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.


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.