What is a Smart Home and Why Do You Want One?

by | Remodeling

Smart Home.
Home Automation.
You hear these words all the time and may desire to have them in your home, but what do they really mean? And how do they benefit you and your lifestyle?

Having teamed with them on countless St. Louis home automation remodeling projects, we talked with our trade partners at The Sound Room for some clarification. Tony Pratte, their Director of Builder Relations, shares these insights:


Today, technology is all around us, but it always has been. Think about the trajectory from rotary phones to cordless phones to cell phones; or from vinyl to cassette to CD to mp3 – all of those are advancements in technology. Which can be better defined as using science and engineering to invent items that solve problems and fulfill needs.

The benefit of technology is that it has changed how we purchase goods, communicate with friends abroad, consume information and even allow people with disabilities to live more normal lives.

Smart Home

Today’s buzzword in technology is “smart.” We have smart cars, smart phones, smart appliances and yes, even smart homes. Those of us who work in technology think of “smart” as control. Your smart phone or tablet allows for apps that control a thermostat, or an alarm system. New cars have smart keys that let you unlock a car remotely.

These are valuable ways to make your life more convenient. Now, the term “smart home” is much like the term “green home” was a few years ago – misunderstood. Having several smart technologies at your command is not what makes a smart home.

An example of a central controller – or “the brain” – for a home automation system.

Home Automation

Automation is how you make the leap into the truly “smart home.” Automation is where all the smart technological systems work in harmony and “talk” to each other. There is a central controller, or brain, in the home and all systems are programmed into it. The idea is that with a single command, push of a button, or tap of an app multiple events can take place.

An example of a central controller – or “the brain” – for a home automation system.

Automation is what allows us to live more convenient lives. My favorite feature is what I like to call “Goodbye” mode. Imagine either hitting a button on your phone, light switch or simply saying, “Alexa turn on goodbye.” With that simple action, your front door locks, the controllable light switches turn off or dim, the thermostat is set to a specific temperature, music or TV turns off, and your security system is armed.

To recap, the device is technology, the control of it is smart, and combining them to work in tandem is automation. So when you are ready to start your next home remodeling project with the Mosby Building Arts team, ask for their opinion on upgrading the technology of your home. Their designers enthusiastically embrace technology that makes your daily life easier. To get started, call the Mosby office at 314-909-1800 or contact them here.