,

What Smart Home Technologies Should be Installed by a Professional?

As we spend more and more time at home, many people are considering how to improve their living spaces. One solution is through smart home technology. 

Not only does smart home technology help improve day-to-day life, it can help conserve energy use, improve security and — let’s be honest — make everyday tasks more fun. 

There are a number of smart home technologies available, and some options are simple enough to install, like an Alexa smart speaker, without an electrician’s help. But how do you know which devices you can install yourself and which ones need a professional? Read on to learn more so you can prepare to make your home smarter. 

DIY vs. Professional

Some smart home technologies are simple to install, such as Google Home or Alexa devices. However, for example, some other devices that you would use Alexa to control require more installation complexity than an electrical plug and Wi-Fi access. Instead, they could involve hard-wiring into your home and even water line access. 

If you choose these devices, there is a possibility you could install them yourself. Many brands provide installation instructions for their more complex products. While you could do this on your own, it is important that you have a strong foundational understanding of electrical principles so you can avoid frustration as well as keep yourself and your home safe.

The following are devices that would involve hard-wiring and other technical steps that could benefit from professional installation. Which ones are you considering?

Smart Home Technologies Best Installed by an Electrician

There are a variety of exciting smart home devices that could be added to your home. Below is a list of the most common smart home appliances that we recommend being installed by a professional. 

  • Doorbells. These additions seem so handy to have at home. You can see who is coming to your doorstep and you can keep an eye out for your packages. Installation of the doorbell requires special wiring that is best done by a professional. The camera is, after all, part of your home’s first line of security and first impression. 
  • Thermostats. One of the most popular and useful smart home technologies are thermostats. They easily help you keep track of the temperature, monitor energy use, and even allow you to change your home’s thermostat from your phone while you are away. However, this system is not a simple install and it would be best to have a professional take care of things for you. 
  • Wall outlets. Wall outlets need to be re-wired to accommodate smart home technology. If you do not have an electrical background, this task could prove difficult, cause damage, or even be dangerous. But the task is simple for a trained electrician. 
  • Sprinklers. Apart from electricity, sprinkler controllers involve timing capacities, water monitors, and leak detection. If you want to make sure your sprinklers are going off at the right time and properly monitoring water flow/leakage, it would be best to have a professional install this device. This way, you can get the peace of mind in regard to your sprinklers that made you invest in the technology in the first place. 
  • Smoke alarms. These are among potentially life-saving smart home technologies. Smoke alarms can be more effective, alarming the whole home premises, and there is usually no need to worry about battery replacement. However, setting up a smoke alarm incorrectly could have the opposite effect and be a life-threatening liability to your home. 
  • Light switches. A light is only as smart as its switch. While there are plenty of options for smart light bulbs or plug adapters, you will be limited by a traditional, “dumb” switch — especially if you want to include dimming functions. As opposed to some other smart home technologies, swapping the switch can be simple unless you are unfamiliar with the process or uncomfortable with higher voltage outlets. 

Do the above options get you excited about the possibility of smart home technologies in your house? Read on to determine what you can do to start the process. 

Next Steps

More and more people are considering and installing smart home technologies for the cost- and time-saving capacities, along with enhanced security in the home. Since we are spending more time at home, it’s important to invest in technology that improves these aspects of life — and makes your home more fun and comfortable! 

If you want help selecting or installing smart home technologies, contact us at Castle Electric. We would be happy to answer any questions and make sure your smart home is set up in the smartest way possible. Simply contact us online or call (781) 762-9891. 

,

How Power over Ethernet (PoE) for Your Business Can Revolutionize Your Company’s Energy Use

Picture of an empty conference room with title: How Power over Ethernet (PoE) for Your Business Can Revolutionize Your Company's Energy Use

Businesses are always looking for ways to save money and work smarter — especially in uncertain times. Additionally, with many companies reducing their office building use, finding ways to lower overhead and utility costs — especially when the building is barely in use — has become a priority for many. 

What if the way to improve your energy bill and make your company’s building “smarter” was through your ethernet connection? Power over Ethernet (PoE) is an innovative solution that can revolutionize the energy use of your company. 

What Is Power over Ethernet (PoE)?

Power over Ethernet involves using ethernet connections to power connected devices. While using these connections to power devices has always been a possibility, the technology to make that a reality hasn’t been possible — until now. 

Many devices in your company are connected through ethernet, such as phones and computers. In the past, these machines required more energy than could be transmitted through ethernet. However, these and other devices have reduced energy requirements (such as LED lights) so using ethernet is now an option. 

In addition to powering devices that intrinsically require less energy consumption, ethernet allows you to collect energy and other data from devices. You can then use this data to integrate with other devices, leading to energy savings and other helpful functions. As a result, you can receive an abundance of insight and advantages which can lead to further energy savings and other exciting advancements. 

Energy Benefits of PoE

PoE has a number of design elements that lead to improved energy use, along with potential for other energy-saving applications. 

  1. Energy bill savings. LED lights through PoE require less energy than traditional lighting solutions. Further, installation is less expensive. 
  2. Safety. PoE doesn’t require potentially dangerous, high-voltage, expensive electrical work like traditional lighting. With low-voltage and minimal installation steps, your electrical risks are reduced. 
  3. Security. With PoE lighting, there are fewer outages than are experienced with traditional wiring solutions, which can lead to the potential of fewer days interrupted by outages. And this reliable lighting can be used for security purposes. 
  4. Productivity. You can easily adjust PoE lighting to various warmth levels, shades and intensity. Since lighting influences mood and well-being, you can help promote environments where people feel happy and are more productive. 
  5. Smart integrations. You can easily integrate “smart” features into lighting, such as motion sensors, so that energy use can be optimized and easy to use. 
  6. Data insights. Because ethernet carries data, you can get reports and insights into energy use, which can translate into further energy savings. 

Along with safety and innovation, PoE allows you to revolutionize your lighting — and energy bill savings — like never before. 

How You Can Get PoE For Your Business

Are you interested in installing PoE in your business? Contact Castle Electric. We can help you evaluate your business’ lighting needs and determine how installing PoE can change the way you light your business, save money and improve security for your company. 

ACFI and GCFI: What Do They Mean?

acfi and gcfi

Electricians commonly talk in acronyms that are often confusing for homeowners. But when it comes to GCFI and ACFI receptacles, it’s worth knowing what they stand for, since it directly involves the safety of your home.

 

Read more