What You Need to Enjoy a Golfzon Golf Simulator in Your Home

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Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to give up the greens

It might feel like you’re stuck inside these days, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your golf game. A Golfzon golf simulator can put the putting greens right in your Charlotte, NC home, so you can work on your swing and improve your play by yourself or with your family. If you’re not sure what you need to get started with a Golfzon simulator, we want to help you achieve your goals. In this blog, we’ll show you how you can enjoy a full-sized simulator in your home so you can impress your friends next time you’re on the local course. Ready to get started? Keep reading.

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The Smart Home System Trends to Watch Out for in 2020

As 2019 comes to a close, it’s time to look ahead to the trends we expect so see in smart home systems in 2020. Consider adding these upgrades to your smart home system in Charlotte, NC to make your holiday season and new year extra special.

SEE ALSO: RING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH SMART HOME AUTOMATION

Biophilia

First introduced in 2019, biophilia is the concept of bringing nature indoors using devices such as circadian lighting, air purification, aromatherapy, and automated shades to improve one's health. Research has shown that connecting to nature within your home helps memory, mood, ADHD, stress, inflammation, and immunity. It has taken the industry by storm and is expected to come to the forefront of smart home systems in 2020.

Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting has been around for many years, but this year several new companies began making products that integrate into smart home systems. It is predicted that landscape lighting will continue to become popular in 2020. Traditional outdoor lighting bulbs will be outlawed on January 1, so you will need to upgrade to LED lighting to be compliant with new federal regulations.

8k Video

8k video is the successor to 4k video, which came out in 2016. It became more common in 2019, but as 2020 rolls around, it will become more prevalent in home theater systems. Why would consumers want 8K? The technology offers four times the pixel density of 4K and 16 times that of 1080p, giving users a more brilliant, lifelike image.

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Elevate Your Outdoor Audio Video Setup This Spring

Elevate Your Outdoor Audio Video Setup This Spring

As the weather begins to warm up in the next few months, now is the best time to host your parties and get-togethers outside. Why keep everyone cooped up indoors? Your patio and pool are calling.

But how can you bring the entertainment and festivities that your media room or home theater have, to your Charlotte, NC backyard? Upgrading your outdoor audio video system can elevate your whole space while keeping your family and friends entertained through the entire event.

Want to find out more about this system’s features and technologies? Just keep reading on below.

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3 Ways to Use Voice Control in Your Smart Home

3 Ways to Use Voice Control in Your Smart Home

Amazon’s voice control devices the Echo, Dot and Tap are dominating the voice control market space according to an article on Fortune.com. Amazon has reported they have sold more than 10 million Alexa-powered devices since its inception in 2015. However, adding the Echo to your home doesn’t automatically turn it into a smart home. You need a full smart home installation and Alexa to make true automation possible. Our partner Control4 was one of the first to integrate Alexa in smart homes.  In this blog, we'll show you how easy it is to enjoy integrated voice control with your smart home system in your Charlotte, NC property.

See Also: Update Your Charlotte Home with These Three Trends

 

 

Your Personal Voice Assistant

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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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A Guide to Wi-Fi for Smart Home Owners

A Guide to Wi-Fi for Smart Home Owners

Many Charlotte, NC smart home owners have a limited understanding of the terms and equipment associated with Wi-Fi and networking. Understanding how your home network is setup and operates is the first step towards ensuring your smart home performs reliably and effectively. Then, you need a trusted home network installation partner to provide the essential pieces of equipment and services you need to ensure a secure connection in your house. Our goal is to educate our customers and clients on all things related to home technology, and the network is a large part of that discussion. Read this guide on Wi-Fi to learn about the basics of a network in a smart home.

See Also: Reasons to Consider a Wireless Networking Professional

The Essentials

What pieces of equipment do you need for a reliable connection? We start this guide on the smart home network with a look at some the essential components that make up a robust Internet connection. You probably already have some of these pieces of equipment in your home already, but do you have an understanding of their purpose and how they work? 

Routers and Access Points: We use wired routers to establish a strong connection in your home and wireless access points so you can get a signal at any location. Access points work by connecting to the network cable and converting it into a radio signal. That signal is picked up by network cards in your wireless devices in order to connect to the Wi-Fi. Routers need to be upgraded regularly—both the hardware and software. Work with a local professional like us to find the right one for you.

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How to Integrate Your Vehicle into Your Smart Home

How to Integrate Your Vehicle into Your Smart Home

We have covered a lot of details about how to use automation in your Charlotte, NC home, but what about your car? How does your vehicle fit into your electronic lifestyle? Many auto manufacturers are adding the newest automation technology to their cars, which is great for smart home owners—especially if you use Control4. Here are a few things you can do by integrating your ride into your smart home system. 

SEE ALSO: Update Your Charlotte Home with These Three Trends

Push to Start

You’ve seen the option to use a push button to start your vehicle, but what if you could take this to the next level and start your car from inside your house? With Control4, we can integrate your smart car into your system so all you have to do is touch a button on your mobile device and start the car early before you step foot out the door. This is especially helpful on those extra cold days when you want to warm up the car before you venture outside. It may not get below zero in Charlotte, but there are those times when you tend to run to your car to avoid the chills.

You can even set a daily schedule for the car to start 10 minutes before you leave for work. But if you don’t want to use up the extra gas, you could set the task to occur only when the temperature drops below 30 degrees. So you get to decide how cold is just too cold for you!

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Update Your Charlotte Home with These Three Trends

The trajectory for 2017 is quite clear: voice control will become the new way to manage your home. Energy management systems will also become even more of a priority and 4K technology will continue to grow in popularity. Is you smart home ready for these updates? It’s possible that you need a professional to come in and replace some of the devices you’re currently using to support certain technologies. Keep reading this blog to discover the possibilities for 2017 smart home updates

SEE ALSO: 3 Signs Your Smart Home Needs an Update

Voice Control

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Amazing Smart Home Products You Won’t Find on Black Friday

Amazing Smart Home Products You Won’t Find on Black Friday

Some people like to shop on Black Friday so they can snatch up those amazing deals, while others avoid the stores like the plague because of the massive crowds. For the families who want to avoid the lines, there’s always Cyber Monday. But if you are a techie and want the best home theater products or smart home automation gadgets, you may be hard-pressed to find what you are looking for – even online. Sometimes retail stores make price cuts on those hot items, but most of the time they are trying to get rid of older TV models or less-than stellar tablets. But if you want only the highest-quality products and trustworthy brands, come to The Integrated Home in the Lake Norman, North Carolina area. You’ll never be disappointed with your purchase or wonder if there was a better item out there. We have exclusive partnerships with the best brands in the audio/video business—so you’ll never find them at the shop around the corner. Keep reading to see our list of the best products you won’t find on November 25th.

SEE ALSO: Enjoy Hands-free Automation with Amazon’s Alexa

Lutron Shades: Perhaps you want to spruce up your home with new décor accents, but you also want the convenience of living in a connected home. Instead of buying those discounted curtains, invest in motorized shades by Lutron. Why? Lutron is the number-one trusted brand for lighting and shading products. As a matter of fact, their founder invented the dimmer. With Lutron shades, you’ll be able to lift and lower your window coverings using a remote, mobile app, or keypad on the wall. You also won’t have to sacrifice style since they offer hundreds of styles and fabric selections.

Screen Innovations: Have you ever bought a flat-screen TV, brought it home and then were disappointed by the performance? Or maybe it just didn’t fit the room just right. Screen Innovations has beautiful screens for your living room that beat many TVs on the market. Their Black Diamond model displays vivid picture in broad daylight, without glare. You can leave your windows open on a sunny afternoon and watch a movie or football game in crystal clear picture. When you work with The Integrated Home, you also have the option of hiding your home theater system. We can add a motorized lift to conceal your screen so that it’s displayed only when you use it.

Control4 Remote: There are so many universal remotes at retail stores, but they can’t reliably control your entire smart home. You need a professional integrator to make this possible. Control4 has a smart hand-held remote that can change the temperature, lighting, shading, security, and of course the TV channel. Wouldn’t it be great if you could dim the lights in the living room and turn the channel at the same time? With this exclusive control device you can.

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3 Steps to Fix Your Poor Cell Phone Reception

3 Steps to Fix Your Poor Cell Phone Reception

Dropped calls, unreliable phone reception, and fuzzy conversations…do these sound familiar? If you ever have to say that popular Verizon tag line, “can you hear me now?” or walk around your Lake Norman home looking for the best cell phone signal, this blog is certainly for you. It may not be as simple as getting a new phone plan, or getting an upgrade. The Integrated Home can help you solve this issue, but first, read these steps to get an idea of the situation and how we can help with our cell phone boosters.

SEE ALSO: How Can You Boost Your Home’s Cell Phone Signal?

Step 1: Check Your Cell Phone Carrier

The commercials you see on the TV are partly true, you may simply need to switch cell phone carriers. In most cities, there is a dominant phone tower that has the best signal. It could be due to a mountain range, or other local situation where one brand has better signals than the others. Due some research or ask your friends and family if they have the same problems with dropped calls and then try another carrier to see if the situation improves. If not, move on to step two.

Step 2: Check Your Location

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What Sets Lutron Motorized Shades Apart?

What Sets Lutron Motorized Shades Apart?

Installing motorized shades in your Charlotte, North Carolina home has many benefits, like saving energy, time and money. Yet, there are many other great features of automated shades you may not know about. Lutron’s award-winning line of smart shades stand out from the rest for four key reasons. Continue reading to find out why we install Lutron shades in Charlotte homes.

 

SEE ALSO: The Top 3 Benefits of Installing Smart Shades

A Top Brand You Can Trust
Lutron has been one of our top, trusted partners for years. This company has a long history of providing the very best lighting and shading control systems to families around the world. Since 1950, Lutron has expanded to become the leading lighting and shading company in the entire world – from installing lights in the White House to the New York Times building. Other companies have come and gone, but Lutron has successfully climbed to the top, developing new and innovative products for the smart home. We know you can count on these shades to perform perfectly and last years.

Quiet Motor Technology
Lutron shades have a proprietary motor technology that allows them to operate smoothly and quietly. In the past, these motors were disturbing, but years of innovation have improved them so you don’t hear a sound as they move up and down. Even if you have dozens of windows in your home, and they all operate at the same time, you will barely hear them. That’s the advantage Lutron’s technology has over its competitors.

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3 Signs Your Smart Home Needs an Update

3 Signs Your Smart Home Needs an Update

It’s fairly common for people to purchase an electronic device, use it for a few months, and then realize it’s already outdated or needs an upgrade because a new model has already been launched. Most of us have experienced this with smartphones. There are now seven models of the iPhone, and companies often have to alert you to software updates, sometimes even every month.

It’s true that any piece of technology you purchase is a long-term investment- especially smart home automation. You have to regularly update and occasionally upgrade your device. But the truth is you don’t have to worry about losing out when you work with a professional like The Integrated Home. Not only will we service your smart home for life, but we’ll also make any needed smart home updates along the way so that it reaches optimal performance. Keep reading to see if your house in the Lake Norman, North Carolina area needs an upgrade.

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

#1 Your Smart Home is Slow, and Can’t Connect with All Your Components

If your smart home system is slow, and often has problems connecting with your devices, this is likely a network issue. A smart home must have the proper network infrastructure to work properly. An average Internet provider just won’t cut it. You need a professional to install the network and analyze your home to make sure all the connections and routers are placed in the proper location. This is especially important if you want to be able to do things like arm your security system from another state. It’s also crucial when you regularly use streaming services like Netflix or Spotify. Establishing a proper network connection is the first upgrade you may need to make.

#2 Your Devices Are Outdated

If you are still using the older models of controls to use your smart home it’s definitely time for an update. A lot of the older universal remotes and controllers are heavy, bulky, and are limited. Since most people today use their mobile devices to control and manage their lives, most smart home companies have adapted and now offer smart home mobile apps that you can download onto your phone, tablet, or computer. They also have sleek, simple, and lightweight touch pads that are dedicated to controlling your home. They can sit on a table so you can move it throughout the house, or be installed inside the wall so it’s more stationary. Our partner Control4 even offers fun colors for these controllers, like fire red, and many of these in-wall touch screens have charging stations for your devices too. Upgrade your controllers, and you can enjoy a lot of new smart home features like streaming surveillance footage in HD, or creating custom scenes like “Wake up” and "Goodnight.”

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Tips for Entertaining with Outdoor Audio Video in Charlotte

Tips for Entertaining with Outdoor Audio Video in Charlotte

Chances are you may have already seen school supplies in the aisles at the store. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of summer left to enjoy before the fall hits. And an added benefit of living in Charlotte, North Carolina is that the weather never gets too cold, and you can enjoy your backyard all-year round. In this blog, we have some tips on how to entertain friends and family outside with outdoor audio video. Keep reading to start getting ready for your next fun gathering. 

SEE ALSO: Prepare for Summer Fun with Outdoor Audio Video

Pool Controls

First off, there’s nothing more fun than jumping into a cool pool on a hot summer day. And taking a midnight swim is equally fun when you’re with friends. We can integrate your pool and hot tub controls into your smart home so that you can adjust the settings with a mobile device. Change the temperature of the pool to make it cooler when it’s sweltering outside, and give your guests a convenient remote to change the hot tub settings so they can enjoy the jets and soothing hot water. If you do decide to take a swim in the evening, automated lighting will brighten your activity. Turn on lights inside and outside the pool to stay safe and get those laps in. We can tie in sensors so your pool area automatically illuminates when someone walks up to it too. Easy and convenient controls will certainly enhance your summer plans and get-togethers.

Movie Nights Under the Stars

Take advantage of the summer nights by enjoying a movie under the stars. We can set up an outdoor projector and screen, or install a flat-screen TV on your patio so you can watch your favorite movies and gaze at the sky at the same time. Our outdoor TVs prevent glare with special technology, and also resist water and extreme temperatures. So you can rest knowing they won’t get damaged by the elements and your investment is protected. Whether you simply want to be able to watch a baseball game on the patio by the pool, or if you want a large screen for big events, we can install a solution that matches your unique needs.

Dance or Relax to Your Favorite Tunes

It definitely takes a professional AV installer and a high-quality audio system to truly make your backyard sound beautiful. We’ll create plans to lay out the speakers and subwoofers in exact locations so you can hear the sound full and loud no matter where you are standing outside – or swimming in the pool for that matter. Our team can even install speakers in the water so you can hear the music as you do the butterfly. We can also hide your speakers in the foliage and pick colors that blend in with the surroundings so you won’t even notice the equipment amidst your outdoor haven. Your music system will be integrated into your smart home so you have complete access to your entire music library, radio stations, and streaming platforms. Anyone will be able to easily change the tune, adjust the TV, or increase the jet power in the hot tub with the same app on a mobile device.

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7 Ways to Make Your Home Green

The term “green” evokes many things today – from global warming to solar energy. There is a big movement today in preserving the natural world, and even the small things matter. So how do you do your part in saving our precious resources, and also saving your own? While recycling and purchasing electric cars can help, installing a home energy management system can make a huge difference. Here are seven ways you can save energy, and money in your pocketbook, using a smart home in Lake Norman or Charlotte North Carolina. 

1. Install Dimmers

According to Lutron, installing dimmers in your house can save you up to 20 percent on energy alone. Your smart home system can automatically dim the lights at specific times of day when the sun is brightest, or certain sequences like a romantic dinner. Keep touch pads on the wall so you can manually adjust lighting levels at any moment. Control4 reports that simply lowering your lighting setting by 10 percent can save enough energy to reduce up to 850 pounds of carbon dioxide each year—the equivalent of not driving a car for an entire month.

2. Use Motion Sensors

Have you ever forgotten to turn off the lights when you left the house? Install motion sensors and you don’t even have to check every room as you walk out the door. Every time a room is empty, the system will turn the lights off for you.

3. Add a Smart Thermostat

We’re sure you have heard of the smart thermostat, Nest. Whether you have one or need to add a smart thermostat in your home, this is one of the biggest opportunities to save a lot of energy. Air conditioning and central heat account for 25 to 40 percent of energy usage in the home. Having access to your thermostat on your mobile device makes it easier for you to set temperatures at strategic points throughout the day. It can also go on autopilot to adjust the temperature all on its own, and if you have Nest, it will learn your habits and remember them.

4. Coordinate Lights with Motorized Shades

Both smart lights and shades will make a difference in saving energy, but coordinate them together and you’ll save even more! Imagine your motorized shades going up at noon to let the sunlight in and the lights turning off at the same time when you don’t need them. As the sun sets, the lights will dim to 50% and the shades will come down to protect your privacy. Daylight sensors can be added as well to detect the presence of natural light and adjust artificial light accordingly.

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How Can Smart Home Automation Improve Your Concord, NC Residence?

At The Integrated Home, we get a lot of questions about smart home automation. Our clients in the Concord, North Carolina area want to know what integrated technology can do for their property, and why it’s worthwhile to upgrade new and existing houses with the latest equipment. We’ve heard your questions, and we think it’s about time to answer some of them. In this blog, we’ll take you through the basics: what is smart automation, how it can improve your home, and why it’s a great investment for your present and your future. If you’re interested in enhancing your lifestyle with added convenience, security and fun, read on to learn more.

What is Smart Home Automation?

The answer is simple: it’s a way of taking control of the different devices in your house, and making them work together for an easier and more convenient life. It’s more than simply having remote controlled shades in the living room or motion sensing lights in the yard; it’s integrating these disparate components so that you can control them with the press of one button.

The Integrated Home’s professionals are experts at seamlessly incorporating technology into your home. Augment the look of your dining room with smart lighting, adjust the temperature with an automated thermostat, and choose the perfect playlist for an elegant dinner party with a single, intuitive control device. Do the same throughout your house for a more comfortable and beautiful lifestyle.

How Can Smart Technology Improve Your Home? 

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