We are very excited to announce that Smart Homes Electrical is now a Loxone Gold Partner. We sent Managing Director Tom Mastin over a few questions to find out some more about their journey to gold. Here’s what he had to say:
fter working for a leading German materials handling company for over 10 years, I gained in-depth knowledge in automation and the benefits of this to the end-user. This then led me on to looking into all aspects of automation and energy conservation.
Advances in technology were the driving force in our company and I was lucky to be working with other like-minded engineers who had the same passion – so we decided to pull all our skills together to provide the complete Smart Home package.
The Smart Home market provides us with the perfect opportunity to all work together and deliver some amazing automation with a little added WOW factor to our clients.
After working with numerous products in the Smart Home world we were becoming frustrated with the real integration of some of the devices we were installing and the ability to get them all to communicate.
We had a number of solutions to provide our clients that all worked well but to truly make the home smart we needed a solution to tie everything together.
Some systems we looked into were either too complex for the end-user or more orientated to the AV market. After looking in-depth, we came across Loxone which seemed to tick all the boxes and allowed us to seamlessly integrate everything we were looking for.
Whilst making sure things run smoothly I also have over 30 years of experience working as an electrical contractor, so I am very much hands-on.
Most of my week involves generating new sales, Showroom demonstrations and handing projects that are completed to our customers so they fully appreciate the level of automation we have provided.
Ben has worked as part of the team for 15 years, from an apprentice to the QS in the company, he has a real talent in communicating with customers and getting them to understand the process from start to finish.
Ben has a real desire to make sure the customer is happy with everything all the way through the installation whilst communicating with all the other trades to make sure things run smoothly.
Richard has worked with the team for 9 years, his main role is taking care of project planning and design to ensure everything is covered – from quotation to completion.
Richard has a good level of experience in both IT and electrical installations which works well in his day-to-day work.
He has a passion and a good understanding of all the new advances in home automation and renewable technologies.
Leo is now in his final stages of becoming a qualified electrician. He has had a wide range of experience in the smart home industry and the renewable installation sector.
With the training he has had, it will put him in a great position to work in the field of automation from an early age.
Leo has a good understanding of all our systems and is keen to be working on them under his own steam.
Will is a new addition to our team, his main role is dealing with commissioning and configurations of our systems. He comes with a wealth of experience in the IT world.
After graduating from Coventry Uni with a BEng in Aerospace Engineering he has held various roles in the IT sector, this has allowed him to integrate into the company seamlessly
Sandra deals with all our customer accounts and suppliers – she has worked with the team for over 10 years on a part-time basis.
Alex’s role is looking after all the contracts, health & safety and also ensuring our quality management systems are up to date.
When we picked Loxone to be our chosen supplier of home automation we first started with training before we offered the systems to our customers, all the engineers gain a full understanding of how to install the systems and basic configuration.
Once the training was completed we started to focus on incorporating the systems into existing installations, after a short period we started to focus on larger opportunities that were made available on larger builds.
We were involved in some very large installations early on which has springboarded us to Gold Partner status very quickly.
It became obvious that to demonstrate the system fully we would need to invest in a showroom which we completed recently and is proving to be a great asset.
We were lucky to be involved in a large renovation of a listed hall, this involved a complete rewire and full automation throughout.
Lighting was a key aspect of the project, as the building had some great features both internally and externally we were keen to design the lighting to complement the history of the building.
We provided zoned heating controls to all rooms which gave our customer a simple view and control of the whole building’s heating requirements.
Multiroom audio was implemented throughout, providing functions that included notifications on events that may be taking place in the hall.
With such a large project, the simplicity of control of all systems was the main reason for our customer to choose Loxone.
Our goal is to design and implement the system so the customer is not thinking about what to make it do – when this is achieved with careful consideration and planning, a true feel for automation is experienced.
No reaching for the phone is required, no shouting commands to change the lights, no need to constantly change the room temperature, basically no gimmicks to become bored of.
From a cost point of view, our customers apricate that if the system is integrated fully they can save on additional costs associated with additional items like heating controls, light switches in multiple areas, bugler alarms, energy management.
One simple app is provided to view the whole house if required.
We are able to design and install a complete smart home project including everything from the electrical installation, home energy generation, lighting design and configuration.
We have all the recognised accreditations that are required to complete the full package, this allows the customer to deal with one contractor and without any subcontracting.
Our team have been working together now for up to 15 years which simplifies the whole process of delivering the perfect project
Lighting is normally the most requested feature followed by heating.
Customers love the Touch Pure switch closely followed by the Touch Surface switch.
One of the other key features is the multifaceted nature of the lighting control. By installing just 1 switch and 1 Presence Sensor customers get control over the mood lighting but also the audio, blinds, burglar alarm and heating.
The All Out feature is also great. 3 taps on the switch when exiting the property and a whole host of actions are implemented saving the customer time and also providing peace of mind.
The ability to have the system not connected to the internet or use any cloud facilities certainly provides the customer with an extra level of security.
We would love to demonstrate all of our skills on a large commercial property within the hospitality or entertainment sector, the opportunities would be endless with regards to what could be implemented.
The potential of providing different areas with lighting designs and multiroom audio on a large scale would be exciting to be involved in.
Whilst providing all the key functions, it would also be great to incorporate energy management and on-site generation.
You must have a passion for automation and technology, customers need time to understand the real benefit of investing most likely more than they had originally budgeted for.
If you are enthusiastic and passionate about what you are proposing most customers start to really get it.
As you progress don’t forget to catch up with previous customers as over time they normally would like to expand the system into other areas like extensions and gardens.
Building automation is becoming more recognised and considered than ever before, there are a number of factors in this like climate concerns, working from home, assisted living, technology advances – they all play their part.
We believe by 2025 the market will have dramatically increased and will be considered in both the new build and retrofit market.
Visit a showroom first as this gives you the best opportunity to get a feel for the system and its capabilities before any detailed planning is considered.
Then it’s all about planning and budgeting.
We would the recommend sitting with a Gold Partner to walk through the plans and provide advice on how the system would react in all rooms and situations.