Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is home automation/integration?
Home integration - which may also be referred to as home automation, residential electronic systems, or smart home technology - refers to the integration of multiple electronic systems and devices through a centrally controlled network. These systems and devices may include media rooms, home theaters, lighting control, multi-room audio, HVAC control, security, or appliances. Integrated systems are custom-designed to allow the homeowner the convenience and cost savings of controlling electronics through a central control, or even remotely.
Another related term is "home networking." Many think of a home network as simply a network of connected PCs, and while this is certainly part of the connected home, it's only the tip of the iceberg. More and more electronic devices are designed to connect to the home network, which results in added functionality and convenience. But this increased demand on your home network can also lead to problems with continuity of service if it's not properly designed and integrated. A home technology professional who is skilled in designing and implementing robust home networks will be able to alleviate these potential network problems.
Q: Can I install my own home theater or home automation system?
Many mass-market retailers provide do-it-yourself home automation and control kits or theater-in-a-box products. While consumers can often install these products, a home technology professional typically has a deep level of product knowledge that allows them to select the best components to suit a client's unique home design and usage patterns.
They have the skill to optimize room acoustics and seating and calibrate video settings. They can work with the homeowner to develop a plan - much like an architect develops house plans - to ensure the best integrated home experience. Residential electronic systems designed by CEDIA member home technology professionals are a sound investment in the value of your home.
Q: What are the benefits of hiring a CEDIA member?
CEDIA is the world's leading association of residential electronic systems professionals and provides the industry's most comprehensive education to its membership. Members who participate and excel in CEDIA's educational programs can undergo rigorous testing to earn CEDIA Certification credentials. Consumers can rest assured that CEDIA Certified Professionals are the most highly respected and experienced in the industry.
CEDIA member companies subscribe to a strict code of professional conduct and ethics and participate in continuing education to stay informed on the latest technological innovations.
Q: When it comes to residential electronic systems and home integration, what are some things homeowners should keep in mind as they build a home?
The beginning stage of the design/build process is the optimal time to think about wiring a home for connectivity and designing your space to account for your future home integration needs. Consumers should work with an architect, builder, or interior designer who sees the benefit in consulting a CEDIA member home technology professional.
Q: Will my home technology become obsolete quickly? How can I ensure my systems stay up-to-date?
A qualified home technology professional will be able to develop a system that is practical for today's homeowners but also ready to take advantage of new innovations as they come to market. Home technology professionals stay current on emerging trends through continuing education as well as open lines of communication with leading manufacturers. Their up-to-date knowledge allows them to deliver technology that will not only merge seamlessly with the client's lifestyle but will also provide convenience, security, and entertainment for years to come.
Q: What are the benefits of home technology systems and home automation?
Most consumers who seek out integrated home technology solutions view these systems as a way to save time and spend more quality time with their families. Most customers invest in home electronic systems for the benefits, not for the sake of owning technology.
Q: How big is the home integration market?
According to CEDIA's Size and Scope of the Residential Electronic Systems Market in the US in 2011© study, there are an estimated 20,000 to 22,500 companies in the U.S. that are installing CEDIA portfolio products in residential environments. The residential electronic systems industry represents an estimated $13 - $14 billion in annual installation revenue, based upon the estimated number of installation companies in the industry.