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Articles in Category: Smart Home Automation

Architectural Considerations for Fully Integrated, Smart Home Residential Projects

Architectural Considerations for Fully Integrated, Smart Home Residential Projects

The thoughtful application of technology has dramatically simplified our lives in countless ways. Whether it is using your Bluetooth while driving, listening to your wireless headphones on a jog, or monitoring your baby from another room, technology has continually increased the functionality and enjoyment of our lives. Smart homes are the next frontier. What used to be considered futuristic, or something from the Jetsons, is now actively available to homeowners, and if properly implemented, smart home technology has the potential to simplify life, allowing you to enjoy what matters most.

Architects are specially trained in the science or art of building design and planning. Traditionally this has meant that they take the inspiration of a homebuilder and develop concepts and plans for building a home. In reality, their role is far more extensive and includes being an advisor to the homeowner and builder throughout the building process. An architect should be your brain trust when it comes to design and your advocate when it comes to implementing the specifics of a project. Increasingly, architects are considering the realities of home technology and integration, or smart home technologies, from the outset of their projects. If you are an architect or are working with an architect on your next residential build, this guide is for you. Keep reading to learn more about the essential considerations and opportunities that are available to architects when it comes to a fully integrated and automated residential project.

How to Design and Plan for a Fully Integrated Residential Project

Taking on a new residential or home build is an exciting opportunity to start fresh and think differently. What will this new residential property look like in five or ten years? How can you add value to the home in the planning stages? One of the best decisions you can make when working with your architect and designer is to plan for your technology needs from the very start. Very often homeowners find themselves in the situation where they are forced to make awkward or aesthetically disjointed decisions to allow for technology integration in existing homes.

At Insight Automation International we are experienced and committed to working with architects, designers, and builders to ensure technology integration and smart home technologies are taken into consideration from the outset of the project. Smart home technology is a broad term applied to the incorporation of computer technology, control systems, image and video displays, light designs, security systems, and network requirements. In order to integrate this technology and optimize the smart home experience, architects, designers, and homebuilders are required to ensure the appropriate wiring and network solutions are considered in the initial planning stages of a build.

When planning your next residential project, homebuilders, architects, and designers, should all be considering the impact of the build on the lighting, motorized window treatments, audio capabilities, video capabilities, security functionality, HVAC controls, and networks. To learn more about how Insight Automation International can support your next residential build and planning process, contact us today.

Light Design and Architecture - What to Consider?

Lighting design is our passion at Insight AI. We love to set the mood, emulate natural lighting, and provide functional solutions through lighting. We partner with some of the best in the business at Lutron and Control4 to create innovative and creative solutions for your lighting design. More than just designing lighting, we are also committed to ensuring that your lighting is easily controlled and user friendly. By integrating home automation technology into your light design, changing the mood, or creating a false occupancy, (or ‘moccupancy’), is as easy as the click of a button! To learn more about how we can support your next residential light design project, Lutron and contact us today.

If you are working with an architect, designer, or homebuilder on your new residential project, keep reading to learn more about 10 things we recommend you ensure are being considered regarding light design:

  • Light brightness and distribution: Ensuring that the lighting in your new residential property is evenly distributed is essential. We all love natural lighting but understanding how your internal lighting will be impacted by cloudy days and bright summer evenings is important. Not only will these considerations impact the brightness in your home, but they will also have an impact on the temperature and consistency throughout the home.
  • Energy efficiency: older bulbs are extremely inefficient and often give off 90% of their energy in the form of heat. New technologies such as LED light bulbs will help to ensure your lighting is as energy efficient as possible. LED technology will last longer, can be used on a dimmer, and run cooler.
  • Appearance of the Luminaires: Luminaires are the variety of light fixtures in your home. These luminaries can offer incredible style to a room and are an essential element of interior design. While they can act as design elements they should also be considered for functionality and spacing. Luminaires include direct and indirect fixtures, potential under-cabinet lighting, wall wash lights, and task lighting.
  • Screen Glare: Whether you are building a home with a world-class audio-visual system or just hanging a TV on the wall, you need to ensure that your lighting will not impact your viewing experience. Impacting more than just TVs, home office screens, and even mirrors should be considered when planning your residential light design.
  • Light v. Colours: Did you know that there are varying colours emitted from different light bulbs? You may have heard of soft lighting, yellow lighting, white lights, black lights etc? Residential properties must consider the colour of lighting in contrast to the interior design of the home. Additionally different lighting colours will have varying impacts on the occupants of the home.
  • Faces: Directional lighting and the light fixtures that allow you to alter that directional capability are what impacts the faces of the light. When you change the direction of lighting you create effects, shadows, focus, and direct the eye to specific things. Light faces and directional lighting are an essential consideration for residential design.
  • Controls: Lighting controls can be as simple or complex as you like. With fully integrated home automation solutions such as Control4, a homeowner can control the lighting of their home from across the planet, with just the click of a button. The reality is that lighting is about more than just the flip of a switch. Lighting can set the mood, protect your family, and assist you in accomplishing tasks. The ability to control your lighting is less of a luxury and more of a necessity.
  • Cost: When you are working with an architect, designer, or homebuilder to select your lighting designs and equipment you should be sure to include the following elements in your budget; long-term energy use, design costs, maintenance costs, installation costs, and equipment.
  • Installation: Lighting installation might be something that any certified electrician can achieve. But if you are serious about ensuring your home has thoughtful and impactful lighting design, you will need to work with a home automation professional.
  • Ongoing Maintenance: When designing your next residential project, take into consideration the realities of ongoing maintenance and the costs associated with that. Some maintenance is as easy as changing a bulb, while some fully integrated smart home solutions will require ongoing technical support.

How to Design an Architectural Project for Technology Integration  

Insight Automation International works with builders, interior designers, architects, and other trades to ensure that every aspect of your smart home automation project is smooth, efficient, on time, and in line with your goals. If you are planning or designing a new residential build, we encourage you to speak with a member of our experienced team to learn more about how you can support your project. The best way to ensure that a smart home is reliable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing is to put careful thought and consideration into the system design and engineering right from the very beginning, especially for new construction. Here are 5 things to consider when you begin to design your new residential property:

  • The best locations for hardware 
  • The wiring infrastructure placement and requirements
  • Power management
  • Architectural integration
  • Aesthetics

Once you have considered all of these elements, they should be shared with all relevant contractors, builders, and architects in order to avoid costly mistakes that require rework.

What is System Documentation?

System documentation is an essential element of the planning and long-term maintenance of your smart home. By having accurate and detailed system documentation, homeowners can be confident that their smart home and technology integration is documented and that they can reference those documents at any time throughout the build or any future renovations. System documentations are useful not only before and during construction, but also for ongoing maintenance and reference once the system is complete. The system documentations that Insight Automation International completes are provided to builders, architects, interior designers, and contractors, giving them a clear idea of the exact locations and specifications of all of the technology within the building. Everything from schematics to rack elevation to locations of lighting fixtures and motorized window treatments can be included in one master plan for consistent use and planning by all parties involved in the project. With clear system documentation, you can avoid confusion and streamline processes throughout the entire project.

What Architects and Designers Should know When Wiring Your Residential Build

It goes without saying, the wiring of your new residential property is an absolutely essential component of any smart system, and it's important that the right wires go to just the right places so that your dedicated home theater, media room, entryways, kitchens, and even bathrooms are all set up for success. By ensuring the effective planning and installation of your residential wiring you will provide for high-end performance of AV equipment, networking, home security systems, and more.

In an effort to keep homebuilders, designers, and architects on the same page throughout the planning and building stage, Insight AI offers our clients a project management service. Insight Automation International has proven experience managing residential projects from beginning to end, handling the planning, organization, resource allocation, timelines, communication, and more. By establishing clear procedures for each aspect of the project and responding promptly to any hitches in progress, our dedicated project managers ensure that each project is completed on time and within budget, as promised.

Insight Automation International is eager to support your next home automation project. We have offices in Calgary (Alberta), Parksville (British Columbia), Phoenix (Arizona), and Kelowna (British Columbia), and we offer services across North Ameri If you are working with a designer, architect, or homebuilder on a new residential project we encourage you to call us for a consultation before you break ground. We want to help you make your next project a truly integrated design.

Building a Smart Home that Ensures You Feel Safe

Building a Smart Home that Ensures You Feel Safe

We understand that some people might believe home automation or smart home technology to be an unnecessary luxury. Our response to that would be that not only are limiting and controlling your energy and power use, but home automation has the ability to dramatically increase the safety of your home for the people you love and the possessions you value. To learn more about the home automation technologies that we at Insight AI incorporate to keep your home safe, keep reading.

Home security prevents an incident before it occurs

The goal of smart home automated security is to prevent an incident before it occurs. This means using smart cameras as a first line of defence against unwanted intrusions. By using smart cameras with the capability to capture multiple angles and locations, homeowners have the ability to make informed decisions about their own safety. When smart cameras are combined with automated lighting and burglar alarm systems, an individual’s home can prevent intrusions and also contact authorities without requiring any action by a homeowner.

What is included in a Home Automation Security System

We at Insight AI use safety systems that are combined with easy-to-use interfaces that are accessible through mobile devices, tablets, and laptops. This kind of control and monitoring allows homeowners the ability to keep their home safe from anywhere in the world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A comprehensive home automation security system can include the following:

  • Burglar alarm and intrusion systems
  • Life safety systems
  • Smart cameras
  • Keyless entry
  • Gate intercoms
  • Video doorbells
  • Smart home integration options
  • 24/7 professional monitoring service to provide premium discounts for homeowner insurance.

While there are countless home security options out there, at Insight AI we believe the only way to truly protect your home is to implement an integrated and connected home security solution. If you are designing your new home or residential build, we would be pleased to work with your team to ensure that your new build has a custom security solution in place to keep you and your loved ones safe and secure. Contact a member of our experienced team to learn more today.

How You Can Build a Connected Smart Home to Simplify Life

How You Can Build a Connected Smart Home to Simplify Life

Life comes with enough challenges-operating your home audio, lighting, or security system shouldn’t be one of them. At Insight Automation International (Insight AI), we are committed to making your life easier. By optimizing and integrating the technology in your home, not only will you experience the convenience of a smart home, but you will sleep soundly knowing your home and family are safe. Our approach to home automation is centered on the needs of the homeowner and we will do whatever it takes to address those needs and solve your home automation problems. If you are building a new custom home, we want to support your smart home and technology automation needs. Keep reading to learn more about how we can support your new build home automation design and implementation.

Home Automation Consultation

If you are in the initial stages of your new residential or commercial build, at Insight AI, we can help you begin the process with home automation in mind. Our network of dealers across North America offers extensive experience and knowledge of the newest and most impactful home automation technologies. Our experience with smart home automation systems and commercial technology enables us to bring a unique perspective and helpful guidance to discussions about the best solutions possible for your home or business. If you are interested in consulting one of our smart home experts, contact us today!

Smart Home Design and Engineering

If you are kicking off a new residential or commercial build, now is the time to consider system designs and engineering for your home automation and technology. By beginning your building process with the system designs and engineering considered, you will be in a position to properly install a system that encompasses the best locations for hardware, the wiring infrastructure placement and requirements, power management, architectural integration for aesthetics, and more. These designs are shared with all relevant contractors, builders, and architects in order to avoid costly mistakes that require rework. If you are in the design or engineering phase of your new build, reach out to our experienced team at Insight Automation International to ensure your new smart home is being designed in the most optimal way possible.

Lighting Design and Automation

Did you know that there are different types of lighting in your home and commercial spaces? At Insight AI we offer lighting design that considers task lighting, aspect lighting, and general lighting. By considering each of these specific lighting approaches, we at Insight AI can ensure that your new build has the best lighting possible for everything from doing a crossword before bed to setting the mood for a party. Our lighting experts at Insight Automation International collaborate directly with architects, homeowners, interior designers, and other general contractors to map out the best lighting design for the space. Everything from electrical plans to fixture specifications is outlined in detail, and after installation, our lighting experts will optimize the fixtures' aim and brightness to best highlight artwork, sculptures, architectural elements, and other objects. If you are completing a new residential property or commercial space, Insight AI can help you ensure your lighting is thoughtful and impactful. Contact a member of our team to learn more today.

To learn more about the numerous other services that Insight Automation International offers, including system documentation, project management, construction administration, wire installation, and programming, contact us today.

The Builders Guide to a Fully Integrated Smart Home

The Builders Guide to a Fully Integrated Smart Home
Insight Automation International (Insight AI) is a technology company creating custom electronic automation and control systems that simplify life at home. Our mission is to create intuitive, user-friendly systems, that allow our clients to enjoy life without the frustrations and complications of endless wires and electronic confusion. As a home builder or contractor, you know that creating a home is as much about the natural and designed lighting, sound and acoustics, and a sense of comfort and safety, as it is about the structural elements of the building. The experienced and friendly team at Insight AI will support you by ensuring your customers make the most out of their smart home automation investments, providing world-class lighting, audio, window treatments and security capabilities. We love supporting builders and contractors through the entire process from education, to problem-solving, and inspiration. To help support builders as they navigate the design process of their new smart home, we have created a 5-step design-build process:
  • Discovery Process: This step is all about understanding our client’s lifestyle and goals. Before we begin work on your smart home, we want to ensure we are providing you with the best available solution within the confines of your budget, style, and potential future needs.
  • System Design: We will create a project outline or design based on our discussion with you. The system design will include graphical designs that identify every location for hardware and pre-wire drops, the chosen hardware and parts for each room, and the labor that will be needed in order to achieve the desired end result.
  • Engineering: Once the client has signed off on the system design our experienced team at Insight Automation International will begin to engineer the project. Meticulous detail is put into these plans to ensure that the system is reliable, easy to use, and simple to maintain and upgrade over time.
  • Implementation Process: The initial phase will be installing the infrastructure, including low-voltage wiring and conduits. Insight AI will source all the necessary equipment and when complete we will update the engineering documents.
  • Service and Support: No matter which location you're in, we're ready to assist you with technical support or system upgrades. All manufacturer warranties and a 12-month workmanship warranty come with our automation solutions, ensuring your investment in smart technology is protected.
Keep reading to learn more about what is possible when you work with Insight Automation International to automate your space, creating a fully integrated smart home.

How You Can Build a Connected Smart Home to Simplify Life

Building a smart home is an opportunity to simplify life, to focus on what matters most to you, and to rest easy with peace of mind, knowing your family is safe. As a custom home builder or contractor your goal is always to create a space that provides your customer with comfort, security, convenience, and of course structural integrity. At Insight Automation International, we believe that building a space that meets these needs, must also include technology integration and smart home capabilities. Building a connected smart home that simplifies life for the homeowner means considering LED lighting design, light controls, networking capabilities, audio infrastructure and controls, smart security, and of course centralized distribution or controls. If you are kicking off your next residential build, make it a smart home! Insight AI has locations in California, Arizona, British Columbia, and Calgary, and we provide services across North America contact us today to learn more about how we can support your next smart home build.

Building a Home with Light Design in Mind

Building a residential property with light design in mind will ensure that your new space offers homeowners the ability to enhance their security, set a mood, and save energy. At Insight AI we work with Lutron and Control4 to ensure the lighting in your new smart home is integrated and simplified. Through the implementation of our smart home lighting technologies, homeowners will have the capability to operate every light in their home with the press of a single button. The ability to a set a mood throughout the entire home with one simple step or to control your lighting from across the world, our home lighting design solutions simplify life and provide homeowners with peace of mind. Lighting is often overlooked or thought of simply as electrical elements of a residential home build, but the reality is, that lighting design can take any space and make it more comfortable, functional, and secure. Insight Automation International is excited to offer our clients cutting edge Ketra lighting. This technology produces high-quality light that is perfectly calibrated, producing uniform colour, smooth beams and excellent colour rendering. With the use of Ketra lighting, builders can create a space that is personalized and comfortable. Ketra will even allow homeowners to experience natural lighting indoors, with the light shifting throughout the day, to mimic the sun. The team at Insight AI have decades of experience in implementing thoughtful and impactful lighting design, contact us today to learn more.

Media Rooms Built Like a Real Theater

Media rooms and home theaters allow homeowners to enjoy the traditional movie night experience in the comfort of their homes. Staying in with loved ones shouldn’t mean having to settle for lower quality audio visual, lighting, or acoustics. When it comes to building a media room or home theater, Insight AI knows how to ensure optimal comfort, a world-class viewing experience, and how to make managing your media room or theater technology functional. Creating a functional and world-class space requires much more than hanging a TV on the wall or buying a set of speakers. At Insight Automation International we take a holistic approach that includes lighting controls, motorized window treatments, acoustics, and high-performance audio. By considering each of these elements during the construction of your next residential build, you can be confident that homeowners will be able to enjoy a movie night in, for years to come.

Building a Smart Home that Ensures You to Feel Safe

Home security is an essential tool for creating a comfortable and safe residential property that provides homeowners peace of mind, knowing their loved ones and possessions are secure. Insight AI works with builders to install the latest and most sophisticated security technologies ensuring the safety of homeowners. Technologies such as remote arming, pan-tilt-zoom cameras, two-way door communications, and 24/7/365 camera insights, will allow homeowners to sleep sound wherever they are. Being a home builder is about creating a safe place to call home, give your homeowners peace of mind and comfort with integrated, state-of-art home security.

Custom Audio Systems Built for the Environment of Your Home

Whether you prefer to rock out to Nirvana or fall asleep to the soundtrack of ocean waves, Insight AI’s multi-room music solution will provide you with world-class sound and functionality. Building a residence that has the functionality of a room-to-room sound system means never having to settle for the poor sound quality of a portable speaker ever again. When moving from room to room, your sound will follow you. Or if the kids are hanging out in one room and you’re in another, you can both enjoy the music you love. The simplicity of being able to adjust the volume of the music, or change a song from anywhere in the home, with the push of a single button, will simplify a homeowner’s life. Not to mention, homeowners can set pre-programmed scenes such as "Goodnight," "Away," and "Entertain," and have all of their home's settings adjust at once, saving you time and effort.

Building a Home with Indoor-Outdoor Lighting at the Forefront

Builders and contractors spend endless resources creating spaces that ensure stunning views, sun exposure, and seamless indoor-outdoor experiences. The opportunities to elevate this experience through effective light design are infinite. Whether you are looking to set the mood outside around your hot tub, spa, or jacuzzi, or increasing security through motion detecting lights around your property, effective light design is essential. Light design is more than just lighting though, it can also include window treatments and motorized shades. Shades can help you control your heating and air while conserving resources; trap out hot or cold air; and even serve as a security feature by helping create the appearance that someone’s home. When you are building a new home, it is essential to consider how natural lighting and indoor light will integrate and to examine every opportunity to create energy efficiencies.

Start your Smart Home Today!

Get in touch with us to start a discussion about the possibilities for a custom-designed smart home automation system. We have an online questionnaire for you to fill out, and based on your answers to this questionnaire, we'll be able to build out an understanding of the scope and goals for your project, guiding us toward a more informed, consultative conversation with you about the specific details and possibilities for automation in your home.