Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lighting Update (Savant System) + Pics

Hey there!

I spoke about our lighting in this previous post, and as I mentioned, there were still some things to be installed.  All of the light switches on the wall have been installed and everything is looking great!  

Now as far as the technology goes...well let's chat.  You know that we have the Savant System, which we use to control audio, gaming, entertainment, and lighting, and also requires a technician to come out to our home and program each room initially.  When he comes out (which has been about 2-3 times), he is typically there all day.  On his last visit, he was able to fix some things and program most lighting.  Some of the fixes included things like changing the "On Demand" button to say "TiVo" since that is what we use.  We are still not 100% complete because the wrong part was ordered for our stairway lighting.  They are scheduled to come back in July to fully complete the programming and we should be good to go.  

What I hate about the lighting features is it allows us to be lazy!  Seriously...if you want to dim the lights...just slide a button.  If you want to cut a light on/off...just slide a button.  LOL  I guess it will come in hand when you're too sick to move or perhaps having one of those lazy Sunday's!  If you are in an Andrew Carnegie, running up and down the stairs is a real workout.  You learn quickly to get what you need from the lower level before going up to bed.  And for us, we tend to forget to turn off a light a two.  This is when the Savant System is handy!   

I do love the fact that you can set schedules for your lights to come on/off at specified times.  If we are late coming home, Diesel will not have to be in the dark all those hours, instead, the lights will come on at our normal time of arrival.  Or perhaps when you are traveling and you don't want your home to be dark everyday you're not home, just set your vacation schedule.  You can also create scenes for various activities.  For instance, if you are watching a blu-ray in living room (2nd floor), the rest of the lights on the floor will automatically adjust.  You could set scenes for daytime movie watching and/or nighttime movie watching.  There are many many options.    

Once the stairs are complete, which is the addition of path lights, this will allow the lights to come on when the presence of someone is detected.  This is really great for when our moms and grandmother come to visit.  I would hate for someone to fall down all those stairs.  Trust me, my husband and I BOTH have become acquainted with the process of falling down the stairs and laughing about it.  Although we laughed at ourselves, we would hate for someone to get injured.  The path lights were always in our plan of "nice-to-haves", but after falling a few times, it quickly became a "must-haves".   

Here are a few screen shots (iPhone app) of the Savant System set up for our house.  Once this project is 100% complete, I will provide more pictures on an updated post.     

Screen shot: Savant System for Theater/Man Cave

Screen shot: Savant System for Master Bedroom but controlling kitchen lighting 

Screen shot: Savant System for Living Room but controlling kitchen lighting

If you are interested in more home automation, I would suggest you go out and play with different systems to determine which one fits your needs.  Control4 is another popular system that can give you automation controls.  It's free to play and learn about what's out there on the market.  Take advantage of hands-on demos before putting your time and money into a system.  



  1. Here is an article I found that compares Savant to Control 4:

  2. This is so cool... We've been looking at a number of systems. Why did you guys choose savant over anything else out there? Do you mind sharing how much you had to invest to add in this system?

    1. Owen,

      Can't really say why we picked Savant over others. The main 2 were Savant and Control4. It might have just been a look and feel. Generally Savant has the perception of being a little more high end in the Home Automation space. One drawback with Savant is all the programming requires a tech to come out. Control4 can actually be updated remotely so Savant maintenance down the road probably cost more. You likely won't need a service call unless you add a new device later such as AppleTV or new cable box.

      As far as pricing, there is another belief that Savant is more expensive than Control4. For our needs, I found that to not be true as well. The difference in price was marginal. I guess it all depends what you need the system to do and what modules will be required. So basically I hate to say "It Depends."

      Savant recently introduced new hardware so I'm not sure how that affected their pricing. I'd be more than happy to share what it cost us offline. Just send Eboni your contact info.

      If you are more of a DIYer I'd encourage to check out a new upstart company called iRule. From my research it's the only Home Automation suite that encompasses just about everything and lets you access the configuration yourself. Most home use systems are either closed off like Savant/Control4 or only focus on one thing such as lighting. There are other companies too I won't even mention because even though some homes use them it is really more suited for commercial use such as Cinemas or Corporate Conferences spaces. Below is iRule's web site.


    2. Thanks Sean will be reaching out shortly