When thinking of remote controls, what comes to the minds of many is a newfangled clicker that lets you turn your TV on and off, raise and lower its volume, and maybe even control your DVD player.

In reality, this barely scratches the surface of the myriad of functions today’s control and home automation systems can perform.

Going well beyond the confines of your TV, advanced integrated control systems allow the user to navigate nearly every aspect of home electronics.

Imagine finding yourself in bed and trying to remember whether you locked the front door or not. If you’re like me, this is a fairly common occurrence. There is help.

Systems like Control 4 give users the opportunity to not only check and then lock a particular door, but they also provide options such as a “Goodnight” button, effectively putting the house to sleep by turning off lights and securing all doors.

Here’s a short list of the variety of functions available through this type of control system:

  • Get notified on your smartphone when your kids return home from school.
  • Have your air conditioning (or heat) kick on while you are driving home from the airport.
  • Schedule your shades to open at varying levels throughout the day, in synch with the relative position of the sun.
  • Set lighting scenes in accordance with the occasion by brightening or dimming. If it’s movie time, have this happen in conjunction with setting volume to a pre-programmed level, all with the “click” of a button.
  • Flood the house with your favorite music, or have it follow you from room-to-room, or let everyone in the home listen to their own playlist in their favorite spot of the house.

The scope of tasks of which these systems are capable is truly surprising, and Control 4 is not alone in the world of home automation.

Founded in 1968, Crestron, like other companies in this field, manufactures programmable controllers including touch panels, keypads, and lighting switches.

In addition to their standard platform, this manufacturer’s new system, Crestron Pyng, provides the unique options of both integrating into an existing Crestron system, or for a complete and simple setup of home automation in just a few steps – right from an iPad.

This is a very brief look at the fascinating and versatile world of advanced integrated control systems.

Visit your local integrator and let their team help you to find the smartest solution for your needs.

Carlos Ramos is the sales and marketing manager with Custom Audio Video in Bluffton.