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Downtown Vancouver Penthouse Control4 Home Automation System

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Our starting point for this beautiful, modern and spacious private Penthouse in Downtown Vancouver was to design a robust network as the basis for a reliable private home automation system. A Control4 Home Automation system is seamlessly integrated with all the lighting, music, video, motorized shades, climate control and security, enabling control through a single intuitive interface. Access is provided through a combination of iPads, iPhones and Control4 wireless hand remote controls.
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Control4 Automated Modern Contemporary Home in Vancouver with a beautiful glass ceiling wine room

Control4 Automated Modern Contemporary Home in Vancouver with a beautiful glass ceiling wine room from Digital Smart Homes on Vimeo.


Fully Automated Control4 home in Vancovuer. Clean, Modern, Contemporary design. Centralized light switches with only the most strategically located Keypads and Touch screen on the wall keeps this home looking clutter free and user friendly. With so many homes being designed with open spaces, walls become more valuable for hanging art pieces - not banks of light switches. Audio, Video, Network and Control systems are all located in an enclosed horizontal rack cabinet by Salamander Design. Security, Doors, Garage, Gate, Music Zones, TV Zones, Water Fountain, Heat Lamps, Nest Thermostats, CCTV, Intercom, lighting and more are all controlled from an intuitive Control4 interface on the clients iPhone, iPads, MAC's and built in Touch screen.

Five things you need to know before you invest in home automation.

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Control4 offers the ultimate in home automation—and so much more—by making the products and systems you already have and use everyday, work together. Learn how home automation can benefit your life in ways you never imagined possible. Below are five things you need to know before you invest in home automation.

1. Do you have the right home for automation?
2. Determine what you want to automate
3. You’ll need the help of a professional—and that’s a good thing
4. Evaluate your home network
5. Expect the Unexpected

Download the Advanced Guide which investigates the 5 points in more detail.

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Not every home on the block is a Smart Home... Yet!

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A survey done by the ERA Real Estate (ERARE) and HGTV is revealing the phenomenal potential of smart home technology--especially in terms of resale value.

Real estate has and will likely always be one of the best investment options for anyone that want to protect their wealth. With that in mind, the values of the properties themselves don’t grow without the proper add-ons as time passes by, and the recent survey done by ERARE and HGTV is proving just that.

Among some of the answers homeowners as well as potential buyers got from the surveys were:

  • What are new the new generations of home buyers looking for?
  • What type of additions and new technology should a property possess to make it more appealing to home buyers?
  • How has the Internet of Things changed people’s perspective on property management?
As the report shows, buyers are looking to purchase homes with smart technology pre-installed. This can only mean one thing: Sellers must meet the demand. The technology doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Rather, buyers are looking for some of the practical necessities that will help drive efficiency and comfort. Things such as automated climate control, energy management and remote monitoring should all be on the top of every homeowner’s priority list if they’re looking to put their homes on the market.

According to the survey, 7 in 10 millennials want homes that are equipped with technologies that will allow them to use their smartphones to remotely control various functions and features within the home.

Well, one would think that it’s only common sense to cater to millennials if they’re the ones that are in the market to buy homes, but the reality is everyone has a bit of techno-geek in them. Baby boomers, for instance, are looking to beef up their levels of security, which means sellers must add some sort of smart security system to the homes to make them appealing.

Smart home technology may have been considered just a trend in the past, but now--more so than ever--the trend has evolved into a demand that makes it a necessity for anyone who is buying or selling a home.

Control4 - The Ultimate Home Automation Hub

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For a lot of homeowners, the next big home improvement project to tackle is home automation, but the process can be extremely daunting if they don’t even know where to begin. Like every thought process, a smart home project requires a core, or a hub, that is versatile enough to maintain and integrate new smart home features as they pop up. Control4 does just that, and more.

Whether you’re trying to implement a state of the art home entertainment or add smart integrated lighting, the Control4 hub offers the flexibility required integrate any current and future smart home products. While your smartphone is technically a capable hub, it was not designed specifically to handle home automation.

Technically speaking, you can use your smartphone to control just about any smart home functionality. However, a major drawback to this idea is that each functionality requires its own app, which often leads to confusion and a smartphone bloated with apps. Control4 solves this by letting homeowners connect all their functionalities to a single hub that lets you use your smartphone to control all features from a single user interface.

You may argue that there will be a single smartphone app that can control all smart home functions without a hub. However, the flaw in this perspective is that it doesn’t take into consideration that the mobile operating system (OS) is extremely fragmented. Essentially, what this means is that hardware vendors don’t want to put in the time and effort to optimize and update their software once it’s off the shelf. This in turn causes mayhem for developers who want to create apps that provide seamless user experiences across all platforms. Moreover, every smart home product makers have their own set of guidelines on how an app interacts with the product. If you put two and two together, you’ll see that using a smartphone as a hub becomes an un-navigable web for developers and homeowners alike.

So wouldn’t it just be easier for there to be a versatile hub that uses your smartphone as an extension to control your smarthome functionalities? The Control4 team dedicate themselves to constantly improving and tweaking their hub to meet the demands of their customers. Don’t pull out your hair over something as simple as a hub, because Control4 has developed an affordable, reliable, secure industry-leading core for all your home automation needs.

Control4 West Vancouver - Home Automation

Control4 West Vancouver - Home Automation by Digital Smart Homes from Digital Smart Homes on Vimeo.


Complete Home Control, Control4 Home Automation system by Digital Smart Homes in West Vancouver.

This completely renovated home was originally built in 1973. It has transformed beautifully into a modern contemporary home. All the technology (including Amplifiers, Cable Boxes, Controllers and more) are completely hidden away from site and placed into centrally located media rack. Lighting, Media, Audio, Video, Security, HVAC and more are intuitively controlled by keypads and 3 built in touch screens throughout the house. The home owners iPad and iPhones also allow for complete control over the entire home and provides for remote access from anywhere in the world. All this keeps the walls clutter free and gives the home a very clean and user friendly feel.

Interior Designers and Home Builders Increasingly Rely on Technology Integrators

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The world of interior design and home building have entered an entirely new phase last year and will continue in 2014 and beyond. Not too long ago, it used to be that technology integrators would seek out partnerships with interior designers and builders to drum up additional business.

This trend has seen a massive shift, as home automation has become a necessity for most families (of most socioeconomic levels) rather than an overly expensive luxury. According to Yahoo! Finance, homeowners increasingly understand that home automation can add 10 percent and more to their property values, while being quite cost-effective.

Rather than coming with a price tag of $75,000 to $100,000+ (the common cost of home automation systems in the recent past), it is possible to spend a fraction of that amount for a full-blown solution that can link together everything from home security, environment/temperature control, home entertainment, and lighting to a Control4 system

Because of the demand, we are continually approached by interior designers and builders to install and program cutting-edge systems sure to make homeowners thrilled.
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7 Reasons Why Home Automation is Made FOR the Technically Challenged

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As home automation specialists working to educate the public on the benefits of new technologies, we are often told, “I am too technically challenged to use a home automation system.” To be honest, we love to reveal why this statement is one of the biggest myths of the 21st century.
The truth is that home automation systems have the power to simplify everything within your home and life. For example, homeowners often struggle with technologies that don’t work together. They hate the numerous remote controls cluttering coffee tables, and the wires tangled throughout rooms, but they don't know they have any other options. Today’s home automation technologies eliminate the confusion. Completely.

In fact, home automation is made especially for the technologically frustrated. Here are a handful of reasons why:

1. Home automation systems, such as Control4, give homeowners the power to fuse together their entertainment, lighting, temperature control, and security into a single console. One way to manage everything, not lots of ways to manage lots of things.

2. A home automation system can be controlled via a remote and/or with home computers, iPads, iPhones, and smart phones. It can’t get any easier.

3. Picture this. The kids are playing their PS3 in the theater room and Mom and Dad want to start family movie night. Without changing sources or input cables, and with just one remote control, the room can be primed for movie watching by a simple press of a button. The lighting dims, the shades close, and the TV powers on via Control4.

4. Perhaps Mom and Dad are listening to their favorite Jazz station on Rhapsody in the kitchen as they cook. The children are in their respective rooms listening to their own choices of music. Mom presses the “DINNER” button on the Control4 keypad next to the stove and it automatically shuts off the music in their rooms and announces dinner time.

5. The technically challenged can even be at ease while on the road. Let’s assume you take a trip to Paris and leave your home in the care of a house sitter. You don’t have to fret about unlocked doors, the garage door being left open, lights being left on, and more. All you need is your iPad to see which doors are locked or unlocked, which lights need to be turned off or on, and whether or not you need to shut the garage door. You have the power to control them all via a touch screen.

6. Another convenience that home automation provides is the ability to remotely access and adjust your temperature settings. Most people don’t use the programming options on their thermostats, whether because it takes too long or their heating and cooling habits are inconsistent. Home automation provides you the ability to log in from your mobile device or PC and change the temperature to your desired setting. This is especially important while on vacation. Setting your home temperature back to a comfortable setting right from the airport allows you to come home to a comfortable, warm house.

7. One of the biggest concerns for the technically challenged is system setup and maintenance. This makes our team smile for a couple of reasons. Because each household has its own unique needs, we help to customize individualized solutions to meet those needs, and we ensure that all technologies are installed and working properly. If for any reason there is a problem, we are a phone call away and can fix most issues remotely.

In short, home automation systems are a complete relief for the technologically challenged. We dare you to visit a showroom for a demo and see for yourself!

Modern, Contemporary Control4 Smart Home with Lutron RadioRa2

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This is one of my favourite homes and most of all, one of my favourite clients that Digital Smart Homes has had the pleasure to work with. This modern contemporary Vancouver home features a Control4 Home Control and Automation system that is integrated with Lutron's RadioRa2 smart lighting system. All equipment, including all Video sources, Wirepath CCTV, Media and more are all located together into two racks freeing up space at all the TV locations so that only a flat screen is visible and no other electronics. Control4 allows for easy access to any video source, audio device from anywhere in the home from an iPad, touch screens, keypads, computers, and smart phones.

Visit our Vancouver showroom to learn and experience what Control4 and Home Automation and Control can do for you. Contact Us

Control4 and Savant: A Simple Home Automation System Comparison

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THIS IS MY OPINION ONLY - Harry Saini

In your effort to create a comfortable and secure home, it is essential to find the ideal home automation solution to meet your unique needs. Two of the most popular and robust systems are Control4 and Savant. Without a doubt, both systems offer a plethora of options for revolutionizing your home – yet there are inherent differences between them that we will attempt to outline.

Beginning with Savant, the system has the ability to intelligently light your home, deck out your media room, improve your audio set up, and seamlessly control climate. The system is run by a dedicated Mac server that connects the various appliances within the home for ease of use and offers lightning-fast processes.

On the other hand, Control4 is a powerful system that is intelligently priced with value as a focus vs. high-end luxury pricing with Savant. Control4 allows for you to control everything from lighting, to your home theatre and audio, to home climate.

Plus, the technology interfaces nicely with security and keyless door entry systems. When all is taken into consideration, the home automation industry at large considers Control4 the best value for a home automation system on the market, while Savant is luxurious first choice for Apple fanatics.

The following is a breakdown of the main differences between the two systems:

  • Control4 is considerably more cost-effective than Savant.

  • Savant is Mac-based and Apple reliant, while Control4 builds their product independently and is compatible with iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, and Computers supporting Adobe Air (both Apple and Microsoft).

  • Control4 offers a wide variety of native interfaces from standard remotes, keypads, and in-wall touch panels. Savant works with a handheld remote and/or iPad touch screen.

  • Savant supports iTunes. Control4 supports iTunes as well and can also pulls media via a robust database service to play MP3s, Apple audio and miscellaneous digital formats.

  • Savant offers completely customizable graphics and requires a custom program for almost every installation. Control4 has developed a simplified user interface which assists in saving on programming time.

  • Control4 is extremely easy to program and offers direct integration with several vendors in the AV/Security/Automation industry.

  • Savant offers lighting solutions through Light Touch, a company they purchased while Control4 has consistently developed their own lighting and many more products to fill the majority of your integration needs.

While both Savant and Control4 offer virtually an unlimited number of options, we at Digital Smart Homes are of the opinion that Control4 offers the perfect blend of cost-effectiveness, intuitive controls, speed and versatility. Plus, rather than relying on a Mac-only platform, it is possible to utilize the system on a number of devices. Of course, if you are an Apple enthusiast seeking a posh solution to your home automation needs, Savant may do the trick.

When considering the purchase of either a Control4 or Savant system, the secret to your success is outlining your exact needs and making a functionality wish list. It is then possible to select the solution that transforms your home into a more secure and functional environment.


Lutron RadioRa2 Remote System Access

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Now you can have the added convenience of controlling your RadioRA 2 system from anywhere internet access is available. Set up is easy and you don't need a VPN. Simply download the Lutron Home Control+ app, available on the App Store and in the Android Market, to get started.

Control4 and Sony Introduce New ES Receivers with Control4 Automation Built-In

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Together Control4 and Sony launch the world’s first AV receivers with built-in home automation.
Indianapolis, IN – CEDIA Expo Booth 4949 – September 5, 2012 at 5:00PM ET – Control4, a leading innovator in residential and light commercial automation systems, announced that Sony has integrated Control4® automation technology into its new ES receivers (introduced at CEDIA Expo) – delivering best-in-class AV performance and home automation within one easy-to-install and easy-to-use product. The ES receivers with Control4 automation are available for order now through authorized Control4 and Sony ES dealers.

This is a powerful partnership redefining the AVR category by delivering an unprecedented integrated AV and automation experience in a single device. Consumers will enjoy top AVR performance, unmatched 4K content and a stunning selection of streaming media services, plus the added lifestyle benefits of personalized automation that can transform a house into a smart home. With companies like Sony embracing and marketing the benefits of home automation, the custom installation industry benefits as a whole. Together, Sony and Control4 have created an exciting new avenue to drive consumer awareness for the category.
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We Don’t Just Sell Products, We Provide a Lifestyle

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At Digital Smart Homes, we are committed to discovering revolutionary products that have the power to transform your home and improve the quality of your daily life. Not only are we committed, we actually love what we do!

Who wouldn’t be excited to let the cat out of the bag when a new gizmo comes to market that allows a homeowner to close his/her garage door while vacationing in Paris or instantaneously unlock a door to let the cat sitter in when away on a business trip? Or better yet, have the means to monitor all home appliances from their iPad and discover exactly how to dramatically cut down the electricity bill.

Not only do we sell groundbreaking products, we truly provide a lifestyle for the bold and courageous. Such a lifestyle is simplified in nature, yet amazingly thrilling!

Where simplicity is concerned, we work to reveal how the latest technologies can help you cut down on energy costs, maximize appliance functionality and effectiveness, eliminate unneeded remote controls, and empower you when you are on the road.

Thrill comes into the picture when you start considering how digital products can create the perfect home theater environment or that wireless music can magnificently pump crystal clear sound through hidden speakers. Additionally, it’s safe to say that it is thrilling to have the power to pull out your iPhone (no matter where you are on the planet) and push a couple buttons to turn your air conditioning on or off, activate the front porch lights, or cut the power on a computer that needs a break.

This lifestyle we sell is truly seamless and makes perfect sense in today’s ultra-hectic world. Plus, it looks amazing! Who couldn’t use a little wire de-cluttering and electronics hiding, while revolutionizing the home? Our customers often grin when their friends and family stand with their mouths open the moment they realize they are standing in a Digital Smart Home.

You don’t have to be an “early adopter” to understand the value of digitizing your home environment. While some of our clients definitely fall into that category, the majority are simply seeking a way to simplify their lives, secure those they love most, and cut down on energy usage (well…and then there are some who always dreamt of living like the Jetson’s…that’s ok too!).If you are currently considering “Digital Smart Homing” your living environment, you are in for a thrilling ride. Dare to dream big and you are sure to find a creative solution that will fit our lifestyle!

What is Home Automation or a Smart Home?

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In today’s ultra-complicated and fast-paced world, home automation and smart home technologies were developed to simplify life! Thanks to revolutionary devices, you can now link and control all of the electronics and systems in your home from a single digital interface.

Digital Smart Homes links together onto one operating platform the following technologies and more:
  • Home theatre systems
  • Multi-room music & video
  • Smart lighting & shades
  • Advanced temperature control
  • Safety and security devices
With a system such as Control4, your life will be forever changed and simplified as you hide away multiple remotes and take advantage of an easy-to-use interface that can be accessed via a single remote, your computer, iPad, iPhone, or other Smartphones.

Transforming your living environment into a “smart home” not only makes life more manageable, it makes it more secure. For instance, let’s say that you head out of town for a weekend trip and you realize a few hours out of town that you forgot to arm the security system and program the porch lights to illuminate at dusk. All you have to do is pull out your iPhone, bring up the Control4 interface, and push a few buttons to secure your alarm & program your lights.

Is Home Automation Scalable? As you revolutionize and grow your home technologies, you may be wondering if home automation is scalable. This is actually the beauty of a system like Control4. You can begin with one or two technologies and then scale out to meet additional needs. For example, if you have an amazing home theatre setup and a security system, you can begin there and then add to your setup as time progresses.

What’s in a Smart Home Console?
This is where the fun begins! Just to give you an idea, here are some of the things that Control4 can accomplish:

  • Control your home theatre
  • Dim the lights as the opening credits roll
  • Turn off all your TVs when your kids should be studying
  • Alert you when the garage door is open…and then close it
  • Manage your lights, window coverings, and thermostats
  • Monitor your locks, lighting, and security cameras
  • Allow you to play music in any room of the house
The sky is the limit! Your home can now be easily managed, and finally you don’t have to constantly provide lengthy instructions on how all of your devices work!

Visit our fully featured hi-tech showroom in Vancouver at 1385 West 6th Avenue.

Control4 Announces New Addition: MyHome App for Android

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Unveiled at CEDIA EXPO 2011, the new app provides whole home control from today’s popular Android devices.
Indianapolis, IN – CEDIA Expo 2011 – September 8, 2011, 8:00 AM ET – Booth #2302 – Control4, a leader in affordable IP-based home control systems, announces their new Control4® MyHome - Android™ app for Android-enabled mobile devices. Developed by Clever Controls for Control4® systems, the app is currently in beta testing with select Control4 dealers and release is currently slated for Q4.

The Control4® MyHome family of software apps allows homeowners to access and control lighting, temperature, security, music, movies, and so much more from a wide range of devices in a Control4 enabled home. The new MyHome - Android app is a robust solution that will allow homeowners to access, manage and control their Control4 system from their Android-based devices built on Android OS 1.6 or higher.

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Cool Motion Sensor Ideas for Control4

Check out this CardAccess video for some cool motion sensor ideas to go from centralized control to true home automation.

What is Smart Home Control? Control4 Automation Systems Explained

What is home control and why the buzz?

Home control is pretty simple. It's taking the technology that already exists in the home and making it work simply and easily for the people who have to live with that technology, which is you the homeowner. Let's face it life has become complex. We bring this electronic gadgetry into our homes with the hope of enhancing our lifestyle and what it leads to is frustration. You're sitting there with the goal of watching a movie, you've got 5 remotes now sitting in front of you and now you have to figure out which sequence of events you need to do in order to just watch a simple movie.
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Control4 Home Automation System Demo of Smart Home Technology



Join us on a tour of a Control4 home automation system in McKinney, Texas. Control4 dealer Byron Baird of Diem Digital Interiors & homeowner Jeff Layn provide a home automation demo of Jeff's townhouse located on a golf resort called Craig Ranch.

Jeff's smart home technology controls multiple zones of audio, multiple televisions with DVRs for every family member, fireplaces, ceiling fans, thermostats, & IP cameras. He started small and has been adding on to the system over time.

What's great about this Dallas palace are the endless custom touches. When Jeff arrives home and opens the garage door, his home control system turns on the lights & the television turns on to his favourite channel (ESPN).

Jeff also has a personalized microchip key chain that has his personal settings programmed into it. He waves it over the 'wand' behind the door which then brings up his personal settings of how he wants to live his life when he comes in the house.

Want this for your home? Contact us for a personalized quote.

Lutron: Dominating Eco-Lighting Control



According to Lutron, lighting can account for up to 20 percent of a household’s yearly electricity usage, and up to 40 percent a year commercially.

Its a fact that all dimmers save energy and that’s just the beginning of “green” lighting design. Lutron has also developed an extensive collection of eco-friendly light controls, systems and window solutions for any project, big or small. We guarantee at least a 15% cost savings in the first year! Read More...