Home builder offers complete Smart Home to mainstream consumers

Partnership formed between major UK house builder and a leading Internet of Things company

Homebuyers in Oxfordshire are to become the first in the country to be able to buy their very own home of the future, thanks to a dynamic partnership between a major UK house builder and a leading Internet of Things company.

Lagan Homes has teamed up with Birmingham-based LightwaveRF to offer futuristic “Smart Home” technology at The Paddocks in East Hanney, Oxfordshire, giving new owners the power to control all or part of their property’s heating and electrical appliances using a smartphone app.

It is the UK’s first mainstream home builder to offer an integrated, single provider Smart Home package. 

Opening on Friday, 8 May, a show home at the development has been kitted out with a range of LightwaveRF products, available to buyers as an optional extra. Costs start at £500 and rise to £3,000 depending on the size of the home and level of installation. This amounts to less than half of one percent of the cost of the property.  

The range features items including:

Light switches that can be remotely controlled from within or outside the house 

Power sockets that can be remotely activated to turn off at source any electrical items plugged in, even if the socket is hidden by a sofa – saving energy consumption and money

Remotely controllable heating, allowing adjustment of the temperature of each radiator across the home giving warmth where you want and need it, while saving energy and keeping bills down

Blinds/curtains that can be remotely closed or opened, even when you’re out

The technology also offers wireless movement sensors that can be set to automatically trigger lights, heating and power to further enhance security, safety and convenience. 

Smart Home technologies are part of what is known as the Internet of Things, a new standard that allows appliances to connect to a WiFi signal and send data to and receive commands from mobile devices via the internet, or what is now commonly known as “the cloud”.

According to Berg Insights, the Smart Home market will be worth £9.5bn in 2015 and is growing annually at a rate of 33 percent through to 2020. According to the Energy Savings Trust, turning down thermostats, and not heating unoccupied rooms can reduce energy bills by up to 30 percent.

John Shermer, founder of LightwaveRF, said: “We’ve worked very hard over the past six years to bring a futuristic but functional and reliable product to the mass market. What is on offer at East Hanney is set to become the standard in new properties, taking the technology from being the preserve of the super wealthy to something everyday consumers can own and enjoy. So this development truly represents a great step forward for home automation and the Internet of Things sector.

He adds: “The Internet of Things is going to revolutionise the way we live. Many manufacturers are already bringing out appliances such as washing machines, toasters, kettles and coffee makers that can be controlled by your phone. Our products can also be easily and quickly installed, or retrofitted into anyone’s home making it ‘smart’ within minutes and offering long-term savings.”

John Lagan, MD of Lagan Homes, said: “Our homes are built to be very energy efficient with bills around half those in a well-maintained older home. However, the home is only as efficient as the people in it. Smart Home technology is designed to make it easy for homeowners to keep control of energy costs.

“We’ve partnered with LightwaveRF as they’re the only supplier of a complete Smart Home package, which is also UK designed and developed. Most significantly, their Smart Home package is genuinely affordable, so we’re confident it will appeal to many of our customers.”

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