(Smart) Home for the Holidays: A Gift Guide for the Whole Family

December 2, 2020

This year, nothing has been more sacred to us than the safety and comfort of being at home. No matter what, it’s a place of own our that we can retreat, relax, and regroup for the next day. Of course, for many of us, home is a place we have to share and we’ve had to find our own personal spaces and moments for ourselves and re-define our routines and habits. With the holidays upon us, we’ll be spending more time together at home than ever. While thinking of what we can give to our loved ones, this season and in the year ahead, remember that there’s nothing like the gift of a house that truly feels like a home.

While you can’t exactly leave a home makeover or smart home under a tree, here are some ways that smart home tools and automation can be a truly unique gift for the whole family.

back to school virtual learning kid and teacher

For Him: The Gift of Big, Bold Entertainment

Whether he’s a movie buff, sports fanatic, or hardcore gamer, he likely has a dream entertainment room in mind. More than your average man-cave, a smart home theater or media room can amplify his experience with premium, immersive audio, a mounted TV or 4K projector, and customizable lighting.

For film connoisseurs, Phoenix can help to design and create a home cinema experience complete with plush theater-style chairs, a screen that’s 2 – 3 times the size of your average television, and heart-pounding surround sound speakers.

For sports fans that bleed the colors of their team, we can mount that 4K TV where everyone can see it, and make sure that he hears every call and play-by-play with in-wall speakers and a universal remote to control it all (and rewind, pause, and analyze the plays for himself).

Does he need to get into the “zone” when playing his favorite game? We’ve got him covered with TVs that do his next-gen console justice and 3D audio soundbars for a truly immersive experience.

Cell phone showing exterior video camera view of delivery person

For Her: The Gift of Relaxation

At the end of a long day filled with work, errands, or family schedules, she deserves some hands-off “me time.”  With some simple smart lighting and automation, it’s easy to set the scene for relaxation.

Transform her bathroom or personal room into a home spa experience. Whenever she gets a moment to herself, a quick tap of a button or voice command can trigger an automated scene where the lights will dim, the motorized shades come down and her favorite music fills the space. All she has to do is sit back and relax.

Alarm.com video analytics identifying a person approaching the house

For Your Older Loved Ones: The Gift of Independence

As our loved ones get older, some things become more important and precious than ever, like their independence and comfort at home. While “smart homes” may sound too high-tech for our favorite senior, it can actually make their home tasks much simpler, while also providing peace of mind for you. With Wellness Technology powered by Alarm.com, you can help out around the house and keep track of their activities – even from a distance.

With a Wellcam in their home, your loved one can easily reach you without having to find their phone and you can instantly get some “facetime” with them and check in on them. For those of us who have gone long stretches without visiting our older family members lately, you know how much of a gift this is!

Plus, by setting up a smart thermostat, smart lights and smart security in their home, you can help to automate their favorite settings so that even when they’re forgetful – their home will keep them both comfortable and safe. Special sensors in their beds, medicine cabinets and hallways can also keep you up to date on their patterns and activities to ensure that they are well

video camera and family playing

For the Kids: The Gift of Control

When it comes to the younger ones, they can often feel like they don’t have any power in the house – and there’s nothing they like more than to feel like a grown-up!

With a smart hub like Amazon Alexa in the home, it’ll be easy for them to use voice control to do their own simple tasks like turning the temperature up or turning off the lights. Plus, with a universal remote like the Neeo by Control4, it’ll be much easier to fire up their favorite Netflix show or even turn on the speakers. Just remind them, whoever’s got the remote is the boss – they’ll love setting up their own scenes for movie night or game time.

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.