Custom designed and installed home automation systems are the pinnacle of high-tech luxuries, yet the trend in the smart home market is DIY home automation and off-the-shelf Internet of Things devices and smart home products such as the popular Nest or Dropcam.
Easy-to-setup smart home systems you can buy online are nice, but they often require more work than some people want to put into them. You don’t have to know how to install home automation systems to get a solution on a reasonable budget. Can you find an affordable home automation system from a professional installer? Yes, there are many new professional smart home systems that won’t cost you the equivalent of a new car, but will still allow you to control your home lights with an android app (or iOS app) or monitor your home’s temperature, security cameras and door locks from anywhere in the world.
Home much does a home automation system cost? In the January 2015 issue of Electronic House Lisa Montgomery rounded up the best home automation systems, available from custom installers, that will deliver the peace of mind that only a professional system can offer, and for under $2,000.
One of the newest of the budget custom home automation systems comes from Savant, a company that’s also known for designing some of the most lavish (and sometimes most expensive) control systems we’ve seen (homes with Savant home automation frequently turn up in our Home of the Year Awards). Savant has a new Smart Series System that starts at $1,500 for the main control processor. You and your installer then decide what other components need to be added (such as light dimmers and thermostats). Savant says this system is good for covering about 12 rooms’ worth of home automation and works with about 5,000 devices. Savant’s Apple OS smart home app is one of the easiest to use on the market.
Next up in the same January issue article is the Clare Controls’ CLIQ.express system. The CLIQ system cost 70 percent less than the company’s flagship model (the exact price varies based on devices included an installation). CLIQ is a good home automation system for smaller homes or homes where not every room is going to be included. CLIQ won’t control your audio video system, but it will integrate your lights, shades, thermostats and other systems very easily.
Other budget home automation systems from well-known companies include Elan Home Systems’ Elan g! line of products, Control4’s HC-250 controller, and the brand new Crestron Pyng. In addition to being affordable, all the new professional smart home systems include easy-to-use, yet advanced control apps that turn a smart phone or tablet into a whole-house controller. The Creston Pyng takes that one step further by allowing the homeowners to customize the system to their preference right on the app after the installer has done the more complicated work. This saves the user some cost in programming time, and allows for easy adjustments without requiring a service call. Users of Clair Control system can also make some adjustments themselves with the MyClairHome app.
You can read more about these affordable custom home automation systems in the January issue of Electronic House.