Protect Your Pets with Surveillance Cameras

Protect Your Pets with Surveillance Cameras

Did you know that more than half the population in America owns a pet? According to the Humane Society, 66.5 million American households have a pet with about 65% of them considering it a member of their family. Whether you have a dog, cat, bird, or turtle in your Charlotte household, we know pets are important to you. Smart home automation can be a convenient tool to care for your animals. Here are some ideas on how to use surveillance cameras to watch over them at all times. 

SEE ALSO: 3 New Ways to Control Your Home’s Climate

Skip the Kennel

There are some benefits to leaving your pet at a boarding kennel while you are on vacation, but there are some negatives too. Firstly, some places require that your dog or cat is spayed and you’ll also run the risk of your pet getting depressed and anxious being away from their usual environment. 

Use surveillance cameras to watch them instead, and smart locks to let in pet sitters. You can give your dog or cat watcher a temporary code so they can come inside and walk the dog or feed the cat. Another benefit of having a smart security and surveillance system is that you can know when a door is left unlocked or if an emergency occurs. Since you can lock doors remotely with your smartphone and check in on your pets using live video feeds, there’s no reason you have to send them to the kennel. 

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Why a Whole House Audio System is Worth It

Why a Whole House Audio System is Worth It

Our goal at The Integrated Home is to make your life simpler, more fun, and of course safe. When it comes to audio, Charlotte homeowners want quality and ease of use. Your best option is to go to an expert—not the supermarket. When you buy a speaker off the shelf, you won’t get the benefits of enjoying music in every room, expanded music library, and of course custom design. When you work with our team, we show you all the details and benefits of using whole house music. In this blog we highlight the perks of a professional system. Stick around after the jump for more.

SEE ALSO: An Expert’s Guide to Outdoor Video

  1. Hide Everything

Buy a basic speaker from a store, take it home and then you have to figure out where it goes. First, you locate an outlet to plug in the speaker but if you don’t have a table or a shelf you have to re-arrange your furniture. Then there are those ugly wires. You saw an ad online for this cool, hip speaker but it doesn’t look the same in your bedroom. When it comes time to have friends over for a party, you discover you can’t play the same song in every room at the same time to provide the music at the same level throughout the house. All of these issues are confronted with a whole house system.

One of the best features of a professionally designed system is the ability to make your speakers disappear. We can install invisible speakers in the walls, or place them in the ceiling so they save space and get those wires out of the way. Either style will eliminate clutter and enhance your home design.

  1. Control Your Music Anytime, Anywhere

Most individuals make convenience a top priority when it comes to music—that's why digital music sales have skyrocketed over the past decade. However, our team will work with you to connect all of your music sources whether your library is entirely digital, you're a die-hard vinyl collector, or simply can't let go of that coveted CD collection. The beauty of using an integrated music system is that you can easily switch music sources using a mobile device or touch screen. Stream internet radio, like Spotify and Pandora, then switch over to your iTunes account or turntable. All you have to do is select the source, playlist or artist, the room, and then press play using your smartphone, tablet, or smart touch screen.

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Control4 Allows Families to Live Smarter

Control4 has been one of our longstanding partners, offering reliable and simple controls to families and individuals who seek high-quality technology. With mobile apps and smart home trends on the rise, Control4 has made some improvements to their systems and also added new products and features to their solutions.

The Integrated Home is excited to announce and explain some of this new technology to you. If you already have a Control4 system in your Charlotte, NC home and want to add some of these new features, or you have been waiting for the right system to come along to get you jump started, you should read on. Here’s a few of the latest innovations from this premier company.

OS 2.7 Software & Climate Control Features

Control4 has designed an elegant new user interface that provides easy and interactive climate control in the home or from miles away. Their “Comfort Control Experience” gives you quick access to all your thermostats’ functions and presets. The presets allow you to save all of your HVAC settings and recall them with one touch, or simply have them take effect automatically on a schedule or when a designated event occurs.

The climate comfort experience is designed to work with leading HVAC systems and includes control of temperature, heat/cool set-points, thermostat mode, fan speed, and humidity levels.

Control4 also now has their own battery-powered and wireless thermostat that has been designed in partnership with Aprilaire. It delivers a consistently comfortable home and features enhanced compatibility for use with more modern HVAC systems that have geothermal, dual fuel, and humidity control systems for increased flexibility and comfort. Additionally, the new wireless thermostat can be powered using AC power or batteries, allowing for maximum installation flexibility.

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Control4’s New Home Automation Products for 2021

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Enhance Your Home’s Security, Lighting, AV, and More

If you’re a Control4 household, you know there are endless ways to automate your home and lifestyle. And recently, Control4 unveiled a handful of new devices that make your smart home even more accessible.

As a smart home installer based in Charlotte, NC, we’re always excited about new products from the biggest name in home automation. Read on to see all that’s new from Control4.

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How To: Use Control4 for Lighting Control

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Createthe Perfect Atmosphere in One Press of a Button 

Lighting can make or break any mood or activity. If that sounds dramatic,imagine your favorite restaurant for romantic dinnersNow picture it with bright, cool lighting flooding every room. Not as cozy anymore, right? You’d probably pick a different restaurant for date night altogether. 

If you want to customize the mood of your home’s lighting, usually your only option is to unscrew bulbs and install new ones. But with smartlighting control systems like Control4, you’re free to adjust the lights’ appearance, schedule when they turn on and off, and activate the entire house with one tap of a button. 

Smart lighting lets homeowners automate how, when, and where their lights appear. Whether you’re already a Control4 household or you’re curious about smart lighting control, read on to see how it works and willenhance Charlotte, NC, home.

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Why Josh.ai is the Superior Choice for Voice Control in a Smart Home

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“OK Josh, dim the lights 30 percent.” 

Are you ready to go hands-free in your automated home? One of the most convenient ways to control speakers, thermostats, smart lighting, and more is through voice command. When paired with a smart system like Control4 or Lutron,your voice assistant can do much more than change a song or tell you the weather. Tell it to lower the blinds, and in seconds, your motorized shades will lower

There are many players in the voice control field. But one voice stands out among them all—Josh.ai. Built specifically for smart home integration, discover what makes Josh the superior option for your modern Charlotte, NC, home. 

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3 Benefits of Hiring a Professional Audio/Video Installer

Maybe you are adept enough to hang a flat-screen TV on the wall, or set up some speakers in your living room for surround sound, but did you know there are a lot of perks to working with a local professional to install your AV (other than not having to do the work yourself)? Not only do we have exclusive technologies and luxury brands that you can’t find in a local store, but we also have decades of experience creating the very best media rooms and home theaters – suited for your exact needs and desires. From organizing all your content, simplifying controls, and streaming and controlling media to or from any location, The Integrated Home is your local audio video installer in Charlotte, NC who knows exactly how to create the best home entertainment setup. 

SEE ALSO: The Best Home Theater Systems for Your Charlotte Living Room

1. Boost the Quality of Your AV

Here is a common occurrence: you buy a brand new flat-screen TV, you bring it home and discover the sound is never loud enough. The picture looks really nice, but you have to turn up the volume to the maximum level just to hear the movie. The truth is that the thinner TVs become, the worse the speakers perform. The average flat-screen TV has two speakers that are just barely larger than the size of a quarter. With speakers that size, you can't expect to hear anything at a proper level, not to mention you won’t feel immersed in the action like you want.

While adding a surround sound system is a great option, if you don't have the budget or space for a full 5.1.2 or 7.1.2 system, a high-quality soundbar will do the trick in the meantime. Add a soundbar by a quality manufacturer like Sonos and you can turn up the volume as loud as you like and will notice the difference in clarity. Give us a call and we can mount this beautiful soundbar in your living room. When you’re ready, we can add on to your system at any time – like upgrading your TV to 4K or installing a full Dolby Atmos surround sound system.

2. Easily Control Content in Every Room

One of the great features of having a smart AV system is easily switching content from room to room. For example, you’ll be able to start a movie in the living room, pause it, and then pick up exactly where you left off upstairs. Play a different channel in every room of your home – inside or outside – or the same program on all the screens. Control4 has various audio and high definition video distribution switches and controllers to scale to the size of your house. So it doesn’t matter if you have 15 TVs or three, we have the right equipment to meet your needs.

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Smart Home News for Control4 System Owners

Smart Home News for Control4 System Owners

Technology is never stagnant. Innovation requires that every gadget or device should constantly be improved upon, and your smart home automation system is no exception. We make sure that you have the latest tech at your fingertips. In this blog we'll cover some of the newest features you can experience from our top partner Control4.

SEE ALSO: 3 WAYS A CONTROL4 SYSTEM CAN TRANSFORM YOUR CHARLOTTE, NC HOME

Wearable Technology

The first time you saw someone talk into their watch to issue an important command, it was probably on Star Trek or in a James Bond film. But today this technology has been realized with the Apple Watch and various other models. According to Forbes, 245 million wearable devices are expected to ship in 2019. People want to wear their tech because it's portable, convenient, and just plain cool. Control4 just released news that you can now control your Control4 smart home with the Apple Watch. Open the Control4 app on your watch and enjoy these features:

Media: See what audio or video that is playing in each room in your house and change volume, add additional rooms, or turn things off.
Thermostats: See all thermostats in your home, adjust the temperature, and apply presets.
Lighting: Control individual lights in any room of your house or activate lighting scenes that control many lights at the same time.
Security: Check status of locks, unlock or lock doors, and open or close garage doors.
Local or Remote: Control your home from the comfort of your couch, or use your watch when you're away at work or traveling.

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Worried for Your Home’s Safety? Control4 Can Help

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Why Now Is the Time to Increase Security with Smart Home Automation

In the midst of a pandemic, many Americans fear that things could take a turn for the worse. While authorities are distracted elsewhere, is your home more vulnerable to break-ins, robberies, and looting? There are fewer people on the streets to witness crimes, and with high unemployment, people may become desperate.

Even if no one attempts to ransack your house, there are other precautions we need to take during this time. For example, social distancing makes it challenging to answer the door without possibly putting your family at risk.  


Luckily, Control4 smart home automation helps with all safety issues, both large and small. Whether you have a Control4 system already in place or are new to smart technology, continue reading to see how it can give you peace of mind for your Weddington, NC home.

 

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Spotlight: Hunter Douglas Motorized Window Treatments

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Explore the possibilities of smart shading for interior design

Crafting an impeccable interior design that satisfies your clients is challenging. And when you add the latest technology into the mix, it can seem downright overwhelming. Today’s homeowners want to blend style and technology, and they need expert guides to help them. At the Integrated Home, we’ve got the technology covered. And we want to work with interior designers committed to integration.

That’s why we’re spotlighting Hunter Douglas motorized window treatments. They combine the look and versatility your clients will love with the style that will satisfy even the most discerning eye. Want to find out how they can enhance your next Charlotte, NC project? Keep reading for more.

 

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Wireless Music Systems: Your Questions Answered

Wireless Music Systems: Your Questions Answered

We get a lot of questions about the different types of wireless music systems available. The truth is the answers often have to do with your lifestyle, routine, budget, and home structure. While our team can certainly provide a unique solution for you, no matter what you situation is like, we do want homeowners to know exactly what they can encounter during an installation and stay knowledgeable about what is available. This blog will be a great resource for those of you who have a lot of questions about home audio.

Do I have to upgrade my Internet service to enjoy wireless music?

You may or may not have to upgrade your Internet service. However, problems with streaming music often have more to do with the quality of your home network, not you Internet Service Provider. Simply upgrading your service to a faster speed may not do the trick. Buying a better modem or router and working with an expert to strategically place your equipment and set-up the network is a better option. If you regularly stream a lot of music or video, then you’ll need some kind of Internet upgrade. We can give you an assessment and some recommendations.

What kind of wiring is involved?

 

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What’s New from Your Charlotte Pinnacle Control4 Dealer?

We are a proud Pinnacle Control4 Dealer because they are always coming out with new and exciting products that we think will benefit our Charlotte, NC area customers. Not only is Control4 smart home automation user-friendly, it’s also customizable. The personalization features of the user interface makes Control4 stand out amongst the other smart home manufacturers. Recently, Control4 announced some new upgrades, called “When>>Then Personalization.” Read this blog to learn all about it.

SEE ALSO: One App to Rule them All

What is When>>Then Personalization?

The control device is one of the most important elements of a smart home. With Control4’s 4Sight App, you can customize your home any way you like at any time. This new feature allows you to fine-tune your system depending on your changing tastes in music, your schedule and more. 

For example, if your work schedule is going to change around the holidays, meaning you will be working later hours, you can program you home accordingly. This tool is also useful for when family members come for a visit and may want to adjust your home to make themselves comfortable. You can experiment with the settings and then change it back to the way it was when you need to. 

Let’s say your mother is coming for a visit around Thanksgiving and she likes to keep the home warmer than you. You can change the thermostat and any other settings like the shades, lights and more while she is visiting that week and then change them back to your personal preferences when she leaves. When>>Then Personalization ensures you never lose all of those valuable settings you loved before, and you can play with some new ones too. 

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What is the Best Wireless Thermostat?

What is the Best Wireless Thermostat?

As spring transitions into summer, there’s often a few sporadic temperature changes—not to mention flooding and fog. It’s important to stay on top of your heating and cooling system at all times since it uses up the most energy. You want to stay comfortable all year long, but save money and energy too. Using a wireless thermostat is an easy way to keep track of your home’s temp at all times, and Control4’s smart thermostat is certainly top-of-the-line. As a Charlotte, NC –based, authorized Platinum Control4 Dealer, we not only have quality equipment, but also decades of experience installing Control4 systems. Continue reading this blog to discover how their smart thermostat can improve your home and lifestyle.

Imagine leaving work and stepping outside into the grueling heat. You start to sweat as you rapidly walk to your car so you can turn on the air conditioning. As you start your commute, your smart home turns on the cooling system. By the time you set foot inside, your residence is comfortable, cool and cozy so you can relax after a long day.

Control4 wireless thermostats give you this ability to create a heating and cooling schedule personalized to your lifestyle. So if you usually come home by 6 p.m., you can schedule the thermostat to change the temperature a half hour before so it’s created the perfect environment for you by the time you arrive. By putting your thermostat on a schedule, you also get to save energy and not have to think twice about managing the temperature. Because who wants to come home to a hot house?

The new user interface of the system was developed to make navigating the thermostat easier. Paul Williams, Vice President of lighting and comfort products for Control4 said, “We went back to the drawing board. People are often intimidated by thermostats. So we asked ourselves, ‘how do we simplify the experience?’” Thus, the OS 2.7 version was born.

SEE ALSO: How to Use a Home Energy Management System

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Top 5 Smart Gifts for That Special Someone

No one wants to give an average gift. You want your friend, partner, or family member to feel loved, appreciated and special. Consider how a luxury smart device installed in their Charlotte, NC home can enhance the person’s lifestyle. So what are these are the top tech gifts of the season? We cover them below! One of these home automation accessories is sure to be the perfect gift for that special someone.

SEE ALSO: 3 Ways to Get Ready for the Holidays

  1. Sonos One with Amazon Alexa

Sonos has combined the proprietary voice-control technology of Amazon Alexa with their incredible Play:1 speaker to bring you the best of both worlds. You can browse thousands of song titles with your voice, manage your busy schedule, and enjoy all of the other benefits of Alexa. The Sonos One with Alexa can play Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM and so much more with a simple voice command.

  1. Apple TV 4K: $179

This gift would be perfect for the movie-lover who wants to watch everything in 4K. It comes with a voice control feature, so you can browse for titles by simply saying the name of what you are looking for, and the home screen is ad-free. This device is also the only streaming box that supports Dolby Vision, which is a huge plus. The colors on the screen will pop, and the images will look crisper with this brand new 4K streaming device.

  1. Amazon Echo 2nd Generation: $99.99

The Echo still stands as one of the top gifts for the holiday season. Their 2nd generation model has a number of new and exciting features, including unique colors and Dolby sound upgrade. You can choose from an oak or walnut finish, sleek silver, and soft fabrics in charcoal and heather grey or white sandstone. In addition to the music upgrade and colors, the new Echo can also hear you better since it has seven built-in microphones for voice recognition.

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Top 3 Benefits of a Whole House Video System

Top 3 Benefits of a Whole House Video System

Some people believe that the best feature of a media room or custom home theater is the picture quality, or the audio.  While those are certainly the standard, and some of the most fun aspects, we’d like to inform you about the additional perks of having a whole house video system in your Charlotte, North Carolina home.  From simplifying controls, organizing all of your content, and streaming media to any location, The Integrated Home, as your local residential AV installer, knows exactly how to create the best home entertainment system.  

SEE ALSO: 3 Benefits of Hiring a Professional Audio Video Installer

#1 Reduce clutter.

When you work with our team, you have the advantage of getting rid of clutter and organizing all of your different media devices. We’ll place streaming players, cable boxes, Blu-ray players and more in a storage area so that it’s out of sight and won’t disrupt your beautiful home decor. Our crew installs professional equipment racks, which are efficient and neatly organized so your wires are never a mess. Instead of purchasing five Blu-ray players for all your spaces with TVs, you can just use one and distribute the same movie throughout your home. For example, you can play the same movie on all the screens, or play the basketball game on one, a movie on a second, and a TV show on another. It’s up to you to choose which sources you like, and it’s up to us to make it simple and effective.

#2 Pick up where you left off in any room.

One of the great features of using Control4 products is easily switching content between rooms. For example, you’ll be able to start a movie in the bedroom, pause it, and then pick up exactly where you left off in the living room. Control4 has different high-definition video distribution switches and controllers to fit the size of your property. So it doesn’t matter if you have 15 TV’s or three, we have the perfect equipment to meet your needs.

#3 Simplify your controls.

Do you like pressing buttons or swiping screens? Whether you prefer to select a show on a tablet, or choose a channel with buttons, we have plenty of options suited for your personal style.  For example, Control4 has a universal remote that not only displays your favorite channels on an HD display, but also includes back-lit buttons you can press. It also allows you to control your shades, climate, lights, and security system. Control coffee table clutter, and get rid of those extra apps too with the SR-260 handheld remotes.  Extremely light weight, these remotes have an incredibly fast response time. You’ll be able to set the thermostat, turn on CNN, and lower the shades with the same intuitive device.

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Tailor Your Lake Norman Home for the Holidays with a Control4 Dealer

Tailor Your Lake Norman Home for the Holidays with a Control4 Dealer

The holidays can be both the most enjoyable and stressful times of the year. Whether you are hosting parties or attending them, these next few months can get quite hectic. But thankfully, smart home automation can help keep you organized and relaxed as you prepare. As a Control4 dealer in the Lake Norman, NC area, The Integrated Home has the advantage of customizing your home exactly as you like it. Once all of the home technology is in place, the only thing left to do is figure out how to use it to your advantage on a regular basis. Today we have some tips on how to use your Control4 system to enhance your holiday meal preparation, or entertain guests.

SEE ALSO: Partner with a Control4 Dealer to Build or Renovate Your New Home

Customize Your Kitchen Lighting

If you’re on turkey duty for Thanksgiving, or baking cookies for Christmas or Hanukah, then you definitely need a well-lit and equipped kitchen. A common problem for many homes is that the lighting isn’t evenly distributed. The lights are either placed in inconvenient areas causing some areas to be brighter than others, or the lighting fixtures aren’t capable of producing the type of lighting you need to see well. With Control4 lighting, you’ll not only get an even distribution of light, but you’ll also be able to control the lighting levels and quality by choosing LEDs over standard bulbs for example. You can also create “kitchen” or “cooking” scenes with your smart home system so that every feature in the kitchen creates an environment conducive to making a good meal. You can include music, a TV, or temperature in your scene so that all you have to do is press one button on your tablet, phone, or keypad on the wall and you’re ready to get working. For example, label your scene, “cooking” and pick a comfortable temperature so that the area doesn’t get overheated while the oven and stove top is going, a festive music playlist to get you in the mood, and then play the Food Network Channel so you can watch what the chef is going as you make your dish.

Automate Your Entertainment

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Take Your Gaming to the Next Level with Media Room Design

Take Your Gaming to the Next Level with Media Room Design

What are your plans this summer? With school out and many couples taking time off work for vacation, it’s time to consider where you’ll be having all that fun. Of course you don’t have to leave home to make your summer memorable and enjoyable. You can stay right in your Charlotte, NC house and have the time of your life. One way to make your home a destination for fun is by installing a media room for watching movies, listening to music and playing games. Here are some ways to incorporate home automation into your media room.

SEE ALSO: Prepare for Summer Fun with Outdoor Audio Video in Your Lake Norman Home

Gaming

A popular and often addictive activity during the summer is playing video games. But how do you take your gaming sessions to the next level? Whether you are playing vintage consoles like Playstation or new ones like XBOX One, a video wall is a great way to display all the players’ views in the room. A video wall is made up of multiple televisions. You can display one large image on all of them or create a grid of multiple channels or views at once. Let’s say you are playing the classic Mario Kart, each player can follow their path on the large TV and enjoy an immersive experience. Add a surround sound system and you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of a battle. If you need to pause, just press a button on the Control4 universal remote. The lights will come on, the game will stop, and you can pick up where you left off in a hurry.

Movies

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Lock the Door and Throw Away the Key with Smart Technology

Lock the Door and Throw Away the Key with Smart Technology

We’ve all been there—you leave a key under the door mat for a friend, babysitter, or relative who needs to visit while you’re away. But it seems too obvious right? If everyone left a key under the welcome mat for emergencies, it would just be too easy for a person to break in and steal your belongings. You could get creative hiding the key in plants or lawn decor, but leaving it out is still a risk. Smart locks not only eradicate this problem, but they also offer a lot of other practical benefits related to home security. Read this blog to learn more.

SEE ALSO: How to Protect Your North Carolina Home with Security Cameras

How to Use Smart Locks

Most smart locks have a numerical keypad that enable you to unlock the door with a personalized code instead of a physical key. You can create a code for each member of your family, and even temporary codes for guests. The Integrated Home can even connect these smart locks to your control system, allowing your family to open and close doors at any time with mobile devices. For example, if your spouse forgets his or her code, you can simply open the door using your smart phone. Smart locks can also send you an alert if the door is ever left open, or when anyone comes inside your home. You can stay informed of when your kids come home from school and also if anyone leaves. If you have a full smart home automation system, these smart locks can connect to your Away and Welcome scenes. For example, press “Away” using the Control4 app on your smartphone and all the doors will lock, the security system will arm, the thermostat will adjust to an energy-saving level, and all the lights will turn off.

Connecting Your Gate or Garage

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Make Your Home Smart and Secure with a Control4 Installation Today

Many residents of Charlotte, NC have learned that installing a Control4 system simply makes your life better. And here at The Integrated Home, our years of experience have taught us that an intuitive home control system from Control4 can fit a variety of needs.

Want to create the ultimate entertainment space for family and friends? Done. Interested in a green home that reduces your carbon footprint? Got it. Focused on making sure your property is secure and your family is safe from harm? We’ll take care of that. No matter what your needs are, an automated Control4 system can be customized to suit your lifestyle.

Interested in knowing what makes a Control4 home so special? Read on to find out:

Simple

Home automation allows you to be able to monitor and manage multiple systems throughout your home, directly from your smartphone or tablet. Control4 allows you to access your home through one easy to use interface that is consistent whether on a phone, in-wall touch panel, or a laptop. With Control 4, your entire home functions together and is accessible from one location. Everyone in the family can turn on the AC, choose a playlist to stream music in any room, or set the home to “away” mode with just a simple press on a touch screen device.

Smart

One of the primary reasons many homeowners decide to add automation to their homes is the enhanced level of comfort that accompanies the upgrade. Remote controlled lighting and shading helps keep your home cool, regulating the amount of sunlight in any room. This not only reduces harsh glare, but helps keep your AC from working overtime. With smart features from Control 4, your entire home becomes a pillar of energy savings and convenience.

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One App to Rule Them All

One App to Rule Them All

It seems like everyone keeps saying, “there’s an app for that.” But if you continue to add apps to your smartphone, not only will you overload your phone, but you’ll also get app clutter. When it comes time to clean out the closet so to speak, you have to assess which ones you actually use on a daily basis and which ones you can do without.

DIY smart homes create app clutter because each time you buy a new device you have to download the app onto your phone. Buy a Sonos speaker for your Charlotte, NC property? You have to use the app to stream music wirelessly. Have a Nest thermostat? You have to open the app every time you want to change the temperature from afar. 

But what if you could simply open one app and use it to control your Sonos speaker, Nest thermostat, Lutron lights and shades and so much more? The answer is integration. The word may sound very lofty and you may even be reaching for a dictionary right now, but it means that you are connecting separate systems into one unified system. With smart home automation you can control every separate device with just one user interface. 

One amazing benefit of working with a Control4 dealer like us, is that you don’t have to get rid of the brands you know and love. We can connect them together and put them under the Control4 app. 

One App, One Solution

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2440 Whitehall Park Drive
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