Sample Installation

Entry Level

 

What stages are there in installing Control4?

After your initial contact, we send you an email asking a series of questions in order to scope the size of the project. The project could be a single room with a single light switch perhaps, or maybe the installation of a fully automated system into a muliti-roomed hostelry.

After receiving your reply we are able to make recommendations and give you a guide to the overall costs.

If you decide to proceed with the install we will visit your premises to formally introduce ourselves and to provide you with further information and answer any questions you might have. At the same time we would take details of the rooms that were affected and give guidance and advice where necessary.

On return to our office we would be able to give you a better idea of the costs based on any changes that may have arisen due to our visit. We will also provide you with a structured wiring plan, where necessary.

To help reduce your cost, our advice and structured wiring plans are provided free of charge. This enables you to provide your own electrician, or perhaps, if you feel up to it, you could DIY. We would give advice and answer any questions you have along the way.

At this stage all you have paid for would be the travelling costs, everything else is provided free, and at this stage you can walk away from the project without incurring any extra cost.

If however you proceed, the next stage after installing the necessary wiring is for you to purchase the components and we will build the system.

Finally we hand over control of the system and show you how easy it is for you to make any changes you would like to make.

What will I need?

Control4 home automation revolves around a central controller, the HC800. This retails at around £1050 but once purchased will open up all sorts of automation possibilities.

The HC800 has several contact ports that can be used to monitor the status of doors or windows for example, relays that can be used to open electric gates or garage doors for example, audio outputs to stream your stored music or internet radio stations to whichever rooms are connected, and Infra-red ports to control TVs. The HC800 also has a built in wireless radio frequency known as Zigbee. It is this protocol that is used to automate Control4 lighting solutions.

Initially you could target one room for lighting, however, because home automation requires a home controller it wouldn't be cost particularly effective, so the next step would be multi-room video, audio and lighting control. This is simply achieved by adding further light switches around the home and multi-channel Audio and Video distribution components.

As an example, we will assume the system is to control the lighting in the lounge, and audio and lighting in one bedroom and that you already have in place a home network connected to the internet.

A designated area for the home controller:
1 x HC-800 Home Controller (including System Remote Control).

Lounge:
1 x Dimmer switch.

Bedroom:
1 x Wireless or Wired Speaker Point (allows music to be streamed from your networked music library, or internet radio stations).
1 x Pair of Speakers (ceiling or wall mounted).
1 x Dimmer switch.

The cost of this would be less than £2500.

But now that you have the central controller installed, to add a Control4 light switch to provide automated lighting to a third room would be around £200. So you can see that it is inexpensive to add further rooms and grow the system gradually.

How does the system connect to other devices?

The home controller, HC800, controls other applicances. The controller has RS232 ports and Infra-Red ports and uses these for control. Some appliances, such as DVD players, can be controlled using Infra-red remote control, or RS232 serial control, or IP control (using a computer type patch cable connected to your home network). Let's assume your DVD player can only be controlled using an Infra-red remote control. We program the HC800 to mimic the functions of the DVD remote control and by running a wired 'IR Bud' from the HC800 to the DVD player we can instruct the HC800 to send IR commands to the DVD player via the IR Bud. Therefore the Control4 hand-held remote control can be used exactly like the DVD remote, except there doesn't have to be 'line-of-sight' for the remote control, because the Control4 remote control uses Radio Frequency to instruct the HC800 to send IR signals to the DVD player.

Using this setup we can control many makes and models of electronic equipment. We would use the same technologies to operate your amplifiers, Sky boxes, Televisions, garage doors etc. etc. This means you can hide all your appliances away and all the control is done through Control4 remote controls or your Iphone, Ipad, PCs or Android phones.

How would I operate the system?

This setup will allow you to control the DVD player and Televison using just one remote control and also give you control over the light switches and music in both rooms using the same hand-held control. Further, the lights can be pre-set to cater for different 'themes'. One theme could be a 'holiday theme' where the lights will switch on or off at different times during the evening to give would-be burglars the impression that the home is occupied. Another theme might be 'cosy film evening' where, on pressing play for the DVD player, the lights in the bedroom and the front light of the lounge are automatically switched off while the lights at the back of the lounge are turned down to 20%.

In the morning, music can automatically switch on to gently wake you, the volume can be set to increase slightly over a period of time. At night you will be able to switch off the lounge and bedroom lights from the comfort of your bedroom, turn off the televison and switch on your favourite relaxing music to gently soothe you to sleep. The volume can be set to reduce slightly at specific intervals before eventually switching off. Individual playlists can be compiled for each family member allowing each person to listen to their own music, which means Mum and Dad do not have to keep swapping CDs whenever they want to relax. The kids can also have their own playlists and the system can be enhanced so that different music can be played in additional rooms.

These are just examples but is completely up to you how and where you would like the system to be installed.