Choosing Your Home Automation System

Choosing Your Home Automation System
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The term “Internet of Things” (IoT) was first used in 1985 to describe devices that use sensors, processing ability, software, and other technologies to connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over a communications network (which could be the internet, or some other type).

Since then, IoT devices such as the Amazon Echo, Hue lightbulbs, and Nest thermostats have become very popular. They are “smart” home devices, but by themselves, they do not give you a smart home. That takes a full home automation system that can control multiple devices and functions such as lighting, music, thermostats, televisions, window treatments, and security systems. 

Which smart home system is best?

There are a number of major players in the smart home system industry, and as a leading low voltage integrator for the Las Vegas area, we’ve worked with just about all of them. There is no single best system for all installations, but in our experience, two companies in particular do an exceptional job – Control4, and Crestron.

Both Control4 and Crestron offer high-quality, high-performance solutions. Control4 is often cited for its intuitive, user-friendly interface and appeal to a broader market. Crestron is often the choice for those seeking a higher degree of scalability and customization. 

Both companies are large, experienced, reliable, and have a big base of existing customers. Both systems can be manipulated to do just about anything a homeowner could want out of their smart home. The choice between them depends on your specific preferences, needs, home size, and budget.

Control4

Control4 is a comprehensive home automation system integrating elements such as intercom, climate control, audio, video, lighting, and security. After 20 years in business, its systems now draw on more than 10,000 products from different vendors to offer the utmost in flexibility.

Control4’s central command hub is a mobile app, the “Smart Home OS3,” which has an easy-to-use interface that provides precise control over locks, lights, cameras, shades, home theater settings, security systems, thermostats, intercom, garage doors and more. Specific functions such as turning on the television or setting the levels on living room lighting can be accomplished with voice commands.

Control4 operates on an “open” platform that lets you integrate devices from a wide range of brands. System technology is already integrated into products from major brands such as Bose, Dish, Denon, LG, Samsung, and Sony.

Crestron

Crestron is a robust, comprehensive home automation solution that offers unequaled control over lights, shades, music, video, thermostats, security, pool, scheduling, timers, and remote access. Customers love Crestron’s seamless integration, user-friendly interfaces, and ease of maintenance.

Crestron has won awards for nearly it’s entire existence (more than 50 years) for design, whole-house control, and cutting-edge technology. Every Crestron system is customized to meet specific homeowner needs. Catering to the luxury residential market, Crestron is the system of choice for those seeking to transform their home into a “smart sanctuary.”

The platform is intelligent, with centralized control of all aspects and straightforward future modification capabilities. Crestron’s operating system is state-of-the-art, integrating proprietary components with pre-existing systems and specialized devices. Crestron networks can support over 250 network devices, making them exceptionally expandable and scalable. This includes lighting modules, gateways, bridges, touchscreen panels, sensors, and more.

Comparing Control4 vs. Crestron

 Control 4Crestron
User Interface (UI)Standardized, intuitive, easy to learn, large iconsCrestron Home for small- and mid-sized homes is simple and sleek; Crestron Custom is tailor-made for each project
Integration CapabilitiesExcels with a wide range of third-party devices; huge driver libraryBoundless integration potential thanks to custom programming
Whole-House MusicPandora, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Napster, TuneIn, Deezer, Tidal, and Qobuz are all nativeIntegrated with third-party streaming solutions such as Autonomics
Lighting and Window Treatment ControlProprietary system featuring popular ambient light sensors, integrates with LutronCreston lighting is similar to that made by Lutron, the market leader in lighting systems
SecurityTies in to your security system and natively supports cameras, DVRs, electronic door locks, perimeter sensors, alarmsSame, but can be tailored to suit individual needs and preferences
ComfortIntegrates well with all brands of electronic thermostatsIntegrates well with all brands of electronic thermostats
IntercomBuilt-in full video, superb user interface, individual control panels throughout homeGood user interface, commonly controlled through phone app
Alexa Voice ControlBasic integrationBasic integration
Energy ManagementIntegrates with HVAC systems, often using KNX building management systems for optimal efficiencySame, but accommodates additional functions that can make it more environmentally friendly
ExpandabilityCaters to a broad market including smaller homesInitially developed as an enterprise solution, well-suited for extensive and demanding projects
Quality and ReliabilityManufactures own hardware in-house, ensuring compatibility and controlWell documented history of innovation, rigorous testing, and consistent product updates
CostSystem pricing for a typical 1,900sf home ranges from $3,000 for a basic starter kit to $20,000-up for a fully upgraded system with the most popular features System pricing ranges upward from about $33,000 (can reach $1 million+ for enterprise projects)

In summary, either Control4 or Crestron can deliver the functionality and reliability being sought by most homeowners seeking a home automation system in the Las Vegas and Summerlin areas. The exact choice depends on your specific wants and needs.

You don’t have to make that choice alone. When it comes to choosing an experienced low voltage integrator to equip and install their smart home systems, area homeowners count on AMP Systems for our meticulous approach to quality and superior customer service.

Give us a call today to discuss your project.

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