hen my husband wanted to install a Home Automation system in our newly renovated apartment, I admit, I was not as excited as he expected me to be. In my head I imagined a lot of tearing down of newly furnished rooms and re-arranging furniture , all to do things that I had anyway been doing all my life- putting on lights, fans and A/Cs and opening the front door.
However, when the system was installed, I learned to accept it, use it and eventually love it for what it was- a tool to make my life easier, in a lot of small seemingly insignificant ways, but which all come together to really save time and energy and also to make my life just a little bit more comfortable .One main reason was that the system was installed as a wireless system so it functions completely through WiFi- so no new construction or re-arranging was required.
I think there are women out there who love technology and embrace it. I, however am not one of them. I get lost with remotes- i can never tell which one to use for which machine. Not to mention the storage space required for a bunch of remotes on a coffee table. So my favourite part about the system, was that there is now a Universal remote that powers on my TV, my set top box,and my Apple TV. I change channels and adjust volume with only one remote, so no clutter, no mess and just one sequence of buttons to remember.
Another feature that I love is the electronic lock. I know I am careless with keys and have a tendency of losing them. The electronic lock though, has completely changed our life !
We used to adjust our morning schedules around our help’s schedule, wait for her to come, so that we can let her into the house. With this lock, we all have our own individual number codes. Family members have codes that function day and night and the help has her own code that works only within a fixed time frame. We get an email alert when she punches her code in , so we know what time she comes every morning. So, it was like killing two birds with one stone- we get to leave the house when ever we want to , without thinking about her schedule, and we know exactly what time she comes in every day. We could also stop carrying our keys everywhere !( which is a blessing when I am trying to cram cards, lip gloss and a phone in a small clutch for a night out !) it has made a big difference to us when family come to stay with us as well. We don’t have to give our house keys to our guests anymore. Each person gets their own code that remains active for as long as they are staying with us, and then the code gets de-activated after they leave. We recently augmented this feature, so that its linked to the Control4 app on our i phones, so that we can open the door remotely for people who don’t have the code, but need to get into our house, in an emergency.With the app, we can also now turn on the A/C in the house when we’re on our way home from a long and hot day at work or back from the gym or the garden during the summer.
The most fun use of the system, has been the speakers in each room , (even the shower! ) that play my favourite music, air played from the play list on my phone or iPad. If you have kids, you know that even though they are precious and you love them, there are moments that 5 year old’s especially , can test your patience. They have this radar that alerts them when a parent has just sunk down into her favourite sofa with a cup of coffee and an iPad , looking for a few minutes(or hours!) of peace.It is in that exact moment that they have to show you something AWESOME that is in the other room or have to go to the bathroom , but the lights are off ! And of course they need to go NOW! This is where the magic comes in – With the Control4 app on the Ipad, I can put on the lights in the bedroom or the bathroom without moving from my comfortable spot on my sofa! The app itself is so user friendly that at this point my tech savvy 5 year old can use it to put on the lights.
Like I said before, these are all small ways in which the system has changed our lives, but those small moments make such an appreciable difference. Not to say that there weren’t teething problems in the beginning. It took a little getting used to, a little while to learn the process.But once you do life with a home automation system, you really do feel the difference, and you never want to go back !