If you’ve ever been through the process, you know that when transforming your house or office into a smart home, it is crucial to work with a company that has years of experience, training, and professionalism. By hiring a professional home automation integrator, you will not only save time and money, but also tons of stress and headaches.

Before hiring a company, we seriously recommend doing some basic research. Not only should you be reading articles, reviews, and testimonials online, but also ask friends and family for referrals. Once you’ve found between 1 to 3 potential companies, reach out to them and take your time explaining what you’re looking for and hearing their options. Once you’ve met with a few people you’ll find one company who you’re comfortable with and then the fun will start!


The Process

The first part of the process is getting an appointment with a smart home integrator so they can learn more about your lifestyle and wants and needs with your smart home project. Many companies will send out an experienced consultant to your home, especially if you already have certain smart home installations. This will also give them a better feel of the space they’ll be working in. If you are completely new to the idea of smart home technology, it may be best to go to the company’s show-room. This way the consultant can physically show you how home automation works and how everything from your cameras, TV’s, speakers, and lighting works together and is made easy to control by its users.  Budget will also be an extremely important aspect of your initial conversations as you begin to discover how small or big your home automation project will be.

Once your consultant has all of the information they need, they’ll begin to create a detailed plan that aligns your budget with your project goals while also giving suggestions of specific products along the way. During the process it’s important to ask questions and speak your mind to ensure you and the project lead are on the same page. And remember, every single smart home system is different and completely customizable so if you have an idea or a specific project in mind, don’t hesitate voicing your vision. Once all of your decisions have been made, you will be provided with a complete scope of work that reiterates everything you agreed upon. This is basically a step by step explanation of all of your parts and products and how they will work together to eventually bring your smart home to life.

The next step is getting on the schedule for the company’s programmer and/or technicians to come out and begin the installation. Once the installation is completed, a smart home professional will walk through your home with you and teach you how to use your smart home products and show you all of it’s awesome capabilities. Now is a great time to ask any questions and iron out any confusion you may have with your new system.


Continued Relationship

We definitely recommend going with a smart home company that will offer you a service contract and provides immediate assistance with any questions or concerns you may have down the line. It’s sort of an unspoken rule that the friendlier and most loyal clients are the ones that receive the best and quickest service, so make sure to stay close and comfortable with your smart home company. This way, you can quickly add and build to your home as technology changes and evolves.


Not many people know that the quality of light we’re exposed to has a very significant impact on our health and overall mood. As a result of all the time we are spending home this year especially if you are one who is now working from home, it is easy to get into a funk for seemingly no reason. The thing is, the reason you may be feeling down or uninspired has a lot more to do with your current lighting situation than you may think. With the right lighting control system in your home, you will foster a happier and healthier lifestyle while also adding more beauty and convenience to your space. Today we will introduce colorbeam to you and explain how easily it can be integrated into your smart home system.

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Colorbeam is a 25-year old company in the audio-visual low voltage technology industry. Throughout its years, Colorbeam Lighting has been able to deliver revolutionary low voltage lighting systems lighting systems that provide a controllable and immersive lighting experience that promotes health, wellness, and convenience in your home. Colorbeam offers human centric lighting abilities with just the touch of a button, the sound of voice commands, or even automatically through a schedule.

You will be able to utilize a vast array of lighting options to set a scene for a productive day and a relaxing evening through Colorbeam’s selection of RGB and RGBW recessed fixtures, tape lighting, and accent lighting. Many people don’t realize that you can take these awesome lighting tools to your backyard and extend the awesomeness of your home. Outdoor lighting is extremely useful to those with great Florida backyards that love to entertain or simply just have some friends and family over from time to time.

Not only is incorporating smart lighting into your home great for entertaining and convenience purposes, but today more and more medical research continues to prove that our mood, sleep patterns, and overall physical and mental health are linked to the lighting we’re exposed to on a daily basis. Colorbeam has the ability to mimic the sun’s natural light which plays a key role in enhancing your health and wellness at home.

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Integrating Colorbeam with Your Home Automation System

If you are familiar with us at Hive, you have probably heard of Control4 which is the main home automation system we prefer to install over all others. Luckily, Colorbeam is able to integrate with your Control4 system beautifully. Once you have an experienced programmer integrate the two systems, your capabilities will be endless. You can adjust your Colorbeam fixtures with just the press of a button on your smartphone, in-wall panel, universal remote, tablet, or you can simply command your smart speaker such as your Amazon Alexa to do it! Or, you simply “set and forget” about controlling your lighting by simply putting it on a schedule. So let’s say you wake up at 7am and go to sleep at 10pm everyday Monday-Friday, you can schedule your lights to turn on and off accordingly, and stay off during the weekends so you can sleep in! The best way to get started with your smart home lighting project is to simply call a home automation professional and hear your various options.

Smart technology is all around us. From our phones, to our cars, and in our homes. We love technology, it makes us feel happy, amused and honestly a little boujee at times. So why not incorporate awesome technology in a place we spend more time in than we’d like to admit… our bathrooms!? You’d be amazed how many incredible options and products there are on the market today that can completely elevate your typical bathroom experience.

Let’s start off talking about what a smart bathroom even is. A smart bathroom combines technology and functionality, and then in turn provides consumers with a super user-friendly and interactive daily experience. Some smart technology that can be incorporated in the bathroom may include smart lighting, wireless technology, touchscreen interface, digital controls, and voice controls. Smart bathrooms pair this high technology with faucets, toilets, mirrors, and showerheads. Today, we’ll give you some creative ideas in order to enhance your lifestyle, specifically your time spent in the best room in the house, your bathroom.

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  1. Smart Showers

If you’ve ever experienced being in the shower and the water being scalding hot one minute and then freezing cold the next, you know how bad it feels and thus it’s time to seriously consider getting a digital shower. I don’t know about you, but taking a warm long shower is one of life’s greatest pleasures so we may as well make it as luxurious and enjoyable as possible. Just imagine having red LED lights glowing on a dial in front of you giving you options on specific temperatures to set your water on. Or better yet, just use your voice to get the temperature right using voice controls, but we’ll get to that later. Also, you integrate your luxe rainshower head to your bluetooth, waterproof speaker and enjoy your favorite music for those 10-30 blissful minutes. Most models have reliable, thermostatic temperature control, come with built-in safety features, and with easy-to-use controls there’s no need for fine tuning or messing around with dials. Here’s the best part. With a smart shower, you can even programme your unique combination into the device including the flow, temperature and duration of your shower, guaranteeing you an invigorating experience, every shower time.

2. Voice Control Speakers

Smart/ voice assistant speakers, specifically the mighty trio of Amazon Alexa, Google Siri, and Google Assistant are currently taking the world by storm and are expected to be at over 2 billion users by the end of 2021! The great thing about using your virtual butler in the smart bathroom is that you won’t need any specific devices. You’ll be able to adjust smart lighting using an Echo device or take advantage of voice control to avoid getting your phone wet when you’re searching for music as you soak in the tub.

3. Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall

2021 is the year of the smart mirror.  If you’re sick of the mirror steaming up when you get out of the shower, when you’re shaving, or just because you’re looking at those pores a little too closely because you’re breathing on the glass… it’s time to get a smart mirror. You’ll be able to invest in models with demisters built in so you can avoid endlessly using your hand to get rid of that condensation. A fogless and design-led mirror will certainly complement a luxury bathroom but did you know that a smart bathroom version can offer much more too? Incorporating innovative new technology, some smart mirrors actually come with an audio facility and offer an impressive way to stay connected with built-in Bluetooth. Rumour also has it that with some of the newer models, you can even go online and check the weather report!

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4. Intellectual Faucets

Digital faucets carry the double advantage of conserving water in order to save money and energy while also making your bathroom routine more quick and convenient. With the reduced flow and automatic temperature control, you’ll use less water and require less power to heat it up while also saving yourself from fiddling around. Touchless technology much like you find in public restrooms is now readily available to slot into your smart home so the water or hot air comes on when your hands approach and shuts off when you remove them.

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If you’re looking for new ways to modernise your bathroom this year, we recommend seeking help from a smart home professional, specifically one who has had experience with smart bathrooms!

How Your Smart Home Will Help You Lead a Sustainable Lifestyle

Throughout the last few decades, we’ve seen incredible change and improvements in technology and so much more across the globe. Unfortunately, many of the advancements in our world, especially ones spanning from the automotive industry, have caused polluting that is creating harmful effects to our environment. Luckily, it seems as though our environment is slowly beginning to be a greater priority in our world today, and together we can make a change that will benefit the future generations.

It’s easy to get flustered or discouraged when it comes to changing your daily lifestyle to be more eco-friendly because it really does take a lot of dedication, determination, and awareness. However, once you have this mindset, you’ll realize how easy living more sustainably can be and how big of a positive impact it will make. The first step is to examine your current lifestyle and notice areas where you think you can be more environmentally conscious. Once you identify these areas that need improving, you’ll be able to find solutions to reduce your waste production and energy consumption.  There are so many awesome resources and technology, specifically smart home technology, available today that will help you simplify your sustainable process. Let’s first go over the basics of smart home technology and how integrating them into your home will help you save energy.

The Basics of Smart Home Technology

It’s important to understand what smart home technology is before deciding to invest in a system or even a simple device. Smart home technology basically incorporates a bunch of different products that can all work together or separate to enhance people’s everyday lives in multiple ways. Many people can get flustered by the idea of the complexity of a smart home but the truth is, with a trustworthy company by your side and an easy connection to your home’s internet, the process is so easy.

Another misconception about smart home technology is that it is always expensive. The truth is, it can be, but it can also be super affordable depending on what devices and how many devices you are buying.  Whether you want to start off with one simple smart speaker, or invest in a full blown home automation system with all the gadgets, there are millions of options when it comes to choosing which devices are right for you, your lifestyle, family, and budget.

When it comes to sustainability, smart home technology can be super beneficial. Below are two simple ways to turn your home into a smart and more sustainable one.

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Smart Lighting

A super easy way to make a low-cost environmental impact is to simply change your bulbs from regular incandescent to LED bulbs. LED bulbs are smart and efficient, last long amounts of time, and are a lot better for the planet than your typical bulbs. This is because they simply use less energy than other bulbs which in turn slows down your waste production. Also, there are tons of home automation options when it comes to smart LED lights such as changing colors, creating lighting schemes, and setting your lights on a specific schedule so they naturally turn on and off at proper times throughout the day. Also, like most smart home products, you can control your lighting from your smartphone, even if you aren’t home. So let’s say you are arriving home at night, you can turn on your lights on your phone from your driveway and ensure you never walk into a dark house again!

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Smart Plugs

 Many people forget how important it is to invest in smart plugs when creating your dream smart home experience. Plugs waste a lot of energy throughout the day without you even noticing. With smart plugs, you can turn them on or off, or set them to a schedule just like your lights so they don’t use energy at unnecessary times. When you have smart plugs, you can run your coffee maker in the morning, fall asleep watching TV, and even leave your hair curler on, and you won’t have to worry about wasting energy or fire risks, because your smart plugs will turn off on their own.

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Smart Thermostats

Everyone needs a thermostat in their home, I don’t know how people ever went without them! But then again, I don’t know how I ever went without a smart thermostat! Smart thermostats are relatively simple, but they can yield huge benefits to your wallet and the environment. Smart thermostats have the same purpose of regular thermostats, but they are special in that they have greater control and remote access. When you have a smart thermostat, you can control it from anywhere. So let’s say you ran out of your house and you’re going to be out all day and forgot to turn your thermostat down in order to save energy, you can simply do it from your phone! You can also set your thermostat on a schedule so it’s the temperature you like in the day time and the specific other temperature you like at night!

As time goes on and we continue to evolve and develop greater technologies, it’s important to keep the planet and our environments in mind to prevent more pollution and danger for the years to come. Using these systems will benefit you in many ways and saving energy is just one of them!


What the 1999 Disney Channel movie ‘Smart House’ got right about smart home automation today.

June 26, 1999 was a super significant day in the history of the internet of things, even though the phrase itself has only barely been born. Long, long before Siri, Alexa, or Google was assistant PAT: Personal Applied Technology. Twenty one years back, the movie Smart House premiered on the Disney Channel bringing us a family who move into a “house of the future” powered by PAT, an integrated virtual assistant way ahead of her time. At times envy-inducing and at other times terrifying, PAT was the perfect prelude to a world in which we’re surrounded by smart technology that routinely toes or tramples on the line between exciting and unnerving. For millennials like me, movies like Smart House  were a classic part of our upbringing that we often think back to, so let’s talk about what this movie did, or didn’t get right.

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Either by design or by accident, this late 90s movie happened to get a number of things surprisingly right about the future of smart home technology. They also grappled with and definitely exaggerated the fears people have experienced over these technologies. Fortunately, in real life, many of these fears have been overcome or have remained fiction.

In a nutshell, Smart House is about the Cooper family which includes a boy named Ben, his widowed father Nick, and his little sister Angie. Ben, who likes computers almost as much as he likes sabotaging his dad's love life in order to prevent any woman from taking his mom’s place, wins a contest granting him and his family a special smart house.

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At first the smart house is awesome, PAT produces smart results seamlessly. She prepares food, packs lunches, cleans the floors via “floor absorbs” that suck up all detritus, syncs with work computers, freeing Nick from his commute, and throws virtual (and actual) tennis balls to entertain the dog. PAT also turns the lights on and off, controls the temperature, serves as a digital address book, sets alarms, and displays videos and video games directly on the walls. Oh, and it electrocutes a bully who’s been picking on Ben, which seems like a serious legal liability. Unfortunately, PAT ended up becoming strict and possessive, locking the family in the home to keep it safe from the dangers of the outside world. So, we’ve found the and highlighted the areas of this prescient movie where technology has come good and delivered what was teased at:

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AI-Powered Digital Assistant

The foundation of Disney’s Smart House was PAT, the AI virtual assistant who was capable of anything from controlling the indoor climate to storing contact information. While PAT runs via a circuit board and control room rather than a smart speaker or smart display, the premise is the same as the way in which Alexa and Google Assistant run smart homes today. Even though a fully integrated AI system like PAT is still some time away from being a reality, Amazon and Google are two companies that have largely succeeded in thrusting their digital assistants to the forefront of our connected homes.

Video Calling

For some reason I found this feature to be the most shocking while re watching the classic Disney movie a few weeks ago. The concept of video calling is now pedestrian but was way ahead of its time 20 years ago After all, we didn’t even have cameras backed into our cell phones back then!

Personalized Alarms

PAT turns the wall into a screen and this is used for more than entertainment. The same principle is used to wake members of the household with personalized video alarms. Although we don’t  have the video component in place yet, it is definitely possible to program your smart speaker to wake you with your favorite playlist or radio station. You can also automate lighting to kick in so you gradually ease into your day as the blinds automatically open.

Wall-Sized Screens

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In Smart House, PAT turned whole walls into screens. This is one of the best party tricks in the movie! Again, we’re already deep into this territory with Samsung’s The Wall and projectors capable of throwing huge displays against the wall. Where in Smart House a concert kicks in, we can now use streaming devices to watch our favorite music videos on the big screen in our home theater.

Voice-Controlled Colored Lighting

Just like in Smart House, you can now take control of your color-changing smart with apps on your smartphone such as The Hue App, or voice commands with Alexa or Google Assistant. Strips are another innovative way of using splashes of color to brighten up a living space.

All in all, Smart House was super impressive with how many technological capabilities it was able to predict and represent, especially at a time where so many of these things were not even close to being possible. However, it is important to remember that at the end of the day, we control every aspect of our smart home and can easily take away features and capabilities at any time. So luckily, the scary uncontrollable parts of the movie were not  very realistic,  but definitely appreciated for entertainment purposes!