4 Reasons to Consider Home Automation

Home automation can add convenience and enjoyment to home activities.  Here are some examples:

Music and Entertainment

Whether exercising, entertaining, relaxing, or waking up in the morning, it helps to get the tunes right. This means queuing up your favorite playlist while adjusting the balance of tone, sound, and volume of the speaker system to your mood. With Secur-Tek’s professionally installed Control4 multi-room control, you will be able to queue up your favorite music in whatever room you are in. Or if a movie, sporting event, or TV show is in order, tuning in is just a click away.

Lighting
Your sleeping environment should be a restful one; an easy way to ensure this is to optimize your bedroom lighting. With Control4 home automation, you can set the sensors for bedtime that automatically lower the blinds at sunset and dim the lights to a softer level to help signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down at the end of the day. In the morning, set wake-up times to open your blinds to let the sunshine in and start the day off right. Integrations like these can be set up to be timed or added to voice commands using Control4 approved home assistant to make waking up or going to sleep more seamless and convenient.
 
Temperature

Medical sleep experts recommend keeping your bedroom between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit for sleeping. Using a smart thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature to optimize your sleep makes it easy and comfortable to get a good nights’ rest. You can add an adjustment to your bedtime or wake-up automation so you always have the optimized temperature, whether for sleep or wakefulness.

Outdoor Living

After a long dreary winter, we are all ready to take advantage of warmer weather by relaxing outside. With a Secur-Tek Control4 installation, you can create the same kind of seamlessly automated experience outside that you have available to enjoy indoors. From outdoor TVs, non-obtrusive landscape speakers, and the ability to telecommute from your backyard with robust networking capabilities, Secur-Tek can help you create your ideal outdoor area for relaxing and entertaining.

Secur-Tek, Inc. can help you create a customized environment that enhances your home’s safety, security, and convenience. Call us at  919.387.1800 or fill out the form below for a complimentary consultation.

Secur-Tek, Inc. is locally owned and operated in Apex, NC, offering home and business security and monitoring. Secur-Tek also provides automation, audio, and central vacuum systems to customers in the Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Chapel Hill, Clayton, Garner, Holly Springs, Durham, Raleigh, Morrisville, and Pittsboro areas.

Six Benefits of a Whole House Audio System

Imagine: Instead of hearing an alarm first thing in the morning, you hear your favorite song softly nudging you awake. One that helps set a positive mood, energizes you and gives you a lift to your step while getting ready to start your day.

Then, as you enter the kitchen to make the coffee, crystal clear music is there to greet you as the rest of your family rushes in to grab their breakfast.

Throughout the day, your situation, mood, and energy levels shift, and you may move from room to room, or even outside. The sound of music flows with you throughout your home as you move from zone to zone, and the natural acoustics of the different spaces create the perfect listening experience.

Sound like a resort fantasy? It can be your everyday home experience and is well within your grasp! These scenarios are possible with whole house audio installation. Secur-Tek, Inc. can design and install a custom multi-room audio system that blends seamlessly into your home’s interior design while maximizing your listening pleasure.

Six major advantages to installing a total home audio system:

  • Seamlessly play music throughout all your spaces. That way, whether you work from home or come home after a long day at work, you can press play and walk from the living room to the bedroom without missing a beat. Whole house music is also great for entertaining friends and family. If you are having a party, your guests can move from room to room or even outside while enjoying the music’s perfect quality and volume no matter where they go.
  • You can play different music in each zone of your home. If you have children, teens or young adults, each one can pick their favorite songs and play them as they are getting ready in the morning. If Dad and Mom are cooking in the kitchen, they can listen to their preferred sound while preparing dinner. Each family member gets to choose their radio station or music selection in his or her own area.

Enjoy outdoor music without disturbing the neighbors. If you choose to install outdoor audio, through acoustical analysis and design, we can help ensure your neighbors will not be disturbed by the music you are enjoying.

  • Expand your music selection. You can easily access your own personal libraries on iTunes or Amazon Music and choose from songs on streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, and Tidal.
  • No ugly wires. No one likes seeing unsightly wires and speakers all over the house, and if you have speakers in every room, they use valuable space. With whole house audio, speakers can be installed in the walls so that they are out of the way, freeing up space for other things. Your guests will focus on the music and their conversation – not the sound devices sitting around since they will be barely able to notice them. The speaker grills can even be painted any color you like to match your home’s color scheme.
  • Most important — convenience! One of the best aspects of high-fidelity, whole house audio, is that it is all easily controlled from an app on your smart phone, mobile device, or computer. That means if you are sitting in your favorite chair reading and listening to music, you do not have to get up and find a controller to change songs. Or, you can be in the garage blasting rock and roll while packing for a family camping trip. You can turn down the music and answer the call without disrupting your progress! Your music is at the command of your fingertips, controlled by a simple app on your smart phone or other device.

Whether you are renovating or building, adding a whole house audio system can increase your enjoyment and value to your home. Secur-Tek, Inc. can design and install a custom multi-room audio system that blends seamlessly into your home’s interior design while maximizing your listening pleasure.

We also offer Wi-Fi enabled multi-room and outdoor audio solutions which are ideal for finished homes, updating existing audio systems, or expanding audio to your patio, deck, or pool area.

The technicians at Secur-Tek, Inc. have extensive knowledge and experience – our company has been providing multi-zone audio solutions as an authorized Bose dealer since 1990. We also customize audio systems using Klipsch speakers and Sonos wireless audio components.

For more information, check out our Audio Systems page or call us at 919-387-1800.

Add to Your Outdoor Enjoyment

The sky is Carolina blue and the sun is shining. You’re standing in your backyard thinking about the perfect summer barbecue. As you survey the yard, a few fantasies dance in your mind:

A new deck or stone patio?

Built in Grill?

New outdoor furniture?

A fire pit?

Or maybe even a DJ …

 

Your imagination runs wild with the vision of family, friends and neighbors laughing and talking in your backyard – but wait …. there’s something else making it fun and festive – music!! With a sad glimmer of nostalgia, you remember the boom box that used to crank out your favorite party tunes (Jimmy Buffett comes to mind) – too bad that sudden summer shower destroyed it! With those fond memories running around in your head, you decide to look into something more durable. Something that is designed specifically for your yard where you can enjoy high-fidelity sound without worrying about the batteries, extension cords or weather.

Guess what… you’re in luck! Outdoor sound systems have come a long way since the boom box era.

When installed professionally, today’s systems produce extremely high-quality sound for listeners’ enjoyment. They are also very durable and can sound great for many years. However, there are a few key factors to consideration when designing your musical environment.

First off, an outdoor sound system can’t take advantage of the reflective surfaces that make indoor speakers more efficient (e.g. floors, walls and ceiling). In addition, there is ambient noise from passing cars, chirping crickets, and kids at play to consider in your design. Because of this, outdoor speakers require enough oomph from an amplifier with sufficient wattage to power them. The most common mistake people make with outdoors systems are under powering them which leads to distorted sound, or worse, blown speakers.

Consideration must also be given to the specific design of the area where people are to gather and the type of music you prefer to play. If your area is large, you’ll want to spread the load among multiple speakers and ensure optimal positioning. Multiple speakers playing softly in the right positions will sound much better than a few pushing too hard.

The backyard environment will also expose your system to the extremes of our North Carolina weather. Quality speakers must be able to endure sun, rain and hot/cold temperatures while melding in nicely with the landscaping. There are two basic types of all-weather speakers used: simple bookshelf-type models wrapped in protective casings, or stealth speakers that masquerade as garden rocks, flowerpots, or even benches. Although these speakers are built to be left out year-round, they will last longer and look and sound better if care is taken in determining their placement. For example, box-type speakers can be positioned under the protection of eaves or arbors. In the case of stealth speakers, they can be integrated and protected by natural cover like trees and bushes.

Finally, for convenience and user flexibility, wireless outdoor speakers are ideal. They operate on a designated frequency to deliver sound from your audio devices or Internet radio and can be tied into your home automation system.

So, this summer, you can stop just thinking about it and create the outdoor experience you have always wanted by adding quality sound to liven up gatherings or help you relax after a long, stressful day.

For more information on designing and installing quality outdoor sound systems, please contact Ken Henke at Secur-Tek: (919) 387-1800.

What Is Sonos?

Sonos 2What Is Sonos?

Sonos is a wireless audio system of HiFi speakers and components that lets you listen to music in any room with no skips, delays, or drops. You place the speakers throughout your house and then use the Sonos app to combine and access your music collection. Individual songs can be listened to on each speaker or the whole system can play the same song.

Sonos works with a variety of music sources. Wherever you like to get your audio—iTunes, podcasts, radio stations, Spotify, or Pandora—you can find it and file it into a dedicated local Sonos network through wireless or Ethernet connections and stream it to any Sonos device on the network. The Sonos system creates a dedicated path for playing audio which means you get smoother playback.

The Sonos system can be controlled by PC or Mac desktop applications, or apps for iOS or Android. Having a computer-based system means that you can customize all the playlists and music you want to hear. It’s like having an iPod in every room of your house that plays all the music you like—with great quality.

How It Works

The Sonos system consists of Zoneplayers and Controllers. “Zoneplayer” is the Sonos name for an element which outputs audio either via digital or analog connections or via speakers. Zoneplayers can be set up through wired or wireless connections. The Controller is the Mac/PC or mobile phone that runs the Sonos app.

If you have a home where WiFi doesn’t reach everywhere, you can use the Sonos BRIDGE to extend the range of your Sonos network. The BRIDGE also creates a dedicated wireless network for your Sonos system. The BRIDGE plugs into your router with an Ethernet cable. If you’re in an environment where the WiFi has performance challenges, you can use a BOOST—it’s like a super-charged BRIDGE.

For speakers like the PLAY:1, PLAY:2, or PLAY:3 you can simply plug them into the power outlet and they will wirelessly connect to your existing WiFi network or your dedicated Sonos network (if you have the BRIDGE or BOOST).

Place your speakers in the rooms where you want to listen to music. Then download and install a Sonos Controller app. You can access your entire music collection from anywhere in your house with the Controller. Follow the quick set-up guide that comes with the system and simply tell the Sonos app where the Zoneplayers and music library are located.

Last, but not least: play music! You can use any Sonos Controller to make music selections. Choose a music source from the Sonos music menu on a handheld controller, or from the MUSIC pane if you’re using the Sonos Controller App for Mac or PC.

You can tell the system to play the same thing on every stereo that’s linked to it or you can have a different playlist or source going in every room of the house.

Once you’ve got your system set up, you can easily add more Sonos products whenever you want. Only one part of the Sonos system needs to be linked with your home network; the other components link together directly. Since the Zoneplayers each transmit individually, each player you add increases the range of the Sonos network.

Why it’s Great

The main benefit of the Sonos system is that it delivers HiFi audio while really simplifying wireless streaming. The Sonos app lets you easily control the system and access a variety of music sources. There’s no need to link your phone with any of the individual speakers—all the speakers are controllable through the same app, no matter where in the house they’re located. Sonos uses their years of wireless networking know-how to make sure your music is in perfect sync and skip-free. It’s also super easy to get it going and new features are constantly being developed that work even with some of the oldest components.

Contact Secur-Tek today to find out more about the benefits of Sonos in your home.

Boost Your Network Signal!

Smart TV

First the laptop, then the smart phone, then the tablet, even the newer refrigerators, and now the smart TV. Technology and the Internet have become entwined with so much of our lives (and electronics). If you’re a smart TV owner, you can appreciate the beauty, the ease, the reach of your technologically savvy television. You can stream movies and videos, watch Netflix and YouTube, check your email, update your social media accounts, and surf the Web, all on a large screen. Convenient, easy on the eyes, crisp and clean clarity… unless you get the message that you cannot connect to the Internet.  However, a smart TV’s inability to connect to the Internet through a poor network signal, even though all our other wi-fi devices are connected, defeats the whole purpose of having one.

 

There are several reasons why your smart TV may fail to connect to the Internet or have a poor network signal.  Most homes with wi-fi can accommodate standard devices (smart phones, computers, laptops) getting online; but smart TVs require more bandwidth than your standard devices. And multiple devices drawing from the same network signal source could affect the speed of the signal. Other obstructions to your smart TV gaining access to the Internet can be metal objects or walls in the house.

 

Fear not. There is a solution. You can boost your signal strength using a range extender, which can extend the range of your wireless network by 10,000 feet by repeating and amplifying the signal. The increased strength not only allows you greater distance, eliminating those dead spots in your house, but also allows the wireless signal to penetrate walls and other obstructions.

 

With a range extender, your smart TV should have no trouble getting a signal; and, of course, once online, you’ll be able to take full advantage of all the wonderful features of the TV.

 

For more information on signal boosting, call Secur-Tek today at 919-387-1800.

Automation! 3 Ways to Simplify Home and Office with Secur-Tek

Control4When talking about home or business electronic systems, the terms integration or automation may not be especially familiar to everyone.  Secur-Tek of Apex, NC specializes in building system upgrades.  Whether it’s a home, office building or business, Secur-Tek can install and maintain everything from alarm systems to surround sound.  We can set up computer networking, optimize wireless capabilities throughout a building, and even install central vacuum systems to make it easier to keep every room clean and improve the air you breathe!  Technological upgrades are a way to improve the conveniences in any building, and Control 4 automation is the ultimate system upgrade!

What are the benefits of Control 4 automation?

Here are three examples of how automation can make home and office functions easier:

  • Operate appliances remotely from any room.  Turning functions on and off from anywhere in the room or building makes life so much easier.  For example, when having guests over, blinds can be lowered or raised, music can be changed easily and lights can be dimmed, all from the touch of a button on a tablet or cell phone.
  • Total control of electronic functions.  An easy to use application on a cell phone can keep tabs on all electronics.  Having control of the on/off functions of appliances is also energy efficient.  Knowing which appliances are running, and which are off, at all times will optimize the power bill.  This is also a great function to remotely monitor the functions of a Secur-Tek alarm system in a home or office!
  • No more remotes to keep up with!  When everything is synced to a tablet or cell phone app, worrying about finding the remote to the air conditioner is no more a chore!  All home and office functions are controlled by a single unit with a total automation configuration.

Considering these wonderful benefits, what home or business wouldn’t appreciate total electronic integration?  Secur-Tek can configure and maintain Control 4 automation for any size building, from apartments to businesses or office buildings.  Don’t be left in the dark ages!  Call or contact Secur-Tek today to learn more about how automation works, and get an assessment of the possibilities for your home or business!

Also, take a look at this video for a great example of how Control 4 automation can benefit a home!

Security & Home Automation