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3 Powerful Smart Home Upgrades

3 Powerful Smart Home Upgrades

Chicagoland builders and designers should keep these systems in mind for their next retrofit or new construction projects We’re well into spring at this point in the year, which is both a seasonal high point for buying and selling homes. It’s also the time homeowners start thinking about spring cleaning, and both factors make this an ideal time for builders and designers to suggest smart home upgrades for their clients. But how do you stand out in a crowded market, especially as automation technology becomes increasingly common in homes? As the Chicago area’s leading smart home company, we’d suggest these three systems for your next project. SEE ALSO: Why Should Your Design-Build Firm Partner with Barrett’s? OUTDOOR LIGHTING CONTROL Spring and summer are the time for backyard barbecues and other get-togethers, which makes giving homeowners a way to make those events easier. Why should their backyard party stop just because the sun has set? With outdoor lighting control, the fun can last all night long. With outdoor lighting control, residents can highlight outdoor elements or architectural features to create a more customized and appealing design. In-ground well lights can add subtle lighting around plants or trees, while colored LEDs can help add some visual flourish to a home’s exterior aesthetic. These systems also give homeowners the same benefits lighting control provides in indoor spaces. Your clients get centralized controls using their phones, a substantial increase in energy efficiency and the opportunity to customize their exterior lighting to a much finer degree. HOME ENTRY SYSTEM If you are away from your home this spring on vacation or on a business...
3 Reasons Lighting Control is Essential for Condominium Projects

3 Reasons Lighting Control is Essential for Condominium Projects

With lighting control, high-rise developers in Illinois’ Gold Coast can cut costs, attract potential buyers and make their buildings easier to manage From Alexa-enabled speakers to fully automated conference rooms, individuals and businesses alike are clamoring for automated devices to simplify everyday tasks and make life more comfortable. And yet, there’s one area where automation has yet to truly take off: Apartments and condominium developments. Whether it’s due to budgetary concerns, a lack of technical know-how or the fear of a complicated installation process, the reluctance to embrace automation is a missed opportunity for builders and property managers. Today we’ll be looking at one of the simplest but most effective automation technologies available for condo developers in Illinois’ Gold Coast: Lutron lighting control. SEE ALSO: How Can Lutron Lighting Control Lower Your Energy Bill? MORE EFFICIENT BUILDINGS One of the biggest costs for any home, including condos, is utility bills. Between the costs of lighting the space, running appliances, and heating or cooling the unit, energy costs quickly become a major factor in any potential resident’s financial future. A Lutron lighting control system makes your individual units much more efficient. LED lighting is 70-80 percent more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, and they’re safer to handle than compact fluorescent bulbs. Lighting control also allows your residents to dim bulbs instead of simply having them on or off, and every percentage point of dimming results in an equivalent reduction in energy use for that light. By using sensors and automated schedules, residents will see even greater savings by ensuring lights aren’t on in areas that aren’t being used. HAPPIER, HEALTHIER...
The Benefits of a Upgrade For Your Home Network

The Benefits of a Upgrade For Your Home Network

Larger homes with a greater number of Wi-Fi enabled devices put strain on the network of your home, but Barrett’s can help More and more devices in our homes rely on your home network: Smartphones, tablets, laptop and desktop computers, gaming consoles and so on. When you add up all the necessary connected devices then factor in your home automation system on top of that, it’s no wonder you might be seeing some strain on your network. What’s the best solution? Simple: A network upgrade from our trusted staff at Barrett’s Technology Solutions. Here are three key benefits of a home networking solution for your Hinsdale, IL home. SEE ALSO: Behind the Scenes: How Home Networking Impacts Your System FASTER SPEEDS When you’re trying to watch a movie, play games online or simply browse the Internet, you expect a quick response time. That may not be the case if you’re relying on a single wireless router to cover your home or you have an unreliable connection. This will cause all sorts of frustrating glitches and even device crashes. This is especially true when it comes to video streaming. To get the most from 4K video content, you need the right equipment as well as the sufficient network speed and bandwidth. You won’t get that with a subpar network. A professional network installation alleviates many of these issues. Our staff will take a look at the wiring in your home as well as your modem, router and other equipment to give you optimal speeds and full wireless coverage throughout your home. GET MORE FROM YOUR DEVICES The individual elements of...
Builder’s Guide to Blending Design and Smart Lighting

Builder’s Guide to Blending Design and Smart Lighting

Lincoln Park building and design professionals add value to their homes while drawing in clients with smart home features If you’re a builder, architect or designer looking to make an impact in the luxury home market, you know smart home features are increasingly in demand. Homeowners are looking to differentiate themselves, while still enjoying all the benefits of automation. An easy and elegant way to astonish your prospective customers is to consider lighting control instead. Installing smart lighting will benefit both you and the homeowners alike. They gain more control over their lighting design (both indoors and outdoors) and you are able to better blend design and function. Let’s go through some reasons why smart lighting control is a bright idea for Lincoln Park, IL building professionals. SEE ALSO: Builders: Are You Prepared for Your Smart Home Projects?  SAVINGS AND STYLE WITH LEDs Something as simple as the bulbs you install in lighting fixtures couldn’t make that big of a difference, right? Not true; different bulbs generate different types of light and make an impact in the aesthetics of a project. That’s why you should always be considering the use of LEDs. According to some estimates, LEDs use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs; your buyers will thank you for the savings they’ll see on their electric bills. LEDs are also safer to handle than compact fluorescent bulbs.From a design perspective, though, LEDs give you many more options in terms of a home’s interior design. Barrett’s is proud to be dealers of USAI who offer world class LED lighting fixtures. These fixtures use warm-dimming, tunable white, and infinite...
Get More Stunning Window Treatments with Motorized Shades

Get More Stunning Window Treatments with Motorized Shades

Are Your Windows Dressed to the Nines?   If you’re looking for that next upgrade for your home to make it look more stunning and luxurious, look no further than your windows – or rather, what’s hanging in front of them. Window treatments can have a huge impact on the look and feel of a room. Changing up that one element can go a long way toward making your home feel fresh and new. It’s also the perfect time to explore the possibilities of leveraging smart technology with your window treatments. Motorized blinds and shades offer many advantages, from convenience to energy savings, but their biggest value lies in their ability to make your Gold Coast home more beautiful. Keep reading to learn how.   SEE ALSO: DOES YOUR LIGHTING SYSTEM MAKE YOUR LIFE MORE LUXURIOUS?   The Perfect Brightness in Every Room Bright light can bring out the best in home décor and furnishings, but the struggle with natural light is that it can’t be controlled. Some days may be too bright, while other days will be dim and dreary. With standard window treatments, there’s nothing you can do to combat fickle weather. Motorized shades, on the other hand, give you the ability to control exactly how bright each room is. On particularly sunny days, the shades lower automatically to filter out the harshest rays, leaving a pleasant glow that’s not too overwhelming. On dimmer days, the same sensors that cause the shades to lower will alert the smart light fixtures in the room, causing them to brighten automatically.   Protect Your Furnishings from Sun Damage UV Rays...