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    From The Learning Journal

    Enjoy topics on Life, Spaces and Design Elements. Organized for your convenience and recall. Welcome to a Bravas Life.

     

     

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    Topics

    From The Learning Journal

    Enjoy topics on Life, Spaces and Design Elements. Organized for your convenience and recall. Welcome to a Bravas Life.

     

Philanthropy

Philanthropy

Food & Drink

Food & Drink

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Interior Design

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Technologies

21 May 2020

Something’s in the Air (and Water)

If we remember the first half of 2020 for anything, I am guessing most of us will remember the amount of time we 'sheltered at home.' Looking after the health of our family, our friends, and our community has been our most important priority. Some people will be ready to head outdoors or into public spaces the moment they are allowed, and others will take time before they want to be back in their wider community.

Either way, as we start the process of being back to whatever our 'new normal' will be, our communities will need to decide what to do to make our outside world as safe as possible.  At the same time, we should consider if there is more we can do to make our indoors as healthy as we can, too. Here are three ideas to consider.

07 May 2020

A Happy Home Is a Healthy Home

We all wish for the happiness and health of our families and friends. We all understand how diet, exercise, and even time spent with loved ones, is a critical step to achieving this wish. We also know that when designing a new home or office, we should devote considerable time to make our spaces comfortable and productive. The right materials, fabrics, and textures create an experience that makes us feel at home, but there is more we can do.

Few use the right technology in the right place to improve quality of life. Correctly done, home technology can reduce stress, increase your quality of life, and make you more productive. Here are four ways the right home technology can help you achieve healthy spaces.

16 April 2020

Why Lighting Design? Part 2

Before the harnessing of electricity, artificial light was expensive, and therefore relatively scarce. Over the last 100 years or so, the cost of lighting our world has become negligible, which has had enormous economic consequences. The home and the workplace became safer, factories increased productivity, and social activities extended late into the night.

02 April 2020

Why Lighting Design? Part One

When humans first populated the earth, the largest influence on their lives was the sun. It determined when they woke and when the slept, when they hunted and when they hid. Even after the discovery of fire, the physical toll of maintaining an open flame limited its functionality as a light source. Even tallow candles, popular in the 14th century, were so expensive that only the most affluent members of society could enjoy more than a few minutes of light per day.

Up to the 19th century it was still prohibitively expensive for the majority of people. In 1816 Baltimore became the first city in America to light its streets with gas distributed through a system of pipelines. This technology proved so beneficial that it was found in almost every city by 1850. And just like that, we owned the night.

This is part one of a three-part series covering how we can control light to improve our lives. In the first part we will cover lighting design, and how it impacts our ability to enjoy and use our space.

06 March 2020

Your next TV – news from CES

Who ever said bigger isn’t better has never walked the TV area at CES, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Reporters and news programs can give a misleading view of what CES has to offer, as they tend to focus on the ‘concept cars’ rather than the ‘production cars’ of technology. Last year, the stories about LG’s rollup TV and this year’s Samsung's swing-into-portrait-mode Sero TV fell into that bucket. Yet underneath all the hype, we find some real changes coming to TVs, and many of them are available today.

01 March 2020

Technical Support Derangement Syndrome

Does calling for help on your smart home problems give you Technical Support Derangement Syndrome?  It’s frustrating for anyone, especially when dealing with a luxury custom integration company, that all you hear is:

  • “I’m sorry. The person you need to speak with isn’t in the office at the moment. Can I have him give you a call back?”
  • “Let me make a few calls and get back to you as soon as I can.”
  • Or the dreaded “Hold please,” only to be left hanging for an inordinate amount of time.

If that’s what you usually hear, then you may not be calling the right people. The problem is not that they don’t want to help; it could be that they may simply lack the technical knowledge necessary to help you solve your problem.  Also, the person answering the phone at your integrator’s office may be in the middle of entering invoices, have guests in the lobby that need attention, or is otherwise distracted, making someone else’s experience way less than stellar.

10 January 2020

Can Your WiFi Network Handle Your Smart Home Technology?

Posted in WiFi Network

Tips to Ensure Your Network Is Up to Speed

Can Your WiFi Network Handle Your Smart Home Technology?

At Bravas, we’re wild about the interconnectivity of smart home devices. From motorized shades to whole-home audio and security cameras, home automation is both a useful and fun addition to any household. But if you’re using a wireless system, is it strong enough to handle all of your devices while still able to stream audio, video, and surf the web?

A robust WiFi network should not frequently break down or be affected by a single device’s failure. A strong system should be able to recover quickly from hold-ups and bugs and adding more to your smart home should not put a strain on it.

So how can you bring your network up to speed so that all of your smart devices function flawlessly? Improve your internet connection with our tips below!  

15 December 2019

Why You Need to Upgrade Your Home Network This Year

Posted in Home Networking

Achieve an Enterprise-Class Network at Home

Why You Need to Upgrade Your Home Network This Year

We spend an abundance of time on the internet at home, whether we realize it or not. We stream movies and playlists, use smart home devices, and video-chat with relatives and friends from far away. Many of us work from home, too, which requires accessing servers and large files. So why shouldn’t your home’s network be the best it can possibly be?

If you aren’t completely satisfied with the internet you currently have, it isn’t your only option. A home networking upgrade can grant you the following advantages. Read on to discover how it will improve your daily tasks and entertainment.

14 May 2020

Lighting Control & Wellness

Great lighting design involves using layers of light to deliver the desired result, and that layering typically results in a large number of fixtures. To dial in the ideal lighting levels, most homes depend on banks of switches and dimmers, particularly in rooms like the great room, kitchen, and master suite. Those banks of switches are unsightly, complex, and inelegant solutions to a problem that didn’t exist when the light switch was invented. In the past, a room was most likely lit by a single light source, or worse, a few fixtures controlled together by one switch.

Lighting control allows precise, repeatable control of the light in a space and allows us to do so while replacing that bank of controls with a single, customizable keypad. That keypad can be programmed to control a room, or even entire home, with a single button press.

23 April 2020

Upgrade Your Home Office

While we've all been living with social distancing and quarantine for the past few weeks, there is one thing every person working from home has in common, and there are millions of us. We are all struggling with crappy equipment and room setups, and therefore having terrible experiences with video conference calls. We almost all sound like crap, look way too small on a laptop screen, have delays and echoes, and it is affecting everyone's business in a negative way.

With remote work becoming the new normal for the foreseeable future, these problems need to be addressed and resolved.

09 April 2020

Network Blues: Is Your Wi-Fi Making Life Harder?

If there were ever a time we needed our home networking to work better, it would be now. If you were to do a quick google search on “best router,” you probably wonder where to start when you get 124 million results. The issue isn’t the answer (like 42), but are we asking the right questions? In this blog, I want to try and ask the right questions and give homeowners a place to look for the correct answers.

09 March 2020

Smart Devices VS. Smart Homes

This shouldn’t be news to anyone, but your average home contains more “smart” devices than ever before. Nest thermostats may have brought the trend to the mainstream, but Alexa, HomeKit, Sonos, and others have taken that momentum and run with it. You might think that adding a few of these devices would take you to the pinnacle of the “Smart Home,” but is there anything that is missing from these consumer or DIY devices that is available in the professional systems like Control4, ELAN and Savant? Let’s take a look.

03 March 2020

Home Presets

I often wonder “Why do we welcome technology more in our cars than in our homes?” After all, let’s go back to the last time you approached your car:  You probably pressed the button on a remote that unlocked the door and disarmed the alarm.  As you pull back on the door in your car, the light conveniently comes on for you inside and the seat moves back.  When you sit down, and either put your key in or press start, the seat moves forward as the steering wheel moves down and towards you.   As you take a drive down the road, your favorite music is just a single button press away on the six presets.  Why doesn’t your house do all this? 

22 January 2020

How Automated Shading & Lighting Transforms Your Mood & Décor

Posted in Automated Shading

Relive Your Favorite Moments with Lighting and Shading Scenes

How Automated Shading & Lighting Transforms Your Mood & Décor

It’s difficult to understand the ‘wow’ effect of home automation until you experience it. Picture telling your smart speaker, “Chill,” and watching your home’s shades lower, lights shift to dim whites, magentas, and blues, and soft jazz music starts playing from your sound system—all at once. No longer are you just standing in your home; you’ve been transported to a moment that can be relived over and over.

Lighting and shading have immense power to shift our moods and the way our home’s interior looks. From wellness to hosting get-togethers, continue reading to see how automated shading and lighting make all the difference in your home.  

 

23 December 2019

What Is Human-Centric Lighting?

Posted in Human Centric Lighting

Bring the Benefits of Nature into Your Home

What Is Human-Centric Lighting?

Lighting can profoundly impact the way we feel. We notice this in extreme circumstances: strobe lights might make our heart race; a dimly lit hallway may make one feel uneasy; and an incredibly bright room makes us feel exposed. We’ve all attended a party that would have felt more comfortable if the lights were slightly dimmed, and we’ve all spent time in windowless offices that felt particularly bleak.  

These circumstances are glaringly obvious when observing how light impacts us. But what if your home’s lights are always subtly influencing your mental state? That’s the idea behind human-centric lighting, a new movement of smart technology that brings the benefit of natural light into your home. Read on to see how it works and how human centric lighting can improve your daily life.

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