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#TRENDING: Home Energy Saving Tips

Earlier this month, we attended a webinar that discussed various ways of cutting down on everyday household costs. The attendees were very interactive and forthcoming with their ideas including cutting down on cell phone bills, internet packages, groceries, and more. When it came to brainstorming technology, we were excited to share some tips on how you can cut down on your household costs. Here are some of the ideas shared.

HEATING:

Installation of a programmable thermostat.

Lower AC or heating while not at home.

Lower heating while at night.

Set seasonal scheduled programs.

LIGHTING:

Using dimmers or a lighting control solution.

Depending on the amount of dimming, you can save up to 40% towards your electrical bill.

Combine with LED bulbs for further savings.

Use motion sensors in bedrooms and other high-traffic areas. These sensors will turn off the lights if no motion is detected after a certain period of time.

WINDOW SHADES: 

Using window coverings effectively can cut down on cooling/heating costs.

Thinking of replacing your window treatments? Honeycomb window coverings have an insulating property which makes them the ideal window treatment to cut costs. On average a honeycomb shade will have an R-value of 1.5 to 4.5.

The use of programable motorized shades will help cut down on costs as well. Have the motorized shade open while the sun is up, letting warm in then close at night to trap in heat.

POWER MANAGEMENT: 

Un-plug any un-used appliances or devices.

Using an automation system or smart plugs will turn off devices that don’t require power 24/7 and will help cut costs. This eliminates vampire power devices from adding to your monthly electrical bill. 

With whole home automation, you are able to control all of these elements plus so much more all while saving time, energy and money.

#TRENDING: Granting Network Access to Guests, Wifi Tokens & Wifi Schedules

Granting wifi access to friends and family can be a double-edged sword. We all want our guests to be able to gain wifi access when visiting however, on the other hand, having kids be able to access wifi on their devices at all times of the day (and night) can lead to learning and behavioral issues. By creating a guest network and wifi tokens for the kids, you can gain back control of what seems like an unmanageable situation.

Guest networks: While covid has put a damper on social gatherings, things will go back to normal…..eventually. Have you ever been asked by a guest for your wifi password so they can use your network? Ever wonder what kind of access you’re granting them by just handing over the password? The answer is your whole network. Does your guest need access to your entire network? Unless you want them to access your home automation system, Sonos music, and other services, the answer is usually no. If that’s the case, why not grant them access to a guest network. Guest networks are set up as a separate layer of your network that allows access to only the internet and will hide all the other devices that connect to your network. Keeping all your personal devices and data private. Depending on your network router, guest networks can have several features that help control access. Features such as:

  • Timed access: Once granted, a user will have a specific time that they can access the network. Example: 3 hours and once the timer expires, the guest network expires and disappears.
  • Download / Upload speeds: Set a maximum download and upload speed. Guests will not be able to exceed these limits. Perfect for those cases where you want to limit speeds so guests don’t crash your zoom meeting by hogging bandwidth.
  • Download quota: Once the quote has been reached, the user is removed from the guest network. Example: If exceeding 50GB that day, the user has reached the quota and is removed from the guest network. The quota is reset daily.

Wifi Tokens: No more free-range wifi for kids, this system is perfect for guests and families with children. In our household, we love the Wifi token system! This system is perfect for creating and managing family wifi access. Dad, can I have a Wifi token? Are your chores done? If so, here’s your one hour of wifi. Wifi tokens can have the following properties:

  • Usages: You control the total amount of time the token is used for. For example: when our daughter has three friends over, we create a token that can be used three times. The guests all enter the same token into their devices to gain access for a predetermined amount of time.
  • Expiration time: Tokens can have custom expiration times. Minutes, hours, and days are all options. Our go-to default tokens are 1 hour based. Once the hour expires, access to the network is revoked. If needing more time, create more tokens or longer-length tokens. It is all customizable to your needs.
  • Download and upload quota: As mentioned before, the same download and upload speed limits, along with download quota can be applied to wifi tokens.

Using wifi tokens to manage guest and children access is simple and easy and gives you some peace of mind knowing the kids are not suffering YouTube at 2 am.

Wifi Scheduling: Some network routers will allow to you create a guest network on a schedule. What this means is that a guest network will only be available during the times you designate. Example: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm on weekdays, 10:00 am – 8:00 pm on weekends. The guest or children’s network will only be available during these times. Outside of these times, the network is not available.

Guest networks mean keeping you safe, limiting access to devices, limiting time spent on the internet, and much more. Go ahead; get creative with your guest network.

Total Home Technologies Experience Centre

The Total Home Technologies Experience Centre is now here!

After talking about creating a space for our clients to come learn, play and experience all we have to offer, we have made the leap….in the middle of a pandemic! The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind with moving in and setting up the new space but we are now ready to start welcoming clients.

Whether you are looking to expand your current home automation system or wanting something new, we can now fully showcase our products. This gives our clients an opportunity to get hands on with our products and see exactly how they will integrate in their homes. Our amazing line up of products includes Lutron, Savant, Elan, Monitor Audio, AudioQuest, AudioControl, Sonos, 2GIG, Middle Atlantic, will amaze and inspire you.

For more information on our Experience Centre, the full list of product lines we carry, or to book your visit, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you!

And The Winner Is…..

The 93rd Academy Awards take place on Sunday, April 25, 2021 and this year will look a lot different then previous years. However, one thing that will stay the same are all of the incredible nominees.

With the weather looking pretty gloomy this weekend, this might be a good chance to catch up on some Oscar worthy movies. We took a look at a few of the Best Picture Nominees for this year and all look incredible! Together these 3 movies have a combined 22 Oscar nominations between them. So grab some popcorn, get cozy and get ready for some movie magic.

Mank

2021 Oscar Nominee for Best Picture

In 1940, film studio RKO hires 24-year-old wunderkind Orson Welles under a contract that gives him full creative control of his movies. For his first film, he calls in washed-up alcoholic Herman J Mankiewicz to write the screenplay. That film is “Citizen Kane,” and this is the story of how it was written.

Mank is nominated for 10 Oscars this year including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hair and Best Sound.

Now streaming on Netflix

Sound of Metal

2021 Oscar Nominee for Best Picture

Keeping at bay his inner demons by devoting himself to art, metal drummer, Ruben, has been living for the moment for the past four years. Then, while on tour with his lead-singer/girlfriend, Lou, Ruben realizes that his hearing is rapidly deteriorating. As his world turns his upside down, Ruben reluctantly accepts to join a small deaf community overseen by Joe, a compassionate Vietnam War veteran. Now, Ruben needs to learn that being deaf is not a handicap and isn’t something to fix.

Sound of Metal is nominated for 6 Oscars this year including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound

Now streaming on Amazon Prime.

NOMADLAND

2021 Oscar Nominee for Best Picture

Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern (Frances McDormand) packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. The film features real nomads Linda May, Swankie and Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors and comrades in her exploration through the vast landscape of the American West.

NOMADLAND is nominated for 6 Oscars this year including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing 

Now streaming on Disney+ STAR

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