Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Smart Home Needs Smart Planning

You're taking the leap. You're going to become a smart home owner (pun intended) and add some smart technology to your home. Even better, you're going to automate your home so all your new technology works in harmony together for a wonderful, hi-tech lifestyle. But where do you start?

Where to Automate

First, consider what areas of your home you want to add smart technology and ultimately automate. The obvious, and maybe more glamorous one, is your entertainment center. Systems can be put in place so that you create a seamless visual and audio experience in your entertainment center. But also consider other areas of your home like lighting, comfort (controlling the temperature and opening/shutting the blinds), and security. Each area of your home will require a different project and system to create a more comfortable lifestyle.

Mix and Match vs. A Comprehensive System

Once you've decided what you would like to automate, decisions on how extensive each system should be are next. Technology is always evolving and the newest device is always right around the corner. The latest gadget might have all the bells and whistles, but may not be compatible with all the other systems in your house. And this is fine, if you are an early adopter with technology and don’t mind that your home automation may not be seamless, or if you are only automating one or two areas of your home. However, a home that automates multiple areas would benefit from a much more in depth system that is compatible with various technologies. This would allow systems to work together smoothly to create that simplified lifestyle.

The Command Center

Finally, your smart hub to control all your new technology can be programmed in a couple of different configurations. It can react to events: like when it senses you are home, the lights turn on and the thermostat changes. Or it can have pre-programmed scenarios: each morning during the week, it can get the coffee started, open the blinds and turn on the news. Also, consider how you want to interact with your hub. All hubs can be communicated with and controlled through one app on a mobile device. However, some smart hubs can also respond to voice commands. Just be mindful of where your hub is located. Depending on the layout of your home, will your hub be able to hear you or pick up the commands from the TV (don't laugh, it's happened before!)?

Making the decision to improve the functionality of your home may be a simple one, but considering all factors can make it more complicated. It’s a fun and exciting project to begin, but can be a daunting one once you’re in the thick of things. Thinking through all the details of adding smart functionality to your home will better prepare you for the upcoming task and allow you to enjoy your smart home once you have a plan. Terracom Systems can take your vision, work with you, and implement it into your home.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Should You Automate Your Own Home?

Now that home automation kits and equipment are becoming more mainstream and accessible to the general public, the thought to build your own home automation system resonates with a lot of people. After all, it has to be a lot cheaper to do it yourself than to hire a professional, right? And how hard could it be to install a few gadgets and sync it up to your mobile device? Sure you could install a home automation system yourself. But let’s look at the pros and cons of a do-it-yourself installation versus hiring a professional. 

Timeframe

When you first start out planning your home automation renovation, you’re probably seeing the end product. Visions of voice controlled lighting and sound, a state-of-the-art security system and a home entertainment center to rival the Joneses are the motivation to get started on upgrading and adding to your home electronics. However, you’re just one person, maybe two. And your knowledge of how all the equipment gets installed into your home is limited. You may be motivated enough to do some research so you install everything correctly. But the time you invest on making sure you do it correctly just makes your final project get further and further away. 

The timeframe to install your own home automation system can take quite some time and can be a daunting project. However, when you hire professionals, their knowledge and expertise can cut that timeframe down dramatically. There’s no questioning whether the correct wires were connected or the correct piece of equipment was installed in the most optimal place. Even if sub-contractors are hired, your home automation experts can efficiently manage and communicate with all parties taking the stress, confusion and elongated timelines out of any DIY project. 

Beyond Knowledge

Ok, so we all know that the professionals have the knowledge and expertise to quickly install your home automation projects. But they also do more than just take equipment and plug it into your home. They take into consideration your style of living and can suggest what products will work and look the best for what you want to achieve. While you can have a good idea of what will work in your home, a professional installer knows what products can integrate seamlessly into your lifestyle. And to build on that, they also keep up with home automation trends. A good home automation expert will be able to tell you about any new technology that is growing in popularity and give you an educated recommendation. 

While a DIY project can save you money in the long run, the time it takes to achieve your integrated dream home may outweigh the money you save. And if you’re not familiar or comfortable with home renovation projects that involve electrical systems, the additional time it would take to learn those components can add to your timeline. In addition to a professional’s expertise and knowledge, a professional can ultimately give you peace of mind. Peace of mind that everything’s been installed correctly and accurately. And if home security is part of your home automation project, then peace of mind is the most important aspect of that project. 

So trust your home automation design to a professional and sleep peacefully at night. Contact Terracom Systems to get started on your home automation project.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Smarter Way to Keep Your Home Safe

We all wish that we didn’t live in a world where we had to lock our doors and take numerous safety precautions when it comes to our home. Unfortunately home security is something we have to think about for yourself and your family. So how extensive do you go? A simple bolt on the door? An alarm system? Or perhaps something more comprehensive with motion sensors and video cameras.

An Integrated Home Security System

With today’s advanced technology, a custom home security system is easily attainable and user friendly. Lights can turn on when a motion sensor is triggered or you can even schedule specific access times and codes to visitors (or teenagers). Integrating your home automation system by connecting your lighting, electronics, blinds, etc. easily provides a new level of security. Some systems even have pre-programmed settings in which the lights, TV and blinds can be activated so to appear as if you’re in your home even when you’re not. Now with home automation, turning on lights, setting the alarm system or authorizing visitors can all be controlled easily from your mobile device.

Mobile Integrated Security System

And with mobile devices, gone are the days when the security control panel required a world record sprint down the hall and through the house to de-active the system before the alarm sounded and alerted the police. Now, systems are integrated easily to your tablet, phone, or other mobile devices. If the alarm goes off, whether you’re home or not, you can easily see what alarm was triggered and de-activate it if necessary. Security camera feeds can stream directly to your mobile device. Thus allowing you to confidently grant a guest entry to your home.

But not everyone needs or can afford every single security feature. Terracom custom builds each security system to meet your specific needs and budget. So that if you have pets, teenagers, or little ones, your home security plan can take into account who’s roaming about or opening doors. And you can monitor all that from your mobile device. No matter your set up, you can feel comfortable at night or when you leave the house.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Light Up Your Outdoor Space with Smart Lighting

As the days get warmer, more and more time is being enjoyed outside. And if you have an expansive outdoor entertainment space or even just a couple of patio chairs and table, lighting can set the tone and extend the duration of your outdoor experience. More than just setting lights on a timer, smart lighting can define your outdoor space and even play an integral part in home security. 

Cue the Smart Lights

Just like indoor lights, outdoor lighting can set the mood of your event. Lighting can even be programmed to coincide with the sunset and sunrise. As you lose the sun, the lights can automatically be turned up so that your event can continue into the night. But even before your party starts, you don’t have to worry about your lights if you have pre-set settings. One push of a button and your outdoor lighting design is all set. Of course smart lighting can be added to your home automation system which can all be controlled from a mobile device so that you don’t even have to leave the party.  

Outdoor Lighting Adds to Home Security

But more than helping you party into the wee hours of the night, outdoor lighting can be an important part of your home security system. Flood lights can be set on motion sensors or even coordinated to flash when the alarm system is activated. Having your lights synced with your security system adds one more deterrent for an intruder. 


Your lighting design outside of the house can do more than just light the path to the doorway. Having your landscape lighting programmed along with your other outside lights to dim here and there creates the perfect atmosphere for your outdoor event. And when you’re not enjoying your outdoor space, that lighting can be used as an essential element of your home security system. Outside lighting is now more than just lights in the dark.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Rockies Baseball Best Seen on a Terracom Home Theater System

Now that it's officially springtime, professional baseball is in full swing. This means it's time to go support your Colorado Rockies. While watching the game live from Coors Field may be ideal, a Terracom home theater system certainly provides the best in-home viewing experience.

Watching the game from the comfort of your home on a digital home theater system by Terracom delivers the best color, sound, lighting, seating and more. Our professional team of experienced home theater installers approach every home theater install with one goal in mind - Create the best audio/visual experience possible.

Terracom Systems loves Rockies baseball and we're proud to be a Colorado home theater system installation company. Whether you're a rabid Rockies fan or not, if you're interested in a custom home theater, we would love to talk with you.

TV Installation & TV Wall Mounting

Not ready to install a home theater system, but still looking to improve your home entertainment experience? A professionally installed TV might be the right choice for you. Terracom also provides tv installation and wall mounting services. Plus we can still put our audio video distribution services to work in your home to ensure the best viewing experience.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

TV Installation 101: How to Avoid Accidental Holes in the Wall. Hire a professional.

You have a vision of a do-it-yourself home entertainment space. And that all begins with the installation of your stunning LCD TV.

Of course it has to be wall mounted so everyone has an optimal viewing spot. Measurements are taken for the perfect spot, maybe even a few times to make sure you know exactly where the TV is going to go. You head out to the hardware store for the mounting equipment and return home prepared to build your perfect entertainment space. But then you realize your measurements were a little off or you got the wrong mounting hardware. And there's the task of hiding all those cords. This seemingly simple task begins to be more arduous than envisioned.

Luckily Terracom Systems knows the exact hardware needed for your TV installation, how to conceal all those wires and can recommend the perfect spot so that everyone has the best seat in the house. No matter how your space is set up, our expert technicians can recommend the optimal placement on the wall based on your TV size.

They can also suggest on how to set up your seating. Because no one wants to watch the show from two feet away. They also take into consideration how all the lighting (artificial and natural) can affect your viewing experience. And don't worry about the wires. Terracom's TV installers know how to conceal all those wires or get rid of them entirely though bluetooth and other wireless technology. Our installers think of all the details that go into building your ideal entertainment space and apply that to where your TV should be placed.

So avoid putting any unwanted holes in your walls and let Terracom install your TV the right way. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Control4 Integration with Amazon's Alexa Brings Voice Command to Your Smart Home

In September, Control 4 announced that Alexa could now integrate with Control4’s home automation system. Alexa was already your personal DJ and information system. Now she can turn on your lights and adjust the temperature in your home. With Amazon’s Alexa, voice control and home automation became that much more simple.

"On average, our customers have over 40 connected devices in their homes that are orchestrated by Control4 and now, voice interaction with Amazon Alexa offers another convenient way to control all of them,” said Martin Plaehn, Control4 CEO. “This integration combines Control4’s automation power and extensive support for connected devices with the intuitive voice control from Amazon Alexa, reinforcing our shared vision to make life in a connected home ever-more personalized, comfortable, and hassle-free.”

Control4 provides users with the power to control one light at a time or create as many lighting pre-sets as needed. Dinner parties can have ambient lighting and a classical playlist, whereas movie night might be dark with the surround sound system calibrated so you feel the explosions of your favorite action movie. Instead of having to go to your device for these settings, you can now simply say “Alexa, execute Dinner Party setting” or "Alexa, execute turn off bedroom light".

Alexa doesn’t simply adjust the lighting or temperature. Control4 integrates with all Alexa products, including Echo Dot, Amazon Tap and Amazon Fire TV. This means Alexa can turn on your TV and find your favorite song along with all the other services that Control4 offers. Now you’ll never have to remind your kids to turn the TV off when they leave the room. Simply ask Alexa to do it.

This holiday season, be sure to ask Terracom Systems about Control4 integration with Alexa and the  convenience that voice-control can bring to your home. Contact Us.

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