To automate or not to automate, that is the question! - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 34 Old 04-15-2012, 07:29 PM
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Not to mention dim the lights, close the curtains on any windows, open the curtains on the screen, adjust the HVAC as desired, etc, etc.

Zoom123: It seems that you have already convinced yourself that HA is a bad way to spend your money and that's fine. But it also appears that you have never had the chance to live and work with a well done HA system - it really can enhance the way you live, work and play.

And as to the money?

Well some folks like to travel and they can spend a lot of money and when all is said and done what they have are the memories - and most folks seem to think that is money well spent - even if it isn't a money making investment.

Does watching TV make money? Usually not but it is still a very popular pastime.

So perhaps there is more to these sorts of things then deciding if something saves or makes you money.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #32 of 34 Old 04-15-2012, 11:17 PM
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So perhaps there is more to these sorts of things then deciding if something saves or makes you money.

I do not disagree with this. Where I disagree is with the argument that Home Automation will save you money, which is one of the main arguments that HA companies make.

Sure, an integrated HA solution can do some cool things. Beyond that I feel that many people exaggerate the conveniences and try to play down the costs (many of which are indirect and/or ongoing).

In the Home Theater example you and Dean talked about (browse media on the touch screen, close curtains, dim lights etc) I can see the "cool factor" but I really don't see that great added benefits over a much more basic setup with a universal remote control.
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post #33 of 34 Old 04-16-2012, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Zoom123 View Post

I do not disagree with this. Where I disagree is with the argument that Home Automation will save you money

I have been giving this some thought and I think one way that an HA system can save money is by automating tasks that cut down on energy consumption - nothing that you can't do manually - but with automation the task is sure to get down - we are no longer relying on the home owners self discipline or presence.

For example upstairs in my home I have four guest rooms. Normally the HVAC systems upstairs are kept off. But before the quests arrive I can click on a button on one of the HA UI screens and set all of the upstairs thermostats to a comfortable setting. After the quests are gone I can click another button and the systems all go back to off.

Would I have the discipline to do this if I had to go to each thermostat and make the adjustments? No I wouldn't. So the HA system makes it easy to do what I should do.

Having the lights on the HA system could also have save money. All of the outside lights and most of the inside lights are on a schedule. So come 1:00 AM I can be assured that all of the lights are off. And I can easily turn off any lights that have been left on by guests without running all over the house. Again this means I am going to be doing what I should do (turn off unneeded lights) but wouldn't have the discipline to do if it required me to do it manually.

So I think that making certain energy saving tasks easy would mean the tasks are far more likely to get done - at least for folks like me.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #34 of 34 Old 04-16-2012, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Things got lively around here over the last few days!

I had 2 purposes in posting the thread - the first was what actually got discussed these past few days. It's been a while since I really looked at automation, and I had become "satisfied" with my URC system. I was really struggling with why I had thought about HA a few years ago in the first place. Several of your posts - mostly from Frederick and Dean - have reminded me of the things I want. Yes, they're more convenience items than anything else, but I've come home from a trip to find the garage door open (left open by my friend taking care of the pet), and I'm so tired of the outlet timers to control my lights so I come home to a lighted house. It's not so much about saving money (for me at least). I do want to thank you guys, because I'm now working on my "automation wish list" - what I want to accomplish - to give to the 2 dealers I'm talking to about the project - this will allow them to better scope the project for me.

The second purpose was to get some technical answers on Lutron/C4, as well as opinions. That came in a hurry - thanks to everyone who commented.
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