Boys’ toys add safety and en­ergy sav­ing to top homes

The Jet­sons’ fu­tur­is­tic utopia has ar­rived early but to­day’s gad­gets aren’t all about fri­vol­ity. There’s a se­ri­ous side to the sys­tems. Sharon Dale re­ports

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

HI-TECH homes are heaven for couch pota­toes and those who love “boys toys” but re­mote con­trols and other gad­gets can also im­prove en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and se­cu­rity.

This se­ri­ous side to smart home tech­nol­ogy, com­bined with the time-sav­ing as­pects and fun, has sent sales rock­et­ing. It is now a must-have in top end new prop­er­ties and de­vel­op­ers are in­creas­ingly of­fer­ing it as an added ex­tra for mid-mar­ket buy­ers.

Most pop­u­lar are wire­less sound sys­tems and home cine­mas, though re­mote con­trol light­ing and cur­tains, plus cli­mate con­trol and CCTV you can ac­cess with your phone, wher­ever you are, aren’t far be­hind. Also on of­fer is turn­ing on the bath re­motely and ad­just­ing the tem­per­a­ture of your fridge us­ing your iPad. App-con­trolled cof­fee ma­chines are also on the cards.

Si­mon Mathieson of Leeds­based Fi­nite So­lu­tions, which spe­cialises in smart home au­to­ma­tion, gives some tips on how to go hi-tech and re­veals some of the lat­est in­no­va­tions: Get con­nected The most im­por­tant ad­vance in home tech­nol­ogy is the use of home net­works. WiFi and hard wired in­ter­net to ev­ery room is the back­bone to any smart home sys­tem and a high band­width cable in­fra­struc­ture is es­sen­tial to al­low shared ser­vices from room to room. It also pro­vides fu­ture proof­ing for new tech­nolo­gies and with fi­bre op­tic there isn’t any con­ceiv­able en­ter­tain­ment or au­to­matic sig­nal that can­not be trans­mit­ted through­out the house. A se­cure data net­work also al­lows re­mote ser­vic­ing by your in­staller which is far quicker and more con­ve­nient. Com­plex sys­tems can re­quire ex­ten­sive wiring so its worth think­ing about, and per­haps con­sult­ing with an ex­pert, be­fore you start any prop­erty ren­o­va­tion works or buy­ing new equip­ment. Save money Gad­gets can save you a lot of money. Full house, con­trolled light­ing sys­tems, such as Lutron, use 30 per cent less elec­tric­ity than con­ven­tional on and off switches. A sim­ple in­stal­la­tion that shuts down house light­ing at the point you set the alarm to leave or go to bed saves a lot of wasted en­ergy. A sim­ple “all AV off” switch can shut down all en­ter­tain­ment sys­tems at once if you are away from home and can be pro­grammed to re­boot shortly be­fore you re­turn. A switch from Halo­gen to LED light­ing can also save pounds. LEDs use seven times less other bulbs. Choos­ing an in­staller If you are go­ing to spend a con­sid­er­able amount of money on tech­nol­ogy in your home then it’s worth re­search­ing your in­staller. An elec­tri­cian may claim to do the job at a knock down price but the role is now more akin to an in­te­rior de­signer of tech­nol­ogy and they should be able to do the fol­low­ing: De­sign and doc­u­ment the wiring struc­ture; fu­ture proof your tech­nol­ogy to al­low up­grades; be in­volved with prior home build or ren­o­va­tions to plan your tech­nol­ogy needs from the draw­ing board; of­fer a com­pre­hen­sive guar­an­tee and back up ser­vice to re­pair any­thing that might go wrong

HAR­BOUR­ING AM­BI­TION: This char­ac­ter­ful, three-bed­room prop­erty has a top floor ter­race with mag­nif­i­cent views of the coast. It has a new heat­ing sys­tem and wood burn­ing stoves. It is in the Old Town part of Scar­bor­ough, which is be­com­ing a mag­net for cre­ative types as well as tourists.

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