The Affordable Smart Home Series: Lighting Control

Truth or myth: the process of making your home into a Smart Home has to be expensive.

Of course, it can be expensive. We’ve all seen the pictures and videos of the multi-million pound homes in London. But like anything, there are many affordable options out there if you know where to look, and hire the right company to set it up. Over the next couple of weeks, Cerebrum Systems will show you a few affordable ways to make your home more efficient, much smarter, and make you feel a bit like Captain Kirk on the Enterprise.

Climate change is a hot topic for everyone, with good reason. Everyone is finding ways to cut down on their own emissions without compromising on their lifestyle, but often it seems impossible.

But what if I told you there was a way to help cut your energy usage in your home, or your office, and not compromise on amenities to which you have become accustomed?

Often, when ‘Lutron’ is mentioned, people see high-end, super-high-tech, (and super-expensive). However, like most companies, they have an affordable option which is not quite as well known because it isn’t quite as flashy and doesn’t look as good on social media.

It’s functional, though. And that’s the most important part.

By automating the main living areas of the house, you can slowly start integrating smart living into your home. The important rooms to automate are kitchen, living room, and master bedroom. You can set a certain brightness for working at a computer, for entertaining friends, for watching your favourite films.

And now for the eco-friendly side. With a standard on-off switch, you have the choice of 100% or 0% brightness. However, with the dimmers you have all the choice. Keep your lighting at 90% instead of 100% and visually you won’t notice a difference, but your energy savings will.

Cerebrum Systems offers an installation and programming service for Lutron products. If you would like more information, call 01473 599 089.


Quay Street wins an award

We are delighted to announce that one of our projects on Quay Street has won an award for craftsmanship from RIBA, including an honourable mention for Cerebrum Systems at the awards ceremony. This project consists of a Control4 system, controlling the heating, lighting, security door entry, audio and visual around the property.

We’ll be continuing to help deliver excellent, liveable homes. Here’s to many more awards for our projects!



Cerebrum Systems recommends: RA2 Select

Cerebrum Systems recommends the RA2 Select.

With the RA2 Select, you can enjoy personalised smart lighting and shade control for any home and any budget. Added convenience. More comfort. Enhanced peace of mind. Staying in control of your home, even when you're not there.

Personalisation
Add personalised scenes to control multiple lights and shades together at the touch of a button. Create a “movie” scene that dims lights and lowers shades as the movie begins. Or create a “goodnight” scene that turns off all your lights and closes shades before you drift off to sleep.

Scheduling
Schedule lights and shades to adjust automatically at set times of day. Turn on your porch light at sunset and turn it off at sunrise. Turn lights on to a soft level and slightly raise shades every morning as you head into the kitchen for coffee.

Geofencing
The geofencing feature controls lights based on your location. Maybe you always leave the entryway lights on as you head out the door in the morning? Geofencing will turn them off for you once you’re out the door. It can also turn lights on for you when you come home.

Look like you’re home, even when you’re not.
The Smart Away feature randomly turns lights on and off during the evening when you’re not home. You can manually trigger this feature in the app at your convenience or automatically trigger it if geofencing is turned on. You can also trigger Smart Away using the Nest Home/Away Assist feature.

Control from anywhere
Control lights, shades and temperature in the comfort of your home or from anywhere in the world – the office, the airport, the beach – so lights aren’t left on or shades aren’t left open when you’re away.

For more information on the RA2 Select and how it can suit your lifestyle, call Cerebrum Systems on 01473 599 089.

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The Affordable Smart Home Series: Your Network

Truth or myth: the process of making your home into a Smart Home has to be expensive.

Of course, it can be expensive. We’ve all seen the pictures and videos of the multi-million pound homes in London. But like anything, there are many affordable options out there if you know where to look, and hire the right company to set it up. Over the next couple of weeks, Cerebrum Systems will show you a few affordable ways to make your home more efficient, much smarter, and make you feel a bit like Captain Kirk on the Enterprise.

We’ve all been there. You’re watching an amazing film on Netflix. Annie Wilkes is pulling into the driveway and Paul is still dragging his way across the kitchen floor. You’re on the edge of your seat, watching through your fingers as he finally manages to get to his wheelchair. And...the film stops to buffer.

Infuriating. But thankfully, an easy fix.

The first thing to consider is your network. As you have probably noticed, every household is now a multi-device household. Laptops, phones, smart TVs, Alexa, Kindle, gaming systems...they all take up bandwidth. Everyone streaming Netflix, Now TV, and Amazon Prime takes up bandwidth. And nothing is worse than that little circle going round...and round…and round…

Many people try to fix this by buying a network extender. This seems like a quick, easy fix. You buy it yourself, you plug it in yourself, and enjoy the benefits of a seamless, buffer-less network!!

This may work in a home with very few WiFi devices, but any modern family has a lot of WiFi devices. Put simply, an extender has to communicate two ways in taking the router signal, and expelling the router signal. This effectively halves the signal that can be used by your device. A download speed of 20mbps when you’re sat next to your router drops to 10mbps when sat next to the extender. That’s a big increase in that dreaded little circle! To make things worse, if the extender is not placed close enough to the router, then it can drop the signal.

A Wireless Access Point, though slightly more expensive than a Range Extender, does what it says on the tin. Larger family homes with many devices benefit by connecting to it as a hotspot. It works with the router to create a seamless wireless network, minimising drop outs and loss of performance.

At Cerebrum Systems, we can improve your network quickly, easily and (most importantly) keeping it affordable. Call 01473 599 089 to talk to someone about your network issues and how we can help you avoid the dreaded buffer.


New Lutron Blinds for the Office

New Lutron shades for the office (and a very rainy day outside)!

Sivoia QS Triathlon is fashionable, flexible and affordable. This battery-powered motorised system offers easy maintenance and is perfect for retrofit applications. The shades are controlled at the touch of a button.

The Sivoia QS Triathlon shades are available as a standalone solution or can be integrated into a Lutron lighting control system.

For more information about how Lutron systems can benefit your lifestyle, give Cerebrum Systems a call on 01473 599 089.


Congratulations to our competition winner!

Andrew King at King’s Coffee House in Ipswich - highly recommend the brownies!

Andrew King at King’s Coffee House in Ipswich - highly recommend the brownies!

Congratulations to Andrew King who won a SONOS One after guessing that our Technical Director would finish the marathon in 5 hours and 2 minutes, only 29 seconds off his finishing time of 5 hours, 2 minutes, and 29 seconds!

Don’t forget that you can still donate to the fundraising page to support the families of those suffering from Dementia here - https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=KieronEales&pageUrl=1

To find out more about SONOS products and how they can enhance your AV experience, give us a call on 01473 599 089.


New Project at Westminster

Cerebrum Systems was in Westminster yesterday having a look around one of our latest projects. This multidwelling will have RAKO lighting and Q-Acoustic speakers throughout.

The apartments are coming together wonderfully, and as you can see there are great views over Westminster.

The show apartment will be opened shortly and we are looking forward to seeing the finished product!

Post-marathon relief!

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As you know, our Technical Director Kieron ran the London Marathon yesterday, and completed in a fantastic 5 hours, 2 minutes, and 29 seconds (only three hours behind the fastest time this year…).

The money raised will help families of those suffering from dementia, by funding specialist nurses and caretakers. Although the Marathon is finally over--and Kieron is feeling very relieved about that--you can still donate to his fundraising page here - https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=KieronEales&pageUrl=1

Congratulations Kieron!


Lutron - a fixture since the 1950s

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When thinking about lighting control, the name at the front of most peoples’ minds would be Lutron.

This is understandable; having been set up after a simple yet ingenious idea made dimmers a fixture in many households, the company has only increased in momentum and products since the 1950s.

Precise control of lighting can result in increased productivity, saving energy, and improving safety and security. Lutron can manipulate lights and blinds when you are away to give the impression that someone is home to deter burglars. Light brightness can be optimised for everything from cooking and reading, to doing paperwork and watching TV, and set up with ‘scenes’. Even the biggest technophobe will be pleasantly surprised by the ease; press a button and the lights and blinds will change.

As well as being a useful invention, the name ‘Lutron’ is a good, established and trustworthy name to improve your prospects when selling a property, making it a good investment for the future.

To learn more about Lutron systems and how they can benefit your property and your lifestyle, call Cerebrum Systems on 01473 599 089.

Artcoustic Speakers: Create Your Sound Space

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At the ISE show in Amsterdam, Cerebrum Systems Ltd met up with Artcoustic.

Artcoustic has made a name for itself by its unwavering attention to detail and true passion for sound at the best it can possibly be heard.

To create these exceptional speakers perfect components, great workmanship, and intricate attention to detail is essential. Artcoustic uses only the highest quality components put together by hand--no robots in this line! Only the highest quality leaves the factory, deserving of the Artcoustic name. The result is a range of speakers that stand with the greats.

The vast, adaptable range allows for the right technician to create a perfect sound for any space, whether a small room to listen to music, or a state of the art cinema, or a commercial set-up. Amazingly, all this can be done with no loss in sound quality (with the right, experienced technician!).

Artcoustic’s innovative designs also means that your meticulously planned and masterfully crafted interiors aren’t blighted by unattractive speakers. Either you can make a statement by printing artwork on the speaker, make use of the Danish-inspired design, or blend it seamlessly by matching the colour of the wall.

Artcoustic takes care of the quality performance, Cerebrum Systems takes care of the masterful placement for optimal sound, and you take care of the design, making it personal to you.

To create your sound space and experience sound as it was meant to be experienced, give Cerebrum Systems a call on 01473 599 089.


Ring doorbell could help your small business save money and time

Question for sole traders and small business owners: How much have missed deliveries cost your business in the past couple of years?

According to IMRG, the collective cost of missed deliveries is £1.6bn a year (IMRG UK Consumer Home Delivery Review, 2016).

The cost is not just tied into the price of the item and the carriage cost. How often have you missed a delivery which was essential to a job you had planned for the next day? Or more annoying, how often have couriers have insisted that something was delivered and you had no way to prove that no delivery was attempted?

The impact of missed deliveries is not only constrained to your own business, however. Research suggests that there is also an environmental impact, due to the simple fact that the item has to be returned to a warehouse, redelivered (and possibly missed again), and finally picked up by the consumer themselves, using more petrol, and more of your own precious time! (Edwards et al, 2009)

With a Ring doorbell, you can watch over your home or workplace in 1080HD video, and with the 2-way talk let couriers know where they can leave a package, whether with a neighbour or in a safe place. You are instantly alerted when there is movement within the camera’s range.

For hassle-free, quick installation of Ring, get in touch with Cerebrum Systems Ltd on 01473 599 089.

References

Edwards, J., Mckinnon, A., Cherrett, T., McLeod, F., Song, L., (2009) The Impact of Failed Home Deliveries on Carbon Emissions: Are Collection / Delivery Points Environmentally-Friendly Alternatives?

IMRG UK Consumer Home Delivery Review, (2016) [Last Accessed 17/04/2019]


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Technical Director to run London Marathon in support of Dementia UK


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Our Technical Director, Kieron, is running the London marathon in support of a wonderful cause; Dementia UK.

850,000 people have dementia in the UK, and these numbers are predicted to rise to more than 1 million by 2025. A staggering 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia.

Dementia UK supports those affected by dementia by helping to fund specialist dementia nurses to support the families, giving much needed one-to-one guidance.

Please consider pledging the cost of a cup of coffee (or more if you are able!) and give families the support they need during one of the most difficult times.

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=KieronEales&pageUrl=1

The New Zennio Z35

Zennio have brought out a new Keypad to their ever growing range of Keypads, the Zennio Flat Z35.

This product is very stylist & elegant & would look great in any home. It is totally customisable with up to 7 pages, which will be able to control you lighting (Scene Setting), Heating, Cooling, Blinds & even your Audio.

Z35 measures the ambient luminosity level so that it can adjust its brightness accordingly. When you walk up to the keypad, it will illuminate with the Zennio presence detector built into the keypad.

  • Two independent thermostats

  • Built-in temperature sensor

  • Luminosity sensor

  • Proximity sensor

The Z35 has a 3.5” screen & with this keypad being part of the Zennio Flat design, it is only 10mm Deep, 86mm Wide & high.

The Zennio Z35 keypad comes in Anthracite, White, White Gloss & Silver finishes.