Smart lighting is a huge selling point that can now be included in any priced home without complicated setup, thanks to products like the NOON Lighting System. NOON installs like a light switch, but works like a system, rivaling the performance of “high-end” lighting systems without the complexity or cost. Patented bulb detection technology automatically creates beautiful lighting scenes using the fixtures you already have with no need for custom wiring. Another interesting product from LIFX controls lights via WiFi – no hub or bridge required. LIFX innovations include tap control, infrared for security cameras, high lumen range, ultra-low energy settings and more. LIFX utilizes Brilliant Control to turn indoor, outdoor and feature lights on/off, dim lights, change colors, and create scenes using an all-in-one mobile app for iOS and Android.
Smart Home neighborhoods definitely present possibilities. While early projects, in most cases, are not exactly practical quite yet for the marketplace, the knowledge being gleaned is a positive step forward. Alabama Power, the state’s largest utility, has made headlines with its The Smart Neighborhood Builder program at Reynolds Landing, a 62-home Smart Neighborhood community that is interconnected with smart home technology and powered through a 1-megawatt microgrid. The homes in the community are 35 percent more energy efficient than homes built to state building code, according to the firms involved, with Smart home features including remote controlled door locks, lights, and security systems. In exchange for living in such a technologically advanced environment, the homeowners in the community agreed to allow their energy usage data to be harvested and analyzed. The neighbors also participate in focus group discussions with the partners to talk about what’s working and what needs improvement. While sales of new homes sold quickly due to the marketing of the Smart Home community, developers say their main objective is to use this project to understand what load shapes and customer interactions will be like 20 years from now.
While developers explore the possibilities of Smart Home neighborhoods, builders can no longer justify that including some Smart Home capabilities is impractical or reserved purely for higher priced homes. Likewise, remodelers seeking the best and least expensive way to upgrade a home without a full home renovation also benefit from current advancements. In considering what their projects will include, all must keep in mind that the goal is to make homeowner’s lives easier and not harder. It will be important to know your buyer and their specific expectations in determining which products and platforms make sense to use right now and which areas to keep a focus on for the future. Chances are, anything you think might be possible next year, probably will be possible even sooner. And some things we never thought of yet will be, too!