What’s the Best Place for Home Control Touchpanels?
The most frequently used part of any home control system is the touchpanel or keypad, so where should you install it?
February 13, 2013 by Grant Clauser

Today we have a wide assortment of interface options when controlling our home systems. While we don’t have to deal with baskets full of remotes and walls cluttered with light switches, we still have some choices to make when it comes to touchpanels, remotes and keypads.

Justin Dohman of Smart Homes of Texas in Dallas shared his top three suggestions when planning your control system touch points:

1.Main Entryway: The main entrance should have a touchpanel that gives complete access to all the integrated systems, and this includes security, lighting and A/V distribution. The first thing people do when they walk into their house is to adjust the lights (hopefully to a preset lighting scene) and turn on some music. Having access to a volume control is also useful for when guests come to the door, so you can turn down the music to welcome them in (or turn them away).

Dohman adds that if your main entrance to the house is through a garage, then you probably want to put a connected touchpanel there in addition to the main foyer.

2.Back door: For most families, the back door is almost as important as the front door, especially if the backyard includes a pool or entertaining area. If your AV system includes outdoor music and video, then a control interface at the back door is essential. Once outside, many users prefer to control their music via an app.

3.Kitchen: The kitchen is the most active part of the house. Meals are prepared there (and often eaten there). Family meetings happen there, and visiting relatives can never seem to be budged from there. People like to listen to music while they cook, check surveillance cameras from the kitchen, and of course switch on or off lights around the house.

What about key rooms like the theater/media room or the bedroom? For the theater, a dedicated remote with hard buttons can be more practical, and an iPad app can also act as a good supplement.

In the bedroom, more basic keypads can be used to shut out the house lights, or apps can do the same thing. Each house is different, and each homeowner will have different needs and wants, but it’s important to make sure the most critical and frequently used controls are available in the most convenient parts of the house.

Related: Why Home Integration is Important

Related: All About Touchpanels

Check out the slideshow for examples of great touchpanel designs.


Follow Electronic House on Facebook and Twitter.

Grant Clauser - Technology and Web Editor, Electronic House
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.

FREE Charter Platinum Membership
Claim your FREE Charter Platinum Membership to EH Network and receive 6 FREE issues of EH Magazine.*
First Name
Last Name
Email Address

We understand your email address is private. By granting you access to the EH Network, you agree to receive email communications from us, including our newsletters. You can manage your subscription at any time in the future.
* The new EH Network launches and your free subscription begins December 2014.


Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.