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The Most Exciting Smart Home Trends for 2021

Many of us have embraced at least a little bit of smart home technology in our lives. Maybe you like the convenience of one or two connected devices, like a single home assistant or an internet-powered security system.

In 2021, however, maybe it’s time to take things a step further through deeper smart technology integration and automation. The opportunities are endless to customize your home to perfectly match your desired levels of comfort, convenience, and connectivity.

Smart Home Automation

The biggest emerging trend in 2021 has to be smart home automation. While many of us use at least one smart device, we aren’t using them to their full potential. Automation can be as simple as setting up your devices to work on voice commands from your phone or hub or more complex.

For example, if your home has a smart thermostat, lights, and locks, profiles could be created to set your home to the ideal away temperature, ensure lights are off, and doors are locked when you leave home for work. When you return, your home could already be heated to the perfect temperature and lights will be on to greet you just as your door unlocks.

Another option is using your smart lighting system to create the ideal light environments for sleep and waking. Set your lights to slowly dim in the evening and wake you with a gentle sunrise in the morning.

The possibilities for smart home automation ideas are endless. With a tick of a clock or the touch of a button, your music, media, room temperature, and lights can all be switched to your preferred setting. Just imagine, if you can dream it up and have devices to support it, it can probably be automated.

Home Security

We spent a lot of time at home in 2020. As much of the workforce returns to their offices in the spring of 2021, it’s important to start thinking seriously about protecting your home and investments. Smart home security systems aren’t new, but there are important features beyond simple cameras and phone-activated doorbells that can enhance home safety.

In 2021, we expect to see more security systems featuring facial and voice recognition to allow the system to identify household members and dissuade intruders. Another major upgrade we expect to see in home security is updated cybersecurity. After all, our home automation and security systems are connected to our personal networks and record our comings and goings. This type of information could be highly desirable to certain criminals and must be kept safe.

Localized Home Zones

A home zone can be as small as a room or as large as the majority of the house. These zones define certain smart features that can be activated or deactivated in certain areas. An example of this would be if you have a smart thermostat with zone capabilities. In the winter, the majority of the house could be set to one zone, while bedrooms could be set to another. This would allow you to keep the house cold when not in use and the bedrooms comfortably toasty, then reverse it when you are up for the day.

Zones allow smart home owners to lower their utility costs and reduce energy waste while creating comfortable environments tailored to the person in them.

Stylish Smart Home Accessories

Many smart home devices came onto the market prioritizing functionality over form. Most sported the same clean white aesthetic, which is somewhat appealing to minimalists but sticks out sorely in many home color schemes.

Smart devices are looking to blend into your home further, now coming in attractive colors, shapes, and patterns to best fit your personal style.

Smart shades and lighting

Smart lighting has gained a lot of traction in recent years and was one smart device that gained a lot of early adopters. When you include smart shades into the mix, however, you get a fully customizable ambiance. Raise shades and lower shades while simultaneously adjusting your overhead lights to the perfect level without ever leaving your seat using smart home hubs or automation. These combinations, especially when set up in home zones, can save utility money while providing a comfortable atmosphere for any situation.

In 2021, your smart house can integrate with your daily life even more. As you embrace automation, your connected devices will help make comfort, aesthetic, and safety nearly effortless.

A bigger focus on the IoT (Internet of Things)

On a base level, most of us understand what the internet is. If you think about it, until recently, it was only us using computers or mobile devices to access it. Well, as smart homes, cars, and devices have hit the market with WiFi connectivity, there are a lot more devices connected and sharing data on the internet.

This network of devices, from complicated ones like self-driving cars to a humble Wifi-enabled microwave, are all part of what is called the IoT.

As the Internet of Things matures, we’ll see more smart devices learning our daily routines without having to tell them through voice, button, or time commands. Instead, they’ll respond to other aspects, like the atmosphere and our daily life actions. Doors could potentially unlock when they recognize our faces, our blinds could lower when we queue up a movie, or our thermostat could make the room more comfortable while exercising.

Privacy from Big Tech

While the safety of your family from intruders is a real concern, there is also the issue of protecting your private data. Many smart hubs are currently manufactured by industry tech giants that profit off of advertising data. While this data creates an internet where advertising is finely tailored to you, many of us value our personal privacy and life data and don’t want it shared with advertisers.

At SCS Home Entertainment, we offer a unique smart home system that offers cutting edge AI and smart home automation without selling your data. Josh.ai is a powerful solution that can manage all aspects of your connected home through natural language and pattern learning, with your data only being used to improve your experience—never to be sold to advertisers.

If you’re ready to give your home a smart upgrade, we can help. At SCS Home Entertainment, our knowledgeable staff can help you every step of the way—from selecting the right smart devices for your home to expertly installing and automating your home zones.

It’s the future. We’re here to help you embrace it.

Smart Gifts For Smart People

Holiday Gift Tips: Shop Smarter Not Harder

Some of us are well-prepared to be the Ultimate Technology Gift Giver. You know the type—the expert who fights crowds to grab the latest tech trend (and all of its various connectors or controllers) before they dive into installation like an old pro.

But for the rest of us in all the excitement of holiday gift-giving, we tend to forget just what an undertaking setting up our sound system or home theater can be. This year let’s avoid the hassle of untangling yourself from the mess left behind in an inexperienced installer’s wake (we’re looking at you, big box guys).

Make your holiday surprise easy by thinking local. Avoid the crowds and spend time working with actual product experts who can ensure your new toy will work with your setup and aesthetics, then dispatch expert installers out to get the job done right. No untangling required.

Still, looking for ideas on what tech gifts to give? Here’s a bit of inspiration to get you started.

Smart home setups for the homeowner

Control of your own space is surprisingly liberating. Smart home setups can give your loved one the safety and peace of mind of a security system, along with the convenience of a connected environment. Lights, thermostats, security cameras, appliances can all be controlled using the seemingly endless possibilities available with smart home systems. Nothing says holiday cheer like a home of the future.

Connectivity possibilities: The possibilities are endless. Control lights, media, appliances, smart shades, and more with the touch of a button. Smart homes seem effortless, but there is an extensive amount of setup involved. From installing the apps, setting up hubs, to finding the right connected equipment, a guide is best when giving your home an intelligence boost.

Big screen TV for the sports fan

As football season gets to the playoffs, you don’t want to miss a moment. The larger your TV, the closer you are to the action, provided your resolution is high enough. Shoot for 8K Ultra High Definition to maximize the beauty and longevity of your display. Some brave the bitter cold to be in the stands, but you can get the same experience at home without freezing your tail off. Grab a beer and kick back in your personal front row seat.

Connectivity possibilities: With newer TVs, the possibilities are limitless. You’ll of course want to connect it to any media devices and audio setup, but also consider connecting it to your smart home system, cell phone, or computer for extra fun.

Projectors or outdoor TV for the backyard entertainer

In 2020, entertaining at home took a totally different turn. What used to be movie nights and Netflix binges in the comfort of your home theater turned into outdoor dinner parties in an instant. A great way to bring the movie magic with you no matter where you are—inside, outside, or even your Man Cave or She Shack—is through a short-throw projector. For a more permanent solution, consider making your patio or backyard into a staycation retreat with a watertight outdoor TV.

To really bring the magic to your outdoor entertainment system, outdoor speakers can bring premium sound while blending in beautifully with your landscaping vibes.

Connectivity possibilities: Since most projectors don’t come with built-in speakers and no one wants to use the built-in speakers on a TV, you’ll want a portable audio solution or an outdoor speaker setup for enriched sound.

Home networking for the young family

Between you and your family, how many devices do you have floating around? Cell phones, tablets, printers, computers, smart devices, security systems—there’s a lot to juggle. By giving your home a WiFi boost with access points and following it with a home networking system, we can create a secure network that utilizes and protects all of your gadgets seamlessly.

Connectivity possibilities: Relatively endless. If you have multiple devices on your network, connectivity can be the key to seamless functionality and fun.

Soundbars for the home audio minimalist

Wireless soundbars are often underestimated, but many offer a clean aesthetic in any room with enhanced sound capabilities. Soundbars are perfect for rooms with a chic design or to incorporate with an already robust sound system.

Connectivity possibilities: Wireless soundbars can work with your current sound setup or solo with your television, computer, or smart devices.

Pool and game tables for the not-so-tech-savvy

Some people prefer to be a little more analog, and that’s ok. Home entertainment doesn’t just include televisions or media centers. Consider a game room outfitted with premium foosball or pool tables. Fun for the whole family with nary a wire in sight.

Connectivity possibilities: While these gifts avoid the general issues of connectivity, a home entertainment expert can help you pick out the right style and look for you or your loved one’s game room setup.

At SCS Home Entertainment, our staff are experts in audio and visual technologies. We can help you select the perfect gift for your home. Our experienced installers are experts at what they do. They will install your new home entertainment system to its fullest potential, ensuring it looks great, sounds great, and lives up to its premium possibilities.

So, this year let’s skip the cramped aisles and disinterested sales folks of the bigger chains. We may not be elves, but our helpers are ready to make Christmas dreams come true.

2021 Home Theater Trends

Home Theater Trends for 2021

With many movie theaters’ doors staying closed, home theaters are becoming an increasingly popular way to enjoy the luxuries of the movies from the comfort of your home.

As more people than ever invest in their entertainment spaces, new trends are also arising. Keep your home theater ahead of the curve as you update your entertainment room to provide a space for making lasting memories with your family and friends.

Home Theaters Used for Multiple Purposes

When home theaters first began to grow in popularity, they were typically made into miniature versions of actual movie theaters with stadium seating, dark lighting, and a big screen on the wall.

These are still common today, but many people opt to create a space that is more multi-functional. Instead of only being able to use the space to watch movies, new entertainment spaces are intentionally built to offer something for each member of the family.

They can be used for the original purpose to provide endless movie nights and host watch parties for the Superbowl or season premiere of The Bachelor. But they can also be used to play video games, listen to music, or even to follow home workouts and yoga videos.

Customized Screens for Your Space

Screens are bigger and brighter than ever before. There are a variety of types and sizes of screens to make your space unique.

Ultra-short-throw projectors can create a very large image on a screen or wall from a short distance. They are affordable options that offer the flexibility to easily be moved around for a variety of activities. These great for a multipurpose room because you can easily change the size and shape of the screen depending on its intended use.

Add even more flexibility to your setup with a combination of flat panel screens. These come in a variety of prices and sizes to customize your wall display or use it as a drop-down. You can also combine these displays to create a multi-functional space.

Combine your screens with control equipment to customize your entertainment experience at the touch of a button.

Updating to 8K Resolution

Along with the size and type of screen, another rising trend in home theaters is = full ultra-high definition resolution. 4K screens have recently become the industry standard, but 8k is now the most up to date version.

8K screens offer a higher level of PPI with a crisper and smoother display. 4K screens will quickly be switched out for 8K so as you update or install a home theater, look ahead to the digital future to stay up to date as streaming services quickly transfer over to this.

Instead of investing your money in older technology and updating later, you can save time and money in the long run. Investing in the most up to date technology will also provide you with premium resolution and elevate your viewing experience.

New Surround Sound Equipment

Sound helps create the immersive experience you expect from a movie theater, so many people are choosing to invest in soundbars and surround sound. New sound equipment can connect to devices, wi-fi, and voice control to make all of your technology work together as one cohesive unit.

These speakers can also be custom catered to your desired experience. For example, surround sound levels are very different when you want to listen to music compared to when you’re watching a movie. New speakers can seamlessly be tailored to the media you’re enjoying, whether you’re enjoying a quiet documentary or rocking out to a streaming concert.

Innovative Lighting Solutions

In the past, home theater rooms were typically dark, cave rooms. While low light is ideal for watching movies, it makes it harder to use the space for other activities.

Now, the best of both worlds is available. You can have a bright and airy room and still block out the light and glare while watching movies with smart shades.

These are the perfect solution to any of your lighting struggles and allow you to change the brightness and ambiance with the touch of a button.  Now, no one has to interrupt the movie to get up to adjust the lights.

Many people no longer want a dark movie room, so these shades combined with colorful LED lighting for added flare are a great way to make your entertainment room fun, stylish, and functional.

Reflect your style

Once the main aspects of an entertainment room are set up there are many other elements to consider adding to make the space your own.

You can consider adding clean and subtle design elements to make it a common area for all family members to enjoy a variety of activities. These spaces can cater to the interests of everyone in the household.

Also, consider investing in comfy, large-scale lounge furniture to provide a spot for all of your family and friends at your next get together. To keep the space open, many families opt for functional furniture that leaves plenty of room for other entertainment like a foosball or pool table.

Regardless of whether you’re looking to update your current home theater or start from scratch, we can help make home movie magic. Our technology can be catered specifically to your home and needs. If you want a home theater up to date with all of the current trends, contact us today.

Central Vacuum

5 Benefits of Central Vacuums

Going through the process of vacuuming can be quite the process with a portable vacuum. They’re typically heavy and inconvenient, smelly, and costly to have to replace every few years. Beyond that, once you’re finally done vacuuming, you’re left wondering just how clean your carpet actually is.

Installing a central vacuum can be solution to all of these problems. Take a look at all the other benefits provided by central vacuum systems to see how they can transform the cleaning process as you begin deep cleaning for the holidays.

Easy to Use

You no longer have to haul out a heavy canister or upright vacuum. This makes central vacuums lightweight and never awkward, bulky, or off balance.

Not only are central vacuum cleaners much easier to store, they’re also much easier to use. You don’t have to worry about using any extension cords, the trash capacity, filter troubles, or winding up long power cords.

Central vacuums make cleaning as painless as possible. They have a wide range of access to all of the hard to reach spots. They also include many accessories to clean every nook and cranny in your home. There is no other vacuum that will allow you to clean as efficiently and effectively.

Quieter When in Use

Vacuuming is typically a job that creates a lot of noise and disruption for others in the house. With many people working from home, and more children doing their schooling from home, it can really hard to find a time to vacuum and not disturb others.

Central vacuum cleaners are much quieter to use, allowing you to vacuum whenever you want, even when a baby is sleeping. The motor is typically located in the garage, basement, or attic so central vacuums make little to no noise beyond the sound of them sucking all of the dirt and debris out of your carpet.

Cleaner Indoor Air and Reduced Allergens

Most vacuum cleaners merely recirculate allergens back into your home with each use and leave your carpet looking cleaner, when in actuality a lot of the dirt and debris is still hidden. They reintroduce these particles back into the air through their exhaust.

Central vacuum cleaners extract the dust out of the house directly into the main power unit to be taken outside your home. They are also generally much stronger than the motor in a portable vacuum, which gives your home a deeper clean.

This can be extremely beneficial to those who suffer from extreme allergies, or respiratory/breathing issues because of their ability to eliminate dust particles and odors in living areas.

Longevity

Vacuum cleaners must be replaced on a pretty regular basis, unlike central vacuum cleaners which have a much longer lifespan. This is primarily because their motor is kept in basements, garages, and attics that allow them to stay cool in wide open spaces and allow them to keep stronger suction for much longer.

This makes central vacuum cleaners a great investment. Instead of regularly re-purchasing new vacuums, you can make the investment in one that will stand the test of time.

Beyond that, they also increase the resale value of your home without having to invest much more than the cost of a regular portable vacuum.

Not only do central vacuums have a longer longevity, they also help to extend the longevity of your carpets. With 2 times more powerful suction they are able to more deeply clean the carpet and protect it from wear and tear.

Easy Installation

Despite what many people assume, vacuum cleaners are very easy to install. They don’t require any demolition or tearing down of walls, but simply installing a covered pipe.

They can be installed in any home, new or existing. Installation is easy to plan and can be accomplished in less than a day in most cases.

 

Call us at (417)887-9558, e-mail us at contact@scshomentertainment.com, or fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page for free central vacuum installation consultation today!

 

 

Integrating Technology to Make Remote School and Work Easier in 2020

Since the coronavirus crisis began, the dynamic of the workforce has been rapidly changing. About a third of Americans are now working from home and many of their children are staying home with them as nearly 55 million students nationwide are expected to continue their education at home.

As this new reality emerges, many homes across America are making their small guest room into an office or using their kitchen table as a desk for schoolwork.  While it’s easy to simply plunk down and work from wherever in your home, it is important to take the time to find the right set up and products to improve your energy and productivity.

At SCS Home Entertainment we offer a wide variety of smart home solutions that can make your workday easier. We recommend the following products for increasing your productivity:

Remote Intercom and Video Security

Many schools and office buildings utilize intercoms for a reason, and those same reasons are just as applicable for your home, especially when you’re working remotely. It allows you to conveniently communicate with anyone in your home.

A great use for this is monitoring your children’s activities to ensure they’re working on their schoolwork. It allows you to keep an eye on your children while still accomplishing your work at your desk.

Intercom systems can also offer advanced security by connecting to your external front door with a camera so you can see them and speak to one another. This is a great level of security for when you’re running errands or working while the kids are home alone.

This allows security and comfort to go hand in hand because you can do all of it from the same screen. SCS can customize this system specifically to your needs so you can do everything from receiving notifications when your doors are locked or unlocked to setting an “away” feature to turn on your lights and set an alarm to your monitoring system.

Dedicating an Entertainment or Home Theater Room

When working and doing schoolwork from home it can be hard to separate work and relaxation. Dedicating a room in your house as a theater can be the perfect way to differentiate between when it is time to work and when you can unwind.

Home theaters can also be used as a great way of spending time with friends and family in a safe environment. Not seeing any of your colleagues – besides their faces on your screen during a Zoom call – can be difficult, and many children are also suffering from not getting to see their friends at schools. So, home theaters are a great way to create lasting memories with friends in a controlled environment.

Not only are home theaters the perfect solution for endless enjoyment, but they can also be utilized during the school day. Any required educational videos or movies are much more enjoyable when played on the big screen.

Automated Smart Shades For Your Home

Exposure to natural light during the day has positive effects on our mental and physical health. It is vital that you pay attention to the level of light you’re working under to improve your productivity.

Installing smart shades allows you to easily control the exact amount of light you want in your house throughout the day as the sun changes position. Having natural light in your workspace makes the environment warm, happy, and welcoming.

Speakers For Ambiance and Concentration

For most, the main difference between working in an office space and at home may be the lack of background music. Having music, radio, or audio playing in the background is a great way to stay motivated throughout the workday. A fully integrated smart speaker system makes this even easier.

Even in classrooms, many teachers play music in the background while they give their students time to work. Having speakers to play music at the right volume across the entire house can be the perfect solution to keep everyone working efficiently.

You can listen to your favorite jams or try out a new genre like coffeehouse music. Many researchers say that listening to music with a simple three-chord structure like Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning” can improve your focus.

Adding Small Details to Space for School or Office Work

  • Succulents: Having plants in your workspace improves your health while your work by filtering the air. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes and require minimal care due to their resilient nature.
  • Ergonomic keyboard: This keyboard is the perfect solution to avoid putting a strain on your hands and wrists by providing support for your forearms and creating a more flexible work environment. Using an ergonomic keyboard can even prevent hand cramps and carpal tunnel.
  • Charger port: Having to plug in your phone, computer, tablet, and other smart devices all into one small work area can be hard with limited outlets. Charger ports offer the perfect solution, allowing you to organize all of your messy cords and charge everything at once to save you time.
  • Ergonomic office chair: By the end of every workday, slumping over your desk and craning your neck puts an annoying ache on your lower back. Investing in a better chair can minimize back pain, allowing you to focus on your work instead of your well being.

 

 

Overall, there are different ways you can make your home a more inviting space and increase your productivity while working or schooling from home. SCS Entertainment has the tools and knowledge to help you find which of these smart home solutions are best for you and your home. Call today or contact us for an assessment of how we can help make your home a better place to work from.

 

 

 

 

Smart Climate Solutions

Smart Solutions for Climate Control 

In the past Climate control meant changing the temperature on your thermostat, but now climate control is more sophisticated. Today’s systems can heat or cool your space more efficiently and save energy utilizing more than just the thermostat. 

This is done by using advanced thermostats, lighting, and shading solutions in tandem to achieve full control over your climate. Together these integrated technologies allow you to check and adjust your climate from your mobile device or a control panel, making climate control easier and more effective than ever before. 

Businesses experience increased productivity, enhanced environments for customers, and simple control from a single touch panel. Smart technology will set you apart and allow your business to run more efficiently than any competitor. 

Each commercial space has its own unique set of needs for integrated technology. Consequently, businesses also need a unique set of smart solutions to provide business owners with the most efficient use of climate control 

This technology can be streamlined throughout boardrooms, offices, conference rooms, and the entire facility to control lights, drapes, and thermostats with the touch of a button. Not only do these provide benefits of comfort and convenience immediately after installation, but overtime they also create savings. 

Programming products into residential spaces gives homeowners a fully integrated system to seamlessly monitor the entire household. Everything can be connected to the internet and controlled remotely.  

Increase comfort and convenience with smart control of your residential or commercial space’s climate. Climate control is much more than just a thermostat and can save you money and energy for your home or business.  

Thermostat Climate Control  

Regardless of the season or weather, smart climate control allows you to set your home or business to the perfect temperature. Keep your space comfortable at all times by monitoring and controlling your thermostat from your mobile device to turn up the heat before getting out of bed in the morning or turning off your AC when no one is there to enjoy it. 

Use programmed settings to control your home automation system to save you energy. The ability to control and maintain a steady temperature reduces your energy bills and allows you to make informed changes to your energy efficiency. 

Lighting Control  

Lighting control gives you the ability to adjust lighting to increase efficiency with the press of a button. It gives the user the ability to raise and dim light levels and turn the lights off or on from anywhere. 

This allows you to change the mood of any area in your home or business to best suit any occasion and fit any atmosphere.  

It can also add to the security of your environment by automatically turning on all lights if any unwelcome activity is detected. Engulfing the area in light creates an added layer of safety in any room.  

Lighting control systems save energy by utilizing natural light during the day and automatically updating to a different setting at night. This gives you the flexibility to instantly change the lighting based on the activity, time of day, and current occupancy of the room.   

Shading Control  

Although not directly related to your heating and cooling system, curtain and window fixtures can have a big impact on your electric bill. With motorized window treatments, you can easily add to your control of both the climate and lighting. 

It controls the light let in to increase comfort to allow just the right amount of light in. It also works to protect your interiors. Light let in through the windows can be damaging to your furniture and home furnishings due to harmful sun rays, but motorized window treatments ensure the longevity of your space.  

Blinds and curtains don’t just control light, but also impact the climate due to the ability of heat to be both lost and gained through our windows. Controlled shading can act as a barrier to heat loss and an agent for solar heat gain. 

Thermostat, Lighting, and Shading Working Together  

Let SCS put you in control of your indoor climate. An automated Climate control system will allow you to control one room or multiple rooms from a push of a button. Raise and lower your shades to heat and cool your home naturally while reducing your energy consumption. 

Outdoor Entertaining With Hidden Speakers

Outdoor Speakers Can Transform Your Backyard into the Perfect Oasis

Outdoor speakers make the perfect addition to enhance your backyard. No matter what you’re using your outdoor space for – whether it’s grilling for a pool party, playing kickball with the family or sitting on your patio with a relaxing glass of wine – outdoor speakers have the ability to transform your space with your favorite music playing in the background.  

Many attempts to play music outside can result in problems like noise complaints from neighbors and poor-quality sound, this is because sound energy dissipates quickly outside. 

Having numerous outdoor speakers strategically placed throughout your backyard helps you achieve a uniform sound at a medium volume. Professional installation, along with the right equipment, provides you with the ideal sound. Rather than attempting other makeshift approaches, invest in long lasting speakers to enjoy for years to come. 

 

Variety of Designs that Blend In  

Outdoor speakers come in a variety of shapes in sizes. They are designed to blend in and can be featured throughout your entire backyard. These designs include:  

  • Rocks: These speakers are designed to look like rocks and come in a variety of colors and styles to match your outdoor space. They’re perfect for placing with other rocks, near bushes or plants so they don’t stand out from the rest of your yard and are still able to deliver quality sound.  
  • Surface-mounted: You can mount outdoor speakers to your house or other architectural features throughout your yard. These come in black and white and can be painted to match the exterior of your home.  
  • Satellites: These have a similar appearance to a light fixture and can be strategically placed throughout your backyard.  
  • Omnidirectional: These speakers distribute sound in multiple directions and can be placed in the middle of a bed of flowers to be hidden or shown off as an architectural feature.  

 

The MartinLogan Outdoor Living Series has built-in brackets that provide you with endless options for placement and mounting. No matter what design you select or where you place them, these unobtrusive designs blend in perfectly with landscaping and outdoor décor while delivering ideal sound. 

 

Importance of Placement 

With professional installation, you can get high-quality sound throughout your entire piece of property. Having these speakers strategically placed throughout your yard helps the sound carry better, so you don’t have to play it as loudly.  

Instead of trying to cover a big space by moving outdoor speakers farther apart, we recommend mounting speakers about 10 feet apart.  

Think of each zone in your yard as a room in your house, you need to have the right number of speakers for each zone so it’s never too loud or too soft in one area. Think of speaker placement like heating and cooling vents in your home. 

Speaker wires will then be buried after running the cable through a plastic conduit to give you extra protection from rodents, lawnmowers or being cut with a shovel.  

 

Benefits of Outdoor Speakers 

Beyond the endless relaxation and entertainment that outdoor speakers provide, there are many other benefits to having speakers installed.  

First off, these speakers are specifically designed for the outdoors, meaning the installation is permanent so you don’t have to worry about potential damage due to weathering. They are designed to withstand dust, water, extreme temperatures, wind and more.  

Another benefit to them being permeant is that you’ll never have to hassle with temporarily hooking up low-quality portable speakers again. You can play any music you want with the simple push of a button.  

The user-experience of your outdoor audio system is another great benefit. You can adjust the volume, change the playlist or skip the song all with the tap of your screen.  

These speakers will never go out of style or become obsolete. They provide years of high-quality audio outside and make a great investment for your home.  

 

 

Commercial Use of Outdoor Speakers 

Outdoor speakers are not just limited to your backyard, business owners can also benefit from the use of outdoor speakers. These can transform all outdoor commercial spaces, from restaurants to mini-golf courses, and help add to the overall atmosphere.  

It is hard not to enjoy sitting on the patio of your favorite bar on a nice day, but staticky, low-quality music can definitely take away from the overall experience. This is why it is so important for business owners to invest in high-quality speakers.  

Beyond customer’s simple enjoyment, music can be used in commercial spaces to influence customer’s emotions. Music has a commanding influence on customers and can affect their attitudes. It plays a vital role in our daily lives and influences our thoughts and subconscious decisions. 

For example, when customers listen to music they enjoy, they are more likely to idealize their memories of an overall positive experience and overlook things like waiting for their food or in a long line.  

Music can also alter customer’s perception of time. Some business owners use music to set customer’s rhythm by using a fast tempo to encourage them to move quickly and slower tempo to allow them to relax and spend more time contemplating their purchases and enjoying the atmosphere.  

Background music can be used in a variety of ways for your business to help set the theme, mood and tonality of what you’re striving for and can be beneficial in a variety of ways.  

 

Things to Avoid  

If you’ve made the decision to invest in outdoor speakers for your home or business, it is important to avoid making these common mistakes while selecting your audio system.  

First, make sure to select waterproof equipment. Indoor speakers are not designed to handle the strain of outdoor weather conditions and a little bit of water could completely wreck your equipment.  

You should also be wary outdoor speakers that claim to be waterproof but don’t have proper drainage capabilities. One of the worst design flaws in outdoor speakers are audio systems that don’t account for potential water seeping in. Even if it is made from watertight casing, it still needs to be capable of releasing and draining any water.  

Another mistake many people make is not connecting their outdoor sound system with their indoor sound. Pairing the two together allows you to manage them off of one device. This allows you to switch from using your indoor sound system, to your outdoor speakers or both simultaneously, and makes it more likely that you will use both your outdoor and indoor audio more frequently and enjoy both of your sound systems.   

Finally, you should also ensure that your speakers are made from durable materials. Invest in speakers that are designed to handle any kind of weathering. Plastic and metals are good options, along with brass. 

To avoid making these mistakes, contact us today and we can help walk you through the process of selecting which outdoor speakers are right for you and help you with the installation. Feel free to reach out to our team with any questions or concerns! 

Experience for yourself what this audio upgrade can do for you with a professional In-Yard Demonstratioof MartinLogan’s Outdoor Living Series, free and with no obligation.  

This line features the pinnacle of performance in outdoor technology and allows you to experience high performance audio in places you never imagined possible. Contact us at SCS today is to schedule a demonstration at your convenience.

Enjoy your staycation in Springfield Missouri

Turn Your Home Into a Relaxing Getaway for Your Next Staycation 

Scrolling through social media this summer you’ll probably see lots of pictures of your friends and family members enjoying a vacation. It is easy to grow envious and want to immediately begin planning your own vacation.  

Vacations are a great way to take a break from your responsibilities, unwind with a delicious meal and fill your days with whatever you want to do whether it’s sleeping all day or exploring new things. But vacations aren’t always a feasible option. 

If you can’t get out of Southwest Missouri this summer, staycations offer an alternative that is just as good, if not better than any vacation you’ll see on your social feed.  

Consider adding some fun new features to your home here in the Ozarks to make it feel more like your dream resort. While this might seem like a bit of an investment, these new additional features will be there for you to enjoy long after the staycation ends. 

At the end of the week, you won’t be leaving behind all your new favorite amenities at the resort, because you’ll have invested to have them in the comfort of your own home where you can enjoy them for years to come.  

  • Outdoor speakers: Set the mood for your vacation with the perfect feel-good-vacation-vibes playlist. Consider adding speakers to your landscaping that blend in beautifully with your yard because they are designed to look like rocks.  
  • Home theater: An in-home theater is just what you need to have your own film festival at home to watch all your favorites. You can have themed movie festivals to watch patriotic movies on the Fourth of July and movies with great summer vibes like Mamma Mia, Jaws, Dirty Dancing, Caddyshack, Weekend at Bernie’s and many other great options!  
  • Outdoor TV: Designed to endure the great outdoors, these are a great addition to any patio. Combined with twinkle lights and landscaping, this can make any backyard feel like you’re relaxing on the patio at a resort. 
  • Smart Shades: These keep the sun from shining in your eyes, making sleeping in and pressing the snooze button so much easier.  
  • Furniture and game tables: Most resorts have arcades for the kids to escape to when the parents need a break. So why not install your own ping pong, billiard and shuffleboard table? The kids will be endlessly entertained and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your staycation how you want to. Or invite some friends over for some friendly competition. 

Billiards Table for the Family

What Is a Staycation?  

To put it simply, a staycation is a vacation at home. Staying in your own house might sound boring but done right it can carry just as many new adventures and joyful memories with your loved ones.  

Staycations are customizable in every way! You decide how long you want it to be, how much you want to spend and what activities to do. Get creative with how you want to spend your time and choose what is right for you 

The best part about a staycation is that you are still close to the friends and family in your hometown. This means that you can invite others over to enjoy parts of your staycation while still taking time alone for yourself.  

No matter what stage of life you are in, staycations are a great option. For families, they provide a fun week of bonding, especially with the kid’s home for the summer. For singles, they provide time for self-care, relaxation and entertaining friends. For empty nesters, they provide an opportunity to rekindle romance and invite extended family members to catch up.  

Why Do You Need a Staycation?  

After all of the stress of planning and executing a vacation, you’ll often hear people say, “I need a vacation from my vacation!” A staycation keeps you from feeling this way by giving you all of the relaxed feelings of rejuvenation without any of the budgeting and preparation.  

A staycation keeps you from having to deal with the stress of booking the right hotel room, trying to make sure you pack everything you’ll need, travel expenses and worrying over who’s going to water your plants back home.  

Instead, you can place all your energy on deciding how you want to spend every moment of your time. You may do some research, meal plan and book a few fun activities, but you won’t have to spend hours searching for the best deals in an area you’re not familiar with because it will be right in your hometown, allowing you to support local businesses.  

Another benefit of a staycation is that you don’t have to worry about the weather ruining your plans by canceling your flights and keeping you cooped up in a hotel room when all you packed was bathing suits and sunscreen. You can plan for all types of weather with game nights and movies during the rain and picnics and long walks when the sun is shining.  

On staycation, you still have the comfort of home with your own food, your favorite spot on the couch and your pets.  

This means your furry companions will be able to keep you company and you don’t have to worry about trying to find a trusted kennel or pay a friend to take care of your pets. 

You also have your own kitchen stocked with all of your favorite foods, allowing you to indulge without feeling guilty. On vacation, it is easy to get caught up in all of the temptations. You eat a week’s worth of sodium in one meal because you’re on vacation, so why not? A staycation offers you the best of both worlds. You can still have all of the indulgences while focusing on your health and wellbeing.   

Steps For Planning Your Staycation  

Cut out work and cleaning:  

While planning the best rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t do it on vacation, you don’t do it on staycation. It can be easy to get caught up doing household chores and catching up on work, but your kids will grow bored quite quickly and it won’t feel much like a vacation.   

Leave work at the office by setting your work email to send an automatic out of office message. Hire a cleaning service to clean your house top to bottom so your mind can focus on things other than dusting and vacuuming. Have dinner delivered from local restaurants you haven’t tried before 

Shut out the world by keeping your phones put away and the news off. It may sound drastic, but the best vacations make you lose track of time, so take your focus off what is going on in the outside world and simply relax.  

Have fun choosing vacation activities:   

Whether you are someone who follows a strict itinerary or if you prefer to spend your vacations spontaneously deciding what to do in each moment, for a staycation it is important to have a few things scheduled and built into the routine.  

Building in activities will help grow the excitement for your upcoming staycation. While it can be a great time to catch up on all your favorite shows and movies, especially because most streaming services offer a free week trial, you’ll still want to ensure that you don’t look back on the week and realize all you did was binge-watch Netflix.  

Allow each member of your family or participant of your staycation to select things they want to do so that everyone can make the most of their staycation. Some fun examples can include camping in your backyard, hosting a cooking night with friends, playing water games in the backyard, relaxing with a good book, trying an art or dance class, exploring your city/town or booking a new exercise or yoga session 

If you want to make some of these activities even more special than your average movie nights, consider investing in a home theatre or new game table. These provide endless fun that makes it a year-long vacation.  

Home theater

Set up spa at home:  

Create your own aromatherapy spa by investing your favorite scrubs, nail polish, face masks and whatever else you need to make it your personalized perfect spa day. While you may have to put the face mask on yourself, you will be able to keep and reuse all of your products instead of leaving them at the spa at the end of the day.  

If you would rather have someone there to help pamper you, you can also go to your local spa for a day or relaxing indulgence or even hire a massage therapist who makes house calls. 

Smart shades add to the relaxation and set the tone by allowing you to carefully control how much light comes into your home. Smart shades help meet all of your relaxation needs.  They’re open wide for your morning coffee at sunrise and can give you a quiet, relaxing afternoon indoors, away from powerful UV rays. 

Take little steps to achieve the hotel-feeling: 

It’s the little things that make the hotel and vacation experience, so be sure to focus on details like buying a fluffy white robe, little soaps and sheets with a high thread count. It may seem silly, but if it adds to your staycation experience then it’s a win.  

Add welcoming music with an automated sound system. Having a great playlist can really help set the mood; whether that be relaxing spa music, your favorite songs to sing and dance around the house to or Frank Sinatra in the background for a romantic dinner. For each change in scenery, simply change the music and dim the lights.  

To get the full experience, have family members trade off on doing the turndown service each night by tucking in the sheets, folding back the covers and placing a chocolate treat on the pillow.  

Following these steps and upgrading your home to make it the vacation resort of your dreams makes for endless fun, bonding and new memories. You’ll have all summer to enjoy your new amenities and be able to create a personalized space for a vacation that never ends. Call us for a consultation on how you can turn your home into the perfect resort for your staycation! 

Integrating Smart Technology into your Building Design

Integrating Smart Technology Into Your New Builds and Remodels

Designing with Technology in Mind 

Integrating smart technology into your workplace has the potential of increasing productivity, moral, efficiency, and management. Smart buildings create the potential for self-diagnosis, correction, and self-healing when problems arise, such as an elevator that is in jeopardy of failing. Automation allows for building owners to be automatically alerted to problems in hopes of more cost-effective recovery, and maintenance automation is just one of the many benefits of smart integration. However, you don’t have to have a smart building to begin integrating smart technology into your workspace.  

Smart technology integration consists of components that can link together to form an intelligent building and office space. When smart technologies orchestrate efficiently it will increase profit margins, increase sustainability, as well as carbon-neutrality, and most of all productivity. From reduced energy consumption and decreased maintenance costs, to extension of equipment life, automation and smart technology reduces building expenditures. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lighting makes up 20% of energy used in commercial buildings. Automated lighting systems can reduce expenses with controlled shut off and dimming of lights to reduce energy flow. The Department of Energy actually estimates a 15% savings with automation. No longer will meetings be disrupted with a, “Can you get the lights?” 

Integration Starts with Options 

So, what’s going to fit your business needs best? Is it smart lighting, as mentioned above, or will it be something more specific, such as smart presentation tools or climate control? 

SCS Home Entertainment can offer customized presentation spaces with touch panels and built-in camera control, as well as an electronic whiteboard, customized and automated presentation spaces, and remote meeting capability. Smart technology can also mean climate control automation in your workspace. Not only does climate control mitigate high-energy costs, just as lighting does, but thermostats can be monitored and controlled right from any device, even a mobile device. 

Make a Plan 

If you’re unsure how to begin your integration, start slow! There are a multitude of available options that are cost-effective and sustainable; builders and interior designers can move and plan for their commercial buildings in steps:  

  • First, assess your buildings technologies, location, and ability to integrate smart technology. This can be done virtually, or conceptually, or both for a new building. If your commercial space is already existing, a comprehensive survey of building components will be able to tell you how items such as electrical infrastructure and lighting are connected. 
  • Second, determine an integration plan. What are the goals for your business space? What will be essential smart technology to enhance your future space? Create priorities. 
  • Thirdly, apply the set priorities of your plan. Existing facilities should take into consideration time of year, budget, type of business space, and potential interruptions when considering which smart technologies they will integrate. 
  • Lastly, implement the design phase. Beginning your integration process may mean different things to different builders and interior designers, but establishing relationships with industry experts is key.  

 

With SCS, your options aren’t just limited to a business or commercial space. With the smart home solutions package you can control lighting, security, and have complete climate control all from your smartphone or tablet. Take control of your home with smart integration using the same steps listed above! Our homes are our safe spaces, and with smart technology you never have to leave the house and wonder, “did I lock my front door?” Integration of smart technology allows you to relax and rest assured that you are taken care of, from anywhere in the world. 

 

Just as you would with an electrician or plumbing expert that you trust, you should ensure your smart integration partner will continue to work with you as a client, once your integration is complete. Smart technology will continue to evolve, update, and become more efficient as data is gathered from smart technology that that can lead to identifying patterns and trends, leading to better design choices in the future. Your smart integration partner will be key in aiding your future integration decisions. Once you’ve begun integration, you can use your newly found expertise and partnerships in the area of smart building to grow your portfolio and establish your construction, and interior design, business as a leader in technologically complex spaces. Whether you start small with one or two features, or you fully integrate your home or business into a modernized smart space, SCS is there to help 

Outdoor Entertainment System

Outdoor Entertainment Space Planning in the Ozarks

Why limit your patio and deck activities to grilling when you could add a fantastic outdoor entertainment system?

There’s a new generation of all-weather outdoor TVs and speakers that will turn your backyard, deck or patio into an unforgettable entertainment destination.

Outdoor Entertainment System

Bring Indoor Style Outdoors

Instead of getting limited use from a deck or patio, you can bring all your indoor comforts outside. It’s easy to create an outdoor living room that has it all: furniture, seating, lighting, rugs, grill and a fabulous weatherproof entertainment system.

Some outdoor havens even include amenities like an outdoor kitchen and fireplace, sophisticated lighting, a hot tub and more.

Plan Your Outdoor Space

You can find hundreds of idea-starters on Pinterest and Better Homes & Gardens. Some of the most popular outdoor arrangements are all-inclusive spaces that let you grill, watch sporting events, listen to music and much more.

If you have a backyard garden, you can add landscape speakers that blend with the natural surroundings. Some people even create “show sheds” in the backyard that let them enjoy music and movies in distinctive sheds that can be customized to honor a favorite sports team or rock band.

Some tips and FAQs about preparing your outdoor entertainment space:

  1. If you have an enclosed deck or patio, will you be entertaining year-round?
  2. Spruce up your backyard before beginning. Trim your trees and bushes to improve sight lines.
  3. Assess the current condition of your patio or deck. Are there repairs that need to be made before installing an elaborate outdoor entertainment system?
  4. Do you have enough space to consider creating an outdoor living room – or is your available space too limited for that?
  5. Do you want an overall theme for the outdoor entertainment space? (e.g., sports, rock & roll)
  6. If you have a backyard garden, will it complement the outdoor entertainment system? Should you add landscape speakers in the garden?
  7. To minimize glare, install the flat-screen TV facing north if possible.
  8. Determine whether the TV will be viewed on the deck or patio only – or whether it should be large enough to be seen throughout the backyard.
  9. Similarly, determine whether the audio will be enjoyed primarily on the deck or patio – or whether you want immersive sound across the entire backyard.
  10. Have you considered special lighting for the patio, deck or backyard? (e.g., landscape lighting, accent lighting for the patio, lanterns, etc.)

Choose Products That Stand Up To Sun and Rain

Ten years ago, it would have been difficult to create an outdoor entertainment system to rival what was possible indoors. But thanks to the latest advances in weatherproofing and component camouflage, you can enjoy an extraordinary outdoor system.

Many all-weather flat-screen TVs are triple-sealed so they can operate safely right next to your hot tub or pool. The components are both waterproof and freeze-proof. Plus there are many landscape speakers designed to look like rocks so they blend in beautifully in any backyard.

Hidden Outdoor Speakers Around a Pond
Hidden Outdoor Speakers Around a Pond

How To Choose An Outdoor-Rated TV

It’s important to remember that you can void the warranty of a standard indoor TV if you install it outside. Outdoor-rated TVs have all-weather exteriors that protect internal components from rain and sun. You’ll want to choose a model that features non-glare LED technology for excellent outdoor viewing, even on sunny days.

We Offer The Latest From These High-End Brands:

Séura makes high-end flat-screen TVs for both shady and sunny outdoor environments. The Shade Series is designed for covered decks and patios, while the Ultra Bright Series provides an impressively clear picture even in bright sunlight.

Martin Logan landscape speakers have a faux-stone finish that your guests could easily mistake for a backyard rock. They feature stainless steel grills to protect against water and UV rays.

Klipsch high-performance rock speakers also blend with backyard surroundings – and feature a woofer and tweeter rivaling any indoor speaker today.

Sonance Patio Series all-weather speakers offer a subtle, immersive sound experience. Sonance also makes “mariner” speakers that are specially waterproofed for either boats or backyards.

Bowers & Wilkins makes a rugged line of rainproof/sunproof outdoor speakers.

Get Expert Help From SCS

Creating an amazing outdoor entertainment system is more complicated than installing an indoor one. You’ll need professional help – and SCS has been Southwest Missouri’s #1 resource in home entertainment for more than 25 years.

Call us today or drop by our showroom to discover how you can bring the finest indoor technologies to your outdoor space this year!