COVID: 1 Year On – 5 Lessons for Whole-Home Automation
By the time you read this, we will have been living under the new normal for just over a year. For some, that means a year of lockdown in your home. If you live in a large or luxury home, then the last year has probably been kinder to you than many others. Having space to move about, rooms to work in, or just an area you can call your own is a luxury.
Of course, we hope your family has been spared the worst of COVID, and if not, no gadget will make it any easier for you. We too have family and friends affected, and we share your loss.
At BRAVAS, our mission is to design and deliver technology experiences that improve the way people live, work, and play in their homes. As we look back on this year, we have learned a lot about how people use their homes, and here are five things we have noticed about whole-home automation.
1. Living the Digital Life
Maybe the single most significant message for the last 12 months is how digital our lives have become. We may even have to change our mission statement rewritten from 'live, work and play' to 'live, work, study, and play.' A year ago, many people had never Zoomed with their family, worked from home, taken classes virtually, or had any idea who the Tiger King was. Now, these seem every day to us.
The first significant lesson from COVID has been to make sure we have the right network in our home. In a large or luxury home, there are many small rooms and out-of-the-way spaces. While these may not have been used much before, they are now classrooms, movie theaters, or gaming dens. Getting quality, high-speed networks to all our homes has become essential. For many, this means more than just the router your cable company provided, hiding in the basement or a closet.
For ideas on upgrading your network check our blog, CAN YOUR WIFI NETWORK HANDLE YOUR SMART HOME TECHNOLOGY?
2. Light for Life
For some time now, we have been thinking about what it takes to have a healthy home. If anything, COVID has accelerated that process. The lesson of the last 12 months is that there are three areas to focus on: air, water, and light. Of course, monitoring those things is also essential, and we have access to tools like the uHoo monitor.
When it comes to light, while there is no substitute for going outside, there are real benefits to having suitable light sources in your home. Cheap modern LED bulbs and the light emitted from all your screens bathe you in light that can bad for your health. Poorly lit homes cause many health issues like eye strain and can reduce your ability to sleep.
At BRAVAS, we can work with you to add human-centric light to your home and lessen the impact of too much time inside.
3. Rethink your Home Theater Into a Private Cinema
A year ago, many people were running around saying, "Home theaters are dead." At BRAVAS, we were even starting to think about whether we were dedicating too much showroom space to them. One year later, things have changed. When we Zoom our family and friends, every conversation eventually turns to, "What have you found to watch on Netflix?"
As we discover new movies and TV shows or rediscover old favorites, making a family occasion out of the viewing has become entertainment for many families. Having the right place to watch the content has also become important. To be safe, we may not want to head to our local megaplex theatre, but we want to go to our own private cinema.
Setting up your own private cinema doesn't have to be expensive but may require a good screen, great sound, and a quiet place to watch. You can find more ideas in our Solution Guide here or learn everything you need to know on the subject by listening to our podcast.
4. Music Makes Dinner and Even Art
One of the revelations from our podcast with the team from Sonos was that when you listen to music while eating, people take longer. Music sets a tone and creates an atmosphere. Also, after a while, there is only so much TV you can watch! While each of us has headphones and can listen by ourselves, sharing is also fun. With quick access to almost anything ever recorded, swapping music can be sharing memories.
It may be strange to think, but we all love art in our homes, and speakers can be that art. Sometimes this is because of their beautiful engineering, and sometimes they are actually art. As we learned from Leon Speakers on the BRAVAS podcast, speakers can be made to look like sculptures and can hang next to your Picassos (original or prints). For ideas, check this blog.
5. The Too Many Remotes (or App) Challenge
The biggest issue with technology in our homes is that each new gadget comes with an app, a remote control or even both. While each has a logical use, few seem to work together. The best approach is to dump these apps or remotes and implement a system that works the way you want to live. Companies like BRAVAS recommend a home automation platform.
We have talked in these blogs about the benefits of these tools. But at the end of the day, what makes them work is you. All the fancy shades, human-centric lighting, and music systems are worth nothing if you don't use them.
Having a company like BRAVAS help integrate that whole-home automation technology to match your lifestyle will make all the difference. We listen to how you want to use your home and then make sure it is set up that way. Like home-building, this has become a skill, and having the largest number of technology craftsmen in the industry makes us a great place to start.
We Will Be There for You
Whatever you do to make your home a better place to live, work or play, BRAVAS will be there for you. As the only real national automation company in the industry, we have access to skills, resources, tools, and people no one else has.
That's why we offer a two-year warranty on nearly all the technology we sell and on the workmanship we do in your home. Of course, we also offer service plans and support systems. If you buy one of those from us, we will extend our warranty another year - parts and labor.
No one else can do that, but we can, and we would like the opportunity to help you get your home ready. For whatever the next year will bring.