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        This article is posted here with the consent of the author. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, position, view, or opinion of Crestron Electronics, Inc., or of any of its employees. Crestron Electronics is not responsible for, and does not verify the accuracy of, any of the information contained in this article.
         
        Author: Jason Oster


        People redecorate, rearrange furniture, and redesign their kitchens to update their homes over the years. However, smart home systems are usually not updated as often. This means that as people’s lifestyles change, their homes are not adapting to accommodate their new preferences in the ways that they should be.

        Our smart homes should be working for us, not the other way around.

        The primary purpose of an automated home is to make your life easier, every day. However, as years go by, lifestyles change, and so should your smart home system. For example, that “Party” button on the touch screen did something very different back when I was a bachelor vs. what I need it to do today with my family. With the Crestron Home™ platform, you can easily update your smart home’s capabilities as you go through all of life’s phases.

        So, why don’t people modify their smart home like they do their paint colors and throw pillows? Typically, because they think it’s difficult, time consuming, and expensive to do. As it turns out, these excuses are not true… at least not any longer.

        From the beginning, our mission with Crestron Home was to eliminate the complexity typically associated with smart home systems by making everything “just work.” In the “olden days” (i.e, just a few years ago), you needed a programmer to make even the smallest changes to a system. With Crestron Home that’s no longer the case. It makes it easy for both the Crestron dealer and the homeowner to change common things. No more need for a programmer every time.

        Renovations and unplanned life changes

        Rooms can often be repurposed over time. Homeowners should be able to make those simple adjustments themselves. With Crestron Home, they can. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

        Lighting scenes

        In every room of my Crestron Home, the top button of the keypad turns on the lights, and the bottom button turns off the lights. Every home can be configured differently, but this is the pattern that we chose for our home. The buttons in the middle will control music, or TVs, depending on the room. This makes it easy for our family to not even have to think about it. When we enter any room and tap the top button, the lights always turn on. (Except in the rooms that have occupancy sensors, where the lights will turn on automatically.) 

        So, where does customization come in? With the Crestron Home Setup App you can edit lighting scenes. That means the scene buttons on your touch screens and app can be modified, and the default lighting “looks” for every room. If later on you use rooms for different purposes, or change your fixtures or light bulbs, updating the default ON state is important. For example, when I updated the bulbs from incandescent to LED in most of my rooms, the full brightness was too harsh. Using the Scene Editor in Crestron Home, it was simple to adjust the “On” scene to lower the intensity.

        Music button

        My family loves music. However, over time our music tastes change. Using that same Horizon® keypad example, we have a “Music” button for each room. You can browse your content from a smart phone, but for normal everyday use, nothing beats just walking into a room and pressing one button to hear what you want. It should be just as quick and easy as turning on the lights.

        For example, in each of my kids’ rooms I can configure the music button to recall their own Sonos® playlist. So, even as they change their playlists over the years, there’s no need for the button configuration to be changed.


        Pictured: Horizon® Keypad with “Music” button
        Note: That light color was not always purple, it was originally the standard white. But when my daughter’s room was updated for purple bedding and accents, the Horizon backlight color was updated to match – yet another example of a simple update you can make as your lifestyle changes.

        Guest room to office

        Now that I work from home much more often, a room that was once a guest bedroom has a very different purpose: home office. Using the same touch screens and remotes with Crestron Home, I was able to easily change the entire behavior of the room’s systems. For more information about this transformation, read my previous blog detailing how Crestron Home helped me adjust to my new work from home lifestyle.

        Schedule

        The Crestron Home Setup App lets you schedule when certain events automatically occur. For example, at sunrise or sunset, you can turn exterior lights on or off. Or let’s say you have a vacation home in Aspen. You can adjust your climate schedules to make sure the home is cozy and warm by the time you or your guests arrive, and the temperature is much lower when you’re not there, so you’re saving money on energy.

        Of course, whenever there’s a significant technology shift that requires new devices, infrastructure, or wiring to be added to the home, such as the transition from Blu-ray Disc® players to streaming, a dealer should be called in.

        This just scratches the surface of how you can make your Crestron smart home work for you as your lifestyle changes and evolves.

         

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