade your outdoor technology to be more energy efficient. You can easily automate your outdoor lighting and fans.

    beautiful house

    MAKING THE SWITCH TO OUTDOOR AUTOMATION IS EASY!

    With so many options in automated technology, making the switch to an automated outdoor lighting system couldn’t be easier. Upgrading your outdoor lighting and outdoor technology to an automated system can provide your home with more security, safety, and provide you with energy savings. You can have a fabulous well-lit garden or patio, with lights that you can conveniently turn on and off. Along with that, there are so many other cool features that will make you wish you made the switch sooner

    Your outdoor landscape lighting, porch light, pathway lights, can all be controlled by powerful automation. If you are curious how difficult it is to upgrade your current lighting system, switching to the Control4 smart switch is a great solution. Control4’s wireless lighting solutions make upgrading your outdoor lighting to a smart automated system easy. Whether you’re ready to move all your lighting to smart lighting or just want to start small, Control4’s wireless lighting system can be tailored to meet your needs. Even if your current lighting system is older, there are options for upgrading your lighting system to Control4’s automated technology.

    Small girl enabling the home security

    What’s a smart switch? A smart switch is similar to a light switch but it uses smart technology. A smart switch replaces your existing wall switch and can be programmed to turn your lights off and on automatically, or you can control it wirelessly through an app on your smartphone. Your smart switch works with other smart home technology to provide you with convenience and energy efficiency you can’t get from a traditional lighting system.

    OUTDOOR AUTOMATION CAN SAVE YOU MONEY

    More Americans are upgrading their homes to smart technology. Your indoor lighting can be automated. Your heating and cooling system can be automated. Your home’s blinds, entertainment systems, outdoor lighting, and fans can be automated. Aside from automated technology being convenient, it can create significant energy savings.

    According to Energy Star, lighting accounts for about 20% of your monthly electric bill. The cost of electricity varies across the country. How much you can save from switching to outdoor automation depends on how much energy you typically use and how diligent you are about turning your outdoor lights and fans off. Some customers report saving as much as 30 percent off their monthly energy bill by moving their homes to smart technology.

    father showing energy efficiency graph to his son

    By being able to control the times when your lighting is turned on and off, you can avoid paying for energy use when you don’t actually need it. Your outdoor lights can be scheduled to turn on automatically at sunrise or turned off automatically at sunset. Control4’s smart switch comes with a built-in app, so you can conveniently override the settings any time you want right from your app. You can use a timer to turn your lights or porch fans on only during certain ambient temperatures. No need to worry about forgetting to turn the lights off or for you have to get up and turn on the fan. You can program them to turn off or on automatically.

    TAKE YOUR OUTDOOR TECH TO A NEW LEVEL WITH AUTOMATION

    Sure you want to save money, but adding outdoor automation to your lighting system does more than that. It’s convenient, adds value to your home, and your life. Would you like to set the tone for an evening backyard get-together? You can easily adjust your outdoor lighting right from your smartphone. When you’re done for the night, you don’t need to go around and switch off all the lights. With just one touch, you can turn everything off. If you’d like to find out more about how to automate your outdoor lighting, contact Intuitive AV for more information on how to bring smart technology to your home.

  • HVAC Automation: Smart Thermostat Pros & Cons

    With the advancements in modern technology, there is an app for everything. Thirty percent of American homes now use some type of smart technology, and this figure is expected to grow. There are smart TVs, smart lighting, smart speakers, and smart thermostats. Everything can be automated and controlled from your smartphone, including your HVAC system.

    WHAT IS HVAC AUTOMATION?

    HVAC automation simply means that your heating, cooling, and ventilation system is automated. An automated HVAC system is energy-efficient. It can make your life easier and save you money. Automated HVAC systems still have the same functionality as a traditional HVAC system, but instead of using a regular thermostat, they connect to a smart thermostat via WiFi. What this means for you is that you are now able to control the temperature of your home through automatic settings or right from your smartphone.

    Woman operating smart home with tablet

    WHY MAKE THE SWITCH TO HVAC AUTOMATION?

    If you’re thinking about making the switch to HVAC automation, you may be wondering whether or not it’s a good idea for your home. If you have a manual thermostat, upgrading to a programmable thermostat or smart thermostat can save you 20 percent on your heating and cooling bills.

    You probably know the difference between a manual thermostat and a programmable thermostat. With a manual thermostat, the temperature in the room adjusts to whatever temperature the thermostat is set to. A programmable thermostat is more sophisticated. It allows you to digitally program the thermostat to change the temperature at set times or days. This means the temperature in your home can be set to be cooler or hotter when you’re not there, saving you energy and money. A smart thermostat also lets you program the temperature, but what’s the difference between a smart thermostat and a programmable thermostat? And is a smart thermostat better?

    WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT AND A SMART THERMOSTAT?

    If you’re looking for ways to make your home more energy-efficient or lower your monthly heating or cooling bills, you might be considering upgrading your thermostat to a programmable thermostat or smart thermostat.

    A programmable thermostat allows you to program the temperature in your home based on your needs. Programmable thermostats have been around for a while. Some of them are easier to use than others, but they work in much the same way as a smart thermostat but without smart technology.

    smart thermostat

    While you can set customized temperatures with a programmable thermostat, such as when you are away from home or when you are on vacation, programmable thermostats are not always intuitive or easy to use. Homeowners often buy a programmable thermostat with the intention of using it, but many people never actually get around to programming their thermostat, defeating the purpose of buying one.

    A smart thermostat is easier to use than a programmable thermostat and has more features. While they both will save you money on your energy bill, a smart thermometer has technology that allows you to easily program them and also adjust the temperature from your smartphone. Have you ever gotten out of work early? You can adjust the temp in your home to cool off while you drive home.

    Some smart thermostats like the Control4 Wireless Thermostat by Aprilaire or the Nest Integration thermostat by Google have features that allow your thermostat to learn from your surroundings and behavior. They do much more than a programmable thermostat, they respond to what’s going on in the room, and adapt. They can adjust everything from the temperature to the humidity in your room.

    Both smart thermostats can connect with your Google Smart Home or Alexa device, allowing you to use your thermostat easily through your app. You can set up an automatic vacation mode or away from home mode. All of your home’s comfort settings can be controlled directly from your app. An extra perk for tech lovers, when you connect your app to Google Smart Home or your Alexa device, you can control your home’s heating and cooling with voice commands. Something, you just can’t do with a programmable thermostat!

    PROS AND CONS OF USING A SMART THERMOSTAT

    For the most part, a smart thermostat is an excellent way to upgrade your HVAC system. There is an initial upfront cost when you invest in a smart thermostat, but the savings and convenience make up for it. In the long run, it is a great investment for your home. There are a few circumstances where you might not want to use a smart thermostat, such as if you work from home or if you plan to move soon.

    Smart home concept

    PROS OF USING A SMART THERMOSTAT

    • It’s energy-efficient
    • It’s convenient. Program it and it does everything for you
    • It’s easy to use
    • It provides you with useful information about maintenance and energy usage
    • It can be controlled from anywhere using your smartphone
    • It’s cool!

    CONS OF USING A SMART THERMOSTAT

    • The initial cost of set up
    • You may need to have it professionally installed
    • If your home is never vacant, it may be unnecessary
    • It only works over wifi
    • Some smart thermostats will not work with older HVAC systems

    WHY INVEST IN HVAC AUTOMATION?

    If you are ready to upgrade your HVAC system, HVAC automation is a great way to turn your home into a smart home. If you have already started using other smart home technology, adding a smart thermostat to your house is just one more way to make your home more energy-efficient.