Steve Detmer, Residential Product Manager at Lutron Electronics, shares tech tips for smart home designers
As our daily routines have changed, so too have our priorities. In most cases, we are spending more time in our homes, bringing increased awareness of the comfort, convenience, aesthetics, and flexibility of our environment.
As a result, we have seen more homeowners choosing to invest their time and money into their spaces, including new TVs, headphones for all the virtual meetings, smart speakers and voice assistants. Each technology has the role of improving specific aspects of the home, from entertainment to productivity. Choosing the right solution has become increasingly difficult and can be bewildering, which is often why homeowners will turn to their interior designer to help with these decisions.
Wireless technology has undoubtedly been one of the great trends across all technologies. With an increased focus on connectivity to support productivity and flexibility in the home, wireless technology provides a future-proof solution. Solutions that offer easy-to-use setup and control also minimise the need to call a contractor and save on maintenance costs, while spaces can continue to adapt and evolve with the ever-evolving needs of the modern homeowner. Technology that does not require any intrusive work means it can fit with decorations and cause minimal hassle. Smart lighting solution, for example, can be installed and upgraded without the need to tear down walls.
The importance of interoperability
Today, products from Apple, Amazon, Google or Ring, each with their own unique benefits, can be found in nearly every home. This can make choosing the right platform intimidating for homeowners. When choosing technology, you should advise your clients about the importance of interoperability – the ability for the product to communicate with other products. Ideally, solutions should be able to integrate with all the major vendors and be free from forced loyalties, which could pigeonhole users.
When helping homeowners make a smart home decision, it is important to factor in the inevitable changes that will take place in their lives over the years to come and ensure that the space continues to meet their needs. By investing in flexible, discreet technology, homeowners can capture and develop style, convenience and comfort with the times. That includes purchasing connected technology that can be wireless updated to include the latest features without having to buy new equipment.
Approaching smart home technology can seem daunting. The key piece of advice whenever a client asks about smart home solutions is starting with the solutions they use most often, whether they realise it or not, those things that are working away in the background. Heating and lighting specifically should be the first port of call; these solutions will make a fundamental difference to the comfort and cost of their home for years to come and should be prioritised.