Making the Right Choice for Home Automation – Part 2
What Smart Home Features Matter Most to You?
The leading smart home automation systems are frankly more similar than different. Unlike what you might find with other products, there aren't 27 different systems from which to choose; there are a handful. Many integrators are Control4, Crestron, or Savant dealers, representing three of the most popular and ubiquitous platforms in high-end home automation. While these systems have important differences, we'd still argue that the integrator will make more of a difference to your smart home experience.
Last month, we kicked off this series by highlighting a couple of subtle but important feature differences between Savant and Control4. As an integrator authorized for both, we like to point out these differences and recommend which one might best fit your specific needs. However, you ultimately decide what’s best for your home in Morris County, NJ. In this blog, we’ll delve into a couple of other aspects of Savant versus Control4 smart home automation to better educate and guide you on your choice. The idea is to get you to think about what’s really important to you to make the right decisions. Ready? Please stay with us below.
Lighting and Lighting Control
Some companies like to build a complete set of proprietary solutions to cover all needs, and some take a partnership and compatibility route to assemble complete solutions. This strategy has been evident in the technology industry, exemplified by Apple and Microsoft's approach to computing. Apple tends to deliver a more comprehensive package of most of what you need in a Mac computer, while Microsoft can count on a vast array of compatible applications to fill any gaps in using the Windows platform.
These analogies never fit perfectly, but bear with us. Savant has typically been the Apple of the smart home industry in various ways. They very much embraced the Apple aesthetic in the user interface, and they have also added solutions to their portfolio that are well integrated. For example, Savant has partnered with USAI, a leading lighting company, for modern LED ambient lighting solutions. In addition, they acquired the GE lighting business to offer their own smart bulbs. Naturally, they have integrated these products very tightly within their system.
Control4, on the other hand, has typically taken the Windows approach, offering a platform that provides integration and compatibility with many of the best smart home products. Control4 integrates well with Lutron, with which it also competes, as Control4 also has its own lighting control solutions, from wireless retrofit systems to panelized total home control. Which is the best approach? Frankly, both companies offer compelling solutions.
Winner for an integrated solution: If you like the Savant approach with less choice but elegant integration of USAI and their own proprietary solutions, Savant may be the system for you.
Winner for a greater range of options: Control4 works with several of the leading lighting vendors, including USAI, Lutron, and many others. For a system where you can choose more lighting options to integrate with your smart home system, Control4 wins easily.
Energy management is an area that some people care about deeply, others not as much. For some, lighting control and whole home smart thermostats might be enough from the perspective of living a greener life. For others having much deeper knowledge and control of how and where your smart home is consuming energy is critical, and they might choose appliances and other home functionality based on energy efficiency.
Here, a Savant system shines, as the system measures energy usage at the electrical panel and provides detailed usage information. You can measure consumption by area, specific devices and appliances, and more. Savant builds that information into its smart home interface to make it easy to access. Control4, true to its partnering focus, can integrate with similar third-party solutions to provide similar functionality.
Winner for a proprietary solution: Savant included energy management system is built in, so it checks the feature box. As in most cases with built-in functionality, it may not be as feature-rich as a third-party product. If the Savant functionality works for your needs, then Savant wins here.
Winner for third-party solution: There are various options for energy management on the market with extensive features. You can choose one or more to integrate with your Control4 system. For the power of choice, Control4 wins.
Stay tuned to this space for more on smart home system features. To learn more about smart home options, contact Total Home Technologies for a free consultation. We look forward to assisting you!