We’re asked about automation (naturally) almost every time we meet with a new client. The question takes various forms, but the general gist is: Automation – what’s the point and how much automation should I have?

Here’s a list of some of the more well known and trusted manufacturers of equipment available to be used on a home automation system:

  • Control4
  • Clipsal C-Bus
  • Lutron
  • AMX
  • Crestron
  • Vantage
  • Heatmiser
  • RTI
  • KNX

Of course there are more manufacturers out there, with new and exciting kit being released all the time it’s a fast moving and exciting market. You may have a specific system requirement or you may have been recommend a specific manufacturer from a friend, if so you will need to track down a company that has the skill set to undertake the programming work of that particular system type/manufacturer and the ability to provide full system back-up.

To begin, we should tackle the first part of the question; What’s the point of Automation?

Without first answering this question (and understanding the answer) we cannot possibly expect to know how much automation one may need. Automation, is the relatively new (in it’s current guise) service in which a system or collection of systems that are designed and installed in a property to automate various items or jobs around the home or workplace. For the purpose of this piece we shall concentrate on the modern home and with it, the modern way of life. As anyone that has renovated/built or is in the process of renovating/building knows, the modern home now has, what seems to be, an infinite number of systems that can be installed – from underfloor heating and solar power to centralised music and electric blinds, if you can think of it, the likelihood is, it’s available.

“The importance of making sure you employ a reputable company, who will listen to your exact requirements and provide a solution to suit you, is paramount.”- Wesley Crutcher – Living Home Tech

The problem is, with all these systems in place, it can often become a full time job just keeping on top of them and making sure they’re doing what you want/need at any one time. An automation system sits over the top of these systems and either controls, monitors, automates or carries out a combination of all three, thus giving you a simple to use, single point of control across the whole home. By installing a good automation system you make it possible to control, monitor or schedule automation, all through a familiar interface such as your iPad/Tablet or smartphone.

Examples of items that we have automated are:

  • Rain sensing windows that close as soon as the first drops or water hits them
  • Lighting that comes on and lights a path through your home as you pull in to your garage
  • an ‘all lights off’ button at your front door
  • Heating and cooling that is monitored so as to prevent both being active at the same time
  • Cooling that will not operate when windows and doors are open

So, going back to the original question; what’s the point of automation? The point is to simplify the way you live and interact with your home and with the systems within.

How Much Automation Should I Have?

We can now tackle the second part of the question; How much automation should I have?

This is a very personal choice, a choice we take time to help you with during the design phase. Sometimes the scale of a project dictates that automation is required, no-one likes to travel up and down a property to make sure all the lights are off each time they venture out for example, even less so if you happen live in a 3000ft², multi-story home! Other times, the type of systems within the home make automation useful, for example if you’re planning on installing a complex renewable based climate control system with fossil fuel back up.

But of course, most of the time it’s not that simple and it’s down to personal preference. When this is the case, the only way to truly get down to what you would like/need on your project is to work through how you intend to live within your home and to discuss what opportunity there is (if any) to automate and control.

There is no one size fits all solution for automation, there are so many options and systems out there, you just have to take the time to get it right. By working through your project in this way we are able help you identify the importance of automation to you and how, if at all, it can help. Then and only then can we be certain that we have included the perfect amount of home automation technology for you and that we have specified the best type of system for the job.

For any new project the first port of call is to contact a reputable company, with and chat through your project to see how they can help, of course we’re always happy to help out, even before we’re appointed.


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