Photos courtesy Acadian Home Theater & Automation.

From lighting to media rooms, your smart home is getting even smarter

A well-planned “smart home” can offer high-tech solutions to ease everyday life, but what’s not always easy is figuring out where to incorporate 21st-century gadgetry into our existing residences. To find out more about the future of home technology–and how to implement it–we spoke to Bryan Naquin, owner and president of Acadian Home Theater & Automation.

Here in Baton Rouge, the main elements people tend to look for in smart home technology are lighting, entertainment, climate and security, Naquin says.

“The biggest thing since the pandemic has hit has been the need for a good, strong wireless network,” says Naquin. “Now, the kids are distance learning and Mom and Dad are on Zoom meetings, so having a very strong wireless network in the house is probably the most important thing we can do today. Streaming is everything, and it puts a tremendous tax on the network for the home, so being able to put a very strong wireless network in is incredibly important.”

Custom lighting systems are another exciting arena in the smart home field, Naquin says.

“I think the newest cutting-edge technology today is Lutron Ketra,” says Naquin. “It’s a reimagined take on lighting control and how light affects us everyday in our homes. The Ketra brand from Lutron is kind of revolutionary, and I think it is the next big thing that’s going to happen in homes. Essentially one of the things it does is follow the exact color temperature or our perceived color–what we see outside.”

Scientific studies behind how the human eyes adapt and work with color provided the impetus for this system. To follow our circadian rhythm, the biological process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle every 24 hours, Ketra works with Lutron’s lighting controls to adjust the color from amber to white to keep your body in sync with the day.

Smart lighting systems focus on light temperatures that are ideal for each room and each task.

COVID-19 has undoubtedly changed the way people use their homes. Along with people’s needs, such as strong wireless connection in the home, come the new luxuries. Many people may never want to go back to the movie theater again, but still want the immersive experience of watching films on the big screen. Enter the next big resurgence: the media room.

Tech-filled home theaters make isolating at home a notch above the multiplex.

“Now, HBO Max is showing the movies the day they come out in the theater, and you’re going to start seeing more of that,” says Naquin. “People want that movie-like experience at home, and we have done a ton of media rooms with projectors and comfortable seating. All they need to do is pop the popcorn, sit down and enjoy.”

So why is all of this home technology worth the investment? “Cars have voice activation, hands-free features and other modern conveniences, but then you go into the house and you still have the toggle up-down light switches and you have no idea what they all do,” says Naquin. “But to be able to come into the home in the evening, press one button, have the lights come on to the brightness you want them to, have music come on through the house, maybe have the ball game come on for you at just the touch of a button—that makes time with your family so much more enjoyable. Technology should enrich and enhance your everyday life in the home, and having a carefully designed and crafted system is an incredible important investment.”

Find out more about Acadian Home Theater & Automation here.