The Complete Smart Home Guide

Smart home



Smart homes have come a long way over the last few years, and with a wide selection of smart devices available, you can either ‘dip your toe’ into smart home automation with basic devices such as Alexa, Google Assistant and even smart bulbs; or go for something more advanced such as Control4.

What does a smart home include?

A smart home can include several things, all connected to create seamless living, such as lighting, entertainment systems, heating, curtains / blinds or even security. Some may even opt to install a luxury home cinema in their home.

The difference between your ‘off the shelf’ devices, and something more advanced like Control4, is that advanced home automation allows everything to be completely customised and connected to your whole home, learning your routines and providing you with complete luxury living. Your Google Assistant and Alexa, whilst can work and provide Voice Controls alongside a Control4 system, is not as intuitive when working alone.

Our Alexa vs Control4 article may help you understand the differences and how they can work together.

What smart home technology can I install in my home?

Our engineers have worked on many projects that require various needs, often each different to the last, so there are limitless possibilities when working with Control4.

Basic functionalities that can be installed are;

Multi-room audio systems

You’ll be able to listen to music, from your preferred streaming service or your library, in any room in the house, or every room in the house. Complete control is at your fingertips. With a specialist smart home AV company, they will be able to advise on recommended speakers, acoustics and recess them to any surface.

Luxury home cinema

Luxury home cinemas are a great way to bring the whole family together without leaving the house, with home automation technology, you’ll be able to access all the latest blockbuster films from your central system, whether you have all your movies on Netflix, Sky, Apple TV or even your computer.

Smart lighting control

Smart lighting control is a great way to become more energy-efficient and it will even factor into your home’s security. As well as turning on automatically to welcome you home, you will be able to control it from anywhere in the world, and even set up ‘mockupancy’ should you decide to integrate smart locks, cameras and other home security systems.

Security systems and CCTV

There are many options to increase your home security, including Control4’s automated security settings to create the illusion your home when you’re not. There’s no limit to the devices that can be integrated with advanced home automation and you’ll be able to control everything in your home, even when you’re not in the country.

More unique features

Some projects have some unique requirements, such as hidden screens, in-wall control pads, waterproof speakers and automated blinds/ curtains.

You can read more about this project here.

Why do I need a professional installer?

Sometimes you don’t. If you’re just looking for basic smart home features using voice-controlled devices for music, lights and plugs, Alexa or Google Assistant might be the best option for you.

However, if you’re looking for something more tailored to your routines and more luxury living experience, Control4 will provide you with a lot more. It’s important to remember, whilst the ‘off the shelf’ devices are useful and are great for what they are, your expectations of them may be a lot more than they can deliver. For example, they won’t be able to completely learn your routines and not all smart home devices will be able to connect with them, which means you’ll be very restricted in the tech you can use.

If you do opt for advanced smart home technology, a specialist installer will make sure that all your devices are properly set-up and tailored to your specific requirements, you’ll even likely get on-going support after installation.

How do I choose the right smart home automation installer?

The company you choose must operate in your area so they can be readily available to sit down with you to discuss exactly what you want; they’ll also want to see your home to make recommendations. For example, Nirvana AV is based in the North West, so we mainly operate in this area so we can provide the best service to our customers.

You should also do your homework to make sure they are certified in some way, if you do select Control4, you should take a visit to a showroom near you and select an Authorised Platinum Dealer so you know you’ll get the best expert knowledge and service.

How much does a smart home project cost?

This is a very difficult question to answer because this is determined by the technology you would like to install, and the size of your home. However, if you get in touch with our team, we would be more than happy to sit down with you for a no-obligation discussion to identify your needs to give you a better idea of what the project cost could look like for your home.

Click here to get in touch with the team.