What Is Control4 Smart Home?
You can have a smart home, or with a system like Control4, you can have an “intelligent” home. A Control4 system has more capability than your typical smart home systems such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home.
Control4 can convert many of your standard devices into smart devices. With these benefits and capabilities come some drawbacks. We’ll take a look at the smart home system you may not have heard about.
A Smarter Home
A smart home is a useful and convenient thing. It’s great to be able to tell Alexa to turn on a smart light bulb or start your favorite show on your Fire TV. But if you want your Alexa or Nest or Google Home system to power on your ceiling fan while you’re reclining on the couch, it may not be so easy to find a ceiling fan that is compatible.
You could invest in a smart ceiling fan that ties into a standard smart home system and go through the hassle of setting it up and installing it, including such details as ground wires and drywall anchors. If you get that fan to work, you could move onto the task of finding power window shades that will tie into your Wi-Fi network, install them, and set up their options, too.
Instead of spending the time, money, and energy to set up each device in your smart home, you could look into investing in Control4. Control4 can tie many devices that don’t use Wi-FI into its smart home control system.
Control4 is compatible with over 35,000 devices. But the convenience and capability of Control4 comes with a price. It’s a higher-end system than standard smart home systems. Whether it makes sense for you depends on your budget and your smart home goals.
How Does Control4 Work?
Like a standard smart home system, Control4 includes various interfaces, including a Control4 smartphone app for iOS or Android, a Control4 touch screen that can go in a wall or sit on a table, and various other devices such as your smart TV. Control4 also includes Alexa compatibility for voice control.
The system is centralized in a Control4 hub or controller, which ties into your network. There are different Control4 controllers with varying capabilities and price, depending on your needs. If this all sounds somewhat complicated, that’s because it is. That’s one reason why you will need to work with a local Control4 dealer.
Once you purchase your Control4 system from a dealer, you will need to schedule an appointment for their technician to visit your house, install your system, and customize it based on your preferences.
Obviously, for those who enjoy the setup and customization of a smart home, Control4 may not be the best system. Many tasks that would be straightforward with a standard smart home system, such as setting up routines and naming the different devices among your smart home network, may require the assistance of your Control4 dealer.
How Much Does Control4 Cost?
To get started with a basic Control4 system is not cheap. At minimum, you’ll have to pay for the controller, remote control, and the time for the technician to visit your home. You may find it difficult to get started on a Control4 system for less than $1,000. And you’ll pay even more depending on additional options such as a Control4 touch screen.
Control4 also requires a subscription to use most of the features, including remote access. Control4 subscriptions can be more than $100 per year depending on your system and options.
Many users may bristle at the thought of paying to use features they could use for free with alternative smart home systems. However, considering the convenience and capability of Control4, the subscription price may not be outrageous.
What Specifically Can Control4 Control?
Some common devices that Control4 can manage include:
- Security Systems—Depending on the type of security system you own, Control4 can help you manage it. This could include arming and disarming it, checking its status remotely, and more. With Control4, you may be able to integrate more security systems that might be compatible with standard, less expensive smart home systems such as those provided by Google, Amazon, or Apple.
- Ceiling Fans—As previously mentioned, Control4 can integrate many hard-wired devices into your smart home system, such as the standard ceiling fan you already have installed.
- Door Locks—Control4 can lock and unlock your doors at the press of an app button or through a voice command. You can also integrate your door locks into routines. For example, you could ensure that all your exterior doors automatically lock at a certain time each night, in case you forget to lock them yourself.
- Window Shades—Try controlling your power window shades with an ordinary smart home system. It’s possible if they’re specifically designed as smart blinds. But if not, Control4 can handle them. Like with other devices integrated into Cotnrol4, opening or closing them can easily be done with a voice command, through your smartphone app, or with a Control4 interface.
- Climate Control—Control4 can turn your ordinary thermostat into a smart thermostat. You can tell Control4 to adjust your HVAC system to heat or cool your home. The Control4 remote access capability might be especially handy in this case, for example, if you are out of town, and you realize you forgot to turn off the air conditioner.
- Lighting—Any light in your house with a wall switch can integrate with a Control4 system. No longer would you need to invest in dozens or more smart bulbs to provide smart access throughout your home. And no longer will you need to worry about the management headaches that might come with setting up and controlling that many light bulbs individually or even as part of a smart home scene.
- Audio and Video—Control4 can integrate seamlessly into your home entertainment center, helping you stream high-quality audio and video in various rooms.
How Do I Get Started?
The best way to look into Control4, including pricing and availability, is to visit the company’s site. There, you will find information about the system and a project planner which helps you determine if Control4 is right for you.
Control4 recommends checking with a few different dealers before hiring one. Their website also includes a dealer locator to help you locate and contact a local dealer.
Control4 for High-End Control of Your Smart Home
With its capability, power, ease of use, and ability to control many of your home’s devices, Control4 is an excellent upper-end smart home option.
For the do-it-yourself crowd and for those who don’t have a large budget devoted to their smart home, Control4 may not be the best option. But if you’re willing to spend the money, and if you would prefer to have a professional setup up your system for you, you will likely love Control4.
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January 25, 2023 at 10:35AM