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AV 101: Session 2 - What is a Smart Home?

What can a "Smart Home" do for me?

AV 101: Session 2 - What is a Smart Home?

Welcome to the second session in AV Enthusiast’s AV 101 series, What is a Smart Home? We hear the term “smart home” thrown around in the media, in web articles and on the news. It is used when talking about energy efficiency, home automation and convenience. These are all correct, but are only parts of what makes a home “smart” Today we will try and help you understand how all of these things can be combined to offer you a connected home environment that offers convenience, flexibility, and an enhanced lifestyle in an easy to use interface.


SEE MORE: AV 101: Session 1 - Distributed Audio vs. Surround Sound

Welcome to the second session in AV Enthusiast’s AV 101 series, What is a Smart Home? We hear the term “smart home” thrown around in the media, in web articles and on the news. It is used when talking about energy efficiency, home automation and convenience. These are all correct, but are only parts of what makes a home “smart” Today we will try and help you understand how all of these things can be combined to offer you a connected home environment that offers convenience, flexibility, and an enhanced lifestyle in an easy to use interface.

Let us look at a typical evening and how smart home technology can help. Your kids get home from school and realize they forgot their key. No longer to you have to run home and let them in or have a keypad combination that you have to worry about being given out. They ring the doorbell, you get a notification on your smart phone, see them standing outside and hear them ask you to let them in. With a few keystrokes the door unlocks and you remind them to finish their homework before you will remotely allow the game system to be turned on. 

You get home from work and as you open the garage door and pull in, there is no more fumbling for your keys and the light switches. The door leading into the house automatically unlocks and the hallway and kitchen lights turn on so you can see your way. The gas log fireplace lights and your bedroom TV turn on and is tuned to your local news. You decide to watch an evening movie with the family and grabbing your remote you press a single button and the home entertainment system changes to your movie mode and the lights turn off. When you pause the movie to grab some popcorn, the lights turn on to allow you to see your way.

As the evening winds down and you are ready to head off to bed, you tell the system “Goodnight” and the curtains close, all of the lights except for a pathway to your bedroom turn off. The doors lock and the thermostat drops a few degrees to the perfect sleeping temperature. After giving you time to get in the bed, the lights turn off and you drift into to sleep.

These examples show how smart home technology can make your life easier and help keep your family more secure. It can also help lower your energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint. With real-time monitoring, you can have a dashboard display of your home’s energy usage to see where it’s being used efficiently. Control systems optimize energy consumption while maintaining comfort. Easily access and make adjustments to your electrical, water, and gas usage to save energy. See calculated savings and the reduction in your carbon footprint in response to your adjustments from dimming lights or adjusting your homes’ temperature presets. Settings can automatically change or notify you whether you’re home or away.

Now you might say that you have seen these smart thermostats or doorbell camera systems in your local “big box” home improvement stores. The biggest problem with systems like these is the fact that each one has their own apps and interfaces. This leads to a high learning curve and confusion on how to operate these disparate systems. We at AV Enthusiast can combine all of the aspects of a smart home system to work in a single interface using your smart device and/or dedicated control panels and remotes. This allows everyone to easily operate the system, no matter his or her level of technological know how.

Hopefully this post has helped you understand smart home technology and how it can make your life easier, safer and help save you money. Feel free to contact us here at AV Enthusiast and we can schedule a meeting and/or walkthrough to discuss and explain how this technology can best help your family. You can contact us at 256.229.4283 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule your appointment.

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