To me, the idea of a ‘Smart Home’ has always been an area of interest. It probably starts off that even from a very young age; I always used to find ways to make the common jobs and tasks more streamlined and simple. Earliest example is probably the universal remote I nagged for when I was very young as picking up 4 or 5 different TV remotes felt like a massive waste of time and they always went missing! It progressed onto basic AV control while I lived with my mother and continued racking through ideas for years but ideas they stayed. Being a young teenager, I had both little money and could not convince my mother that laziness and not having to press a wall switch to turn the light off was the way forward which sort of put a halt to being able to do anything.
My interest was started again when we went to visit a family friend, who had nearly everything in their house automated, for a weekend down on the outskirts of London back in the mid 2000s. A full Crestron controller system was installed with centralised lighting circuits with dimmers, whole house audio/video distribution system with in-ceiling speakers in nearly every room, bathroom/hot tub control, outside lighting, gate control, touchscreen wall control panels and much more. Looking around and realising that the ability to control and automate went much further than my imagination previously allowed was mind-blowing and I was fascinated. When researching into Crestron and related products, I quickly learned that this scale of control had to be all professionally installed and put a stop to the dream of me ever having something so similar. There started the quest and desire to be able to achieve the same goals with the same level of finish but 99% being installed and set up by myself so I would know it all slots together to work as one.
Skipping forward quite a few years to when I first moved out from my mother’s to my own place; the dream started to come to fruition. Basic control over lighting, heating, A/V and other household items where to be integrated and have the same level of reliability and ease of use as a professionally installed solution. Although rather quickly, I learnt that I had possibly set the bar too high when I started having quite a few issues with devices causing the whole system to crumble once a link in the chain goes down. Within future posts I will cover these issues and how they have/are in the process of being overcome.