Electrical Contracting News (ECN) November 2016 - Page 50

SPECIAL FEATURE A smart home can provide a truly integrated solution capable of controlling all aspects of the home. HOME AUTOMATION & INTELLIGENT BUILDINGS CONTROL YOUR FUTURE Mark Warburton at Ivory Egg looks at the benefits on offer for electricians who are expanding into smart home technology. T he last few years have seen a dramatic rise in the number of products and solutions available to make homes smart. However, a few recent surveys have indicated that there is a lot of mistrust and misunderstanding surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart homes. This is understandable – with so many products and solutions available it can be difficult to pick the right solution to use, and even more so if you’re a homeowner who is not comfortable with technology. It is also not surprising given the lack of companies offering smart home installation services for the average sized home. Homeowners don’t have anywhere to turn for reassurance that having a smart home is necessary or affordable. Electricians are in an ideal position to advise on this where they have always been trusted to install a safe and suitable system even if this was a traditional wiring solution. So let’s take a look at how offering smart home solutions will benefit your business, ‘There is a lot of mistrust surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart homes.’ what the benefits are to your customers, the pitfalls and how to get involved. But before we go any further let’s define what a smart home is, as this is a very ambiguous term. It could be one or more intelligent devices that provide a higher level of functionality, commonly a thermostat or a lamp. Or it could be an entire system that replaces the traditional wiring of the house, providing a truly integrated solution capable of controlling all aspects of the home. To make it clearer I am going differentiate this by calling them smart devices and smart home systems. 50 | November 2016 50-51 HA&IB – Ivory Egg.indd 50 13/10/2016 13:27