Wi-Fi everywhere!

Comment

Wi-Fi everywhere!

There’s nothing more frustrating than needing to reply to an urgent email or message when you don’t have access to wi-fi or no 4G signal on your phone.  As a working parent juggling the school holidays, this has become a bigger frustration than normal. The next feature in my series of summer holiday tech helpers is the understated outdoor wi-fi access point.

We’ve made sure we have good wi-fi coverage at home and in the garden, so we can enjoy the garden whilst still being contactable by clients.  But I never realised the extent of the coverage from the outdoor access point in our garden til I took our son to the park. Luckily for us, it’s just behind our house and our wifi extends halfway across this extensive grassy patch!  So whilst our son was enjoying the slide, I was able to reply to an urgent email.

But outdoor wi-fi is fun as well as useful.  The excellent summer weather we have been enjoying of late has meant regular family barbeques and paddling pool fun.  With outdoor wi-fi we can take the party outside, with our favourite playlist streamed by Sonos and app or voice controllable outdoor lighting setting the scene as dusk falls.  How would outdoor wi-fi benefit you and your family?

Comment

Always in the office, even when at the beach!

Comment

Always in the office, even when at the beach!

The next weapon in my armoury for tackling the working parent vs holiday battle is one of our favourites here at Customised.  I don’t need to wait in the office all day for a courier delivering a parcel this summer.  With the Ring video doorbell, I am always in the office, even when at the beach or hunting the GoGoHares in Norwich with our son!  I can speak directly to the courier and ask him to leave our parcel in a safe place or with a neighbour.  No more missed deliveries!  

On those rare occasions we are away from home, whether for a short break, a day out or even in the office, I can still keep an eye at home with a Ring video doorbell and Floodlight Cam.  With notifications direct to my phone when someone rings the bell or motion is sensed, I can answer the bell or check that its just the neighbours cat in the drive, not someone untoward.  It gives us great peace of mind and gives me the freedom to enjoy some of the summer holidays too!

Comment

School’s out for Summer!

Comment

School’s out for Summer!

Schools have broken up; the children cheer, the working parents inwardly groan!  Whilst we look forward to family fun on the beach, trips to museums and holidays, as a working parent, the next 6 weeks are a more complex juggling act than you’ll see when the circus comes to town.  So how do we manage the work/life balance over the summer holidays?

Technology is a major player in giving us the time and freedom to enjoy the summer with our children.  I am writing this sat in my living room, whilst our son does a jigsaw and we listen to a summer playlist from Spotify on Sonos.  I should be in the office, but with no childcare today and it being the first day of the holidays, I couldn’t bare to drag him to the office.  I want to enjoy the summer with him, but don't have the luxury of 6 weeks holiday.

The solution?  Awesome home wi-fi!  It allows me to log into our cloud based systems without setting foot in the office.  I can check and reply to emails, order materials, upload this blog to our website and share it to our social media channels!  It’s not a glamorous gadget, but a strong, secure and reliable home wi-fi is the one essential item in my summer holiday survival kit!

I’ll be featuring a few more essential home tech features that make my summer as a working parent that bit easier over the next few weeks.  Let me know what’s in your survival kit!

Comment

Smart Home with Ease

Comment

Smart Home with Ease

Treating home pain points with tech is the mission we have set ourselves at Customised. Our daily installations and consultations have returned amazing insights into the common pain points that homeowners are frequently suffering from. From these experiences and feedback we developed services to provide the treatment needed.

The most common gripe that people have in their home is internet speed and wifi coverage. Many are unaware of faster broadband speeds available from alternative telephone or cable providers or that 4G wireless internet is often the fastest service available in your area. Many homes are now getting improved internet speeds but aren’t getting those great speeds throughout the home and outdoor spaces. A mesh wifi system is the cure in this case. Customised have a rapidly deployed WiFi service and this tech treatment will relieve the pain of poor wifi coverage in your home.

Household bills are a well known discussion point in all households. Reducing the household outgoings is a target for many homeowners. A usual culprit for wasting money in the home is your heating controls. Even now we encounter homes without a thermostat. The addition of a thermostat prevents unnecessary overheating of the home and prevent the home from getting too cold. When you make that thermostat smart and intelligent it learns your routines, temperature preferences and gives you heating control from anywhere in the world. Your thermostat controls 60% of your energy bill. So shouldn’t it help you save energy? Customised offer an express installation service of smart thermostats to make your home heating smarter and more efficient.

Online shopping is the easiest way to buy the things you need. Click or swipe to buy is a beautiful experience. To top off the experience the item may arrive at your home the very next day. However, not many things frustrate people more than missing a delivery. We’ve all suffered from it. Missed it by minutes, didn’t hear the knock on the door or had to go to the delivery centre miles away with the slip to get your item. Imagine never missing another delivery, imagine always being home. A smart doorbell is the eyes and ears for your front door. You can receive person, motion and sound alerts and your doorbell can even recognise friends and family and send comforting updates that they are at your home straight to your phone. A smart doorbell installation is another speedy service that the Customised Tech Team can provide.

Three common pain points felt in homes up and down the country, quickly treated with tech to relieve the frustration. Share with us your common woes and we’ll see if they could be treated swiftly with a tech prescription.

Comment

We are 7!

Comment

We are 7!

Happy birthday to us!

Seven years ago, in the Highlands of Scotland, we embarked on our Customised journey.  It has seen us travel across the UK, to China and the USA.  We have created smart homes across the UK, from family homes in the country, to custom build private homes, city basement bachelor pads and island holiday homes.

In this seven years, smart home technology has changed dramatically.  Whilst the wired 'traditional' automation systems will still have a place for those new builds and major renovations, when Alexa moved into our homes in November 2014, there was an explosion of Internet of Things smart home devices.  These devices are accessible, affordable and with a professional installation, easy to use.

That's why Customised are pioneering Smart Home with Ease.  We are making smart home available for those who just want their home to be a bit smarter, more fun and to save energy.  With Smart Home with Ease, there is no re-wiring your home or redecoration required.  We can make your home smarter in one day.

Here's to the next seven years of Customised!

Comment

Take control of your home wi-fi #gadgetoftheweek

Comment

Take control of your home wi-fi #gadgetoftheweek

Amplifi HD WiFi Router

Boost your home wifi and always know who is using your network with the Amplifi HD WiFi Router and app.  Set up a secure guest network without sharing your password.  Assign quiet time to limit internet access at bedtime!   

Contact us to book you FREE home wi-fi survey and find out how you can take back control of your router.

Customised are your Norfolk based CEDIA Smart Home experts. 

Comment

Gadget of the Week 16/03/18

Comment

Gadget of the Week 16/03/18

Sonos PLAY:5

If you love music the Sonos PLAY:5 is for you. The PLAY:5 is the largest and best sounding Sonos speaker, filling the biggest room with divine sound.  Stream your favourite tunes, internet radio, podcasts and audiobooks, control the volume or play music in different rooms, all via the Sonos app.

Available from sonos.com, £499

Customised are your Norfolk based CEDIA Smart Home experts.

Comment

Gadget of the Week 09/03/18

Comment

Gadget of the Week 09/03/18

Nest Cam IQ indoor

This indoor security camera knows a person from a thing.  Nest Cam IQ will alert you when someone is in your home, then zoom in to see who’s there, in crystal-clear video.  Have a conversation with whoever is at home with HD Talk.  Add continuous recording with Nest Aware.

Available from nest.com, £299

Customised are your Norfolk based CEDIA Smart Home experts.

Comment

Keep warm while the #beastfromtheeast rages!

Comment

Keep warm while the #beastfromtheeast rages!

Our latest Gadget of the Week, the Netatmo Smart Thermostat, will keep your home toasty warm in this cold weather!

Use 37% less energy to heat your home (www.netatmo.com) with the Netatmo Smart Thermostat. Netatmo replaces your existing thermostat, adding the convenience of app and voice control. Set schedules based on your habits, tell it when you are coming home from holiday, or turn the heating up before getting out of bed on a chilly morning! Works with Apple HomeKit.

Available from www.netatmo.com, £149

Customised are your Norfolk based CEDIA Smart Home experts.

Comment

Self Building with Home Technology - #SelfBuild #SmartHome

Comment

Self Building with Home Technology - #SelfBuild #SmartHome

In a new series of blogs from Customised, we are spending time with self builders to learn more about their experiences with home technology and where it may figure in their incredible projects. First up is Chris Vick and his oak framed new build in Surrey with high eco credentials.

Kris Gamble (KG) - Can you tell us what type of build you are undertaking? I’ve enjoyed following the progress on Instagram.

Chris Vick (CV) - a near passive, SIP's and oak framed selfbuild and I definitely mean “self” build, it’ll be ninety percent built by me and my wife. The project is also being filmed by Channel 4 "Building the Dream" and we are documenting the build on Instagram @chrisvick01.

KG - What were the main reasons for your decision to install cabling in the home to distribute and control home technology services?

CV - Having worked in IT for thirty years, I have always been interested in technology. My previous house renovation in 2002 was flood wired with Cat5e and Coaxial cabling for light, sound and video so it was always going to follow in a similar direction on this build. However, the amount of foil backed insulation in today's homes and especially a passive house means we are creating a equivalent of a huge faraday cage which does not help for wireless signal transmission. We have therefore flood wired the house with over 7km of Cat6 for control of all main, activity and mood lighting, heating, blinds, video, audio, CCTV, environmental systems and even the baths and showers can be activated with voice control. This approach not only covers us for today but also for connected home solutions as we moved forward. Did you know that you can even get a baby's mobile that keeps them entertained above their cot with movement, light and a camera all powered by just a single Cat6 cable?!

 

KG - Which systems are you installing for services such as lighting and heating, home security and internet distribution?

CV - Lights, blinds, audio and irrigation uses a control and automation system called Legrand Vantage. The CCTV and access control uses Hikvision products. Our multi-Room audio speakers are Monitor Audio throughout. Crosswater controls are being used for all connected showers and baths. Voice control using Alexa and Siri plus the addition of the Apple Home app will give easy management of Philips Hue coloured lights. Our internet, wi-fi and network switches are from Ubiquiti. One unique technology feature are the Smart mirrors which are my own design utilising the adaptable Raspberry Pi.

KG - You have a VERY hands on approach with your self build, which resources have you found useful in researching and choosing the right home technology for your home?

CV - After using X10 in my previous home I have always been looking at what is next. Lots of research is crucial and by that I mean research other people using it and the professionals installing it, not the manufacturers of it. All manufacturers say their products are amazing but it’s the ease of integration and the outcome they provide that will define the experience you have. Social media can play a big part in your research as people are honest when something is great and especially honest when it is bad. I would consult with home technology companies who are willing to pass on advice or demonstrate home solutions for you that they have already successfully integrated in a home already.

KG - What would be one Self Build Home Tech Tip for anyone about to begin a new build project?

CV - Start thinking early about how you will consume technology not just the components that create it. You don't need a TV in every room. Create a space in the home for wellbeing, where you get lots of natural light. Think about the type of lighting you want not just the number of downlights. Choose LED bulbs which have good dimming performance. Cable, cable, cable if you can as it will make your home much more flexible to changes in technology. Then finally sit back and enjoy it all with some nice music, warm glow lighting, a book and a nice glass of something....

You can follow the progress of Chris’s self build at instagram.com/chrisvick01 and look out for the project on TV show Building the Dream.

IMG_7137.PNG

Smart Home Wiring

FullSizeRender.jpg

Hikvision CCTV cameras for Home Security. 

Comment