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Simplify Your Fall Routine Changes with Smart Home Automation

Simplify Your Fall Routine Changes with Smart Home Automation

The summer is coming to an end, which means vacation is over and routines are changing. Maybe your kids are preparing for school, or perhaps you’re transitioning to a more rigorous work schedule. Whatever the changes, starting new routines can often be difficult. Smart home automation can help ease the transition to new schedules and make a hectic day a little more fun for you and the family.

As a certified Control4 dealer, AV Specialists can help you take advantage of smart home automation to make new routines a breeze in Belleair, FL. Learn how below!

SEE ALSO: Why Control4’s Smart Home OS 3 Was Worth the Wait!

Jumpstart Your Morning with Scheduled Lights and Shades

While most of us take advantage of lax sleep schedules in the summer, the fall calls for much more structure—especially if you have kids who are starting school. In order to prepare for a full day of activities, you and the family must get to bed at a proper hour. To help facilitate sleep, schedule your home lights and motorized shades to gradually dim and lower about an hour before bedtime. Likewise, you can schedule the lights and shades in your bedroom and your kids’ bedrooms to gradually brighten and rise just before your alarm goes off to help everyone wake up to an energized home.

Use Custom Smart Home Scenes to Relax After a Long Day

After a long day of work and school, you and the family deserve an evening of relaxation. Control4 home automation can lend a hand to make the transition from work to play so much easier with custom one-tap scenes. For instance, once you end the workday, simply open your Control4 mobile app or use your preferred Control4 system device to tap the “Relax” scene, which will trigger your patio lights to brighten, the pool and spa to turn on, and a playlist to stream overhead on your connected speakers. This is just one of virtually limitless combinations you can enjoy with one-tap smart home scenes.

Prepare Your Home for Sleep in Just a Button Tap

Before going to bed, you must make sure lights and TVs are off, window shades are closed, and thermostats are set—on top of making sure your kids get to bed, pets are fed, doors are locked, and more. Control4 home automation can help ease your bedtime routine by powering down the home in one fell swoop. With a “Goodnight” scene, Control4 will lower all the window shades in the home, adjust all your house lights, turn off TVs and entertainment systems, and set your thermostats to the desired temperature. No more getting up to check that the porch light is on or the kitchen window shades are closed. You can prepare your home for sleep from the comfort of your bedroom.

Ready to make your everyday routines simpler and more fun with Control4 home automation? Learn more by contacting our home technology experts here or by sending us a live chat below. We look forward to hearing from you!

New Year, New Technology: 3 Smart Home Upgrades for 2018

The new year is just around the corner, and that means you have an opportunity to start fresh in 2018.

You can make resolutions to improve your health, but why not also commit to adding convenience in your day-to-day life?

Even if you already have a smart home automation system in your Tampa, Florida residence, there always are upgrades available that can provide new benefits for your lifestyle and peace of mind.

Below, we’ll share three home automation trends you should be paying attention to in the new year – and explain how each can enhance your smart home.

SEE ALSO: 5 Ideas For Getting More Use From Smart Home Tech

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Is Consolidated Home Automation Right for Your Home?

Today's homes are more technological than ever. Pools and spas, lighting, and even window coverings can be controlled with the push of a button. But, using multiple applications, and maybe even multiple devices to perform simple everyday tasks defeats the purpose of automation - convenience. Luckily, there's a better way to manage your increasingly high-tech home. Having various systems controlled by a consolidated home automation device allows you to control your home with ease.

Manufacturer Applications

Most automation systems have apps that can be easily installed on your smartphone, be it an iPhone, Android, or Windows phone device. These apps are designed to work a specific system, and can control it individually with minimal setup.

Manufacturer-provided applications are usually easy to use, but somewhat rudimentary. Having an app that is designed specifically for your home automation system will have the capabilities that your system requires, nothing more and nothing less.

While it may seem nice to have each app on your smartphone, this setup makes it difficult to accomplish multiple home automation tasks at once. Having individual apps for each automated facet of your home may work if you have one, or maybe two systems to control, but if you want to fully automate your home you will find that this method of automation can become tedious quickly.

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Improve Your Tampa Home with Smart Home Automation

Have you been considering turning your Tampa, Florida home into a “smart home”? If so, you’ve probably looked into all the ways to upgrade the different aspects of your home: HVAC, smart security, home audio video…the list goes on. Here at AV Specialists, we believe lighting control is a great starting point for smart home automation. Continue reading to learn why.

SEE ALSO: Control4 Expands Smart Home Automation Solutions

Lighting Control Offers So Many Benefits

Whether your goal is to help reduce energy costs or simply elevate your home décor, lighting control can help you achieve it. Here’s a short breakdown of a few of the benefits of lighting control:

  • Energy Management: A smart lighting control system can help you lower your home’s energy bill by automatically turning off lights in unused rooms, dimming artificial lights to take advantage of natural lighting, and more.
  • Security: By setting up a “Vacation” scene with your Control4 lighting control system, you can enhance your home’s security. A “Vacation” scene uses regular lighting patterns to make it seem like you’re at home, even if you’re halfway across the world.
  • Interior Design: Lighting is an excellent way to highlight artwork or architecture both inside and outside your home. Use pre-set scenes to adjust the lighting and enhance each room for different scenarios, such as a candlelit dinner or a fun party.
  • Convenience: With a lighting control system from Control4, you never have to worry about walking through your entire home just to turn off the lights. Instead, adjust the lights throughout your home with the touch of a single button, saving you time and effort.

You Can Experience the Automation

Smart lighting control gives you an opportunity to see what living in a smart home is like before you do a complete renovation and transition to full smart home automation. You can see what you like about the system, decide how you want your programmed scenes to be set up, and find out what’s really important to you in a smart home automation solution (energy management, home security, comfort, etc.). Once you’ve gotten your feet wet with a lighting control solution, you’ll have a greater understanding of the vast capabilities of smart technology.

Form a Solid Foundation for the Future

The same technology that manages your home lighting is also the control system behind all of the other smart home automation technologies you could implement in your home. That means that by investing in smart lighting control, you’re creating a strong foundation for any future technologies. Control4 is a top-quality brand that can manage all of the smart technology in your house, from security to whole house audio. After you set up lighting control with your Control4 system, adding in home theater control, motorized shades, or another smart technology is a quick and simple process.

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Entertaining Friends, Family and Yourself with Control4

The variety of devices that can be used through Control 4 technology is increasing exponentially.  As demand grows, appliance, technology and entertainment producers are taking note.  The statistics don’t lie.  The average Control 4 home has 40 devices connected and some larger residences have over 250.  Those that are new to home automation may not be aware of all of the devices that can be connected through Control 4.  This technology is at the cutting edge of the industry and the options that consumers have will continually increase.  Home entertainment, security and basic time savers are all becoming much easier with Control 4. Here are some of the features available in regards to entertainment and some new products you can purchase to take advantage of Control 4 home automation.

Family

Most families have a wide variety of age groups residing in one home.  With home automation, each family member may expect to have their own level of personalization when it comes to entertainment.  Control 4 offers automation and personalization made easy.  You can have many different “scenes” programmed into your system so that everyone can get the most out of your entertainment hardware.  You’ll have the ability to set the mood when you’re significant other comes home from a long day at work, or even have the family room automatically come to life when the kids get home from school.  With Control 4, you have the ability to control every piece of your entertainment equipment through one television.  If it’s time for the kids to go to sleep, you can set the system in your family room to turn off and even light the way to the kids bedrooms.  Once they’re tucked in, you can have relaxing music fill their rooms to gently rock them to sleep.  Once the kids are in bed, set the scene for a romantic night with your partner.  With the touch of a button, the lights can dim, and your favorite slow jam will come through the speakers, setting you up for that perfect slow dance to make your partner smile.  All of this done, with the simple touch of a button.

Friends

Control 4 allows you to become the ultimate host for a night with friends.  Whether it be a quiet night in your home theater or a full scale party, Control 4 provides all of your entertaining needs.  The home theater is becoming more and more popular in today’s homes.  Sony has developed an incredible 4K projector that makes it feel like you’re in a real movie theater, only better quality.  They’re also expanding their content offers for this technology and soon you’ll be able to indulge on all your favorites, with the highest quality, in your own home.  If you’re looking to provide a more party-like atmosphere, you can schedule your whole event from beginning to end with Control 4.  You can have different rooms dedicated to varying music tastes or just have your favorite tunes fill your entire property.  You can have lights set to come on in your outdoor areas as soon as the sun starts to go down, creating a consistent mood for your pool area, outdoor kitchen and the back yard.  Each area can be customized to the exact atmosphere you want to provide your guests.

Yourself

Relaxation can be truest form of entertainment for a hard working individual.  Being able to come home and have your favorite music fill your home and also escape the glow of the fluorescent lights of the office can be invaluable.  Freeing up your time with home automation makes your downtime much more enjoyable.  You can program Control 4 to automate your entire evening and have presets for relaxation and entertainment personalized for each day of the week depending on the amount of free time you will have.  Control 4 automation allows for the ultimate in relaxation and home entertainment, if you’re looking to make a great impression on your friends, Control 4 is the surefire way to do so. 

Contact AV Specialists to learn how you can create your custom home of the future - today.

Control4 Home Automation: The Possibilities are Endless

Control 4 offers the ultimate in home automation navigation.  With several advancements and additional products becoming available, there are countless ways you can use this technology to make your life more relaxing, organized and secure.  And let’s not forget about the fun you can have with Control 4 automation.  With the ability to create different “scenes” that pair together the automation of several devices at once, personalized home automation is becoming reality. Here are some of our favorite ways to indulge in one of the great luxuries of the present, and future.

Lighting

With Control 4 you have the ability to turn on all the lights in a given room with the touch of one button.  You can also turn everything in a room off with a double tap of the same button.  Craving a midnight snack? With Control 4 you can set your lights to come on at low levels while you head to the fridge.  If you happen to have loud music playing, you can set your lights to flash when someone rings the doorbell.  Have your nightstand lamps automatically dim to be just bright enough to read a book before you go to sleep.  Ready for some quiet time - With the touch of a button you can unplug and turn off your entire home. 

Audio/Video

If you happen to be a fan of listening to music in the shower, you can set your favorite tunes to come on automatically when you turn on your shower lights.  With a touch screen within a waterproof wall mount, you’ll have complete hands on control of your playlist at all times.  Control 4 is great for your exercise room.  Program your TV to come on with no volume and have your stereo set to come on cranked up to get you motivated for your workout.  Home theaters will never be the same thanks to Control 4 technology.  To get started, you’ll need your remote.  Question is, where is it?  Triple tap any light switch and your remote will start beeping.  Sit down, grab your popcorn and with the touch of a button, your TV rises up from it’s cabinet, the lights dim, and the movie begins.

Security

There is nothing more valuable in today’s society than piece of mind.  Control 4 offers a variety of security options that can fit any lifestyle or family makeup.  Just for starters, you can access your security camera feed from anywhere in the world on your cell phone.  If a camera detects motion, the system will send you a text message.  While within your home you can set the lights to flash anytime an exterior door is opened.  Sensors will also alert you if a door is left open.  Many people lead a busy lifestyle.  With children coming home at different times than parents, you’ll have the security of knowing exactly when your kids get home and that they are safe while they’re there.  If there happens to be a security breach, all the lights will illuminate, the shades will open, the doors will lock and every television will display your security camera feed.  Control 4 is bringing security into the future.

Climate Control

Imagine having your shades adjust automatically to the position of the sun, allowing just enough natural light into your home.  This is just the beginning of the climate control options you have with Control 4.  You can set timers to control when your heat and air conditioning when you come and go.  Cozy up on the couch and light the fire place from your smart phone.  Program scenes to lower temperatures during a workout or when you have a large party of guests over.  Control 4 offers the latest in climate control automation to leave you feeling comfortable at all times.

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Control4 Expands Smart Home Automation Solutions

Since 1995, AV Specialists has been bringing the residents of Clearwater, Florida and beyond the best smart home automation solutions and services the industry has to offer. We’ve built our business on passion for home technology and incredible customer service. Control4 is certainly our top-recommended manufacturer for smart home systems. Not only are they easy to use, but they are also leading innovators – always offering new and improved products that are relevant to today’s generation. Here are a few of their newer features that we think you’ll love.

 SEE ALSO: Control4 | Why we're so excited about it, Why it’s not just apps

4K Multi-room Video

Ultra-High Definition, also known as 4K technology, has taken the entertainment world by storm – and for a good reason. UHD video brings brilliant, captivating images to the screen that are in vivid, bright colors. With the highest amount of resolution available, you’ll feel immersed in the film right in your own living room.

To keep up with this growing movement, Control4 created a new line of 4K Ultra HD multi-room video solutions including audio and video matrix switches. With the LU1082 4K AV switch, you can easily and quickly distribute content to any room in your house from 10 different sources, such as: DirecTV, Netflix, and a Blu-Ray player. Since the sources, like your cable box, are all kept in one place, you can get rid of clutter and unsightly wires. All of the technological components will be out of the way, and you can use one control device for every content platform. Control4 also gives you options for modes of control, including a smartphone or tablet, a handheld remote, or a touch screen installed in the wall. With these 4K solutions, you’ll be ready for whatever the future has to offer in entertainment.

HD Intercom

Intercom systems have come a long way since the 70s. Now you can easily communicate with everyone throughout the house, and guests, via HD video and audio. You’ll be able to screen visitors by seeing them at the front door and talking to them through outdoor speakers. Keep an eye on the kids as they get ready in the morning by viewing them with the in-wall touch screen in your bedroom, then tell them to hurry up if you’re running late. This feature is not only convenient, but is beneficial for security purposes as well.

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5 Ideas for Getting More Use from Smart Home Tech

Smart home automation technology is amazing. It’s fully customizable and can do so many different things. But the big question is this: are you taking advantage of your system’s full capabilities? If you’re ready to go past simply turning off the lights using your phone, then read on. Below, we cover some fun ideas for going beyond the basics with the automation system in your Palm Harbor, FL home.

1. Create the Perfect Mood for Exercising

If you’ve made a commitment to get back in shape this year, let your home help you stick to your resolution. Set a time each day or week for exercise, then have your “Exercise” scene trigger at that moment. An upbeat music playlist will ring out through your home sound system, the thermostat will lower the temperature, and the lights will turn on in your exercise area. You could even set up a smart weight scale to initiate a celebration scene when you hit your goal weight.

2. Check for Energy Rebates

Your programmable thermostat and lighting control system are already saving you money on your energy bill, but why not lower it even further? Many utility companies offer rebates for homeowners with energy-saving devices like smart thermostats. It’s worth a phone call to see if they’ll knock your bill down further.

3. Keep Track of Loved Ones with Sensors and Cameras

Your surveillance cameras don’t have to be just for security. You can also use them to ensure your children or elderly loved ones are safe and content. Use door sensors in the playroom to send you an alert if the kids leave the area. Put a sensor on the medicine cabinet so you can be sure that your father has taken his daily medication. Check in on the family while you’re at work using the integrated cameras in the living room and kitchen. Whatever tech you choose, you can develop a system that works for your family.

SEE ALSO: 3 Ways Smart Surveillance Cameras Make Your Belleair Home Safer

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6 Ways to Do More with Amazon Alexa

6 Ways to Do More with Amazon Alexa

The Amazon Echo really is an amazing device—just plug it in, connect to Wi-Fi, and enjoy having your own voice-controlled assistant! The smart device hit more than 10,000 unique skills in February of this year, so there certainly are plenty of things you can take advantage of.

But get this: late last year, Experian did a survey to find out exactly how people were using Amazon Alexa. The most commonly tried skills were setting a timer (84.9%), playing a song (82.4%), and reading the news (66%). Those are useful skills, but if you want to do more with your Alexa in your St. Petersburg, FL home, then it’s time to explore smart home automation. Keep reading to learn about these creative ways to put voice control to work.

1. Let there be Light

Turning the lights on and off just so happens to be a scenario when most people find the hands-free control of Amazon Alexa to be most useful. When you walk in the door one evening with your hands full of groceries, it’s so convenient to simply say “Alexa, turn on the lights” instead of having to juggle four bags and the light switch.

SEE ALSO: Improve Your Tampa Home with Smart Home Automation

2. Arm the Security System

Security providers have been slow to pick up on voice control because of concerns about Alexa’s ability to differentiate between different people talking. But the security manufacturers have approached it quite cleverly, giving you the ability to choose just how much voice control will play a role in your system. You could allow Alexa to lock doors or arm the security system while leaving the disarm function unavailable. If you’re comfortable controlling the system via your voice, the best approach is to use a secret code that is spoken to disarm it.

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3 Ways to Get Started with Smart Home Automation in 2021

3 Ways to Get Started with Smart Home Automation in 2021

These days, there’s a smart device for nearly everything. With so much variety, homeowners looking to make their homes smarter can approach the idea very differently than their neighbors. Some may be interested in energy-efficient solutions like automated lighting and shading while others may care more about simplifying the control of their audio-video equipment.

One of the many notable benefits of adding a smart home automation system like Control4 or Savant to your property is that you can start in one area, like smart lighting control, and integrate more devices and systems later if you so choose. There’s really no wrong way to begin. Read below for three ideas on how you can start building your smart home this year in Clearwater, FL.

SEE ALSO: Provide Your Home with the Ultimate Convenience with a Savant Home Automation System

Lights, Shades & Climate

If you’re interested in living greener and saving money on your energy bills, then you should start here. While your lights, window treatments, and thermostats are all independent devices, a smart home automation system integrates them within a centralized control system so you can make quick adjustments to any and every room from a mobile app, tablet, wall keypad, or by voice command.

Create custom smart home scenes like “Good Morning,” “Movie Night,” or “Away” that adjustyour lights, shades, and thermostats simultaneously to create the perfect environment. For example, a “Good Morning” scene can open your shades, turn off the porch light, and adjust the thermostats to 72 degrees—all in one fell swoop.

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4 Ways to Maximize Your Outdoor Entertainment System This Summer

4 Ways to Maximize Your Outdoor Entertainment System This Summer

At AV Specialists, we believe home entertainment shouldn’t be confined to the indoors. Weatherproof TVs and speakers offer limitless possibilities for enjoying your patio, deck, or pool. Plus, when paired with smart home automation, controlling your technology and content sources is easier than ever.

With summer approaching, now is the time to prepare your exterior living spaces in Belleair, FL for fun in the sun! While you clean the pool and tend to your gardens, consider adding an outdoor entertainment system, too. Keep reading to learn four fun ways to use your system this summer.

SEE ALSO: Wow! Check Out These Outdoor AV Solutions from Sonance and Coastal Source

Take Your Exercise Outdoors

Roll out the yoga mat or bring your dumbbells to the deck for a sweat session under the sun! Outdoor TVs from Séura or SunBriteTV are smart-compatible and work with streaming devices like Roku or Apple TV; access apps like YouTube, Nike Training Club, or Peloton and follow a workout outside.

For energetic music accompaniment, stream your favorite workout playlist on Spotify or Pandora through your patio or landscape speakers and set the tone for any exercise. Selecting your music source and controlling volume or song selection is simple and intuitive from a mobile app.

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