A 33 percent year-over-year surge in any consumer behavior should be viewed more like a social phenomenon than a statistical trend.
Yet that’s the growth rate of smart home products in 2017. By all accounts, the adoption curve by American households is even steeper this year.
For homebuilders, contractors, and installers that rush of homebuyer interest presents an interesting challenge: To keep pace, where do you place your technology bets? How do you meet rising smart home demand without jeopardizing your reputation on a questionable technology?
One of the most respected names in building products has thought about those questions a lot. Intermatic -- the first name in timer technology – assembled a blue-ribbon panel of residential and commercial contractors to get their ideas on the opportunities and challenges.
Intermatic used the field’s feedback to develop a smart home product that plays well with contractors as well as home owners. The panelists’ feedback led to a next-generation light management solution that offers:
- Bulletproof performance at a level you’d expect from any light switch, smart or not
- Backlit LCD screen indicates the status of the timer as well as the next ON/OFF event
- Easy manual on-and-off control at the device or mobile app
- Fast, simple installation and Wi-Fi is not required, just a wireless peer-to-peer connection that can be set up before homebuyers move in
- 24/7 remote access to control lighting schedules for any smartphone or tablet
Up to now, lighting control manufacturers haven’t checked all the boxes, according to Kimberly Durkot, Intermatic segment marketing manager. Intermatic engineers accepted the challenge and packed the new Ascend Smart In-Wall Timer with all the must-have’s the panelists requested and more.
“Smart device manufacturers miss the mark by overlooking the trade during initial installation and setup,” says Durkot. “It’s time homebuilders, contractors, and installers had a smart lighting device that takes just a couple minutes to install and automatically set-up. No Wi-Fi or smart home hub required.”
How fast? Durkot estimates Ascend setup saves builders and contractors up to 15 minutes of set-up time per unit. “There are different scheduling templates that satisfy 80 to 90 percent of all homebuyer’s scheduling needs. Moreover, the installer can pull up saved schedules and apply them to any Ascend Smart In-Wall Timer. The timer/switch is even future-proof: The unit has the ability to receive firmware updates so it’s never out of date.
The Ascend Smart integrates with Amazon Alexa to enable voice-activated controls. Homeowners merely have to say, “Alexa, turn on the kitchen lights” … a welcome capability after an evening run to the grocery store.
“As much as the market is heading towards smart home technology, not every homeowner may be all-in. They may prefer to ease into automation. Because of this, Ascend Smart caters to homeowners of all technology backgrounds - it’s not an all-or-nothing situation,” Durkot advises.
Fortunately there’s a new class of smart home products that lets homebuilders and contractors have it both ways with the brand-name confidence they can trust.