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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.

Control4 vs Lutron: Lighting Control Within Reach

When it comes to automated lighting systems, the options can seem endless, but finding the system that works for you provides the ultimate in convenience.

Consider this: With the touch of a button (or in some cases a programmed setting), you can adjust the ambiance in a room, light up the driveway when returning home, turn off every light in the house as you go to bed, and control the blinds to reduce energy waste.

To give you an overview of the automated lighting options available, let’s compare the top two brands: Control4 and Lutron. Each system offers flexibility and convenience but, by comparing their features against your needs, you can determine which system is right for your home.


Lutron

lighting control

Lutron

No Need to Retrofit or Rewire

Lutron has been the world leader in lighting control systems for more than 60 years with good reason. Using patented wireless technology, this company allows you to install a whole-home lighting control system without retrofitting or rewiring your home.

Seamless Control

With Lutron, all of the lights within your home can be seamlessly controlled both in-home and out using a broad array of devices: keypad, remote control,, iPad, iPhone, Android, etc.

Unlimited Options, Designed to Your Specifications

lighting control

Lutron

Lutron approaches in-home lighting from a holistic fashion, incorporating window treatments, lighting devices, and seasonal shifts to engineer the perfect lighting design for any situation while saving energy and time.

Take a moment to consider all of the light sources in your living room alone.  Now imagine having the flexibility to adjust each element individually from the comfort of your couch. Find a combination you like? Set it as a “scene” so it can be easily recreated. As the masters of ambiance, Lutron makes it easy for you to create and/or pre-set lighting designs to match your activity, your mood, and your company. The controls are in your hands.

Reduce Energy Costs

Lutron’s streamlined user interface allows you to see and adjust all of the lights that are on at any given time. Their solar-adaptive shading software can further reduce energy costs by tackling much of the daytime lighting control for you, bringing in soft, natural light while reducing the need for artificial light.

The Perks of Geofencing

lutron lighting

Lutron’s new Geofencing capabilities enhance the customization and convenience of automated lighting systems by enabling you to design action triggers based on the movements within and around your home. Here are just a few examples of how this might come in handy:

  • Select indoor and outdoor lights turn on as you arrive home
  • Shades close and lights dim when the house is empty
  • You are notified if lights are still on when you leave the house

Lutron is…

Precision. Flexibility. Ambiance. Responsive. Streamlined. Lighting Focused.


Control4

Control4 Lifestyle

Flexible Install

Control4 is a newer company in the field of automated lighting systems but is backed by years in complementary smart home technologies. A Control4 automated lighting system can be installed either during construction or after (wireless), allowing homeowners to adopt the technology at various stages in the design process.

Convenient Keypad Control

lighting control

Control4

All Control4 smart home technologies function through the Control4 platform, an operating system that allows you to cohesively manage your home’s “internet of things” through a simple user interface accessible across multiple devices.

Adjust your lighting with the touch of a button using sleek wall mounted or wireless keypads (a favorite amongst Control4 users); the Control4 user interface on your TV or tablet; or the Control4 mobile application.

Expansive Compatibility

With the Control4 automated lighting system, you can dim virtually any type of light, large or small, interior or exterior, incandescent or LED. They offer a continuously expanding list of third-party compatible lighting fixtures so it is easy to identify which devices can or can’t be used with the Control4 technology.

Match your Mood

Control4 Lifestyle

Like Lutron, the Control4 Lighting System gives you the freedom to adjust ambiance without dealing with the “which lightswitch?” fumble. While Lutron offers more flexibility in crafting the perfect lighting design for your specific mood, Control4 offers users the option of incorporating audio control into their keypads.

What does this mean? One button could simultaneously dim the lights and turn on soft music. Or, set up the inverse as an automated alarm clock: bright lights and loud music. Control4 also makes it easy to incorporate timers and motion sensors into your lighting design—a quick way to boost convenience and security while decreasing energy costs.

Adaptive Technology

Control4 Lifestyle

Want to adjust the overall lighting system? It is both straightforward and convenient to tweak your lighting design…yourself. No complicated re-programming required.

Lower Costs

Control4 was founded in 2003 with the mission “to deliver an elegant and more affordable way to control and automate lighting, music, video, security and energy in a single room or throughout the entire home.” On average, a Control4 lighting system will cost approximately 10% less than a Lutron system, providing a homeowner with substantial cost savings

Control4 is…

Cohesive. Elegant. User Friendly. Lower Cost. Integrative Technology.

Control4 Chilterns


What are you looking for in an automated lighting system?

For each of the following options, consider which benefit is more important to your needs.

  • A whole home automated lighting system OR an automated lighting system spanning select areas
  • Higher costs with a higher level of flexibility OR lower costs with a lower level of flexibility
  • A platform uniquely tailored to your lighting needs OR a broad platform that integrates with other smart home technologies
  • Low-level user interaction/broad span of options vs. high-level user interaction/simple user interface

If your answers were more closely aligned with the first option in each of the questions above, we might recommend Lutron. If you tend to prefer the second option, Control4 might be the better choice for your needs. Either way, you can’t go wrong with an automated lighting system in your home.

Which is Right for You?

When selecting an automated lighting system, take some time to decide what features are most important to you, and how you want those to interact with your control devices. A system that feels intuitive and comprehensive will save you time and frustration, and will allow you to make sure that your home is always a “welcome home” for you and your loved ones.

If you’re looking to transform your lighting or looking for whole home automation and don’t know where to start, check out our “Getting Started” checklist.  Better yet—Call us to set up a free in-home consultation where we can guide you through the process. Our team of experts can design a lighting that works for your lifestyle. Give us a call at (303) 277-9983.

Summer Vacation the Smart Way

Loading up the family and heading out to your vacation home is top of the list for fun summer getaways. While lounging on the patio and lingering past sundown are the name of the game, they could be even more fun with a dash of smart technology.

This summer bring your vacation home to life with the latest in home automation.


Turn Your Pool Into a Smart Pool

SLS Pool House

The swimming pool is an oasis and the perfect place to keep the kids entertained in the heat. This summer, turn up the fun with a Pool Scene on your Savant system. Program the heat, water pumps and water slide to turn on with the touch of a button. To complete the package, program music and lights to turn on when you’re hosting your next pool party.


The Outdoor Living Room

Snap AV Sunbrite TV

 

Turn your backyard into an outdoor living room with a waterproof TV by Seura, which can withstand the elements and still provide a crystal clear picture in the sunlight—it’s great for family movie night under the stars.

What entertainment system would be complete without outdoor surround sound. Sonance creates high quality sound you can control from any smart device. Perfect for those pool parties or a mellow afternoon enjoying the sunshine and a frosty beverage.


Keep Your Cool

Control4

The dog days of summer are ahead, but that doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable. A smart climate control system like the one from Control4 lets you easily program the temperature in your home and even control it remotely from a tablet or smartphone. Plus, you can have the home cooled before you arrive for your next vacation, which is much more comfortable than waiting for the a/c to kick in while you sweat it out.


Maintain Your Pristine Lawn

While you’re away there’s no reason you can’t preserve your green lawn you worked hard to grow. Using Rachio through your Control4 system let’s you monitor and manage your home’s sprinkler system from anywhere. Keep an eye on water usage, and program when you’d like the sprinklers to come on, keeping your lawn beautiful and green.

This summer, turn your vacation home into a smart summer getaway with the latest in home technology. If you’re interested in adding any of these features, give us a call for a free in-home consultation.

Kick back and relax, you earned it.

Our Latest Project: A Smart Home in the Hills

There are smart homes and then there are genius homes. We would like to think that this project is a little above average when it comes to smart home technology. What started as a simple bathroom remodel soon transformed into a whole house renovation as the homeowners decided it was time for an update—not just for their interiors, but for their smart home technology.

The home already had a few automation systems in place  such as an older Control4 system, Lutron lighting, and electrical racks in the basement that needed updated wiring.When the project was finished, the house was completely updated to include all the modern conveniences of the latest smart home innovation.

Entertainment

 

  • In the great room, we installed a 75-inch flat screen TV above the fireplace, hidden inside a Leon Media Decor artscreen. What looks like a nice piece of artwork above the mantel, scrolls back with the touch of a button to reveal a new flat screen TV.
  • The in-home gym was outfitted with  a motorized TV mount with attached soundbar by Leon that swings down from the ceiling. With a push of a button the TV swings into the ceiling to reveal beautiful views of the foothills. And no gym would be complete without a sound system for when they need that extra bit of motivation.
  • The master bedroom previously had a TV at the foot of the bed but we were able to improve and update it. At the touch of a button, a television and Leon soundbar rises from what looks like a small cabinet at the end of the bed.
  • In the master bath, we installed a Seura waterproof TV at the foot of the tub so the homeowners can enjoy some TV while they relax. There is a speaker above the bath and even a waterproof speaker in the shower.
  • Downstairs in the home theater, we brought in a zero edge screen with almost no bezel by Screen Innovations. This black diamond screen features the new Ambient Light Rejecting technology, meaning you can enjoy your movie without being in complete darkness. The picture quality stays pristine even when you leave a few lights on.

Centralized Climate Control

  • The house has several radiant heating zones that were previously controlled individually. We updated the thermostat to a central flushmount touchpad so the homeowners can control the temperature of each section of the house from one intuitive interface.

Automation System

  • The residence had an outdated Control4 system that needed an upgrade. We installed a more advanced Control4 system with several touchscreens throughout, so the homeowners could enjoy all of their new technology seamlessly.
  • Through Control4 and Key Digital, the house now has video distribution throughout, meaning they can share video to any TV without adding devices. There are 17 locations where the owners can share and stream video.
  • Their current Lutron system needed updating in order to work with the new technologies in place. We installed new Lutron keypads for the automated lighting throughout, giving them convenient access to their entire home lighting system.
  • For security, we added multi-zone cameras around the outside of the residence. With such a large house, it was important to have several view points of the outside to give them better security.
  • We re-wired everything with a new infrastructure so all the new devices were able to work together without relying on WiFi. Installing wiring was key to ensuring a proper functioning home.

Take a look at more pictures of this beautiful home below. If you’re interested in whole home smart technology or a free consultation, give us a call at 303-277-9983.