smart home automation uk with control4

Best Home Automation UK 2017 – A Detailed Comparison

In this article, you’ll find a detailed and comprehensive comparison of the some of the best home automation UK systems of 2017 with respect to various standard categories that are relevant to the average homeowner. We might also ask: What is the real cost of home automation UK?

The best home automation systems we’ve seen so far come short of what 2017 promises. The number of home automation UK companies is peaking. More of those mean you’ll have more choice as far as selecting the best secured, sturdiest and most intelligent home system goes.

With so many choices, which one home automation system should you get? Can you combine two or more, and which systems are even slightly compatible and can support and work with other sub-systems?

Below we detail some smart home automation UK solutions that are ripe for installation in 2017. We’ll delve in and dig into a couple. Hopefully, you find one that comes close or fulfills your home automation enthusiasm.

Best Home Automation Systems UK in 2017

Firstly, it is pretty tough to place dissimilar smart home technologies in distinct categories. On the face, a system can appear to be just a

  • monitoring,
  • or energy,
  • or lighting,
  • or water,
  • or locks,
  • or entertainment,
  • or sensors,
  • or switches-only

management system.

However, digging a little deeper finds that it can plug into another entirely different home automation UK hub or control panel – and be converted into a sub-system. For example, energy and lighting home automation systems that combine both lighting and energy control components, and monitoring and security home automation systems which in turn connect and simultaneously use both surveillance and security components.

Which are the best home automation systems of the year?

From do-it-yourself, cheap UK home automation, mid range, whole-house and multi-room home automation solutions, to high-end smart homes that require professional setup, here are some home automation companies to help you spend less time worried and more time living in the coming months.

We will be checking the home automation companies along the following aspects:

  1. Compatibility with Other Systems – How well does a system integrate within already present smart home solutions and does it offer connectivity to new devices?
  2. Customisation – Will you be able to change settings easily or at all or do you need a specialised technician to do so?
  3. Mobility – Can you access your home automation system from any room and on the go?
  4. Technical Support – Installation and dealing with issues.

1. Indigo Home Automation

indigo_ios_home automation ukA good portion of online home automation UK reviews cast Perceptive Automation (parent to Indigo) as one of the best home automation companies in the UK. It features all-encompassing, Mac OSX remote smart home controls. The system is also constantly evolving with new tweaks being occasionally made to better the home automation system.

Compatibility with Other Systems

Indigo also supports integration with multiple protocols simultaneously. So you can use modern smart home protocols from the likes of Z-Wave, X10, and Insteon straight out of the box, one at a time or even all of them simultaneously.

With over a 100 plug-ins to expand accessibility, users can improve Indigo’s home automation system original features. Therefore using third-party plug-ins, users can set up their system to start receiving growl notifications and SMS alerts relating to the weather, as well as enhance monitoring, security or entertainment functions that may be missing from the Indigo system from the manufacturer.

Some homeowners will also be glad to note that Indigo also integrates with multiple other services such as NOAA Weather servers and iTunes. This way you can stream your favourite tunes and be prepared whatever the weather.

Customisation

You’ll love it that you can fix mistakes and tweak various settings without calling a professional CI. Because the Indigo home automation UK system avails multiple customisation options such as setting up Pages, Triggers, and Schedules for your smart home devices, it is pretty much an easy-to-figure-out, smart home solution.

Mobility

to further improve on accessibility, there is Indigo Touch for IOS users and Indigo Touch for the web for non-IOS users. The IOS compatible Indigo Touch utilises Apple’s legendary OS security, and web communications between built-in servers are encrypted so non-IOS users can worry less about third-parties peeping or listening in on their activity.

Technical support

Technical support provided by Indigo is nowhere near slapdash either, and most users have attested to this fact.

indigodomo.com

2. AMX Home Automation

AMX home automation ukA big player in video switching and control devices, AMX LLC helps residential users, businesses, governments, schools, organisations, and many other organised settings to centrally plan, automate and manage their tasks, floor plan, rooms, and so on, smartly.

Compatibility with Other Systems

First, AMX provides a vast home automation products catalogue that features almost every type of HA device or functional support you need. Compatible peripherals are also in plenty as well as 3rd party plug-ins to expand your clever home device needs, just like in the Indigo case above.

Unlike Indigo, though, AMX covers all angles of the intelligent home by having its compatible products for lighting, entertainment, locks, surveillance and HCVT systems, and many others. You’ll rarely find the AMX product not to support virtually all popular home automation UK protocols such as Z-Wave and X10, etc.

The security and monitoring division just added the new Sereno smart webcam that’s designed for meeting places and work campuses.

Mobility

For example, you can:

  • Take home automation control under your fingertips using the company’s Modero S Series Touch Panels.
  • Use the TPControl mobile app to stay on top of all home areas from one room and one mobile device. Or do so through the internet while you are away, or just nearby.

AMX home automation NI-3100 Netlinx Central Controller is also easy to configure and learn. It is also superb in that it lets you configure your user interface to match your needs and ease-of-use preferences.

Technical Support

What’s more is that if everything (or part of the system) feels mind-boggling, AMX offers comprehensive support. This they do through the AV/IT Admin’s Guide and Residential Information Sheets (PDFs) they have posted on their parent website for interested readers.

To find in-depth information relating to your particular AMX home automation needs in the UK, visit amx.com.

simplifymyhome.com | Buy on Amazon

3. HomeSeer Home Automation UK

homeseer home automation system uk logoHomeSeer (HS) is another excellent home automation UK system to try out in 2017.

Compatibility with Other Systems

The system is highly compatible with a broad catalogue of both popular and niche home automation UK technologies, systems, and peripherals. Those include X10, WI-FI, UPB, Insteon, and Z-Wave. So you can purchase a wide range of your favourite smart home peripherals to match and work for your HomeSeer home automation solution. Unfortunately, support for Zigbee, KNX and Bluetooth is still missing, so you might not want to buy equipment using these technologies only to find out at installation that they don’t work with your spanking new HS system.

Mobility

However, HomeSeer home automation supports Chrome, Safari, and Firefox if you choose the web browser way. Also, users can install the HomeSeer HS3 software in Mac OSX and Windows (Vista, 7, 8) laptops and home desktops and seamlessly use the system’s automation features from there. Alternatively, users can access the system’s devices from their Android, IOS and BlackBerry smartphone apps for more convenience and accessibility options on the go.

Customisation

Options abound, allowing you to set triggers, intervals, setpoints, alerts, and random activation to give the impression someone is home, as well as sensors and motion monitors for both simple and complex home automation UK tasks.

Technical Support

HomeSeer’s user support also seems to appeal to the majority of its users. An excellent customer forum, manuals and online FAQs section, telephone and live chat support make it easier to get the hang of things—because HS UI is a bit tough to master, at first, maybe.

homeseer.com | Buy on Amazon

4. SmartThings by Samsung Home Automation

Samsung SmartThings home automation LogoSmartThings Hub (2nd Generation), is now updated for 2017. Already, Samsung-owed SmartThings Hub can connect to almost any of your smart home devices, providing access and control from anywhere on the planet, at any time.

Compatibility with Other Systems

SmartThings works with products from multiple brands including Lighty, Yale, Samsung, Osram, Honeywell, First Let and Bose, among others. SmartThings is also compatible with wireless peripherals that work with Z-Wave and ZigBee protocols.

Unfortunately, SmartThings is yet to fully integrate with PCs and Macs, as well as offer support for iTunes and Windows Media Player. As is, you can’t stream your favourite tunes using those two services. It also doesn’t support Bluetooth, X10, KNX, Insteon and UPB smart home systems as of this writing.

Mobility

Users can download the free Samsung SmartThings app to set up active alerts and trigger home remote control from anywhere in the world using a smartphone. The app is available for download to IOS (7.1 or later), Android (4.0 or later) and Windows Phone (8.1 or later) operating systems’ users.

Customisation

There are some tweaking options you’ll like. For example, you can configure a thermostat to heat specific living areas, and at particular times. ST will also unlock a compatible deadbolt (without you needing a key) when it automatically detects a key fob present by the front door.

Relevant: The Best Smart Door Locks

Technical Support

Access live chat support right from the smartphone app—like sending and receiving text messages. The more comprehensive support comprises of manuals, online forum, email and a resourceful FAQs section. However, no telephone support is available as of this writing.

The home automation technology is currently rolling out in the UK, with the rest of Europe to have it in 2017.

Relevant: The Next Generation Of Samsung SmartThings

smartthings.com | Buy on Amazon

5. Control4 UK

control 4 home automation uk systemControl4 home automation UK has severally been rated the best with regards to ease of use in a myriad of home automation user reviews—surpassing that of HomeSeer ease-of-use by a jump. They may be relatively new compared to some of the named players here but has been around for over a decade now. So, they do have considerable knowledge about how to help you automate and make your home smart by use of proprietary home automation technology.

Compatibility with Other Systems

Most of us will be pleased to know that Control4 supports connectivity with Bluetooth, Z-Wave, ZeeBee, WI-FI and KNX appliances. Users can also use Z-Wave and ZeeBee to interface with computer applications such as Windows Media Player (Windows OS), and iTunes (Mac OSX and IOS). You can still expand the system thanks to the availability of a host of compatible hardware such as the new Nest Learning Thermostat, and so on.

Mobility

If you want, you can subscribe to the Control4 monthly 4Sight Subscription. That will enable you to access remote control functions from your mobile device provided it is internet-connected.

Technical Support

First thing you’ll learn is that you’ll require a certified installer to install Control4 home automation UK system at your home. That means:

  1. you can have all the technical stuff, system components and networking tasks set up for you by an expert,
  2. you run little risk of messing peripherals.

Well, that is if your chosen installer knows what they are doing as well.

However, Control4 has a vast network of verified installers and distributors in the UK to help with this task. Use the Control4 Dealer Locator on the company’s website to do this.

On the other hand, paying for third-party installation means you’ll be spending more money than you necessarily need to. Also, once a pro fixes your system, you may have a bounded customisation and technical know-how to add various compatible peripherals and plug-ins in case you want to expand your home automation system in future.

control4.com | Buy on Amazon

6. Savant Home Automation

Savant home automation logoSavant brings cool and easy-to-use home automation at your doorstep, and blends in some excellent features to get your Home Automation enthusiasm pumping.

Compatibility with Other Systems

Users can purchase Savant-compatible peripherals from a Savant dealer near them. Unfortunately, the system does not (as of this writing) offer support for Insteon, Zigbee, UPB, KNX, X10, Bluetooth and Z-wave. So you may find Savant’s offering a bit on the limiting side if you need a home automation UK system that is expandable using peripherals that use the above HA equipment technologies.

Mobility

Come 2017, Savant is introducing the Savant Remote to help with wireless, remote control of your home devices from your favourite couch.

Primarily, Savant works with IOS (iPhones and tablets) and Mac OSX operating systems, but also supports Android devices via a compatible Savant mobile app. Users with Apple products and Android device users are therefore catered for here, but supporting for Windows and Windows Phone as well as BlackBerry OS is missing, unfortunately.

That translates to the Savant system supporting iTunes, various HVAC security products, but lacking support for Windows Media Player offerings. If you are wondering, Savant’s home automation also lacks voice control, which you’d understandably expect from IOS based Siri voice assistant, and also lacks security monitoring.

Technical Support

Savant is one of very few home automation systems that aren’t offering direct technical support. Savant home automation system users can find and obtain compatible peripherals from a Savant dealer—who will also serve as the custom integrator (CI) and technical support provider. Just log on to the Savant website and find an integrator near you.The smart home hub is pretty sturdy, but quite a bit limiting.

savant.com

7. Crestron Home Automation System

crestron home automation ukCrestron home automation UK system is very robust and functional, and yet easy to learn and use. The home automation system supports six operating systems. So it’ll likely flawlessly fit in and work with multiple devices that use different operating systems. Also, a good number of smart home equipment makers specially build compatible peripherals for the Crestron home automation system.

Compatibility with Other Systems

This is one of only a select few home automation companies to offer support for a whole house, as well as home theatre systems. So if that is one feature of an HA system you’d want built-in for your entertainment needs, you will not go wrong by choosing Crestron.

Additionally, users can use third-party protocol modules to make Crestron’s home automation technology work with any standard smart home hub. The home automation solution integrates and works with multiple wireless technologies protocols such as WI-FI, Insteon, Z-Wave, KNX, UPB, Zigbee, Bluetooth, and X10. Rest assured that most of the equipment you’ll want to add to your smart home is covered under the Crestron home automation umbrella.

Mobility

Just like with AMX, you can control almost every single device, lights, music, security cameras and more from within or outside your smart home using a Crestron touch screen or mobile app. Users can effortlessly and fluidly use this HA system with luxury transportation, whether it’s a yacht or high-end vehicle.

Technical Support

if you are on a strict budget, though, this HA system is not do-it-yourself friendly. Like in the Control4 case above, you will need to hire an experienced (and Crestron-certified) custom integrator. That will certainly cost extra money, but a consummate CI can help set up the system to bespoke standard, and ensure it works without any glitches before they leave. On its official website, the company lists certified Crestron products’ installers on a global network map that users can use to find professional installers near their location. The company also offers telephone, online and email support, but isn’t currently offering live chat support.

Don’t let this get to you, though, Crestron’s technical support is pretty decent and will help you get started or off of a point of strife with their system.

crestron.com | Buy on Amazon

8. Vera Home Automation

Vera Home Automation uk logoThe Home Automation system from Vera Control LTD has plenty to offer on top of its economical pricing compared to the competition. Vera home automation UK system sweeps multiple creds for its highly capable, remote access home automation systems.

Vera’s MiOS software allows users to log on to the home automation system at the click of a button. What is also wonderful is how MiOS supports access from any internet browser whether you choose to use a smartphone or tablet computer via the system’s own Android or IOS apps. Also, homeowners can use the mobile app interfaces to program various functions. For instance, customise various commands to execute automatically when the sun rises or sets.

Compatibility with Other Systems

Vera has an impressively compatible equipment catalogue that features support for most other traditional systems. Vera’ smart home automation solution supports Insteon, WI-FI, Zigbee, Z-Wave (including 900+ certified devices) homes automation technologies, HVAC systems, and smart thermostats, among other technologies in smart home automation.

Customisation

You can choose from 4 built-in hardware controllers: The starter kit, VeraLite, is ideal for the beginner. Experienced home automation systems users can go for the more advanced Vera Edge, Vera3 and VeraLite G suites. Vera’s home automation system includes solid tweaking options too. You can, for example, set triggers, intervals, schedules, etc., to deter thieves from breaking into your smart home when you are away, by giving the impression that someone’s present.

Technical Support

Robust technical support (live chat, telephone, and email) available for customers, making using the products for beginners and amateurs a short learning curve.

However, Vera does not support home theatre systems for now.

getvera.com | Buy on Amazon

Home Automation UK – In Conclusion

How to choose the best smart home system for you depends on a number of factors. These include your knowledge of HA systems, budget, plans, and specific needs: such as if you need a lighting central hub, or prefer an intelligent surveillance camera control hub, or a whole house automation system to control almost every aspect of your connected home remotely.

Do remember that cheap is not always expensive, and vice versa. Also, what may have worked for a friend may not work fluidly for your home as well. So have it at the back of your mind to put your unique smart home needs to the forefront when choosing the best home automation system for your home in the UK.

See recommended smart home devices on Amazon

Nest Learning Thermostat

nest-learning-thermostat

CHECK PRICE

Nest Cam

nest-cam-security-camera

CHECK PRICE

Amazon Echo

amazon-echo

CHECK PRICE

Philips Hue Starter Kit

philips-hue-starter-kit

CHECK PRICE




There are 2 comments

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  1. pert

    There are many home automation systems and smart gadgets flooded into the market which is difficult for a consumer to choose any one. I agree fully with the points afore mentioned factors which serves as guiding principle in selecting a home automation system as per their requirements


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