Control4 is a premium Home Entertainment and Automation solution offering full integration with your home’s technology such as alarm, CCTV, door entry, entertainment, HVAC, lighting and shading systems. Control4 have an array of controllers from single room solutions through to controlling an entire mansion. With Airplay, Napster, Rhapsody, Spotify, My Music and Tune-in streaming services built into every processor, along with audio and 4k video distribution products, Control4 really does have entertainment at the heart of every system.
The GUI (Graphical User Interface) is standard throughout all Control4 systems. This limits certain elements of the GUI design in terms of icons and buttons, however this standardisation does not limit Control4’s capabilities in automating your entire home.
Simplify My Home recently designed and completed a project using Control4 systems that gave the occupants a virtual butler named Garvis.
Garvis is responsible for:
Automatically setting the Security alarm to Full by knowing if the house is occupied or unoccupied. This was achieved by integrating the security system into Control4 along with the entertainment and lighting system. During certain hours specified by the client the system monitors the front door opening and closing. Once opened and then closed, the system looks for any motion through the lighting and security PIRs, as well as monitoring user interaction on light switches, remote controls or touchscreens. Any human interaction puts the system into occupied mode and cancels the alarm setting. If no human interaction is detected for a 3 minute period, the speakers announce ‘Garvis is preparing to set security system, please make Garvis aware of your presence to cancel the Alarm’. This announcement is to allow for rare anomalies in the family’s movements such as occupants unexpectedly staying at home.
Once satisfied that the house is unoccupied Control4 will set the alarm system and automatically perform the following functions:
- Send a gentle notification to the homeowner that the house alarm has been Fully Set, or in the rare occurrence of the alarm not setting, a more serious notification is sent to alert the customer to log in remotely to set the alarm manually.
- Turn off all TVs and music systems.
- Turn off all lights and activate night-time occupancy mode, which will simulate occupancy to deter would-be criminals.
- Turn all room set points to 17 degrees to avoid unnecessary heating costs.
- Monitor how many times the doorbell is pressed and notify the homeowners upon disarming the system ‘while you were out, you had 8 visitors’ etc.
- Turn on the multiple ‘Geeve’s’ iRobot vacuum cleaners throughout the property to vacuum all carpets.
The alarm can also be activated by holding the HOUSE OFF button on the Lighting keypad by the front door or by pressing the AWAY button on the Touchscreen. These buttons would set the alarm by sending the user code to the alarm system. However, this function is disabled if the alarm is already set thus eliminating the ability to deactivate the alarm without knowing the code.
If the alarm is activated the following happens:
- All lights in the property turn on and all light switches are deactivated so lights remain on.
- The music system turns on throughout the entire house at maximum volume and all entertainment controls are disabled.
- An emergency notification is sent to the homeowner alerting them of the alarm sounding.
- An email is sent to the owners showing a snapshot of the CCTV at the time of alarm activation.
When the home is occupied Garvis tells the time over the entire house through the ceiling speakers. These announcements are every hour between 9am and 7pm, except on school days when Garvis performs extra announcements at 15 minute intervals starting from 7:00am and finishing at 8:15am before reverting to hourly announcements.
Control4 is a perfect system for clients who want to add cost effective control over their homes technology, but is happy with some minor limitations with the user interface. For a totally customisable system please see AMX or Crestron.
Control4 Tech I Certification
This is the fundamental Course which must be completed before anyone can become a Control4 Dealer/Installer, this is a 5 Day Training Programme held in @ Control4 Head Office, during the 5 days installers are provided with Hands on Product & Programming Training, at the end of the Course a Project needs to be built and programmed to demonstrate the installers capability & understanding of being able to build and programme Control4 Entertainment, Lighting and Climate components.
Control4 Tech II Certification
This course is for experienced Control4 Tech 1 Installers for whom have successfully completed several Control4 Projects and wish to develop their understanding of the capabilities and power of Control4, in this course installers are expected to understand and demonstrate advanced programming knowledge.