If you are planning to upgrade your living space and create a “smart home”, you’re probably asking yourself “What’s the best home automation system?”
In others words, you’ve decided you want to install or upgrade your home automation system. Now you want to make sure you’re choosing the right one.
“What’s The Best Home Automation System? Control4 or Savant or Crestron?”
It’s an important question. And this was the question we needed to answer for ourselves when we created K+ Integration and Audio.
We wanted to represent the best for our company and our customers. After evaluating the options we chose Crestron.
“It’s not our intention to say that one system is better than the other, but to share what we’ve learned so that you can choose the one that’s right for you.”
As custom integration consultants, we want, more than anything, to (1) help our clients choose the right system, and then (2) to help them install it correctly.
For us, creating a great customer experience is the most important thing. Often, when we speak to owners of previously installed systems, they tell us how hard their system is to use, how it doesn’t perform as they expect, or they fear they’ve chosen the wrong system.
We understand. We’ve been implementing home automation systems for 10+ years. As we ask more questions to get to the root of the problem, we discover that, 90% of the time their dissatisfaction is the result of a poor implementation.
That is why, as a rule of thumb, we believe that most important factor isn’t the system itself, but the dealer installing it and their team. A great dealer with a knowledgeable team is critical. Any one of these systems, whether it’s Control4 or Savant or Crestron, if implemented improperly, will not work well, and will be frustrating to operate.
Seen through that lense, the question is not so much “What is the best home automation system?” but “What is the best home automation system for me? “What’s the best home automation system for my needs and wants and desires, as well as for my budget?”
“What’s The Best Home Automation System For Me?
Let’s take a quick look at the three main players in the home automation space:
- Control 4: A relative newcomer into this space, Control4 offers a somewhat flexible system with an entry-level price point. It integrates with a wide variety of 3rd party devices, and allows for quick installation and deployment of systems. It’s the closest to an out-of-the-box solution as you can find.
- Savant: Savant offers more customization options at a mid-level price point, and users can set “scenes” that you schedule or play with a touch of a button.
- Crestron: Crestron is the industry’s gold standard. It offers the ultimate in customization, integration, and luxury features, with solutions ranging through all price points. It is the most robust and complex integration solution.
We Chose To Represent Crestron
We chose Crestron. It was the Best Home Automation System for us. And I can tell you why. Our desire was to become a solution provider for the preeminent smart home automation solution.
We had three criteria: performance, support, and flexibility:
A home automation system interacts with the some of the main subsystems of your home: your electrical system, your lighting system, your security system, a well as with other systems like plumbing, audio video, gates, blinds and shades, and more. So it needs to be a solid performer. It’s not good if the touch panel screens are hard to navigate, the switches are wonky, the software is glitchy, or the system goes off line.
The company needs to be in it for the long haul. If they go out of business, what do you do then? Crestron, as the industry leader, is installed in many if not most of the world’s premier buildings, universities, the largest luxury yachts, even in navy ships and facilities! Crestron is here for the long haul. Another key issue- if there’s an issue with a piece of equipment, what’s the supplier’s response like? Crestron gear rarely has issues, but when there is a problem, their support can’t be beat. From training classes through technical support, sales support and follow up Crestron does whatever it takes to make sure the customer experience is a good one. when it comes to decisions about the water system, installing a battery backup for your sump pump is very important.
Historically, one of Crestron’s perceived weaknesses competitively was that the programming costs were too high. While not the case any more, we believe that the Crestron ecosystems robust flexibility is actually its (and by extension, our) greatest strength.
Control 4 systems are configured. There really isn’t any programming, so up until the last few years that was a major cost difference between the two systems. While that’s a limiting factor, they’ve got lots of happy customers who value the “plug and play” aspect as well as the cost savings. They’ve traded flexibility for cost savings.
“Crestron, on the other hand, has a robust programming environment. Whatever a homeowner can dream up, we can make it happen. Interfaces can be customized any way you want.”
That’s not to say that Crestron is only a luxury option. On the contrary, over the last 3 years Crestron has been working hard to bring a more plug and play type of installation protocol to the market. With Crestron Pyng, the cost of a Crestron system can now be similar to Control 4 or Savant, but the robustness of the equipment and the opportunity to tailor the system remain (see graphic above).
Crestron’s solid performance, its robust equipment, and its flexibility allows us to offer our customers the preeminent solution on the market. But we understand that Crestron’s not for everybody.
Ultimately, each end user needs to evaluate the options and choose the one that’s the best fit for them.
All of these companies are good companies with good equipment. The best home automation system is the one that’s the right fit for you.
That’s why it’s important to evaluate the options, because once you’ve started down a road with one of them, you’re committed.
A decision based on a short-term issue like upfront costs can have long term implications.
Still have questions? Ask The Expert.
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