We don’t sell products. We sell systems. We exhaustively test all components to make sure they meet our specifications for performance, reliability, and value. After years of refinement, we have narrowed down our recommendations to three ecosystems that contain products guaranteed to work with one another.
Synergy Automated Living by Crestron
Elan Home Systems
Our mainstream platform of choice is Elan Home Systems. In this space, there are many players including Control 4, URC Total Control, RTI and others. All have a similar premise: provide a terrific-looking interface that will work for 90% of the consumers out there at a lower price than a fully customizable luxury automation system such as Crestron. In our estimation, there are several factors that make an automation platform “good”: human interfaces, compatibility with 3rd party devices and overall value.
Let’s start with the human interface. Elan has a terrific lineup of handheld remotes, both with and without touchscreens, a lineup of small, medium and large dedicated in-wall touchpanels and compatibility with iOS and Android devices with the Elan Home System app. But beyond the actual hardware devices, the user interface is terrific – intuitive, powerful yet easy to navigate. Other companies do some of this well but few can match the top to bottom lineup of hardware + interface that Elan offers.
Next, let’s look at compatibility. Elan doesn’t work with every device out there, but they do a good job with keeping up with many of the best 3rd party devices out there such as Nest, Lutron, Sony and Sonos to name a few. More importantly, integration is not rolled out until it’s ready, when it really works well. Whether you start with a simple Lutron Caseta lighting and shading system or an Alarm.com home security system, we have thoroughly tested Elan upgrade paths to enable whole-home audio/video controls and video intercom capabilities, all controlled within the same Elan app or touchpanel or handheld remote control.
Lastly, Elan provides excellent value. While hardware is a bit less expensive across the board than a luxury system, the real cost savings come from the faster programming implementation. Using a smaller sandbox of tested equipment, we can quickly deliver a fantastic user experience which results in lessened overall costs. iOS and Android apps are free to download and remote access from these apps are free as well.
After extensive testing, we are confident that the overall quality and value of Elan compares favorably against any other mainstream automation ecosystem out there.
We recognize not everybody has the means or the desire to purchase a custom automation system, so we’ve created an entry-level tier we call DIY+. We’ve combed through many of the consumer-grade products on the market, tested them with our own automated shades, and compared them against the competition. We call this tier DIY+, because we take many of the products available at mass-market retailers and tailor the initial system design for your particular application with the same professional mindset as our much more expensive custom systems. We offer initial system design guidance but limited ongoing support because all of the products in this tier are end-user programmed. Each of the manufacturers we recommend maintain their own live technical support personnel. That’s why we call it DIY+; DIY products and DIY pricing with our special flavor of expertise!