The word smart is used to describe when functions within the home can be controlled either remotely, automatically or through a non-traditional interface. To be truly smart the functions within the home should be able to be integrated together to allow associations (also known as automations) between different activities and programming of new ways of operating the devices within the home to adapt continuously to requirements. Fundamentally, a smart home should enhance the way that you live, bringing great security, wellbeing and enjoyment.
Frequently Asked Questions
The benefits of living in a smart home are wide ranging and will be personal to each situation. What we typically see from customers is:
- For vulnerable people, the person within the home environment gets the benefit of improved control functions and a way to alert if assistance is required, while the family and carers are able to unobtrusively monitor and be notified of any issue or potential issue. This multi-benefit application, enhances wellbeing and maintains independence, gives families peace of mind and can help to optimise home care provision.
- It allows remote control and monitoring of your home when you are away. This enhanced security reduces anxiety about leaving the home unattended for longer periods.
- Where there is a pet at home, the system can be used to check-in on them and see that they are safe, or even check if the dog walker has been.
- The desire to save energy, both from a financial and environmental point of view. This could be by switching off lights automatically when no motion is detected, or optimising the heat controls.
- Enabling voice control of various appliances in the home, to free up hands, make access easier (we all have that hard to reach plug socket). Voice can also be used to send messages, such as a helpful reminder to take medication or attend an appointment.
- An element of fun and being able to enjoy the home environment by integrating entertainment devices and voice assistants.
There are four main areas in the home that a smart system adds value:
- Heating – radiator thermostats, temperature/humidity sensors, heating pump control, air conditioning
- Lighting – remote switching (through mobile phone, tablet, bespoke button, timer - can also be linked to motion or light levels), electronic blinds and curtains
- Audio visual – TV/home cinema control, speakers, screens for video calling
- Security – door bells, cameras, motion detectors, door/window sensors
A TL Tech smart home can be controlled in a number of ways, by mobile, tablet, desktop computer, programmable buttons/remotes, voice, motion, etc. The most unique part of our design is that you can retain all your existing traditional control functions, you won’t need to replace all your light switches.
We can set up the system to be relatively passive (i.e. the home systems work in the background using automations and require minimal or no intervention), this may be important where it could be difficult for the home owner to adapt to changes to routine or environment. At the other end of the scale, our bespoke dashboard control interface allows easy access to all your smart systems to both monitor and adjust settings. We can customise control through the use of programmable buttons, for example to easily boost the heating on a cold day without having to go to the boiler cupboard. The other element that we can add to the system is a voice assistant (through smart speakers). This opens up the opportunity to control things like lighting and heating, just by simple voice commands like “turn on the living room light” or “what is the temperature?”
The system is set up to be able to view and change settings in the home from any mobile device, this could be a mobile phone, tablet or desktop computer. If you want to switch off the heating, or check a security camera, this can all be done remotely. Your home can also have the functionality to alert you to changes, by sending a notification to your smart phone for example when the doorbell is pressed.
The TL Tech service uses a Human Centred Design (HCD) approach. What this means is that we spend time to get to know you, your situation and needs. We will consider all the factors in order to recommend a solution that best meets your requirements.
We are professional trained installers and will look after your home like it was our own. We can work around your requirements to minimise changes to your routine. The installation is usually very straight forward as the majority of the devices are wireless, with most of the preparation performed by us prior to arriving at your home to install the system. Typically it would take 1-3 days to complete the installation, commissioning and testing. This includes time for us to spend with you (and any other family or carers, where applicable) to demonstrate the system functionality and allow you to try the user interfaces and answer any questions about the system.
The systems provide excellent value, considering the level of functionality and customisation offered. Our basic system, which comprises of a control hub, one door sensor, one motion sensor, four electronic relays (for light switches) and two smart plugs, and would allow you to do things like:
- Remote control your lights from your mobile phone without having to buy new smart bulbs or light switches.
- Monitor or be alerted when someone enters or leaves the home.
- Control your home cinema system through one touch to turn on TV/projector, surround sound and gaming devices.
- Improve energy efficiency by not leaving devices on standby and automating lights to only come on when required.
This basic system comes in at approximately £800, including our full service of design, installation and commissioning. Upgrades thereafter would be in the region of £200-400, if for example you wanted to add a wall panel control interface or voice to the system or expand the system to cover additional rooms. Upgrade costs will vary with design. For each project we would look at your requirements and provide a detailed quotation.
Our charges are inclusive of VAT at 20%.
Technology is always improving and needs can also change, that’s why our system is designed to grow over time. Starting with a basic system, it is then easy in the future to add another room or a new device such as a camera or doorbell. If you think that you may be keen to add functionality to your system at a later date let us know and we can help you prioritise the design and plan the expenditure.
The world we live in today is becoming much more technology orientated. The advances in consumer technology in the future are likely to include better processing power, devices with enhanced energy efficiency and higher data security as well as software enhancements such as machine learning. We will continue to support your system as long as you have it and can advise on the best way to upgrade your system with minimal cost and disruption. In some cases it may be a simple case of software updates and programming rather than new hardware devices.
This is the programming within the smart home system that makes it “smart”. It allows you to customise the outputs based on an initiating input, an input can be anything measurable or readable by the system. For example a pressure sensor in the floor, could detect when you wake in the morning and switch on the light for you and also start to make your morning coffee as you get ready for the day. Automations open up many opportunities to make your life easier, it only needs your imagination and our knowhow.
The cloud is a global network of computer servers that can be used and access remotely to store and manage data, run applications or deliver content or a service such as streaming videos, webmail, or social media. The cloud simply means to access and store files and data over the internet as opposed to from a local or personal computer. The TL Tech system is designed to protect your data and does not use cloud computing, instead a small low cost hub is installed locally that manages and controls the data from your devices.
The system is protected in a number of ways, primarily the TL Tech system will be installed within your home, which allows a degree of physical protection from tampering by non-approved people. The system will be installed within your home network, behind your existing firewall to provide some protection from undesired remote access, with remote access only being allowed to specific approved devices which have been pre-configured to access the system. The system itself is password protected and additional password protection can be added to the user interface dashboard, if required.
The TL Tech system is designed to minimise the data sent outside the home network, but the use of devices such as smart speakers does require connection to the manufacturer’s cloud services and the transfer of certain data relating to those devices.
We will always take into account your personal circumstances and look to design a system that both meets your needs and is intuitive to operate. Whilst our systems can be accessed via a smartphone we have a variety of other options including programmable switches, tablet displays and voice control. You will also still to be able to use all your traditional controls, which are retained. We recognise that changes to the home can be unsettling for some and therefore we will always look to work with you to provide a solution that suits your needs.
Absolutely! For us it’s fantastic to see people embracing new technology and we know it can be a big investment. Our technology solution is purposefully designed to integrate both old and new, simplifying your devices into a single control and monitoring interface.
Devices that you might already have could include, a voice assistant smart speaker (like Amazon Alexa), heating controls (like a Hive system), your mobile devices (like a Samsung tablet or Apple phone), smart bulbs (like the Philips Hue range).
You might even have a traditional device that you would like to upgrade to be “smart”, we can take traditional speakers and integrate them to connect by Bluetooth.
If you’ve spent time and money choosing the perfect light switches and fittings to match your décor, we can upgrade the wiring to add the smart functionality without any outward changes to your home.
As part of the home survey when we meet with you to discuss your requirements, we will test and map the wifi strength. Depending on your requirements, we may recommend an upgrade to your wifi devices. As well as ensuring that your smart devices stay reliably connected to the network, this has the added bonus of improving streaming to other devices such as tablets and mobile phones.
If you change internet provider, replace your wireless networking devices or simply want to change your wireless network ID (SSID) or configuration, there are two options:
- The TL Tech system can be updated with the new connection details to allow continued functionality and communication within your home.
- The new equipment can be configured to broadcast the same network ID (SSID) and require the same password as the old system, thus reducing any additional configuration required by any of your existing devices.
Just like your home at the moment, if the power supply to the home is interrupted all the electrical devices including your smart devices will temporarily stop working. It is advised that should you experience a power cut that when the power comes back on to restart the router and hub. If you ever experience any issues with the system, our after sales support is available to trouble shoot any problems.
The system is designed to monitor the life of the batteries in all the wireless devices. This can be seen on the dashboard interface. We include a user manual with each system that will provide details of battery maintenance for each device. Typically we would recommend changing out the batteries at least annually and can offer support with this if required.
We also offer subscription packages, the essential-plus package provides an annual check and replacement of batteries.
After purchasing a system from TL Tech you will receive two weeks of support to ensure that the system is operating correctly and check you are becoming familiar with the new controls. A courtesy call is made at the end of this period to check how you are getting on. We also offer subscription packages, the essential package gives access to continued support.
Once a system is installed there would not normally be a requirement to perform any updates, but if there are any relevant updates relating to security or safety TL Tech will endeavour to make you aware and organise for the update to be carried out.
We would be delighted to answer any questions that you might have about smart homes and your requirements. It is our passion to give people the confidence to embrace new technologies and new ways of doing things. We are always interested to hear your ideas about what would make your life easier within the home.
Our phone number is 07825 586 731
Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org