Home Automation

If you are building a new home and are wondering what you should have installed and what technologies are available, please call us and schedule a free consultation.

Voice Control

This is the cool stuff, and we love it! If you are not careful, Dan might talk your ears off.

Whether you only want an app to control your garage door, or you want one app that can control everything in your house, CAT has the answer.

A home automation system can integrate some or all of these sub-systems in your home: lighting, shades, security, cameras, locks, gates, garage doors, thermostats, pool & spa controls, audio, video, and irrigation.

Voice control is now possible too. Are we at the level of Star Trek or Hal? Well, not quite yet, but we are getting closer every day.

With the Amazon Echo products, Google Home products and Apple’s Siri, voice control can be used for some very interesting and convenient purposes. Here are some examples of voice commands:

Display the front door camera on your TV by saying “Hey Google, play the front door camera on the family room TV.”
Turn off the basement lights by saying “Alexa, turn off the basement lights.”
Play the last Pandora station you listened to by saying “Computer, play Pandora.”
Is it perfect? Not yet. But it is fun and many voice commands do work very well and offer convenience.

Interested in home automation but not sure where to start? Let us help you start slowly and then grow the system as you learn more about automation and what you want to do with it. Many products use wireless technologies to communicate and so can easily be installed in an existing home without running wires.

We will listen to your needs very closely and choose a system and components that exactly meet your requirements and budget.
Home Automation allows the following to be possible:

Press 1 button when you go to bed that turns off all lights in the basement and on the first floor, arms the security system, alerts you if the garage door is not closed (and closes it automatically if desired), makes sure the outside lights are on, turns off the TVs.
When the doorbell button is pressed, do 1 or more of the following:
mute the whole-house audio system
play a doorbell sound through some or all of the music system speakers
call your cell phone and let you see and talk to the visitor
flash lights
display the front door camera on a TV
turn off the central vac
ring all phones and allow you to talk to the visitor from any phone
Mute the whole-house audio system when the phone rings.
Automatically turn on lights when you enter a room.
Know when you are not home, turn on outside lights when it gets dark, if you are still gone when it gets dark then turn on and off inside lights in order to give your house a lived-in look, varying the times that this occurs randomly from day to day.
Use a mobile device (smartphone or tablet) to monitor and control devices from anywhere in the home, or anywhere in the world.
Use the same handheld remote you use for all your a/v equipment to also control lights, ceiling fans, door locks and so on.
When the smoke alarm goes off, turn off the HVAC system and turn on lights in the house.
Give your cleaning service a unique security code that only works during certain times of day and days of the week. This code can also be logged so you know when the cleaning service arrived and left.
Display your CD or movie collection on any TV for easy music or movie selection from any room.
One of the coolest aspects of home automation is when things happen with no user input. For example:

Outside lights turn on and off for day and night lighting needs. (OK, this one really isn’t too special, but read on…)
Shades move up and down based on the season and time of day to help heat and cool the house, and for privacy.
Lights and shades work together to give the house a lived-in look when you are not home.
Security warnings are texted to you if the garage door is open too long after a certain time of day, or if your kids don’t disarm the security system by a certain time to indicate they are home from school.
Geofencing is used to activate various scenes based on your location.
The TV in the kitchen turns on to NBC every weekday at 7am.
Your favorite Pandora channel starts playing when you get home from work.

Internet and WiFi

The home network has become the backbone for everything we do. Our phones, tablets, computers, TVs, media streaming devices, printers, home automation systems and security systems all rely on a fast and reliable network. Whether your device connects with a wire or wirelessly, it just needs to work.

Here at CAT we understand networking and will make sure that your network infrastructure is fast, reliable and able to support your needs today, and into the future.

Wired and/or wireless networks
Cable modem or DSL or dial-up
Share your Internet connection
between all PC’s
Put your printer on the network so it can be shared without requiring a PC to be on
Video conference with family and friends anywhere in the world
View cameras in and around the home from anywhere
Monitor and control your home from anywhere

Lighting Control

In today’s homes, with multiple forms of accent lighting throughout the home, a lighting control system is often overlooked. Homeowners either aren’t aware that such a system is available, or don’t realize the benefits of having one. Our goal is to change this.

Conventional lighting control requires one switch or dimmer per set of lights. This can lead to a large number of switches on a wall, and also makes it difficult to set each set of lights to the desired brightness for various occasions.

A lighting control system uses a keypad with multiple engraved buttons that only takes the space of one light switch. The “wall clutter” is gone, and the engraved buttons make operation simple, even for guests. A single button press brings a single light, or group of lights, to the desired brightness settings. Since different amounts of light are required depending on the time of day, there could be an EVENING button and a DAY button that operate the same group of lights, but to different brightness settings. Or, the system could do this automatically because it knows the time of day.

Lighting keypad buttons can also be programmed to operate other devices, such as a fireplace, motorized window treatments, or an audio system, further reducing the wall clutter.

Not only does a lighting control system add beauty and convenience, but it can also provide energy savings and security. Incandescent bulb life is extended by ramping lights to a 90 to 95% brightness, rather than turning on to 100% instantly.

The system is also capable of controlling lights in multiple rooms, or even the entire house, with one button. It then becomes very easy to press a button at the top of the basement stairs to turn off all lights in the basement. Or, when the security is armed to away mode, all lights in the house can automatically be turned off (maybe leaving some on if it is after sunset).

For security, a single button next to the bed can flood the outside of the house with light. Another button could be used to light the inside of house. Lights, either inside or outside the house, can be made to flash in order to draw attention during an emergency. If a smoke alarm goes off, the system can turn on lights to help visibility in smoke-filled rooms. While away, various lights can be turned on and off, giving the house a lived-in look.

Lighting control systems can be installed in both new construction and existing homes. Several lighting systems are specifically designed for the retrofit market and require no wiring – simply replace existing light switches with new smart switches.

The possibilities are endless. Since each system is designed and programmed based on the homeowner’s needs and lifestyle, you are sure to get a system that is perfect for you.

Assistive Technology

We use our knowledge of home automation technology and adaptive equipment to design and implement robust and cost-effective solutions that allow people with disabilities to be more independent.

Call us to schedule a free in-home consultation.

Things that can be controlled:

  • Lights
  • Fans
  • Shades
  • Door openers
  • Door locks
  • Garage doors
  • Security systems
  • Cameras
  • TV / cable box / satellite box / dvd player / Apple TV / Roku / Amazon Fire TV
  • Phone / Intercom

Control methods:

  • Voice (Echo, Google Home, Siri)
  • Computer (mouse, trackball, head mouse)
  • Apple or Android tablet
  • Apple or Android phone
  • Jellybean switches
  • Sip and puff switch
  • Almost any other adaptive device