Without doubt the most popular question we get asked by friends, customers and even suppliers is ‘ how much does Home Automation cost to have installed’ ?
It is almost impossible to answer as everything we do is bespoke to the individual customer. Some customers have pools for example, and some don’t, some customers have their own private cinema that seats 50 people and some just want a snug for their immediate facility to watch TV.
All that said we thought we would put together, what we would consider, a ‘starter’ package to what we feel a minimum Home Automation system would look like. Whilst we use the word ‘starter’ this could quickly grow to any system size as it is controlled by the award winning Control4 HC800 Controller which is the brains of the system. This offering is capable of controlling everything in a home and to be honest the car also as we have recently designed a system using Control 4 where the customer wanted to remotely start his car in the morning !!
We start with the cabling, the package we have priced below assumes that the cabling has been installed by others and would normally be done at the build stage by the electricians working to our cable schedule.
We typically ask for 2 x Cat5e cables, 1 x Cat6 and 1 x Coax (WF100) to every location where a TV will be mounted. Each CCTV camera, Wi Fi access point, data socket, touch screen or door entry panel will also need 1 x Cat5e cable wiring to it.
All this cable will come back to a central location where the ‘rack’ will be mounted. For this example we are using traditional lighting wiring and simply changing the light switches for automated versions which will allow them to be controlled anywhere in the world.
So now all the cabling is in our engineers will then build the rack and programme, the below will normally take one of our qualified Control4 engineers a week to install and programme.
So what will the end result be ?
The full kit list which we have featured on this example is listed below however to most people it is literally just numbers so we thought it important to say what a customer would experience once we had finished.
At the heart of this example system will be a Control4 HC800 Controller which communicates with all devices on our network and tells the device to make a command should you request it. For example if you tell the TV in the lounge to turn off you simply press the off button on the Control4 remote control, this command is sent via a protocol called Zigbee to the HC800 which then sends a signal via the Cat5e cable that is connected to the TV and hey presto the TV turns off all in the blink of an eye.
As it isn’t relying on Infrared it also means you don’t have to have the remote pointed at the TV !!
The Control4 HC800 has several contacts and relays built into the unit so we can for example control your garage doors, blinds, swimming pool – literally anything.
Each room where there is a video and audio source we have included for the new Control4 SR260 remote control which will control all devices at the rack and in the room, so you only need this remote, no more endless remotes lying around the room.
You can also control all devices below via the free Control4 app which works on an iPad, iPhone or Android phone.
The traditional way of taking a single coax or even two is very much an old fashioned way of cabling a home nowadays as it forces the end user to have their equipment mounted ‘locally’, which as the majority of TV’s due to weight and thickness are mounted on walls nowadays this quickly becomes an eyesore with a Sky box underneath and then what happens when you want to watch a DVD ?
The answer here is a video matrix, this clever device allows for numerous sources to be located in a central position with a HDMI input cable ensuring up to 4K signals can be distributed anywhere in the home using a simple cat5e cable !
For this example package we have gone for a HD Anywhere 4K MHub which is a great matrix as has 4K distribution and the balun ( this clever device converts the signal back from cat5e to HDMI so the TV can accept) is powered over the cable so you do not need an additional power outlet behind the TV.
We have also included in this example package a 4TB NAS (network attached storage) drive which can store all films, music and photo’s allowing them to be quickly displayed on the screens.
I think everyone will agree SONOS has changed the mainstream view on multiroom audio however it has its limits, for example what if you want to play more than one input source, say an Apple TV receiver and a Sky receiver to come through the SONOS speaker?
Our multiroom audio option in this proposal utilizes the Control4 HC800 hub which has the 2 audio outputs meaning you can listen to the music stored on your hardrive in one room, listen to internet radio in another and even have Sky playing through the speakers in the last 2 rooms.
Whilst initially this proposal only has 4 audio zones this can be quickly increased to as many as you would like, for example outdoor audio zones or a home cinema.
We have used Monitor Audio CT165 ceiling speakers which sound incredible against anything in its class and make SONOS sound extremely ‘tinny’ in comparison.
Unfortunate as it is the security of your home cannot be overlooked and with Home Automation we really integrate well with both CCTV and Intruder Alarms to make them much more intuitive. The whole purpose of Home Automation is to have everything integrated so rather than disparate apps for all technology we give you one app that does everything – view your camera’s, set your alarm, control your TV all from a single app.
The camera’s we have used in this package are HIKVISION 3MP, for those that don’t know HIKVISION they are the biggest CCTV manufacturer in the world and make camera’s for the worlds largest brands, the quality of the 3MP camera’s is simply stunning and as they are IP camera’s can be viewed quickly anywhere around the world.
The intruder alarm we have specified is a Texecom Premier which again integrates with the rest of your home so if for example a PIR is activated at a certain time in the day we can notify you by text or e mail, we can even set alerts to let you know when your children are home from school.
One of our favourite parts of Home Automation is the control of lighting as it allows you to quickly create lighting scenes. For example if you start to watch a movie from a DVD player we can automatically dim the lights to a predefined level. Or what if you were away on business or holiday and you wanted to give the impression someone is in the home, automated lighting can be set up to come on in the evenings and off in the morning.
We have gone for traditional wiring as mentioned earlier for lighting which is a quick retro fit for everyone as no rewiring is required we simply have to change the light switch.
For this example system we have 10 dimming light switches which will cater for 10 circuits of lighting.
I think we have all experienced how bad the BT and Sky supplied routers are that are designed for Wi Fi to work in 2 or 3 rooms but try using them in a 6 bedroom detached home and they fall over very quickly. Our solution here is for several access points with a controller talking to them all which creates a mesh in your home with no dead spots and free roaming across the entire home.
60% of our energy bills are spent on heating so it is only logical that if you want to make any device smart it is a device that saves you money which is exactly what Home Automation can bring to the heating in your home. We install a Control 4 TRV (thermostatic radiator valve) to each radiator which allows for full control of that radiator ensuring it only calls for heat when required.
So what is all of the above going to cost a developer or home owner?
All of the above can be installed in your home for £9,940 ex VAT and comes with a 2 year warranty on all parts and labour which includes our envious after care ensuring if something does stop working we are there next day at the latest to resolve.
For further information on this package, or for a bespoke Home Automation proposal for your home please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly team on 03300 881 844
Full Kit List fully installed for £9,940 ex VAT
Aerial / Satellite – Sky Minidish, Freeview Antenna
Video – 1 x HD Anywhere 4K M Hub with POH receivers, 4 x Control4 SR260 Remote Controls with charging station
Audio – 1 x Control 4 16×16 Audio Matrix with 4 Zone Amplifier. 8 x Monitor Audio CT165 ceiling speakers
Security – 4 x HIKVISION DS-2CD2132- Camera’swith HIKVISION DS-7604NI-SE/P-2TB NVR, Texecom Premier Alarm with 4 Door Contacts and 6 PIR’s
Wi Fi – 3 x Luxus Access Points with Controller
IT – Draytek 2830 Router, Netgear GS728TP Switch, 4TB Western Digital NAS Drive
Lighting – 10 x Control4 Keypad Dimmer Switches for 10 rooms
Heating – 10 x Wireless Thermostatic Radiator Valves
Prices include all cables installed however we can retrofit cables at £63 ex VAT per cable.