Make a Home Automation System Part of Your Renovation

By The Editors at HomePortfolio

High tech home monitoring and automation systems are no longer the wave of the future. These wireless systems easily integrate with your devices and let you monitor the safety and security of your home from just about anywhere.

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What can these systems do for you?

Key features of home automation systems include:
  • Outdoor cameras let you see who's at the front door (or who has been by while you were out).
  • Indoor cameras let you watch over your home and pets when you're away — or just keep an eye on the kids while you're in another room.
  • Appliance monitoring enables you to turn lights, or even the coffee maker, on or off remotely.
  • Home security devices like motion detectors, and door and window sensors can may be part of these systems and checked from afar.
  • Device integration allows these systems to be operated via mobile phone, tablets, or even your television.
  • Remote door locking functionality allows for remote opening and locking of your front door (to rescue family members from an accidental lock-out, or enable a delivery person to leave an important package securely inside).
  • Thermostat monitoring, sometimes included with these systems, enables you to control your heat or air conditioning from afar, reducing energy costs.
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarm monitoring may also be included.

What do you need to get started?

Some systems come with a package of products to get you started—and then sell accessory add-ons so you can customize the system to fit your needs. Someone concerned mainly about security could add more sensors, a person interested in going green might focus on controlling energy-hogging lights or appliances.

These systems are all a little different, so you'll need to compare and contrast the offerings out there to see which combination works best for your home.

Are they easy to install?

Most home automation systems are designed to be DIY-friendly, but if you're tech-averse, you can certainly get help. Electricians and multimedia pros can typically provide a quote on what it would take to get your chosen system up and running. If you're adding home automation to your renovation, you can have the work done when your electrician is doing other projects, and save the cost of an extra trip.

One to consider

SAGE by Hughes is a new, and highly customizable system. It can be your home security solution, complete with indoor and outdoor "nanny cams" and remote door locking, or a high tech tool to monitor lights and appliances from the comfort of your couch—or anywhere you go—with the help of your mobile device.

SAGE offers a variety of starter kits and add-on accessories, and has some exciting features that set it apart from the competition. When you're at home, you can monitor a SAGE system from your TV (with handy picture-in-picture viewing), so you can see who is at the door without missing a minute of the big game. When you're away you'll get alerts if there's trouble at home, and a unique SAGE feature called "MyLocal911," lets you dial the authorities closest to your home at the touch of a button. SAGE also does an excellent job of managing multiple devices—by picking and choosing the accessories you need, you'll have a coordinated suite of tools that make for a safer, smarter home. HomePortfolio recently put SAGE to the test. Find out about our experience installing and using this system or get more information about SAGE by Hughes from their website.

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