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6 Benefits Motorized Blinds & Shades Give Your Home

November 23, 2017
Imagine opening or closing all the blinds and shades in your home with the touch of a button. Now stop imagining because this technology exists and is fast becoming the latest ‘must have’ in the world of luxury automated homes and super yachts. Motorized blinds and shades, just like lighting control systems, can be operated by wall keypads, touch panels, smartphones or handheld remotes. Besides being a convenient addition to your home in and of itself, when you add motorized blinds to a smart home control system, they bring a whole new dimension to your overall energy and home management. The 6 greatest benefits that motorized blinds and shades will bring your smart home:   > Reduce your reliance on artificial lighting Why rely on artificial lighting when you can use natural sunlight to brighten a space? Through the intelligence of a smart home system reading the light levels in a room, motorized shades can roll up when it’s sunny to supplement your home’s lighting or allow some lights to be kept off/at a lower intensity to save power. > Warm your space, naturally: Just as you can use the sunlight to brighten a space and reduce your reliance on artificial lighting, so too can you use the sunlight to warm parts of your house and reduce your reliance on the HVAC. Let the shades roll up to allow the sun to heat the room, then automatically roll down when the room starts to get too warm to kickstart the cooling process. > Protect your furniture and décor from harmful UV: Whilst the sun is great for lighting and warmth those same effects can be very damaging to upholstery, artwork and other decorative pieces. Allow your smart home system to keep one step ahead of the sun and automatically lower shades when UV levels are reached to protect your most prized possessions. > Eliminate glare, automatically: Always having to jump up to close the curtains after you turn on the TV? As part of a Movie or TV scene activated on your remote, smart phone or keypad your shades can automatically lower as the lights dim as the AV equipment revs up for the perfect TV experience. > The world’s most luxurious alarm clock: There is no more luxurious way to wake up then to the soft melody of your favourite song whilst your shades raise to reveal a beautiful sunny day. Fall in love with your mornings again. > Access privacy on demand: Have a nosy neighbour or street view into certain parts of your house? Sometimes at short notice, you need to ensure all the shades are closed in certain or all parts of the house. On a smartphone or keypad pushing one button can give you all the privacy that you need in an instant. Considering getting a quote? Here are some best practice guidelines from our in-house lighting and shading experts. When it comes to motors generally, you will have two options for blind and shade

What Makes a Real Home Theatre?

November 14, 2017
When is a Home Theatre not a real Home Theatre?   While a seemingly obvious question, If you are considering investing in a dedicated Home Theatre or Home Cinema room you should know the answer. But do you? If you are like 90% of our customers, then you probably only have half the answer. This unfortunate reality is largely due to the fact that every second HIFI & Audio specialist out there seems to have a different definition of what ‘makes up’ a Home Theatre in the first space. Is it the Hi-Fidelity speakers? The 4K UHD screen? The fancy sub-woofer? A combination? If you are thinking along these lines then you definitely need to keep reading. Quality equipment is only a small part of what makes up a real Home Theatre. In fact, even the most expensive equipment will perform terribly in the wrong acoustic environment. So, lets dive right in and set the record straight. Here is what makes up a real Home Theatre: In summary, to create a real Home Theatre is a feat of engineering and requires years of experience and expertise to get right. There are only a handful of ‘proper’ cinema design companies in NZ and AU but a quote from any of the good ones will cover at least these 7 points. 1. Highly detailed room design documentation To have a real Home Theatre you need the room to be designed based on maths and acoustic principals. This is advanced engineering and requires an expert who is willing to do all the proper documentation. See the room design documentation pictures below to get an idea of what to expect. 2. Proper Audio & Video Calibration In a real Home Theatre, audio and video are calibrated based on the size of the room and the features within it. Great calibration takes expert tools and years of experience. Are they considering all elements in the room? Has the audio reflection and dispersion of the glass window or solid cedar bar leaner been taken into account? If not, even expect the most expensive speakers on the market wont perform ‘as advertised’. 3. Acoustic treatments In line with the previous point without acoustically treating the inside of your room, the sound will bounce around and distort your experience. Great engineers will use acoustic panels, bass traps, diffusers & abortion panels in precise quantities and exact locations to ensure the movie sounds exactly the way the director intended. 4. Sound isolation Even after you have calibrated the room and treated it acoustically, without properly preventing sound from outside the room entering, your experience will still be disrupted. Depending on the room, combating this might include putting in wall, ceiling and floor isolation products. Sound isolation has the added benefit of providing a place for adults or teens to enjoy movies and games late at night without disturbing other members of the house. 5. The use of proper cinema lighting A professional room requires professional lighting, period. To do

9 Reasons You Need Lighting Control in Your Next Home

October 20, 2017
At Real IT, we love lighting control,  after all,  lighting is a fundamental part of the luxury, convenience, comfort, efficiency, and safety of your home. When it’s integrated with your smart home system the possibilities for increased convenience, efficiency and fun are endless! 1. Enjoy Automatic Pathway & Orientation Lighting: Well-placed orientation and pathway lighting in hallways, bathrooms, and staircases increase safety inside your home, now you can activate the lights through movement sensors in the ceiling so there is no need to stumble in the dark for a switch or have your sleepy eyes blinded by bright lights in the middle of the night. 2. Get Functional With Task lighting: Allow automated focused light to illuminate your work spaces and make the completion of visual tasks easier. As an example in open plan kitchen dining areas, task lighting can ensure your kitchen work surfaces are well illuminated without compromising the soft ambient lighting being enjoyed by your dinner guests. 3. Increase Your Energy Efficiency: You can save money on your utility bills by having a smart home system turn off the lights at certain times of the day. If you forget, the system still remembers. 4. Add Incredible Convenience to Everyday: You can save time and manage your household better by pressing one button on an smart home keypad, touch panel or mobile device to turn multiple lights on and off at once. 5. Get Better at Highlighting Your Homes Best Features: Don’t remind yourself every night to turn on the accent lighting you placed to highlight your decor, artwork or architecture. Your smart home system can be programmed to do this for you, always coming on at the correct brightness based on the lighting levels in the room. 6. Deter Unwanted Guests: Make it appear that you are home when you are off on vacation. Lights can be set to switch on and off in a random pattern to make your house look occupied and discourage intruders. 7. Experience Lighting Scenes: One of the most exciting aspects of having lighting control in the home is creating ‘scenes’. These scenes control some or all of the lighting circuits in the home and create lighting environments to suit every mood at the touch of the button. E.g Relax scene, Home scene, All Off and Party scene. Of course, these scenes can mix in audio, video, HVAC, and other systems to further enhance the one-touch experience. 8. Dont Compromise On Interior Design: The conventional light switch is so 1995. Modern lighting keypads come in a broad array of styles and finishes to suit any need and environment, from discreet keypad options to dazzling touchscreen displays. The Engraved keypads can perform many functions with easy-to-use labeled buttons, replacing various unsightly switches with a single compact solution.   9. Get Expert Automation Assistance: Finally there is a company who takes lighting design seriously. At Real IT  we understand that the difference between a good lighting design and a great one is a process

How Much Does A Smart Home Cost?

September 18, 2017
One of the questions that always comes up when we meet with a potential smart home client is: How much does a fully integrated smart home cost, for everything? Although this is a very difficult question to answer because there are so many factors to consider, we will try our best to explain some general pricing and best practice guidelines here. An easy way to understand the way pricing works in smart home projects is to use the analogy of building a house. This is a convenient analogy because you are probably in the process of building your house right now so you will find it quite easy to relate to the procedure and the way pricing can change drastically depending on your ultimate goals. As you know, if you are building an architecturally designed 4-bedroom+ house the build price can start at around 3 million, but then quickly jump up to 5 million+ when you start upgrading permanent features such as designer kitchens, specialty roofing, flooring, and luxury tiles etc. On top of this initial jump, you can easily spend another $500k on finishings and fixtures such as feature chandeliers, high-end faucets, and general décor. These jumps in pricing based on preferences also apply to smart homes systems. When you look at a basic system, the start price is around 30-50k, but this can quickly jump up to $100-$200k+ when you start adding lighting control, motorized blinds and climate control to all the rooms. On top of that, you can easily spend an extra $50-250k + on a cinema. Consider your landscaping and joinery costs, these are similar costs to what you can expect to spend on a professionally designed smart home. When allocating budget in a smart home project we give the same advice to our clients that good architects, builders, and interior designers give theirs. Focus your budget on the more ‘permanent’ fixtures and aspects first because they are the most difficult and expensive to change later down the road. The last thing you want is to rip up that wooden floor in the kitchen because you always wanted polished concrete or to realize that you really needed underfloor heating in lounge. Likewise, if you think you need a bigger 4K TV or a better set of speakers all you have to do is buy new ones but when you get the permanent infrastructure wrong, i.e. The wiring, switcher or controller can’t support the highest current, resolution or speeds required; it can be costly to try upgrade that key component. Unaware of this, some people focus on finding the “cheapest” permanent infrastructure then try to layer expensive finished products such as 4K TV’s and high-end stereo equipment on top of it. This approach is penny wise but pound foolish, and sacrifices low-maintenance, quality, warranty, and aesthetics. Cheaper systems almost always compromise on quality components and wiring and will inevitably lead to regret. This is what differentiates the DIY, Common Cowboy and ‘Done by the Electrician’ installations from


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