4 Ways to Ease Back to School Stress in Your Home

August 11, 2020

This back to school season is a tricky one for many of us. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and various rules and guidelines for how kids will be starting school, it can be difficult to navigate and plan as usual. Whether your kids are heading back to their classrooms or trying out virtual learning (maybe even a combination of the two), we’ve got a few surefire tips for making the transition easier on your family with the help of home technology.

back to school virtual learning kid and teacher

Count on strong connections

Kids aren’t the only ones who may be doing their work from home. While they head back to school, many parents continue to work from home to avoid crowded offices and health risks. Some families may find that they are spending more time co-working and learning simultaneously under the same roof. With several laptops, tablets, streaming services, and devices being used at once, it’s more important than ever to have a strong home networking system that everyone can depend on.

With a robust home network, you can jump on a video conference while your child sits in a virtual class (or streams their favorite show after school) without anyone worrying about lagging, interruptions, or weak signals. Home networking options can be pretty intimidating, as you weigh the benefits of a wired vs. wireless network and figure out the difference between LAN ports and WAN ports. Luckily, our home technology professionals at Phoenix Systems can handle all of the confusing bits, so you can enjoy smooth and reliable connections.

Cell phone showing exterior video camera view of delivery person

Keep track of everyone’s activities

Of course, some of us are heading into Back to School season the same as before, with the kids packed and out the door while you hustle off to work. With a smart security system, you can not only protect your home while everyone is away, but you can also keep track of everyone coming and going, plus everything happening inside the house. With Video Monitoring features powered by Alarm.com, we can set up interior and exterior security cameras and a system that keeps you updated via an app on your smartphone. So, even while you’re stuck in a meeting at the office, you can get a quick notification that the kids have arrived home safely. With customized access codes and alerts, you’ll know exactly who just walked through the door or, using the same app, you can check if the door was locked on their way out (and handle it remotely if it wasn’t). 

Alarm.com video analytics identifying a person approaching the house

Find your routine, then streamline it

With everyone in the family trying to coordinate schedules, there are a million tiny “things to do” around the house. Strategic routines can keep everyone on track, but we can still find ourselves feeling rushed and often forgetting things like turning off the lights, closing the garage, or setting the alarm. That’s where “smart” home automation comes in.

For example, if you know that your kid needs to be up at 6:30 AM for breakfast and TV, then out the door with your partner by 8 so that you can leave for work at 8:30, your home can work with you to make your routines easier to navigate and take care of the small stuff. By setting “scenes”, your home technology and security systems can automatically adjust as you need them to. Imagine waking up and hitting a “Morning” switch so that your kitchen lights turn on, thermostat warms up and the motorized shades open up for you. Then, when everyone is “Away”, the lights all power off, the shades come down, and the security system arms itself. For each routine (Morning, Bedtime, Dinner, etc.), there is a perfect setting, and it’s completely up to you.

video camera and family playing

Make time to unwind together

Not all routines we develop are good ones! Sometimes, we get caught up in our individual work and school schedules and then retreat to separate corners of the house during our free time. Aim to carve out a set time to come together as a family for movie night, game night, or just around the dinner table for conversation.

Maybe make sure that your family room is living up to its name by upgrading your TV and sound system. Or, if you guys enjoy getting fresh air together in the pool, around the barbecue or just playing in the backyard, consider adding an outdoor TV or audio speakers to the mix. Of course, when considering things like ideal size, outdoor-specific devices and connecting your devices, our home technology professionals are always ready to help and provide the best options and solutions.

Ready to upgrade your home?

Reach out to us at 678-566-2640 or sales@phoenixsystems.tv and a Phoenix Rep will be happy to discuss your needs and options!

Lighting is an essential and powerful element of any home’s design. When designed with intention, lighting can not only make your home feel warmer and more welcoming, but it can increase productivity, highlight your favorite areas of your house, and add character. Plus, choosing the right bulbs and fixtures from your home can impact energy efficiency. 

There are four main types of lighting you should keep in mind when designing or revamping your home. Each serves its own purpose and comes in a variety of options.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting provides the overall illumination and sets the mood for a room. Typically, it floods the room with lighting from above, from ceiling-mounted lights and ceiling fans. Wall sconces can also provide enough lighting to brighten a room.

Of course, ambient lighting can come in a variety of styles which can work well in larger rooms like kitchens and living rooms. Ceiling lights can be dome-shaped flushed fixtures, or recessed lights for a sleeker and more minimal look. They can be a part of a ceiling fan or stand alone for a bold statement-making chandelier. Or, tall floor lamps can provide excellent ambient lighting, especially in rooms with high ceilings.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is more dedicated to style than function. With the use of directional track lights or spotlights, you can guide the eyes toward artwork or architectural elements within your home that deserve special attention.

This type of lighting can add character to your home, setting the stage for your favorite spaces and pieces to shine. Options like cove lighting can be installed near your tray ceiling or crown molding to bring those features to life.

Task Lighting

There are a lot of tasks and activities we perform in our homes on a daily basic. From cooking and preparing your morning coffee to reading, writing, and working at home. Task lighting can illuminate the necessary areas for you to do your best work. 

Under-cabinet lighting is a great way to brighten up the counter tops when you’re prepping meals, while also highlighting your beautiful backsplashes, countertop décor, coffee bar, and more. Then, when it’s time to settle in for the night, task lighting by your bedside can help you crack open a good book to wind down.

Natural Lighting

Never underestimate the power of natural lighting within your home. Sunlight streaming in through your windows can instantly make a home feel more welcoming and comfortable. Of course, while we have no power over the sun outside, we can manage the ways we incorporate it into our lighting design through smart shading.

With a variety of fabric options, you can let just enough light in to brighten your home, while also controlling unnecessary glares, or even keeping your bedroom dark and cozy.

Source: Control4

Get Smarter About Lighting

The lighting in your home should feel intuitive and comforting, not cumbersome and overwhelming. With so many lights in your house, it can help to integrate them all into your smart home system. This way, you can manage them all from a single app, or even automate them based on your routines and energy-management needs. Smart lighting systems can even make your home safer, so you never come home to a dark house, and you can deter intruders while you’re on vacation.

 Phoenix Systems offers free consultations with our smart home pros to help design and install lighting solutions that work for you.