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Don’t Buy Into Smart Home Technology Until You Read This

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Control4 logo
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Is your home smart enough? Can you have the lights dimmed, fireplace on, and temperature set perfectly for when you arrive home? How handy would that be for a date night? There are some cool gadgets with amazing features available on the market today that allow you to control everything in your house from one device. Most of these services and devices utilize Z-Wave technology, a wireless communication protocol that utilizes low power RF signals to allow for remote control of various household items (lights, TVs, locks, cameras, etc). Let’s dive into these home automation reviews.

Who Offers The Best Home Automation System?

Some of the best home automation systems are listed below but these whole-home automation solutions can get pretty pricey. For a less expensive solution, you may want to learn more about Smart Home Hubs. However, if you are looking for a comprehensive all-in-one solution, we encourage you to checkout the companies on this page. If you are seeking the latest, more cost effective individual products that you can combine to tailor your home to your unique needs, we suggest you checkout our frequently updated section dedicated to smart home. Note: the terms Home Automation and Smart Home Technology are often used synonymously today, but they may be differentiated in the future.

Crestron Review

#1

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Crestron wins our award for best home automation system. Crestron has been a big name in home automation since 1971. They have an outstanding reputation, which is maybe why they think it’s ok to charge such high prices. However, their equipment has an elegant look to it, which is why our readers love the look of their home with this equipment. The equipment is robust and reliable and it supports different touch screens, remotes and more.

Pros

Cons

  • Strong reputation
  • Great customer service
  • Equipment performs well
  • Variety of equipment available
  • Built in voice recognition software
  • Expensive
  • Only sold through authorized dealers
  • Changing your setup is time-consuming since you need a professional

Pricing

Contact Crestron for a quote on your home.

Control4 Review

#2

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Program your settings to dim lights and play music with the push of a button. When you’re going to bed, push one button and the shades will go down in your room, the lighting will turn off, the thermostat will adjust to nighttime temperatures, and all the TVs will power off. Control4 is our winner when it comes to having the best smart home technology features. This company specializes in home automation, however it is also one of the most expensive services. Once it is installed (by their team of professionals), the system is simple to use and most of the things you’ll want to do simply require the push of a button. This comprehensive and customizable system allows you to control lighting, audio/video, garage doors, heating/air conditioning and talk to one another all with a remote or your cell phone.

Pros

Cons

  • Receive alerts to your smartphone
  • East use (once it’s installed)
  • Specializes in-house automation so they tend to be ahead of the trends – this also means that the smart home features work great
  • Fully customizable to meet your needs
  • Voice control available through a third-party
  • Can take weeks for the professional installer to get it scheduled and set up
  • Expensive
  • If you want any changes a professional must do them
  • iPad and iPhone interface are limited compared to touchscreen panel

Pricing

Depending on which features you choose, pricing can be anywhere from $1,000 to more than $50,000. Control4 offers a la carte options, so each package varies based on the customer. You have to call Control 4 directly to get pricing for your specific features.

Homeseer Review

#3

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HomeSeer is our third place winner because not only do they specialize in smart home technology, they also have everything you could possibly dream of to automate a house. In addition, HomeSeer has voice recognition, so you can tell the system what you would like done, which many companies don’t offer. Finally, they have a huge list of available devices ranging from security cameras to lighting and thermostat controls.

Pros

Cons

  • Voice recognition capabilities
  • Compatible with most media players as well as both Mac and Windows
  • Customizable
  • Nice interface on touchscreen devices
  • Great customer service reputation
  • Hard to set up due to lots of hardwiring vs. wireless for some of the competitors
  • Not compatible with Windows Mobile App and Blackberry smartphones
  • Expensive if you add a lot of features

Pricing

Home Seer offers a la carte services so the prices vary based on the features you select. Below are some of the prices for the equipment. For a more thorough list, visit their website.

  • Software $249.95
  • Z-Wave Smart Fan Controller $44.97
  • Z-Wave Outlet $41.14
  • Z-Wave Multi Sensor $69.95
  • Z-Wave Smart Switch $42.07
  • Home Automation Controller $399.95 to $1,199.95 (depending on the version)
  • Z-Wave Smart Dimmer $44.93
  • Z-Wave Lighting Control $42.43
  • Z-Wave Smoke & CO Detector $43.87

Savant Review

#4

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Savant is an easy-to-use product similar to Apple products. It’s high price is also pretty limiting. The Savant system syncs automatically with iOS and Android to bring automation to audio, security, climate and lighting needs. It includes an in-home communication system so you can talk from your smartphone to the home’s intercom system. The energy output of your house is monitored and Savant suggests ways to cut costs, similar to Nest.

Pros

Cons

  • Enhances energy efficiency
  • With Savant’s Telephony technology you can access and control your smart home system from your mobile phone or with one of Savant’s desktop or cordless phones
  • User-friendly like an Apple product
  • Voice control
  • Expensive
  • Requires professional installation

Pricing

  • Remote + Host: $499
  • Remote: $399
  • Lamp Control: $99
  • Host: $199
  • Blaster: $169

What Is a Smart Home?

This video gives a great overview of home automation features currently available.

How do you think a smart home system will enhance your life?

Kimberly researches everything before she buys. She wants to make sure she is getting the best bang for her buck by purchasing the best product/service, which is why she loves her work. She has a degree in Multimedia Journalism and has been researching and writing professionally since 2013 to help consumers make more educated decisions.
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Joseph Mack
Joseph Mack

This list is great. I think it is important to highlight using branded products (and not some replica version sold via Alibaba). These companies’ reputation is based on how secure they are and work hard to close all security flaws as they appear.

Brian Newman
Brian Newman

Program your settings to dim lights and play music with the push of a button. When you’re going to bed, push one button and the shades will go down in your room, the lighting will turn off, the thermostat will adjust to nighttime temperatures, and all the TVs will power off.

Mike Norton
Mike Norton

Apparently this was updated now that Cestron is on top! I love this comparison, but I’m looking for more than the basic highlight video of how it works. Any suggestions?

Arnold Timer
Arnold Timer

The fact that you have Homeseer and Creston in the same category is ridiculous. There are simply too many errors here to point them all out. In 2014, Crestron wasn’t mentioned, in 2016 they’re #1? Crestron offers no customer service; consumers can only get help through authorized dealers. Savant no longer makes any telephone products, needing a professional installer is not a con, etc.

Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson
Wanted to point out that Savant works with Android just fine. And also has a starting price point of $499 for the new remote and host. It includes voice control. Having installed most of the professional systems listed above, there are some holes in your pros and cons. Control4 is a great platform – true. But it can take weeks to program and get things “just right”. It is also very limiting for the end user when they want to make any changes. Other than the lighting – every change requires a programmer. Also – the iPad and iPhone interfaces… Read more »
Guest
Guest

Are you serious? Can the price be as much as $50,000?

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