Being part of the home automation gold rush

Being part of the home automation gold rush

Chris Musgrave, Managing Director of home automation specialists, The Solent Electronic Home Ltd tells Showhome magazine about two recent projects that weren’t without their complications

Home automation is becoming ever more popular and the technology used within it is becoming ever more advanced. The global home automation market is estimated to be worth around $40 billion by 2020 but what’s it like to be on the frontline of this modern day “gold rush”?

Since their formation in 2006, The Solent Electronic Home Ltd have had one aim and one aim only, to be a specialist within the market of home automation. They are dedicated to turning dreams into reality, designing and installing superior home automation and entertainment technology to the South of England.

Managing Director, Chris Musgrave tells Showhome magazine about two recent projects the company has worked on which prove they are achieving their aim.

Willow House

“A successful businesswoman from Hampshire required a smart home installation to support her busy family life in her recent renovated 19th Century, six bedroom home.

The first stage of the planning is a consultation from the client’s home. This was imperative to help with the design of the installation. From this consultation we could identify the main challenge was going to be poor broadband due to the isolated location and we were quick with a solution so this would not interfere with our client objectives for the installation.”

The overview of the project was that it required heating in four zones which was integrated into the smart-home system, music in six zones using Sonos devices, HD video, intruder alarm, six CCTV cameras and 4k TV linked to ten televisions.

Chris continues: “All of this was required within a budget of £12,000. We work very closely with other contractors appointed by our clients for a smooth installation. On this project our schedule was aligned with the Builder and Electrical Contractors’ schedule, this was a great advantage when designing the cabling work and connecting cables to the rack to the house network. We always advise our clients that the reliability of any smart-home installation depends heavily on the network and how well it works. To allow for the HD technology the client switched to a better provider.

“Straight after installation our client was able to enjoy her new smarter home. The installation involved switching 4k TV to 4 TVs and HDTV to 10 TVs. There are 3 Sky boxes using SkyQ. Also, other sources include a BT vision box, Apple TV and a BluRay player.

“The video operation is slick and quick and will provide entertainment to all who demand it.

Control4 is the overall smart-home controller and it does an excellent job of integrating all parts of the system together.”

The London Pad

City centre projects come with complications of their own. Chris recently worked with a client based in London who had security at the top of her list of priorities.

“A London based civil servant had been caring for her aging father in a large semi-detached house in NW6. Her father died and our client wanted to downsize to a 2 bed basement flat with modern lighting and heating controls which she could access when on holiday and enhanced security to enable her to live in her home while being aware of everything going on around her.

“The main constituents of our proposal were for lighting in three reception rooms, two bedrooms and two bathrooms and also convenience lighting for the garden and passageways. Also heating in three zones using underfloor pipes. Also CCTV in the garden and front access and an smart intruder alarm which would alert the owner to any unusual event and also provide spoiler events to disturb any would-be intruder.”

Of course all of this comes at a cost and with a limited budget to work with, Chris knew who he had to turn to.

“Cost was an important consideration and the budget for the project ended up being £6,000. This budget would be achieved using Loxone which is one of the most cost-effective and adaptable smart-home products on the market.

“In order to achieve the budget target the smart-home work had to be split up into the part which HAD to be done by our specialist company and the installation part which could be done by the electrical contractor.

“Design, support, hardware assembly, programming, testing and commissioning were to be completed by The Solent Electronic Home and the installation of the cables and hardware and the wiring connections were all to be completed by the electrical contractor.”

Security is always a concern when living in a major city centre and there was just one more hurdle to get over before the project could be completed.

“The project is now finished after an extended period due to the difficulty of obtaining and fitting a gate which could be adapted to access control. However, the installation is now functioning as planned.

“The intruder alarm makes extensive use of wireless window and door contacts which provide enhanced security and operability to the environmental controls.”

The Solent Electronic Home are based in offices in Gosport, near Portsmouth in Hampshire and they cover from Dorset to Sussex and up to South London. The company has organically developed a high level of technical knowledge and expertise which has resulted in over 100 successful installations.

To find out more about The Solent Electronic Home, please visit: www.thesolentelectronichome.co.uk

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