2020 Alton Road: The Greenest Home in South Florida:

2020 Alton Road: The Greenest Home in South Florida

Posted May 21, 2014

This award-winning home in Miami, Florida earned the highest-scoring LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) rating in the nation. A Net-Zero home that uses materials and technology, including a Control4 home automation system to manage all of the home’s energy-saving systems, the Alton 2020 residence actually generates enough energy to support the needs of the entire 3,200-square-foot-home – and gives some back to the grid. Even better, the homeowners can relax in the lap of luxury, enjoying all the benefits of a fully-automated smart home, which also happens to be one of the greenest homes in the world.

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Top 5 Ways to Pamper Your Pets With Home Automation:

Top 5 Ways to Pamper Your Pets With Home Automation

Posted May 20, 2014

In honor of National Pet Month, we thought we would share some of our favorite stories about how pet lovers use home automation to protect, entertain, soothe and care for their favorite furry, feathered and scaly friends.

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Home Automation Troubleshooting for Dummies:

Home Automation Troubleshooting for Dummies

Posted May 15, 2014

I am not a technical person. Nor is my hubby. I’m lucky that my sister used to be an “IT guy” in a previous life and is able to help me set up everything from my PS4 to my wireless network. Every so often, though, I have to troubleshoot electronics on my own, and that includes my home automation system. I’m starting to figure out a few of the basics for troubleshooting by talking not only to my sister but also to others who have Control4 home automation. It turns out that we sometimes blame Control4 products for some mysterious issue when, in fact, it was something else that deserved the blame—the wireless network, a defective TV, satellite service issues, etc. Sometimes it was even operator error (yep, that means me!). Here are a few real-life experiences that might help you get your system back on track.

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Smart Homes with Bob Guiney:

Smart Homes with Bob Guiney

Posted May 14, 2014

Bob Guiney, former HGTV host and popular Bachelor from the reality TV series (who happens to be one of my personal favorites), recently discussed the evolution of the smart home on a number of local news stations nationwide. In case you missed the conversation on your local news, here’s a video where Bob discusses networking gear that keeps you up and running even when storms or emergencies cut power – and your internet connection, smart tint on windows that offers privacy and functionality, and, of course, Control4 home automation solutions.

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Old Meets New: How an Old Lighting Control System Evolved to a Complete Control4 Automation System:

Old Meets New: How an Old Lighting Control System Evolved to a Complete Control4 Automation System

Posted May 13, 2014

In my last article, "Smart Moms Need Smart Homes," I wrote about moms and their vital importance in helping to embrace and define technology in the home to make things easier for the family. As a mom myself, and someone who does this for my own home, I can tell you how empowering it is to have more control in the home. Power I do not need to exert...I simply push a button!

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Smart Moms Need Smart Homes:

Smart Moms Need Smart Homes

Posted May 9, 2014

Perhaps you've seen the latest "gotcha video", created for American Greetings, that has gone viral around the Internet. It's about a company called Rehtom Inc. that is looking for a job candidate to fill their position, Director of Operations. Here are the main responsibilities listed on the job description…

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Winning Over Mom with Simple Home Automation:

Winning Over Mom with Simple Home Automation

Posted May 7, 2014

As moms, we have to be great at compromising but we all know that when “mama’s happy, everybody’s happy.” When a tech-wary mom in Tampa, Florida, was confronted with her AV geek husband and son’s dreams for a high-tech automation system, she was skeptical to say the least. Her fear that their whole-home audio system, off-the-hook home theater and high-fidelity gaming systems would ruin the lovely redesign of their home and, even worse, would be impossible for her to manage, were quickly put to rest – thanks to Control4 and Hoppen Home Systems.

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Hola Mis Amigos!:

Hola Mis Amigos!

Posted May 5, 2014

Cinco de Mayo is upon us once again. We turn our thoughts to Mexico and celebrate with our neighbors to the south. For many of us this day is an excuse to crack open that bottle of Don Julio Reposado we were saving for just such an occasion. For others, it is time to throw the ultimate Cinco de Mayo party. In either case, Control4 is there to help you, well maybe not with the Don Julio, but certainly with throwing that ultimate Control4 Cinco de Mayo party.

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Automated Garage for Prized Cars and Motorcycles:

Automated Garage for Prized Cars and Motorcycles

Posted May 2, 2014

For a bachelor with a penchant for fancy sports cars and sport bikes, what could be more ideal than a dedicated storage area in the basement for his prized possessions? An automated elevator, of course. The elevator lets him easily lift the cars up to the main floor where he can show them off before returning them to their safe haven – all with the push of a button. The Control4 automation system goes beyond the auto show, of course. The entire home is designed to entertain with whole-house audio and dedicated lighting scenes that give the parties as much horsepower as the vehicles downstairs.

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The Integrated Home:

The Integrated Home

Posted May 1, 2014

We’re often approached by customers who already have a sophisticated system in place, but would love to embrace the newest technology and integrate it into their homes. With the expertise of a custom installer, we’re able to integrate new technology while keeping components of the already existing system. Not only does the customer have the comfort of not having to replace all of their individual components, they also get the simplicity of using the newest technology in their home.

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The Internet of Things: What does it all mean? [INFOGRAPHIC]:

The Internet of Things: What does it all mean? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted April 30, 2014

Every time I turn on the TV or check my news feed online, I am bombarded with conversations about the Internet of Things, the smart or connected home, home automation and home control. But what does it all mean and how does it fit together? What is the “Internet of Things”? What does it mean to have a “Connected Home” vs. a “Smart Home”? What is automation vs. control? As experts in the field for the past decade, we’ll try to make some sense out of this new vocabulary that is increasingly part of our everyday conversations.

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Tips for Energy Management [INFOGRAPHIC]:

Tips for Energy Management [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted April 24, 2014

Who says it’s not easy being green? With Earth Day this week, we thought we’d compile a few tips and tricks on how you can use home automation to help manage energy use in your house. Check out these 10 easy ways Control4 technology can help you save energy…and the environment.

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Is This the World’s Greenest Home?:

Is This the World’s Greenest Home?

Posted April 22, 2014

In honor of Earth Day, we wanted to highlight this beautiful and amazingly green California home, which uses sustainable and regenerative materials plus a high-tech home automation system from Control4 to maximize energy efficiency. The homeowners wanted to debunk three myths in green home building: (1) Green homes are ugly, concrete boxes, (2) Green homes are twice as expensive as a standard home, and (3) Living in a green home requires you to fundamentally change your lifestyle.

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Spring Chickens:

Spring Chickens

Posted April 21, 2014

With Easter Sunday just behind us and ads everywhere for chicks, I seem to have eggs on the brain. So it was kind of a surprise when I overhead a co-worker talking about his automated chicken coop. Say what? I’ve heard of people automating some weird things over the past years – flushing toilets, animatronic Disney characters, and something called “50 Shades of Grey” which I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know anything about.

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Protect and Serve: Automation and Security Are the Perfect Pairing For Many Households:

Protect and Serve: Automation and Security Are the Perfect Pairing For Many Households

Posted April 16, 2014

See how a family-focused automation system provides peace of mind and simplicity of lifestyle in this featured project spotlight: Whole Home Automation—All in the Family.

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Tech’s in the Mail: The Top Five Smart Gadgets to Get With Your Tax Refund:

Tech’s in the Mail: The Top Five Smart Gadgets to Get With Your Tax Refund

Posted April 15, 2014

“In this modern world,” Benjamin Franklin might have said were he alive today, “nothing is certain but tech and taxes.” Indeed, technology helps us figure, file, and - grudgingly - pay our taxes. But technology can make getting a refund quicker and easier, too. If you’re expecting a refund, you might be tempted to use that extra cash to buy a newer model smartphone or tablet. (Yawn…) Here’s a better idea. Rather than swapping one perfectly good device for another slightly newer one, make a genuine upgrade in your life by replacing some of the dumb items in your home with smart devices that’ll make your home more convenient, more comfortable, and more fun to live in. Here’s a quick rundown of five of the top smart-tech home improvements you should consider buying with your tax refund (or any other money, for that matter).

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Designer Insights: How Home Automation Can Benefit the Interior Designer:

Designer Insights: How Home Automation Can Benefit the Interior Designer

Posted April 14, 2014

Q. When starting a new design project, to what extent should designers consider home automation? A. Professional designers take great pride in the aesthetics that make up a beautiful home. So it is really important that they take into consideration home automation to avoid the use of clunky electronic devices and wall clutter. Many designers may not be aware of what options are available, but home automation is really something that could improve their design process...

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How Smart Is Your Home?:

How Smart Is Your Home?

Posted April 10, 2014

That’s the question the popular review site Angie’s List asked in a recent article about the proliferation of smart home technology. The answer? Your home can be as smart as you want it to be, and if you want to keep up with the Joneses (or the Jetsons), you should start considering automation technology as a “must-have” for your home... Angie’s List notes that industry leaders are saying that now is the time to get on the home automation bandwagon. “There is massive interest in home automation,” says Dave Pedigo, senior director of learning and emerging trends for the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association, based in Indianapolis. “We are at the tipping point for the automated home, and that growth over the next decade will be exponentially larger year over year.”

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Our 5 Favorite Products from 2013:

Our 5 Favorite Products from 2013

Posted April 8, 2014

2013 was a great year for technology innovation. Here are our five favorite gadgets and gizmos that whizzed and banged in all the best ways last year.

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TopGolf - Where it's Legal to Drink & Drive.:

TopGolf - Where it's Legal to Drink & Drive.

Posted April 4, 2014

...Every driving station is outfitted with two televisions, one of which will display any channel of choice and the other displays players' scores. This set up ensures you get the best of both worlds—keeping an eye on that important game while playing a bit of it yourself with friends. All in all, TopGolf houses 240 televisions, all of which can be turned on easily and quickly with an iPad and remotely switched from channel-to-channel individually or all at once. The Control4 system is so easy for the staff to use—and only took about a half hour to train them to operate the entire facility—that it allows them to focus on the day-to-day operations while keeping up the excitement for players and guests...

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Home Technology Helping to Break the Barriers of Autism:

Home Technology Helping to Break the Barriers of Autism

Posted April 3, 2014

It's not uncommon for young children to fight scheduled routines. They may throw a brief temper tantrum to try to get out of a nap, or push back on eating dinner because they'd rather play with their toys. However, for children with autism, routines, schedules and rituals are incredibly important. In fact, they are a necessity. If an abrupt change occurs in a normal day-to-day agenda, it can result in major meltdowns and huge setbacks for the child. Not to mention how challenging it is for the people who love them the most...

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Lighting—An Important Component to a Home Theater Experience:

Lighting—An Important Component to a Home Theater Experience

Posted April 1, 2014

A home theater conjures thoughts of a dark, secluded space where the screen is the only bright object in the room. While movies always look best in the dark, lights can still play a dramatic role in the performance of your home theater. Lighting that fades out at showtime is only the start of what’s possible when you tie the fixtures to a professionally installed and customized home automation system.

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Out Of This League: An Incredible Cubs Man Cave:

Out Of This League: An Incredible Cubs Man Cave

Posted March 29, 2014

With Major League Baseball beginning this weekend, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to share one of the coolest man caves we've seen. This ultimate Chicago Cubs fan, Stewart McVicar, was out to play some serious ball when he designed his in-home sports bar, fully outfitted with a Control4 home automation system, a round bar with a video wall, beers on tap, a sweet game room, and even a urinal with an eye-level television so you don't miss a minute of the action.

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It's Here! The Internet of Things & The Connected Home:

It's Here! The Internet of Things & The Connected Home

Posted March 28, 2014

Why is everyone talking about the 'Internet of Things' as some futuristic fantasy? It's already here, and it's in your home in the shape of wireless home automation.

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That's One Hot Rack!:

That's One Hot Rack!

Posted March 26, 2014

Several months ago, a colleague of mine wrote a blog post about the benefits of housing all of your AV and networking gear in a rack. Recently, I had started to have some issues with the AV equipment in my home overheating, but I still hadn’t really ever considered purchasing a rack. That is, until I read his blog post. I realized that putting a rack in my home would likely be the solution to my equipment overheating.

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