Home Automation

Three of the most renowned smart home automation brands

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Control4 vs Crestron vs URC – Updated Guide 2021

Your smart home could comprise a staggeringly wide range of devices and appliances – from smart alarms and security to multi-room audiovisual systems. However, what you really need – or at least could immensely benefit from – is one control system that ties all of these together.

That’s why you should start thinking carefully about what smart home control system to implement – even if your London home is already kitted out with an array of smart tech. After all, many of the control systems on the market are built to work seamlessly with existing devices.

Three of the home automation brands with which our installers are thoroughly experienced are Control4, Crestron and URC. In your property, we can install platforms from any of these brands and add extra hardware to plug any remaining gaps in your smart home setup.

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The advantages of using Control4 home automation

Technically, some home automation systems can control practically anything; however, actually trying to use one of these systems for this purpose could be an exercise in frustration. To help avert this kind of problem, Control4 has built the following wealth of functionality into its own platform:

  • Compatibility with many different smart products. The Control4 ecosystem has continued to grow, with the company having released drivers to support various products from third-party brands.
  • A consistently intuitive control system. Control4 gives you just one app for controlling your entire smart home, saving you from having to source multiple apps for it.
  • Ease of expansion. As more and more Control4-compatible products are released, you can take your pick from this selection to further augment a smart home already built on the platform.

Which of these brands should you choose for an entertainment system?

This would depend on what type of entertainment – such as music, films or TV – you intend to enjoy at your smart home.

Generally, if you strive for a multifunctional, world-class entertainment system that will make your friends envious, Control4 is likely to be the best fit. This is not least because Control4 offers a wide selection of compatible smart products for the likes of home cinemas and media rooms.

All Control4 systems also include native support for various music services, including Spotify, Pandora, Deezer and Tidal. Crestron systems haven’t tended to offer the same breadth of native support, though they can be integrated with third-party streaming solutions.

If you would like a Sonos-like setup where you can play multiple music steams in different rooms of your home at the same time, rest assured that Control4, Crestron and URC all enable this.

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Why use Crestron for your smart home?

Crestron is another smart home brand that can help you to merge both the hardware and software of your home automation system into a single, cohesive whole. Here are just a few features you can expect from a Crestron smart home system set up in your London abode…

  • Integrated interfaces. Whether you want to control your smart home through a tablet, smartphone or dedicated remote, a Crestron system can make this possible.
  • Functionality right throughout the home. A Crestron system can be used to control smart home fixtures including lighting, security and heating installations.
  • Effortless synchronisation. It’s hard to think of a smart home system that does this better than Crestron, given its generous support for home automation technology from multiple respected brands.

Taking control: how you can do it with Control4 and Crestron

A smart home you can’t easily control as and when you like can be much more impressive on paper than in a practical sense. Hence, you can’t afford to overlook the user interface’s importance.

If you have never previously used a home automation platform for controlling more than a few devices, we would certainly encourage you to look at Control4, as its user interface has been exhaustively stripped down to make it easy and simple to use.

Meanwhile, Crestron offers two different types of control system: a basic solution and a more advanced, custom alternative. The layout of the latter will actually be decided by the integrator – and we would be happy to show you, on request, our own take on the Crestron interface.

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How the URC Total Control 2.0 smart OS works

URC’s flagship home automation system, Total Control 2.0, is a whole-home solution for controlling compatible third-party smart products. These include but are not limited to:

  • Television sets
  • Interior and exterior lighting fixtures
  • Thermostats
  • Door locks
  • Security cameras
  • Pool equipment

Our own London-based team includes URC systems integration professionals authorised to install and program Total Control 2.0 on behalf of clients who reside in the UK. When installing this platform for a client, we can provide them with:

  • Robust graphic (GUI) customisation for connected mobile devices
  • A choice of user interfaces, including touch screens, remote controls and keypads
  • Personalised onscreen graphics for inclusion on the interface
  • Control for various protocols, such as IR, IP, 12v triggers and relays
  • Hard-wired and Wi-Fi connectivity

There are also many other factors for you to consider

If you want smart lighting, you should investigate whether the brand you are considering can provide the lights rather than just the control system for them. Crestron offers various colour options for smart lights, while there’s a Control4 lighting keypad with a built-in ambient light sensor.

It’s also possible to control any of these smart home systems by voice alone. Control4 and Crestron offer basic integrations with Amazon Alexa, while URC’s Total Control 2.0 platform can be effectively used with Alexa as well as Google Assistant.

Have any questions about Crestron, Control4 or URC not addressed in this article? Just contact us by phone on 0203 865 6433, or book a free consultation where we can help you to discern which of the many home automation platforms we offer would work best for your London-based smart home.