Smart Home DIY: Should You Install Products Yourself?
Given the number of DIY products on the market, it may be tempting to handle a smart home project yourself, but hiring a home systems professional will ensure the best results.
Nest, Alexa, Ring. You’ve likely heard these names tossed around in casual conversations with friends and family. Maybe you’ve even bought one of these uber-popular devices for your own home. They are the current darlings of smart home technology, pledging improved household comfort and convenience. Do these gadgets deliver on their promises? Certainly. Are they easy to find and purchase? Absolutely. Positioned as technology for do-it-yourselfers, these and other products widely available at Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, and other retail establishments have inspired homeowners to explore the benefits of a smart home lifestyle, entirely on their own. It all sounds good on paper, and in some cases, it is. You buy a DIY device with a click of the mouse, have it delivered to your doorstep, and are up and running in less than an hour. But there are many caveats to this DIY plan.
Can Your Home’s Wi-Fi Network Support It?
Most DIY products are wireless, relying on your home’s existing Wi-Fi network to receive commands launched from control apps on your smartphones and tablets. There’s no new wiring to install to make Wi-Fi-enabled DIY products work, so installation is a breeze … until you start adding more devices. As the number of DIY devices in a home increases, the bandwidth to support communications via Wi-Fi decreases. Just as heavy traffic during rush-hour slows travel, too many devices communicating over the same Wi-Fi network impedes performance.
Signals take too long to reach their intended destinations and sometimes fail to get there at all. It’s a frustrating predicament common to DIY setups but easily avoided by hiring a professional to handle the installation of your gear. A pro is able to determine the bandwidth requirements of the smart devices you’d like to integrate into your home environment and recommend solutions to ensure that no matter how many components join the network, they’ll work flawlessly—without any bumps in the road. Designed to handle the communications traffic of multiple devices, a professionally installed, high-grade networking system provides a robust, reliable mode of transportation essential for any smart home project.
Do the Smart Home Devices Work Well Together?
Besides bogging down a bandwidth-strained network, DIY products typically don’t play well with others. They are designed to perform one task, supervised by their own singular control app. Each new DIY device brings with it another mobile app to load, launch, and navigate. At some point, managing multiple apps becomes, well, unmanageable. A home systems professional can consolidate each app under a central control system. Instead of using an app for everything, you use this one professionally configured app to control every smart product in your home. Even better, a pro can synchronize your smart home so that one button on that one app issues commands to multiple devices. Instead of instructing each device individually, you just tap the “Home” button, for example, and watch the lights, thermostat, and garage door respond. A home systems professional can create a variety of these “scenes” to suit your lifestyle.
Will the Smart Home Devices Clash with the Home Décor?
Smart home devices have come a long way in terms of their cosmetics. They’re smaller and sleeker than ever before to befit modern home designs. Nothing beats the look of a product thoughtfully installed by a home systems professional. A pro has the tools and skills to minimize the appearance of technologies you may not want to see. Whether flush-mounted to the wall or ceiling, concealed in a piece of furniture or integrated on a motorized lift to hide when not in use, smart home devices become a natural part of a home design rather than a visual intrusion. At the same time, a pro knows precisely where to locate devices to optimize their performance. That shelf in the den may seem like a great spot for an Alexa smart speaker. Still, a professional home systems installer can identify a better location where the device can hear your commands more clearly. By marrying form with function, a home systems professional delivers the ultimate smart home experience—reliable, convenient, and simple.
What Happens When There Are Problems?
Technology can be finicky. Problems can ensue. When you install products and systems yourself, you’re on the hook to diagnose and remedy the issue. You’re the one who will handle updates, modifications, and other post-installation necessities. It’s a big job; one most people don’t enjoy doing. When systems are professionally installed, tech support, service, and maintenance are included. A home systems professional provides all the necessary aftercare your home technology needs to perform optimally for years to come.
Professional Design and Installation-An Offer You Can’t Refuse
To DIY or not DIY? It’s a question faced by many homeowners and applies to any home improvement. Should you lay that tile or hire out the work? Should you install a new water heater or call in a pro? The same line of questioning happens when considering the addition of smart home technology. And just as a carpenter and plumber can eliminate the headaches and hassles of home improvement projects, so can a home systems professional with the design and installation of smart home products and systems.
Designed and installed by a home system pro, the technology in your home can deliver tangible benefits to your home and lifestyle. The technology is simple to use, functions flawlessly, and evokes a comfortable, hassle-free home environment. You get a robust network capable of handling it all, streamlined operation with fewer apps, elegant and refined look and feel, service long after installation. A home systems pro can get you there, for much less money than you might think.
To learn how Brilliant AV can help you with your smart home plans, contact our team of experts. From initial consultation and design to the final installation, we handle every step of the process.
Image courtesy of Ring and Control4.