SMART BATHROOMS: A SANCTUARY, AN OFFICE ADD-ON, AND MORE – PART ONE OF TWO

|| SMART BATHROOMS: YEP, THEY’RE A THING NOW || 

Centenarians in the 21st century might remember a time when indoor bathrooms were new. Indoor plumbing apparently caught on, for various reasons, more quickly in the US than in other parts of the industrialized world. Even psychologists have noted Americans’ insistence on and delight in private residential bathrooms. 

The upgrades and progress for bathrooms are a long way from the first indoor water closets. 

But as far back as 2006, sports agents were tricking out their bathrooms with flatscreen TVs to stay on top of their client's performance during games. Hands-free phones and other add-ons for the digital workspace became the norm for hard-driving, full-time-plus jobs. 

Some people may even remember the tales (which, according to the former president’s biographer, Robert Caro, were true) of Texas native Lyndon Johnson voicing letters for dictation from the commode. 

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Back to School Time: Chance for a Smart Home Smart Spa Day

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Your own home has been, perhaps, a jungle gym for three months with the kids home. In fact, even long past presidents had trouble keeping adult kids in line at home. Apparently, our 25th president had one such lively 19-year-old daughter named Alice (who supposedly liked to smoke cigarettes on the White House roof). 

  • Novelist Owen Wister: “Theodore, isn’t there anything you could do to control Alice?”
  • Teddy Roosevelt: “Well, I can do one of two things. I can be President of the United States or I can control Alice. I cannot possibly do both.”

(Keep in mind that Roosevelt was also a hearty outdoorsman, explorer, and police commissioner.)

Eventually, Alice went back to college. Teddy Roosevelt probably didn’t have a spa day at home afterward. (Bath bombs probably meant something different in those pre-WWI days).

You’re not trying to create the Panama Canal like TR, but when August drags on, your home might sound like the Charge Up San Juan Hill.

Evolve Technology can help you get just the right lighting, and crystal-clear audio for your white noise spa playlist, and with Control4 as our base automation platform, we can integrate thousands of secured apps, smart devices, and software to work on voice control. With that voice control, the best part of a spa day is in place: you don’t have to get up.

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America and Porches: Celebrate both this Fourth of July

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Porches are part of the unique American social architecture. the space between public and private life. The US, having the second-largest average house size in the world, gives us an added location out front to chat with neighbors or throw parties. A singular display to everyone nearby, they're a veritable profile avatar. Evolve Technology will add sights, and sounds, and can resolve security issues for porches. 

Porches Are Making a Comeback

As life outside the home returns, people are rediscovering the power of community. porches can help with that. Access the neighborhood and the outdoors, but without leaving home. 

The rate in this country for new single-family homes built with porches is up 10% since 2005. and two-thirds of such houses built in 2017 had them. 

The uptick in preference for porches parallels the collective thirst for a better-connected neighborhood. in days of yore, the porch was just that, the settings for an analog social network, a kinetic next-door app.

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Truly Smart Refrigerators for Your Smart Home

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Connecting a refrigerator to the internet.

At one time, that sounded far-fetched. But we now have smart home technology introduced into TVs, doorbells, and lighting (and, of course, phones). Voice commands and related convenient features on a refrigerator, now sound doable.

The best smart refrigerators are useful because they connect to more than the internet. Z-wave and "mesh" networks home Wi-Fi links smart home devices with each other. It's not a conference meeting, it's a mixer.

As we reintroduce social mixing in our lives, a tall cold one, (or a short dram) might be called for. Let's talk about that.

SMART FRIDGE FOR THE GROWN FOLKS  

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Healthy Eating, Smart Home Appliances, and Your New Year's Nutrition Resolutions

Healthy New Year's Resolutions  

If you've made it this far for New Year's resolutions, congratulations. If you tripped and fell, slow motion is better than no motion. If you haven't made healthy habits resolutions, healthier food and easier cooking are still great to have.

Healthy nutrition and a healthy weight can be easier when you're more balanced physically and otherwise. Reducing the effort to keep a 21st century home going means using the best parts of modern technology and automation. Think about 15 minutes per day--15 minutes--added to your disposable time because the lights, the heat, the shades, the alarm system are exactly as you planned without a single flip of the switch.

Self-care and avoiding junk food sounds a lot easier then, huh?

Eating & Nutrition: Food as An Experience  

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Winterizing Your Dallas TX Home with Smart Heating and Cooling

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House Warming: What's the Deal with Heating and Cooling the Home?

In the space between discovering fire (the start of humankind) and creating air conditioning (the late 1800s to 1950s), houses were invented. Today, we bring the heat and cold inside with us, and it's much better than being outside all the time.

We've created a suitable temperature range for the indoors, regardless of the season. However, that's trickier as Texas has more than four seasons.

Oh Hail No: Wacky Texas Weather Requires More than Air Conditioning

If you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes? The mortar-strike, baseball, ice hail we saw this year in Texas drove the point home. The climate here is about as ordered and predictable as the contents of a blender thanks to the gulf, the desert, and Wizard-of-Oz-style winds gifted from the Great Planes.

2021 also saw the tie for the second-coldest day on record for DFW (-2 degrees F, Jan 31). This is just ten years after the tie for the seventh-hottest day on record (110 degrees F, Aug 2, 2011). This is going back well over 100 years. (source: https://www.weather.gov/fwd/dgr8mxmn)

But, as with most of this hemisphere, Dallas Fort Worth generally gets colder in the winter months and hotter in the summer.

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WHAT IS A SMART HOME AUTOMATION SYSTEM?

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Smart home technology may feel a little bit like science fiction, but just walk into the appliance section of a department store--and they’re all over the place. You may be wondering: what does smart home technology mean? Well, long story short, this is the kind of technology that communicates with each other through the internet and makes your simple house tasks easier, keeps your home more secure, and helps you save energy.

 

But why, even with all its ubiquity, do people think that “smart home technology” is difficult to understand? In this article, we talk about (1) what it is, (2) how it works, (3) and its advantages.

 

Fortunately, if you are already using a smart thermostat, a video doorbell, or just using voice commands which can all be accessed through your smartphone, then you are already halfway to understanding what smart technology is all about.

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Smart Doorbells: Features, Benefits, Advantages

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Smart doorbells integrate a host of features to serve as a home security system as well as conventional doorbell features on-demand from where ever you are.

Now more than ever, Dallas homeowners are relying on smart doorbells for their home security benefits by providing piece of mind when they are away. Whether you need to check on a package that was recently delivered, let a family member in your home, or provide instructions to the delivery team, smart doorbell technology allows you to accomplish this.

HD Video 

Home or away, seeing who’s there with a video doorbell cam from a phone is more than a small convenience. Concentrating on a major work project or drawing a bath for a toddler are involved tasks. Hitting a button to see live video and confirm drop-off is sometimes essential.

Smart doorbells, including our main brands, Chime from Control4 and Ring, have clear video quality that can be accessed easily from your phone or smart home devices. With proper wifi and smart home setup, doorbell cameras can give a 150 to 180-degree field-of-vision view. Real-time, distinct video recordings of what’s right outside. IR specifications even enable night-vision and automatic security light tie-ins.

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From Sunrise to Sunset: A Day in the Life with a Smart Home

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Imagine a world where you can control everything in your house with the command of your voice, a tablet, or a smartphone. That means answering the door without leaving the comfort of your couch, monitoring your entire house even when you’re at work, and locking up all entrances with just one tap before you hit the sack.

Now, what if we told you that such a world exists right now?

Welcome to the world of smart homes.

What Is a Smart Home

Smart home technology connects your appliances, thermostat, locks, and more, to one main centralized system. This system can be controlled with a device such as your mobile phone and allows you to manage your house--even when you’re far from the hustle and bustle of Dallas.

To paint you a better picture, here’s what it’s like to live in a smart home.

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5 Tech Tips to Achieve your New Year's Resolution

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The New Year is finally here! 

With 2021 finally behind us, many of us are keeping our eyes on the future and focusing on things that are in our control. Oftentimes people set unrealistic New Year Resolutions for improving their life, ultimately falling short when things get difficult and life gets busy. It’s easy to resort to old habits and it's common for people to throw in the towel completely. In cases like these, the most important way to stick to your goals is to hold yourself accountable. With hundreds of apps to keep track of your fitness, screentime, or calorie intake, it can be overwhelming to stay up to date. Although, programming automated controls throughout your home can remind and motivate you to stay on track and achieve your goals. Below are some home automation suggestions to help you. 

Custom Audio Button

When life gets hectic many people rely on music or even meditation to help calm their mind and reset. Rather than fumbling trying to connect your device to your speakers, installing a specific button that is programmed to your favorite radio station or meditation channel can help ease tensions. Whether you want it to play throughout your entire Dallas home or only in a specific room, these controls can be customized to ensure you have immediate access to stress relief. 

Refreshed Lighting Scheme

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Holiday gift ideas for (You) the Homeowner

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While spending the holiday season at home without the stress of traveling to the in-laws, weather delays, and packing may sound like the simplest option this year; hosting brings its own set of challenges. More family visiting, constant package deliveries, and a new set of food critics will be enough to need an extra hand around the house. While we can’t be there to take package inventory or whip up a gourmet meal for the family, we can upgrade your home’s automation system to ensure things run as smoothly as possible. 

 

OS3 Upgrade

As the host of this year’s holiday, you’ll want to make sure everyone feels comfortable in your home- and that means having the newest version of your home automation system to ensure everything is as seamless as possible. Whether that is to control the lights, televisions, speakers, or temperature, you’ll want everyone to be familiar with using your Control 4 automation system throughout the home. With the new Control 4 OS3 upgrade the 10” touchscreen display features the most intuitive interface yet, to ensure everyone in your home can easily and manage your home’s controls without your help. 

 

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5 Things to Consider When Building a Home

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You’ve made the decision to build a home, now where do you start? 

The process of building a new home is exciting and often overwhelming. You may feel pressure to perfect every inch because after all, you will be the one living in it. While planning the layout, exterior and interior design are crucial factors, the overall functionality of your Texas home is just as important. Identifying your technology needs is the first step to creating a smart home that will complement your lifestyle, rather than complicate it. Once you have outlined your needs, knowing the right questions to ask will lead you to the most efficient and automated home for you and your family. Hiring a specialist like us, to explain home automation topics to guide you through technology options will ensure you have all the answers to questions you didn’t know to ask, as well as help you achieve your smart home goals. Below are our recommendations for our most requested home technology features. 

Lighting

Creating a custom lighting scene is an essential part of improving productivity, security, and relaxation in your home. While most often, people focus on the overall design and look of their lighting scheme, we focus on the control of those lights. The ability to control your lights from your phone, a touch panel, remote, or the old-fashioned switch on the wall is the first of many automation controls in your new home. In this phase of planning, we recommend beginning in the most used areas of your home: family room, kitchen, hallways, etc… These areas of your home with the most traffic will be where you will want to have the most control on a daily basis. 

Installing control switches from Lutron or Control4 will allow you to turn the connected lights on and off and in most cases dim to the desired output. Although, many clients expand to include all the lights in their homes to be connected to one control system. We often hear how much of a relief it is to our clients that with the touch of a single button on the way out the door, they know that every light is turned off, even the kid’s closet! 

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