smart thermostat

The Five Stages of Smart Home Parenting

Help will come in many forms: family, friends, the new social networks you'll make as parents. It also comes in the form of technology that makes the everyday work of parenting easier. From electric bottle warmers to space-age stroller designs, you'll soon discover technical fixes for every challenge. 

Five Ways Alarm.com Proactively Protects Your Home

When something's wrong at home, your security system should do more than alert you. 

Smarter home security systems powered by Alarm.com stay one step ahead of the problem. Alarm.com's cloud platform constantly keeps an eye out for what's happening around your home and automatically takes smart, proactive measures to keep things secure and to protect you and your family. 

Smart Home Security Should Be Your First Home Improvement

It's an instant upgrade for your entire home. It protects you from crime and other dangers, and your property from common causes of damage. It also equips your house with smart home technology that saves you money and time while protecting your big investment from day one. 

Research: What Do Homeowners Really Want From the Smart Home?

Alarm.com recently conducted a survey to better understand consumer preferences and perspectives on the smart home.  Our survey focused on homeowners and families: what they want and need, how they prefer to get it, and how they expect the smart home to work for them. 

How to Create Your Own Alarm.com Scene

The convenient new Scenes buttons in the Alarm.com app let you control several smart home devices at once with a single command.

We've provided four Scenes to start with, each one tailored to make a specific moment of the day easier. They're easy to edit, but you can also create new Scenes from scratch for any situation. Here's how to do it.

1: Getting Started

You can create Scenes in both the desktop and mobile versions of the Alarm.com app. We're going to use the desktop version. Log into Alarm.com, click the emPower tab, then click Scenes.

You'll see four pre-set Scenes, which you can edit from this page. To create a new one, click New Scene.

2: Create a button for your Scene. 

We're going to create a 'Movie' Scene that makes things comfortable for movie viewing after the kids have gone to bed. Enter your Scene name and click the three-arrowed icon. You'll see a drop-down menu of icons to choose from, along with a choice of colors.

3: Specify what your Scene will do.  

After creating your button, you'll see a list of all your Alarm.com-powered devices below. To include a device, check the circle to the left of it, then specify what you want the device to do.

For example, we want our Movie Scene to set the security system to Arm Stay, with the front door locked.

Movies require a blanket, so we're turning the temperature down for this Scene.


Finally, we're going to have the hallway and living room lights turn off, for perfect movie ambiance.

Click Save to confirm your Scene. You'll see it with the others on the Scenes page.

4: Use your new Scene!

The next time you open your Alarm.com mobile app, your Scene will be there. Swipe left on the Scenes bar to find the new button, and tap once. On the confirmation pop-up, you can see all of the commands you specified. Tap 'Confirm'... and enjoy your Scene!

SMART HOME TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE

Many tasks that previously required human intervention have been made easier thanks to automated smart home technology. But what is smart home technology and what can it do for you? Guest author, Matt Powell, from Broadband Genie lists a few ways in which smart home technology will help change lives for the better in 2016.

 

Saving money, not just time

Smart home technology is all about the automation or management of your home and daily life. This could be anything from lights that can be controlled remotely or on a schedule, to connected home entertainment systems for streaming media to multiple screens, or added features to enhance your home security.
 
To some, smart home technology might seem like an appealing concept for gadget-gurus. But in reality, a big selling point of smart home technology is that it can actually save money, in addition to making life more convenient.
 
For instance, a great way to save energy and reap some monetary benefits on your bill is by utilizing a smart thermostat. Rather than simply operating from a timer or standard temperature setups, a smart thermostat has adaptive scheduling and pre-sets which are programmed to match your life and always keep your home comfortable. They can even be controlled from your phone—or even from your wrist—while you are away.
 
Smart lighting control is also a great way to save money. This can be as simple as motion sensors tied that turn off all lights in rooms that have been unoccupied for a certain amount of time, to lighting pre-sets that never turn lights on at more than 75% brightness, thus extending bulb life and using far less electricity.
 

Smarter home security

In addition to making your energy usage more efficient, smart home technology is enormously beneficial for home security. Smart lighting can activate in patterns while you are away from home, making it appear that your home is occupied. Blinds and video entertainment can also join in on the fun, giving the house and even more lived-in feel.
 
For surveillance, indoor and outdoor cameras can be viewed remotely from a smartphone for live monitoring. You can even receive alerts when movement is detected.
 
Door locks can be made smart, too. Companies like Yale, Kwikset, and Baldwin offer locks with keyless entry and integration with your smart home. They provide a greater level of access control—so you can, for instance, set a limited use entry code for visitors coming to your home when you’re not there. You can even remotely unlock your door if you need to grant access for a delivery, and lock it right back up again.
 

It’s good to talk

A key aspect of any smart home is how well it integrates with other products or systems in the home. Control4 does this better than any other home automation company because of their focus on interoperability. There’s a growing amount of very cheap DIY smart home hardware, but you’ll find that anything which lacks support for a wider ecosystem of smart home technology is going to become quickly outdated, and oftentimes is much harder to install than you’d think. Not to mention that the plug-and-play devices do not work over one platform, often requiring multiple apps and devices to use each.
 

Ways to Save on Those Hot Summer Days

Summer is here and the heat is going into full effect. In Florida we all know how unbearably hot it can get and cooling yourself off indoors can mean expensive energy bills. With our smart home, energy management solutions instead of wasting money, you can use your home’s power in the most efficient ways so you can save on those costly summer bills. You will be able to save money every month without even raising a finger.

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How much exactly can you save by adding smart devises to your home? Studies have shown that consumers can save 10% on their monthly summer cooling and winter heating bills.

Through platforms like Alarm.com and Control4, J&J Security offers a wide range of smart home solutions including; thermostats, lighting control, and control over your appliances.

Save When You Are Not Home

Let’s face it, most of the day when it is the hottest outside, we are not home therefore we are wasting money when the thermostat is left at 75 degrees. Sure you can manually adjust the thermostat before you leave but many people will forget to and even if you don’t you will come home to a uncomfortable house. That’s never fun after a long day of work.

With our smart thermostats your home can detect that you are home or away in two ways. The first is we can integrate the thermostat into your alarm system. That way every time you are your thermostat to away the thermostat adjusts up and then when you disarm the system it adjusts back down.

The second way your home will know when you are home or away is through geo-fencing (through your smart phone). Your system will know your location and whether you are in your home. When the last person leaves with their smart phone the temperature adjusts up. When you are your way home the thermostat will go back down and by the time you return home your house will be at a cool and comfortable temperature.

Why did you leave the door open? Were you raised in a barn?

Growing up I heard this phrase all the time when I would leave the door open. Kids are always running in and out of the house during the summer and constantly forget to shut the door behind them. Don’t waste money trying to cool your house while these doors are open.

Don’t worry, there is a smart solution that can help you. With Alarm.com’s auto-setback feature your home will know when an outside door is left open and will adjust your thermostat temperature up. Then when the door is shut again the temperature will go back down and your home can cool off efficiently.

Don’t Do the Impossible

During the hottest of summer days, it can be nearly impossible to keep your home in the mid to low 70s. The lower you want the temperature in your home, the harder your AC unit has to work. If you would like, on those days that are 95 degrees or hotter your system can stay just a few degrees higher saving you tons of money on your electrical bill. Even though your home is a few degrees warmer than normal you will hardly even notice the difference since it will still be much cooler then it is outside. When it cools off at night the system knows and will adjust your thermostat back to its normal level. 

More Ways to Save

With additional smart home devices like lighting control and appliance modules you can save even more on your monthly bills. Smart lighting can even be set up to know when you are in the room and when you are not so the lights can turn on and off automatically. Please feel free to contact us if you would like more information on ways you can add smart home solutions to your home.

 

Total Home Automation is Just a Button Press Away

Over the past couple of years there has been a rapidly growing trend of wearable smart devices. People are wanting access to the hundreds of thousands of apps they can download to their phone quicker and so the smart watch was developed. Forbes estimates the in the year 2019, 245 million smart watches will ship to people around the world.

With this new technology and the home automation industry expecting to hit 58 billion in 2020, you better believe that home automation companies like Control4 have developed apps so you can have total control of your home right from your wrist, no matter where you are in the world.

A Deeper Looking into Smart Watches and Smart Homes

 

Control4 quickly noticed the trend of smart watches and developed an easy-to-use app that gives you control over the most important things in your house. So what exactly does the Control4 Andriod, and Apple apps do?

One of the coolest features of the Control4 app is its ability to have custom actions programmed into it. This means that you can set custom lighting scenes, the ability to turn on the TV and select your favorite station, or just turn on the music to a certain level throughout your house. Frankly the possibilities are endless.

The next button that you will find on the app is Media. This single button gives you full control over the audio and video sources in every room. This means that you can change the channel, skip to the next track or adjust the volume. Pretty cool if you ask me…

The third button on the app is, Thermostat. This button allows you to control not one but all the thermostats in your home. Now you can set the temperature in your home from even the comfort of your bed.

Is that all? Nope. The following and last button on is Security. You can check and make sure your front door is locked when you are away from home or even open and close the garage door.

But wait there is more… You can not only control all of these features while you are home but also from anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in finding out more about these features or Control4 as a whole, please feel free to contact us. We are always happy to answer any questions that come up.

 

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Smart Solutions to Simplify Your Life.

Home automation is now simplifying people’s daily lives and does tasks that used to require human intervention. You may be asking yourself right now how exactly can automation simplify your life and that is what I am here to tell you.

 

Saving Time and Money

Energy management is becoming a growing trend in today’s homes. Energy efficient homes not only help reduce carbon emissions, which is good for the environment, but it also saves you money every month on your power bill. Through Control4 you can control anything from smart lighting you’re your thermostats, or even control all those media devices like your TV or cable box.

Let’s take a look at the smart thermostat… First generation smart thermostats required you to program in specific times that you wanted to have the thermostat either set to a higher temperature when you were away or a lower temperature to cool off your house when you are home. The problem with this is, what if you go on vacation or come home early from work? Your thermostat will run at the predetermined times and you will either be losing money when you are not home or be uncomfortable in your home when you come home early. Today thermostats have become much more advanced. Now you can have occupancy sensors can intelligently know when you are home. For example, when your security system is armed to away you can have it execute an away scene. Energy sensing devices and motion sensors can also be used to monitor when you are home. Just in-case you ever want to adjust the thermostat on the fly you can do it from your smart phone or watch.

 

Smart lighting is another way you can save on your energy use. Smart lighting scenes be executed to go into an all off scene when you are away so you never have to worry about forgetting to shut off the lights again. Occupancy sensors can also be used to sense when you enter and leave a room so your lights will not be left on all day in those rooms that you are only in for a short period of time. In addition to these smart lighting scenes you can also set your lights to only go up to 75% brightness. Studies have shown that there is such a small difference in how bright that will make the room and most people cannot even tell there is a difference in the brightness.

Smart and More Secure Homes

Automation is also now making for smarter and more secure homes. In the past most people just protected their homes with a security system and some even used cameras. The problem with this is that burglars can tell when you are away from home because there is no activity in the house. With the smarter more secure systems that are out today you can create active lighting patterns to make is seem like you are home. Your shade control and TV’s can also be joined to these scenes to give your home a more lived-in feel.

Cameras can now be integrated to your smart home systems so you and/or your monitoring company can view your cameras remotely. This reduces false alarms because you can make a more informed decision on whether or not to dispatch the police.

Smart locks can also be added to your systems as well. This allows you to create certain times that people can access your home or even one-time user codes. These codes are great to give to your dog walker or house keeper that are only supposed to be in your home at specific times.

Wrap Up

These are just a few of the ways that smart home technology can simplify your life and save you money. If you would like to talk in more detail about what a Control4 home automation system can do for you, please feel free to give us a call. We would be more than happy to come out to your home for a free home assessment

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Is getting a “smart home”…smart?

 

I remember years ago there was a movie that came out about a family who got to move into a fully automated dream home. This house did everything from cleaning, cooking and even played with the dog. Are you feeling like a mango and banana smoothie for breakfast? This house would have you covered and you could just sit back and enjoy without having to do the work. While technology has come a long way over the last 15 years…we aren’t exactly there yet. However the capabilities you CAN have for your home are amazing and can help make life a little easier, safer, and even a bit more fun! Plus it’s more affordable now than ever. What used to be an option only for the wealthy is now found in homes across America.

Alarm.com allows you to not only interact with your security system from your smart phone or tablet, but can also control everything in your home from lighting, televisions, audio equipment, air conditioning, and more. We all know the feeling of worry and questions that run through our mind when we are away from the house…

-Did I remember to arm the system before we rushed out the door?

                (Just check the virtual keypad on your phone. It allows you to arm and disarm your system remotely. There is no more need to give out your code to a babysitter or housekeeper. Just swipe to disarm the system when they arrive and arm it again when they have left.)

-Did Mia get home safe from soccer practice?

                (Motion activated cameras can show you when the kids arrive at the front door)

 

-Did I remember to shut off the lights?

                (Turn your lights on and off as needed with just a swipe of your finger on your phone.)

 

-Is the babysitter doing a good job keeping an eye on the kids?

                (Just check on one of your live streaming cameras in the play room)

-Did we leave the air conditioning down low when we left for the vacation?

                (Turn the temperature up and down as needed, even when you are away. You can also get text alerts in conjunction with temperature or water sensors to help alert you in case of a flood or fire)

 

All of these questions and more can be answered with the help of Total Connect 2.0. Call our office today to learn more about what’s smart about making your home smart! 877-532-SAFE

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