What do you find people are generally asking for you to install?

Up until two or three years ago true smart home living was definitely for the preserve of the wealthy. Home automation systems carried large price tags. Thankfully those barriers are being removed by greater consumer awareness and household brandnames entering the market. Nearly all of our customers now ask for energy saving technology. With 60% of our household energy bills being accounted for by heating it seems obvious to start there. Smarter heating control from devices like the Nest Learning Thermostat, priced at £179, will start to reduce those bills. Heating your home shouldn’t be guesswork. The Nest Learning Thermostat gives you precise control of the temperature, creates a personalised schedule for your home and eliminates the need for a programmer. It gives you the tools you need to save energy. Simply.

What would you advise people to install when retrofitting?

We don’t always have the luxury of installing cables, those conditions are best suited to new build or major renovation projects. However, it would be advisable to speak with a professional installer to find out if home automation wiring is possible. A hard-wired cabled system brings superior performance over a wire free variant. If you can’t run the cables then it is advisable to work on making your wireless performance as strong and secure as possible. Your wireless router is a prime candidate for an upgrade. Your router is the hub of your network, don’t expect the freebie router from your service provider to be fit for duty. 

Common retrofit options are made in heating and lighting control with Nest and Phillips Hue, curtain and blind automation by Lutron or Somfy and multi-room audio. Sonos has made the concept of your music in every room a possibility in any home, new or old. Heos by Denon has recently appeared as a realistic alternative to Sonos so have a listen to both before making your decision.

Are there any common errors people make when it comes to home automation?

Make the decision to have home automation in your project early, leave it too late and it may not be possible or be more expensive to install. Home automation wiring should be installed at 1st fix stage along with your electrical wiring and plumbing. Once the plasterboard is on the walls it is generally too late. Discuss it with your architect during the design phase. If the architect is not familiar with home technology seek out your local home technology installers or electrical contractors. For help finding your local home technology professional tweet @LiveInstall with your location.