When it comes to operating the lights, thermostats, A/V gear and other devices, comfort and convenience rule supreme when choosing the appropriate type of controller for the job. So what’s comfortable and convenient to you? Is it a handheld remote? Or maybe it’s a keypad mounted near the entrance to the room? For some, an iPad might be the controller of choice. There are a slew of options, so make sure you pick one that suits your personality and lifestyle the best.
On the Go: With hardly a moment to spare, busy, on-the-go people usually prefer controls that can travel easily, like an iPad or iPhone. Downloadable apps can turn the do-it-all device into a home control dashboard.
Laid Back: You might be just as busy as everyone else, but when there’s down time, you like to take full advantage of it. A portable touchscreen combines the convenience of an iPad with the relaxed, super-simple, no-launching-of-app necessary interface of a controller designed to do one thing and do it well: monitor and manage your home. You can kick back with your touchscreen and fire away commands and lights, A/V gear motorized shades and more.
Old School: You’ve grown up with handheld remotes and like the feel of those tactile buttons. Remotes programmed to operate a variety of electronic devices are probably a good choice for you. Buck the perceived old-fashioned stereotype by investing in a remote that features buttons and a built-in touchscreen.
Runs a Tight Ship: If the idea of remotes, iPads and touchscreens floating who knows where around your house sends your brain into a meltdown, you’re an ideal candidate for wall-mounted keypads and/or touchpanels. Unlike portable controllers, these stationary models never leave their command post.
Structured: Most systems that can be managed by remotes, touchscreens, iPads and other controllers can also be programmed by a custom electronics (CE) professional to respond automatically based on certain conditions like the time of day, the weather or someone’s presence in a particular room. People who lead very structured lifestyles—up at 6 a.m., a nightcap at 10:30—can possibly get by without using any controllers at all. For example, the system can tell the lights when to turn on and off, when the thermostat should adjust and when the music system should play your favorite track.
Rolling with the Punches: Don’t fit exactly into any one of the above categories. Not to worry. It’s acceptable to use a variety of different controllers; in fact, most owners of sophisticated home electronic systems do. For example, in media rooms they might use a handheld remote, while in the kitchen a built-in touchpanel works better. By employing a combination of several different types of controllers, you can be laid back one minute, on-the-go the next, and still be able to appropriately manage your house.
Also check out:
Best Places to Put Control Touchpanels
The Sign of a Pro is in the Rack
Home Gets A/V Upgrade with URC Total Control
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.