Customised are heading to Lunch on the Green this week with our Tech Wall to provide expert advice on home automation and smart home technology to the visitors of this charity networking event. Lunch on the Green is Clapham & Collinge's annual summer networking event in conjunction with Bright Yellow Marketing and in support of Break Charity. With plenty of local businesses exhibiting across all sectors, many offering special deals and delights, this fabulous fundraising event is a great opportunity to network with the Norfolk business community, whilst supporting Break Charity.

The three most common questions we are likely to face are:

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; wired systems 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 wireless alternative. 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 lighting control with Crestron Pyng and HDL Wireless, curtain and blind automation using QMotion and multi-room audio with wireless music systems. Sonos has made the concept of accessing 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 choice.

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 installer or electrical contractor.

Customised are are your local CEDIA certified home technology professionals based in South Norfolk and provide consultation, design and installation of home automation systems.