How to Make Your Smart Home Even Safer with Alarm.com

While home security systems have been available for decades, even the most trusted brands can’t go the extra mile. They are robust in protection, but don’t have the helpful amenities homeowners seek— leaving them instead with a system that lacks the clever and convenient features a smart home needs.

Enter Alarm.com, the industry leader in automated security.

Residential Systems Inc. is proud to add this line of products to our selection of carefully vetted security solutions. Alarm.com products work with your existing systems to provide additional features, all on a well-constructed interface that operates right from your smartphone.

More than a smart app or a stylish thermostat, Alarm.com seamlessly connects the key devices in your home on one platform — so they work together and work smarter.

Here are a few key features:

 

Personalized Alerts

What time did my teenager get home?

Did I forget to close the garage door when I left today?

Did I leave the lights on?

Unlike traditional systems that only alert you in an emergency event, Alarm.com lets you know what’s happening at your property at any time.

It’s easy to set your own alerts and reminders to be notified of any activity you care about, whether your system is armed or not.

 

Access Control

Stop leaving your key under the mat or worrying that you left the garage door open. With Alarm.com you can remotely lock the door, close the garage and get a reminder if you forget. Give friends and family their own codes and get a notification when they’re used. Do the same thing for your garage door, too!

 

Energy Management

Save money and stay comfortable with responsive energy savings, location-based automation and personalized usage recommendations based on your activity patterns.

 

Video Monitoring

Don’t miss a moment of activity at home. Get video alerts when activity is detected and watch live or recorded video from your smartphone, tablet or smartwatch.

 

Proactive Safeguards

Alarm.com quickly learns your home’s usual activity patterns, so it can alert you when something is out of place. If an intrusion occurs, Alarm.com will proactively alert their 24/7 monitoring station and emergency personnel, then notify you via text message when help is on the way.

 

Geo-Services

Using your phone’s location services, Alarm.com can set up a virtual perimeter or Geofence that automatically triggers specific actions when you cross it. With this technology, Alarm.com detects when you are leaving and will send you an alert if you forget to lock the door as you leave. Geo-fencing can also turn off your climate control upon your departure, saving both money and energy that otherwise would be wasted on an empty house.

 

Why Do We Recommend Alarm.com?

We are very careful about the products we bring to our clients, choosing only to carry what we believe are the top solutions on the market. After careful consideration, we chose to bring Alarm.com into our suite of products because:

  • It’s a wireless solution, which means it’s more convenient, more secure and always accessible
  • They provide comprehensive protection from conventional locks and cameras to climate control
  • Each system is easily customized to your home’s unique configuration
  • It works with your existing security system. No need to upgrade
  • Works with all z-wave capable devices you already have installed in your home
  • Works with other leading-class providers like Rachio, Westinghouse, Qualcomm, Lutron and more
  • It’s already securing over 6 million homes

Ready to talk smarter home security? Contact us today to start personalizing your Alarm.com plan today.

The Latest Home Technology for Interior Design

Samsung Frame TV

Residential Systems Inc. turned 31 years old on June 1. While we’ve witnessed the world of home technology change dramatically over the last 30+ years, one thing has remained the same: Our dedication to bringing the most innovative technology and leading-edge integration techniques into your clients’ homes.

With products ranging from automated lighting and shades, to invisible speakers, TVs that virtually disappear, 4K projectors and screens, and endless ways to customize each, we understand that it can be difficult to sift through the options to find the ideal solution.

The good news? We stay on top of trends so you can focus on design.

Our goal is to eliminate confusion, and provide you with products that not only revolutionize your client’s experience within their homes, but also transform the way you customize your spaces.

Here are a few of our top home-tech picks that are bringing excitement and innovation to interior design in 2018.

Frame TV

The 4K revolution made Samsung’s Frame TV possible. With more than a billion shades of color and four times the resolution of HD, the 4K HDR Pro creates an almost lifelike picture.

This level of resolution not only provides the ultimate viewing experience, it also informs the dual nature of the technology, which can transform into a beautiful work of art with the click of a button. “Art Mode” provides homeowners with a way to effectively hide the TV when not in use by displaying an LED gallery-quality piece that’s indistinguishable from the real thing.

The artwork can then be complemented with a combination of frame material as well as matte layout and color, with thousands of options to choose from. Homeowners can also display their personal photos as art, switching them out at any given time.

The Frame TV changes the game for what you can do with design. No more “deciding what to do with the TV” or creating custom solutions to conceal it.

Interested in learning more? Contact us for additional details and a pricing sheet.

samsung frame tv


Lutron’s Palladiom Shades & Keypads

Made by the pioneers of automated window treatments, Lutron’s newest automated shade provides a silent and stylish application specifically crafted to complement interior design.

Unlike other Lutron products, Palladiom was made to be seen. Designed with an exposed roller, concealed wiring and clean lines, it seamlessly blends into architecture, making it the most elegant form of automated shade. And, with thousands of fabrics and dozens of metal and bracket finishes, Lutron’s customization options ensure each shade suits the space.

As with all Lutron products, Palladiom activates at the touch of a button. Plus, the system is fully compatible with the beautiful Palladiom keypad and thermostats, which were designed with high-style in mind—a true celebration of design.

RSI is one of only a handful of dealers in the country where you can test drive Palladiom shades. Contact us today to set up an appointment to see this elegant system in person.

lutron keypad


Personalized / Human-Centric Lighting

Experts agree that Personalized and Human Centric Lighting is the biggest breakthrough in residential lighting, and Residential Systems Inc. is one of the first to bring this technology to you. Here’s why we’re excited about this type of lighting for the interior design community:

interior lighting

Human-Centric Perspective

Like Night Shift on your iPhone, Human Centric Lighting automatically helps people tune into their circadian rhythm.

This technology, powered by what is called “tunable white light”, brings natural lighting indoors, stimulating the mind in daytime for greater productivity and dimming light at night for better sleep.

According to scientists around the world, this technology promotes better sleep, enhances performance, and overall, encourages a happier and healthier lifestyle.

human centric led bulbs

human centric lighting

Personalized Lighting

This lighting technology also revolutionizes the way your clients experience their home with light across the color spectrum.

While the Human-Centric experience is one aspect of “tunable white light” technology, we have discovered that homeowners also like some of the more dramatic lighting options ranging the full color spectrum from warm and cool to playful colors like red, blue, yellow, etc.

With warm and cool settings, paint, fabric and everything in between can be continuously illuminated with the correct light, no matter the time of day.

Art

A snowy landscape portrait illuminated with cool tones looks crisp and clear, whereas a colorful still life under the same light looks stale and flat.

Fabric

Showcase exquisite fabric and draperies the way they were meant to be seen at any time of day with strategically placed light fixtures. Cool tones look crisp under a cool light setting, while warm tones appear more vibrant under the perfect mix.

Events

Dinner parties, kids birthday parties, or everyday living room dance parties will never be the same with customized color experiences. The Personalized Lighting concept allows your client to change the tones in a room to match the mood. Spanning the spectrum, color options help create illuminated experiences that are personal and unique.

Interested in seeing this type of lighting in action? Our new showroom has a fully functional home theater room where you can live demo the systems for your clients.

Contact us today to set up an appointment to test drive this revolutionary technology that’s changing the way we live and work.

Top Streaming Services Reviewed: Netflix vs Hulu vs Youtube vs DirecTV Now (2018)

Netflix vs Hulu vs Youtube vs DirecTV— Which One is Best for You?

The quality and quantity of shows on streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, has increased exponentially over the last few years.

This improvement of content has prompted many of our clients to consider “cutting the cord” and completely move away from traditional cable.

While there is an appeal to tossing your cable bill into the bin, the drawback is the overwhelming number of streaming options out there, which can make your decision confusing.

What to Consider When Cutting the Cord
First address your viewing preferences, such as how important watching live sports is to you; how often you watch movies; if you prefer to maintain your subscription to live local channels; or if you frequently use gaming systems.

If channel and service options aren’t complex enough, there are also multiple types of streaming devices to choose from— Amazon Fire, Nintendo Switch, Roku, Apple TV, Xbox One, Chromecast, Sony Smart TV, and more.

To further complicate things: Not all streaming services work on every device.

Which Device is Right for You?
With all this in mind, it may seem impossible to know which device one is right for you, your family, preferences, budget and habits.

The good news: We’ve done all the hard work for you.

We have worked with dozens of customers to help them make the switch. The most important advice we can offer is to completely understand your choices and costs before committing to anything.

As you consider options, use the chart below to help you compare some of the most common options for devices and streaming capabilities.

And, if you still feel uncertain about your options, our doors are always open to help you assess all the possibilities, and choose and integrate the streaming system that best suits you.

Ready to learn more? Contact us today to get started.

 

TV Streaming Services Comparison Guide

 

 

 

 

Palladiom Shading System with Exposed Rollers

In recent years, there has been a trend toward modern, industrial interior design— both in homes and commercial spaces—and Lutron has taken note.

Traditionally, automated shades have been installed into recessed pockets or facia that conceal the motor and roller. However, due to demand for more contemporary applications, Lutron’s created their new Palladiom line of automated shades, which are the first of their kind, and specifically designed to be an exposed, elegant shade.

lutron palladiom shades

Lutron Palladiom shade features include:

  • Ultra-quiet motors
  • Exposed rollers
  • New drive, brackets, and wire management systems
  • Hidden wires
  • Minimal light gaps
  • New hem bar design
  • Compatibility with Palladiom keypad and new thermostats
  • Ability to accommodate openings as large as 12x12ft

The result is a highly functional, attractive window covering that adds a modern touch to any space.

 

 

Form and Function

Visually, this type of shade stands out from its counterparts due to the use of exposed metal and bracket systems. Lutron’s selection of customization options encompasses hundreds of fabrics and dozens of metal and bracket finishes, ensuring that each shade perfectly suits the space.

The functionality of Palladiom shades is the same as all other motorized shades– they keep the light out, and activate at the touch of a button. Every Palladiom product features the same motor as Lutron’s previous automated models, but this newer model boasts quieter function.

 

Ask an RSI Professional about Palladiom

Lutron tends to innovate and optimize as a product evolves, which means we can look forward to more customization options in the future. Our team at Residential Systems Inc are the leading experts in Lutron products and installation in Denver. Test drive Lutron’s latest products at our brand new, 5,000 sq ft showroom today to learn more about how Palladiom can enhance your next project. 

Residential Systems, Inc. Has Moved

Residential Systems Inc. Moves to New 5,000 Square Foot Showroom

Our brand new space, opened September 24, includes a 2,000 sq. ft. warehouse and ample space for clients to explore a vast selection of home automation products.

Colorado’s top smart home automation and smart home technology integrator, has moved to a new brand new 5,000 square foot showroom in Littleton, Colorado. The space will give clients the ability to experience, first-hand, the vast selection of home technology offerings from Savant, Control4, Sonance, Crestron, Lutron, Sonos and more.

A Word from Travis Leo, CEO of RSI

“This move into a space allows our customers to experience home automation like never before,” says RSI’s CEO, Travis Leo. “With an innovative layout and all the latest technology installed throughout, this is a unique experience and environment where homeowners can see, feel and experience the products before they install them in their home. Our team is looking forward to this next chapter in our business.”

Where to Find Us

Located near the intersection of Ken Caryl Ave and C-470, Residential Systems Inc’s new address will be 7661 Shaffer Parkway Littleton, CO 80127. Visitors will have the opportunity to test drive some of the most popular smart home offerings– from a fully equipped home theater to elegant Lutron lighting systems, and automated Palladom shades.

About Residential Systems Inc

Residential Systems Inc. has been one of Colorado’s leading providers of home technology services for 30 years, specializing in:

Our team of seasoned design and installation professionals have created and installed elegant, functional home technology systems for homes of all sizes throughout the nation. To date, they have completed large-scale projects in over 5,500 homes and businesses and have been featured in multiple local, regional and national media publications.

For more information on our products and services, or to speak to one of our team members, contact us at 303-277-9983.

 

Introducing Lutron’s EcoSystem

Savant vs. Control4 vs. Crestron For Today’s Smart Home. Which is Right For You?

Three years ago, we wrote a post—Savant vs. Control4—comparing the benefits of our top two whole home automation systems. Since then, it has consistently been one of the most visited pages on our site, earning more than 10,000 pageviews from across the globe.

The question “which control system is right for me” is a question asked by nearly every client who walks through our door. Each time our answer is pretty simple: It Depends On What You’re Looking For. Keep reading for details.

Advances in Whole Home Automation

Since publishing our original post, both Control4 and Savant have advanced dramatically, and continue to be world-class products. We also recently added a third whole home automation system to our lineup: Crestron.

With all of the changes, we decided it was time to take a fresh look at these three smart home automation platforms in an effort to help our clients make the decision that is best for them.


An Overview of Control4, Savant, and Crestron

Control4 Savant Crestron
  • Over a decade on the home automation market
  • Lower price points than Savant or Crestron
  • Offers a wide breadth of capabilities including Audio, Video, Lighting, Climate, Security and more
  • Easily integrates with 3rd party devices including Sonos, Nest, Chamberlain garage doors, and Lutron lighting control systems
  • Singular, intuitive user interface
  • Elegant user experience

home automation systems

  • Apple-based products that focus on user experience
  • Extremely reliable, user friendly platform
  • Allows users to define and set “scenes” without reprogramming the software, integration is not required
  • Customizable to suit your lifestyle

  • Over three decades on the home automation market
  • Features complex systems including video distribution, audio conferencing, access control and more
  • High level of integration with simplified control
  • Perfect for commercial spaces
  • Perfect for larger homes with multiple televisions
  • Robust, comprehensive, customizable solutions
  • Ability to build on what already exists, often refreshing and re-programming the software to better leverage the value

Truly integrated solutions

Control4 vs. Savant vs. Crestron: Which One is Right for You?

Asking us to pick our favorite control system is like asking us which of our kids we like better. We like all of them for different reasons.

home automation systemsControl4: Entry-level platform, approachable price point, flexible, integrates with an array of 3rd party devices.

Savant: Mid-level price point, extensive customization options, better user experience.

Crestron: Most robust and customizable solution, ideal for complex integration, higher-end price point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few more differences between the platforms:

CONTROL4

  • Integrates with more 3rd party devices than any of the other platform including: Nest, Sonos, smart locks, smart thermostats and other “Internet of Things” devices.
  • As close to an “out of the box” product as you can get. This allows for quick installation and systems that can be deployed in minutes, versus weeks.
  • Offers an on-screen display, allowing our clients to control their audio and video experience straight from their television.
  • The only platform that allows you to use the TV as a navigation tool.
  • The leading choice for retrofit projects due to its Zigbee wireless capabilities. This allows our clients to take advantage of home technology without rewiring the home.

SAVANT

  • A favorite among Apple fans.
  • Easy to install and very easy to modify.
  • Allows users the ability to customize and set “scenes” themselves.
  • The most reliable system on the market. Requires the least amount of maintenance and technical support.
  • Requires professional installation and wiring. It is the most popular choice for new construction in the Denver area.

CRESTRON

  • The ultimate ability in customization, integration and luxury features. As such, it generally requires some level of personalized programming. When done well, this can be a key benefit. When done poorly, it can make system operations challenging.
  • Ideal choice for a select clients but, for those select few, it is the ONLY choice. If you want to customize the user experience, this is the right platform for you.
  • Ideal choice for large properties and quasi commercial environments.

Making The Decision

When people ask me “Which system do you prefer.” I tell them the following:

  1. I like all of them. At RSI, we only represent the best in custom integration so we wouldn’t install a product that we didn’t believe in.
  2. The system you select is less important than who installs it for you. Find a reliable systems integrator you can count on. A poorly installed Crestron system will function much worse than a well-installed Control4 system, regardless of price.
  3. Play with the user interface and figure out which one you like best. That’s more important than the brand. You’ll use the interfaces everyday so make sure you come to our office and try them all out.
  4. If it tells you anything, I (along with several RSI employees) have a Savant system in my own house. That said, many of the other employees at RSI have Control4 as well. 

The beauty of supporting all three platforms is that we have a solution to fit every client’s needs. We believe in giving our clients a choice when it comes to control system and budget. By bringing together these best-in-class platforms, we are able to offer clients a solution that will meet their needs at a price point that fits their budget.

For help figuring out which system is right for you, give us a call, visit our web site or schedule an appointment at our Design Studio.

How To Hide Your TV

For decades, design savvy homeowners have been struggling with the best way to hide their TV. Remember your mom’s “entertainment center”?

These days we have ultra thin, ultra large, cutting edge video technologies plus devices that are designed to fit any space of your home—theater, shower, kitchen, backyard. The oversized “entertainment center” no longer makes sense. So how do you enjoy stunning picture quality and rapid streaming without compromising your style? Keep reading for a lineup of ideas and design inspiration.

Disguise Your TV

One of our favorite new technologies enables you to disguise your TV as artwork or a mirror. Choose from a wide variety of styles, frames, sizes, and image overlays (including custom) for a TV that transforms into an elegant design detail when off.

Seura Vanity

FrameMy TV

Take a look at our online FrameMy TV Configurator. It allows you to input your TV model, TV size, wall color, and preferred disguise—and then visualize what it will look like in your space. Try with different mirror styles, frames, artwork, or a personal image. The tool also includes estimated budget and allows you to save, print, and/or share your design. Click through to design your display.

Vanishing TV’s

New vanishing vanity TV mirrors by Seura enable you to watch the news while brushing your teeth, and then have the image disappear entirely when not in use.

Waterproof TV’s

The latest generation of waterproof TV’s can be installed beneath kitchen cabinets, framed by tile in the shower, or installed on your patio. Take your viewing experience into new places without making every room feel like a home theater.  
Seura Shower

Hide Your TV

If you don’t mind seeing the TV but don’t want it as a focal point, thoughtful design and professional installation can help soften the look of a screen. Consider tucking it into a bookshelf or placing it on a dark wall. Click through for more tips and ideas from Houzz: “How to Hide the TV, No Cabinet Required.”

Seura Art Tv

Installation

If you’re planning a new home, device installation can be seamlessly incorporated into the building process, giving you a wide array of options and simplifying the process. If you’re looking to upgrade your TV or better disguise the one you already own, professional system design, wiring and installation will ensure that you get the most out of your video technologies without making them the centerpiece of every room.

Smart Home Technology Trends for 2017

The adoption of smart home technologies continues to rise, with nearly half of renovating homeowners (45%) incorporating smart systems or devices during their renovation projects (Houzz). We’ve seen a substantial growth in demand for intelligent home security devices such as smart doorbell cameras (up 211% from last year according to Argus Insights); our clients are asking for these on almost every installation we do today. Security systems, entertainment, lighting and climate control technologies are also showing a rapid increase in market adoption. More good news: customer satisfaction ratings are remarkably high for these technologies.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 highlights from 2016, and (our predictions for) the top five trends of 2017. Scroll down for more details.

5 Highlights: Smart Home Technology in 2016

  • Connected thermostats add comfort while dramatically reducing energy consumption within the home. Perhaps that’s why they’ve become “the single most popular smart device in a renovated home,” according to Houzz. Good thing they made our list of Top 5 Tech Trends for 2016. Our pick: Control4
  • Lighting Design has never been so elegant nor so experience driven. Set scenes to come home to. Light pathways through your home at night. The options are endless. Our pick: Lutron
  • Voice controlled devices are the star child of 2016 and made our list of Smart Home Technologies in 2017. More details below. Our pick: Amazon Alexa
  • Advancements in whole home automation systems allow homeowners to adjust lighting, music and temperature; monitor security systems; and manage home entertainment systems from one easy-to-use application. Our pick: Savant or Control4

With all the innovation, one of the biggest challenges we see is the need for homeowners to learn about and find the right technologies for their home. We know it can be overwhelming and we’re here to help. Click through for our Home Technology Guide and our easy-to-use Client Checklist. Then, give us a call.

2017 Technology Trends

You can adjust the music, lower the lighting, lock the front door, and see what’s happening on your property…all from right here. Image from Lutron.

Top 5 Smart Home Technology Trends for 2017

There’s a lot of momentum for 2017 as new technologies continue to hit the market and more comprehensive integration capabilities are developed. Here are our top 5 trends to watch in 2017.

    1. Increased partnerships across technologies allow users to cherry-pick the products that work best for them, and integrate functionality across a user friendly network. Did you know that you can now ask Alexa to check if your dryer is finished due to a collaboration with GE? Our favorite: Sonos‘ integration with Lutron
    2. “According to new report from ABI Research:  “Voice controlled smart home devices, a device category that barely existed just two years ago, is expected to represent almost 30 percent of smart home device spending by 2021” (Security Info Watch). Hear Kevin Learmann, RSI’s VP of System Consulting, speak with Modern In Denver about his experience with Alexa.
    3. Smart home security systems are on the rise, with smart doorbell cameras and smart detectors leading the way in increased demand (according to Argus Insights, see chart below). And while peepholes have always been awkward, these technologies are solving more than the puzzle of what’s outside. Get notified about fire or gas problems. Monitor and control locks wherever you are. Or, if security from intruders is your goal, big data allows for a social element to your surveillance system: you might hold the keys to solving a crime! Our pick: Doorbird (which integrates well with Control4).
    4. This might be because we live in Colorado (where we get sun 300 days/year) but the smart home technologies for outdoor living have folks stepping up their back yards for year round entertainment. Our picks: Ruckus Wireless for outdoor network connection, Sonance for outdoor audio, and Seura for outdoor TV.
    5. New 4K and HDR televisions offer unbelievable picture quality, featuring 4 times more detail than standard high definition (to be exact). The result: stunning detail, vibrant colors, and a wholly renewed viewing experience. Our pick: the Sony 4K Ultra HD TV. 

 

Want to learn more? Have a different idea for home technology trends in 2017? Reach out or visit our website. We look forward to speaking with you.