Make your home smarter

Automation technology can be applied to almost every part of the home and integrated for seamless functionality, writes Danny Corvini.

Voice-controlled smart homes is the latest technology that Canberra’s Modern Automation will showcase at their new display home in Denman Prospect when it opens in October and at the Canberra Home & Leisure Expo on October 27-29.

Director Dev Nagarajan says that Canberra’s most popular smart home solutions are automated lights, blinds/curtains, home surveillance and smart security systems, but far more detailed home automation solutions are available at a lower price than buyers may realise.

How much does it cost?

“While basic packages start at about $5000 and include indoor and garden lighting, motorised blinds, home surveillance and smart security systems, some advanced packages include a fully integrated home with voice controlled entertainment systems, heating and cooling, irrigation, pool pumps, solar energy systems and much more,” says Dev.

Energy conservation – Save $$$

Consumers can save about 20 per cent on their power bills by having blinds that open to catch the sunlight and close to retain the heat, and lights that only activate when someone walks into the room.

“The energy efficiency and smart home conservation works best when you have the whole house integrated, not just one part of it,” Dev says.

While home automation control used to be cumbersome in years gone by “now it’s the size of a router for lighting, security, blinds and door locks,” says Dev. “If you want audio and multimedia, it gets a bit bigger.”

Home owners can also save time at bedtime with just one button to turn off all of the lights in the house, close the blinds and lock the doors.

Voice control

Dev is clearly excited about the new voicecontrolled technology, which he has had in his own home for a year-and-a-half. He believes that it will be particularly useful for elderly, disabled and physically challenged people.

“If you’re bed-ridden, you rely on someone else to come and operate the lights, blinds and television,” he says. “With voice-controlled automation, you can just give a command saying the keyword followed by ‘open the blinds’ or ‘turn on the lights in the bedroom’ and it’s really easy and accurate.”

Interested buyers will be able to experience this ultimate luxury at the new display home.

“People can come and have a go controlling the whole house, turning on the lights in the kitchen, opening the blinds in the living room, etc. It’s a big thing and, to my knowledge, no other display house in Canberra has it.”

Modern Automation has kitted out some high profile homes in Yarralumla and Red Hill and Dev says that existing homes as well as new builds are ideal for home automation.

He advises homeowners not to try installing the technology themselves to avoid problems later, including the updates. Indeed, installation and testing of mains-connected electrical devices must, by law, be completed by a licensed electrician in Australia.

What about DIY?

“There are lots of DIY products around but it’s better to engage a home automation specialist as they can integrate every piece of tech using one system,” he says. “We do a lot of testing of all the different products so we know which one talks to each other and which one is going to work best in your home.”

Fancy a James Bond style home?

Of course, there’s a far more James Bond aspect to home automation and its futuristic benefits swing into gear when buyers are on an overseas holiday. The resident can control their entire house on their phone (whether iPhone or android) and will get a message when when the door-bell sounds to be able to see who’s there and talk to them. They can also set a program for the lights and blinds so the house looks lived in.

If you’d like a smarter, more secure and energy efficient house, give Modern Automation a call on 1300 556 130 to arrange a demonstration at their new display home. They will provide a no-obligation free quote based on the floor plans for your new house or the retrofit of your existing house.

This advertorial appeared in the Canberra Times ‘AllHomes’ on September 16, 2017.

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