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Whole-home audio and smart lighting: DIY or go pro?

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Image courtesy Savant

On our most recent IoT Podcast episode, Dave called in to our voicemail hotline looking for advice. His brother-in-law has a Google TV and Nest Audio speakers but wants to invest in whole-home audio and smart lighting.

Dave wonders what we would suggest and even gives us a virtual blank check: He says to consider a scenario where money is no object. There is one constraint though. Dave doesn’t want his brother-in-law to be locked into some proprietary systems.

We’re all for spending other people’s money! Of course, we want to provide the best value for the cost, so we’re going to suggest two options here.

Assuming that cost is irrelevant, we suggest contacting the folks at either Savant or Control4, which combined with SnapAV in 2019 under the name SnapOne.

Image credit Control4

Both of these options include complete custom setups that are professionally installed and supported. You’ll pay a lot more than some off-the-shelf solutions, but these systems are well designed and include many device integrations. While there is are proprietary devices available in these systems, which offer in-wall tablet-like touch screens for controlling the smart home, they’re still fairly open in terms of working with a wide array of brands.

Note that Savant integrates only with Alexa for digital assistants, which could be a deal-breaker. Control4 products support both Alexa and Google Assistant.

The less expensive option would be a DIY system that’s self-installed.

Lutron Caseta switch and dimmer

We’d recommend going with Lutron Caseta switches throughout the home based on their look, functionality, and stability. This would allow the use of any light bulbs because the switches are the “smart” part of this lighting solution.

Supplementing the Lutron-powered lights, we’d suggest Sonos devices for the whole home audio system.

There are plenty of smart speakers out there but none integrate with more music services than Sonos. And the sound quality is typically better than most competing products.

The company also has a rich history in this space and allows you to use one of two digital assistants throughout the smart home: Alexa and Google Assistant. You’ll save quite a bit of money with these options and not have to worry as much about device compatibility and have more control over your own custom automations, routines, and scenes.

To hear Dave’s question in full, as well as our full discussion on the topic, tune in to the IoT Podcast below:

The post Whole-home audio and smart lighting: DIY or go pro? appeared first on Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis.

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

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