How The Amazon Alexa Can Automate Your Home From Your Voice

For decades, people have watched movies and television shows about technology and its impact on the future. From flying cars to friendly robots, we can all observe the ways in which the future is quickly becoming the present. Over the last few years, home automation has emerged and taken over the mainstream market; bringing sophisticated skill sets to our homes. Leading the way in this new era of home automation is Amazon’s Echo. Known by most as Amazon Alexa, The Echo is a voice-controlled speaker, home automation device and personal assistant. Most importantly, Amazon Alexa is smart. Over 4,000 skills have been added in just the past 90 days, and Amazon Alexa continues to expand its knowledge daily. Amazon allows other companies and individuals to integrate with the Amazon Alexa. Home automation company Crestron has integrated its systems with Amazon Alexa to create the home of the future.


Crestron is a company that provides integrated systems for audio and video, shades and blinds, lighting, temperature control and other components for home automation. Crestron provides complete solutions for full home automation by providing an assortment of products ranging from speakers and audio receivers to lighting and shade controls. By combining the voice control of Amazon Alexa with Crestron’s total integration system, homeowners can now control their home automation setup completely hands-free.


At its core, Amazon Alexa is a personal assistant. Alexa can perform basic tasks such as searching for information, adding products to a shopping list and playing music upon request. What makes Amazon Alexa so special is the ability to speak naturally to the device without having to stop and press a button. Amazon Alexa is always listening, so there’s no need to interact with the speaker itself before talking to Alexa. Beyond the typical commands of any virtual personal assistant, Amazon Alexa can integrate with websites, applications and appliances to provide additional functionality. These integrations are known as “skills”, and Amazon Alexa learns new skills daily. Skills are customizable, and can be added via the Amazon Alexa application available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.


The possibilities for what Amazon Alexa can learn are endless. Currently you can ask Alexa to perform tasks such as ordering pizza, reading audio books, providing facts on specific topics, ordering products from Amazon and even dimming your lights to a setting that suits your mood. Speaking to Alexa is very natural. You can say things like, “Alexa, dim my bedroom lights”, “Alexa order more toothpaste”, or “Alexa, ask Automatic if I need gas”. All the skills available in the Amazon Alexa application have made the Echo a perfect companion to total home automation. On its own, the Amazon Alexa can perform basic home automation tasks; adding Crestron as a partner enhances Alexa’s abilities far beyond what was imaginable even 3 years ago. With Crestron integration, Amazon Alexa can control your television, sound system, thermostat, security system, smoke detectors, lighting and a variety of appliances. Imagine arriving to a home that knows exactly what you want. You can have Amazon Alexa close the garage door, turn on the lights and start your favorite music as soon as you enter your home; all with the sound of your voice. You can find a recipe, preheat the oven, start the tea kettle, hear step by step instructions from your recipe and set timers for each dish you’re preparing. The power is no longer in your hands, it’s in your voice.


Contact us or visit our showroom to try out an Alexa enabled automation system, and gain control over your home or office through the power of your voice.

Top Strategies for a Green Building with Home Automation & Other Tips!

It has been said that green is the new black. From industry to individuals, everyone is looking for ways to become more “green.” Smart houses that use home automation technology can be counted among the greenest and most energy efficient residential spaces, but so are homes that have introduced simple practices such as recycling and pot plants. Here are the best strategies to greening your home and building.

  • Use Pot Plants – pot plants have been shown to improve air quality, reduce dust, and even assist with temperature control (larger plants only)
  • Install Solar Panels – solar panels reduce your carbon footprint. They also help save you money over the longer term by reducing your energy bills.
  • Update Your Appliances ­– older appliances tend to be less energy efficient. Choose new appliances with a good energy rating. Use Surge Suppressors – plugging electronic devices into surge suppressors not only helps protect against voltage surges, but can help cut unnecessary electricity usage if you turn the strips off when the devices are not in use. It’s useful to remember that a device on standby can require as much as 40 percent of the energy used when it is on.
  • Use Energy Management Software – energy management software, as part of a home automation system, will help you keep track of water and energy usage by device, area, or time. You can use this data to make effective changes in your house or office. Home automation systems will automatically fully shut off devices when they are not being used, so you don’t have to remember to turn appliances off from standby. If you use energy management software, you can identify “leaky” appliances that are energy inefficient. Install Sensors – installing occupancy sensors around your house, especially in corridors, bathrooms, and garages
  • Install Sensors – installing occupancy sensors around your house, especially in corridors, bathrooms, and garages help turn lights off when they are accidentally left on and no longer in use.
  • Turn Down Your Thermostat – reducing your thermostat by one degree in winter can save around 3 – 5 percent of your monthly heating costs.
  • Insulate Your House – insulating your house helps protect you and your family from the extremities of weather so that you expend less energy on heating or cooling. Install insulation in your windows as well as your roof for maximum protection against the weather.
  • Install a Rainwater Tank for Flushing – have your rainwater tank connected to your garden and toilets and save on water consumption.
  • Recycle and Reuse – use reusable containers whenever possible and recycle Go Organic – buying and eating organic is one of the best ways to green your household as organic farming is less likely to degrade soil.
  • Use Green Materials – use as much green material around your home for building and furnish as possible. Bamboo, cordwood, and kirei board are just a few of the furniture and building materials used for green homes.
  • Use Green Paint – opt for healthier paint for your walls. Traditional paint can contain a lot of toxic solvents and volatile organic compounds. These are released into the air you breathe even after the paint dries. Choose non-toxic paints where possible.
  • Put Your Lawn to Use – with just a little work, your water-intensive lawn can be converted into a mini vegetable patch or an attractive garden. Use natural rather than chemical fertilisers if you’re starting up a vegetable patch, or design a garden patch from attractive native plants that won’t need frequent watering.

These are just a few of the many simple tips you can integrate within your home and lifestyle. With the ever changing and increasing environmentally-friendly methods of energy generation, going green has never been easier. No more are these tips difficult to

Automation Systems – The Future of Homes in Dubai

Smart homes are futuristic dream homes of most of the people who live in the city of Dubai as well as the country. Many of today’s household products are becoming “smart” and a part of the automation systems that can be set up. Products in the bathroom such as showers, electric razors and kitchens such as microwaves, refrigerators, and stoves are utilizing this technology. This technology seems to be new, but it uses existing technology. For example, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC are just some of the many different technologies used. These technologies are used together to make the electronic devices around a house automated, and function on a certain schedule or event.

When you hear the term “smart home”, you may visualize an expensive futuristic house or brand new mansion. However, with today’s new technologies and innovations, any homeowner can take advantage of either a few or multiple home automation services. Furthermore, these technologies are affordable for many homeowners. Whether you are building a new house or looking to simplify daily life in your current home, with smart home integration, your options are nearly limitless. Once your home automation system is installed, you can relax knowing your security system, lighting, heating, and entertainment features will run like clockwork.

How does it work? You choose the areas and appliances you wish to be “smart”, and our team will figure out the equipment necessary for automation. Our team will equip the systems with timers, settings, and control panels, conveniently located throughout your home. For example, you may have your lighting automated so that with one remote control you can turn on, off, and dim any light fixture inside or outside your home. Also, you may set timers on the house’s lighting so that porch or living room lights turn on at a specific time and you walk into a safe and welcoming home. No longer will you get up out of bed to turn off lights that were forgotten. Similarly, your security system and heating and cooling can all be controlled from one location, making your family comfortable, safe. Furthermore, home automation provides you with an energy efficient home, for an environmentally friendly household.

What choices are there for controlling the automation? You can select touch screens, remote controls, and online options. Want to change the heat setting while you are out of town? There are options for controlling your home automation system from a mobile phone or laptop. Prefer one central location that stays out of the reach of children? or maybe you wish to have a touch screen installed for easy access?

What about customizing? When you take a look at today’s smart homes, you will find an entire house personalized to the family’s needs and wants. It may sound complex, but it is as simple as choosing a few custom settings. For example, simply say “Good Morning” and as chosen, the air conditioner will turn off, the lights will turn on, the alarm will turn off, and your coffee will brew. All before you’ve gotten out of bed.

Entertainment systems also fall under the list of items that can be controlled with a home automation system. With Crestron’s powerful audio and video system integration, you can control almost any brand of TV, projector or speaker to function how you want it. You can also have home theaters complete with surround sound and multi-room speakers installed at the same time. Once your house is automated for practicality, you can look into investing in high-quality entertainment and sound systems as you may please.


The beauty of Crestron home automation systems is that it can function with almost any device whether it is old or new, making it a cost-effective option for a home automation system. Take some time to look into home automation options. You are sure to find at least one feature that will make your family’s life simpler and safer. Customize your smart homes to fit you and your family’s needs.


Contact us today to get a free estimate on deploying your future dream home automation in your household.

The true benefits of an AV (audio and video) distribution system

Audio and video distribution systems can be used in many places, but often they are not and this produces an economic and efficiency issue. As AV distribution systems are developed, more features are integrated, such as connecting to Youtube, Spotify, Rdio, and even Google Music playlists. You can also distribute video sources such as an AppleTV across multiple TV’s and projectors. This is beneficial as it makes your life simpler and error-prone in the long run.

But the question remains, what are the true benefits of an AV system?

Cost-efficient: Many speakers and TV’s often go into standby mode when unused for a long period of time. When you use an AV system, you specify which TV’s and speakers you want to activate, and thus you do not activate unrequired speakers/TVs. In the short term, this may not seem like an issue, but in the long-term, the issue becomes more apparent.

Efficient: Instead of having to manage multiple TV’s, and Speakers separately and control how you may want them to function, having an AV system will create a hub to allow you to control all AV systems from a central hub or even a tablet/mobile device (check our home automation systems for integration with tablets and other devices).

Simple: When you have a single hub to control all your AV systems, you are not left confused on which systems need to work and how to manage each single one in its own way. With an audio and video distribution system, you can control multiple different brands of systems without having to deal with each system individually.

Customizable: With an audio and video distribution system, you can control every single device and have them broadcast to multiple devices that do not necessarily have to be beside one another.  For example, screen sharing your laptop device to multiple TVs across your home.

When you use an AV system, you are simply using one system to manage all audio and video sources and targets, instead of sending staff around to each system and manually adjust settings. We use Crestron home automation systems, and Crestron has award-winning AV systems which give you the ability to broadcast 4K sources to 4K TV’s and projectors efficiently. Our audio and video distribution systems (powered by Crestron) can be connected to the home automation systems and give you complete control over your media control needs across your office and home from your Apple/Android mobile device or tablet.


Green Building and Home Automation

A green building remains a holistic ideology which begins with the knowledge that already designed environments can have profound and deep impacts. These impacts can both be negative and positive on the natural environment and also people who live in the building daily. Green buildings remain an obvious effort to mitigate the negative and amplify the positive of these impacts throughout the entire lifespan of an architectural structure. A green building is typically approved as the construction, design, planning and operations of architectural structures with a gamut of central and foremost considerations. This can be found in the likes of indoor environmental quality, water use, material section, energy use, and the building’s impacts on its original site. It is important to accentuate here that a green building operates under the concept of home automation. Green buildings are more energy efficient, more durable, more comfortable, healthier, and have a much smaller environmental feature than regular homes.

The future of the real estate industry is simply sustainable properties. Local government policy, federal government incentives, residential builders and consumer demand are making this a reality today. Property owners, real estate experts, and many consumers are taking effective steps towards greening their properties. The consumer demand for greener properties will always increase as the green building concept gains popularity and momentum. Currently, 2/3 of consumers or buyers are carefully paying attention to green buildings and homes. These consumers recognise and know the connection between healthy living, cost savings, and green properties. Consumers and other real estate buyers understand the savings and long-term investment related to greener buildings. From a recent survey conducted with energy efficiency ranked highly important, it obvious that homebuyers purchased buildings having a median price of 10,200 British pounds and higher than those without any preference. You can always upgrade your lifestyle and home by going greener today.

Crucial Facts About A Green Building:

1. In all most every green building program, energy efficiency remains one of the most crucial factors. The use of clean energy-powered cooling/heating systems, proper positioning of vapour and air barriers, duct sealing, building envelope air sealing, and careful window selection contribute towards an energy efficient home. The use of renewable energy in the likes of the wind and solar to satisfy energy needs can drastically lower carbon footprint in your homes.

2. A green home adds environmental factors into every facet of the building development and concentrates on maintenance, operation, construction, and design phases. The concept of integration or home automation is the primary procedural difference between conventional and green buildings. A well-disciplined team of construction experts works together from the inception of design stage through post-occupancy to optimize the building for cost saving, performance, and environmental sustainability.

3. Green homes usually add abundant natural light, superior air quality, noise control and access to views that benefits occupants, making it a better place to live and work.


Above all, a green building will not only contribute towards a sustainable environment and construction, but it as well brings a gamut of advantages to users and homeowners. Lower operating costs, reduced development costs, healthier indoor environment quality, increased comforts, reduced maintenance costs and improved durability are hallmarks of a real green building. If you are looking to go greener, simply adopt home automation concept and enjoy its benefits.

Why is Home Automation a need today?

Home Automation has been around for over a decade, however, it was not practical to have installed in a home due to the costs. However, today there is a reason to install home automation systems in homes and offices. The reason being; cost is not what it once was.

In the past, automation systems used to cost 10,000 AED (~$3000 USD) to even deploy a simple system to control lights. Meanwhile, in the present, it can cost as low as 3,000 AED (~$800 USD) to have control over most if not all light systems and even more. Systems are more flexible, so you can control more than just your lights. You are able to control shades/drapes, lights, media control, security and much more from a single iPad or mobile device and from anywhere. For example, you would like to only automate lights in your house, then you simply need to set-up a light dimmer control and a processor. As your needs grow, your system becomes complex and cost more. However, due to advancing times, total control is becoming cheaper every day. We at Smart Home Building Contracting are efficient in our deployment of Smart Home appliances by making the most of our hardware that is backed by Crestron. Crestron is a worldwide brand in the automation industry and their quality is outstanding, with machines lasting for over 5 years functioning and experiencing minimal issues.

6 Amazing Benefits Of Residential Home Automation

The concept of residential automation has remained unfamiliar with most people in time past. As innovative technologies and products are becoming highly accessible, homeowners now like the concept of upgrading their living domicile. Are you pondering on what is residential automation? With residential automation, basic home appliances and systems will be under the control of homeowners. It also provides access from a remote source such as a smartphone app or a centralised unit. In this content, you will discover 6 amazing benefits of residential home automation.

Energy Efficiency:

One great advantage of residential home automations is energy efficiency. Your home’s energy efficiency can be increased by remotely powering off appliances and systems when they are not in use. Apart from normal residential automation items that provide you active control, certain products effectively check systems and strengthen the homeowner with guidance, insight, and knowledge to attain greater regulation and energy efficiency. Residential home automations will help lower excess energy usage, track equipment performance and improve efficiency.


It is highly imaginative to leave your home for work with a comfortable sixty degrees outside and later return to sweltering because of the temperature rise to 90 degrees. With a residential automation product, you can comfortable regulate the temperature of your home from a mobile application. This will make your home more comfortable to stay.


When you arrive home, simply tap your finger to turn on the lights. This will not make you afraid of anything in the dark or in your pathways. You have the opportunity to also automate while not at home to scare robbers and thieves. Your home security can be increased by using door locks, which are automated home products. With a simple app, you can take control of your safety without worrying if there is someone hiding in the dark.

Peace Of Mind:

Peace of mind is one of the best-hidden advantages that come with residential automation. There is no more worry if you locked the door, turned off the lights, or turn off the TV. Residential automation is reassuring and certainly worth the investment for people who have many worries to monitor products and important services.


Is it not problematic for you to depend on neighbours to always look over your home when you’re away? The convenient control of your living domicile is at your fingertips with the help of residential home automated products. It is not a good idea to trust someone else with your valuable and important properties.


The truth is that residential automation is highly beneficial. The savings will be obvious in your first utility bill when you can make use of home appliances and systems aptly. You will not have to waste money and resources on lights when you’re not at home. In fact, you will not have to waste money on gas to rush home because of inability to turn off locks and doors. Apart from saving money when using residential automation, you will also secure your time wisely. There is no running through the house turning everything off, no wasted trips home and no time spent on pondering.