by kkistler | Jul 18, 2019 | Blog
When planning to renovate your home or beginning to plan the build, lighting isn’t always at the forefront of your mind. While it might not be your highest priority of design choices, it can arguably be the most important! Picture an empty room and all of the ways that only lighting could be used to evoke a feeling, project a design theme, or set a mood. Whether you want to install lights under the cabinet to tone down the overhead in the kitchen, or strategically place the right light to illuminate your favorite piece of art, lighting has the ability to personify every space, as you see fit. Here are some of the lighting trends we are seeing lately!
Indirect lighting is used in place of overhead lighting with fixtures that direct the light upward to bounce off of the walls and surrounding space. When you reduce the strong overhead lighting and replace it with lighting behind the mirror or up-lighting a wall, you create a calming atmosphere- allowing the space to be gently lit with a diffused look.
There is no limit to what you can create with sculptural lighting. From overhead fixtures to nightstand lamps to extravagant chandeliers- the possibilities are endless and the restrictions are few to none. Artists, architects, and designers are supporting this trend by creating art and light in unison. These pieces are typically meant to be a statement in the room, giving you a simpler decision in furniture and details.
Linear Ceiling Fixtures
Typically used to illuminate your formal dining table or kitchen island, linear ceiling fixtures are sleek and elegant pieces with a variety of designs. They stretch further out into the space of the room versus the traditional single cluster of lights. These lengthy and elongated pieces help to create a modern feel to the area, with several options to select from for light bulbs including the energy-efficient LED bulb.
Marble Based Lamp Fixtures
Elegant and eye-catching, marble has made a huge comeback. Whether it is a tall standing lamp or a shorter table lamp, having a marble base invokes a more intimate and appealing mood as opposed to the standard nightstand or iron base lamp. Having a marble accent is a timeless appeal!
With the right guidance, you should have no problem seeing what kind of lighting fits perfectly for your home and the design you are aiming for. At Symbio, the options in custom design lighting are endless, but we are here to help you hone in on your vision down to the last light bulb. Contact us today at 713.780.4601!
by kkistler | Jun 24, 2019 | Blog
As we move further into the hottest months of the year, we can certainly recognize the value of a cool room in a cool house! While we continue to appreciate our working air conditioning, it is helpful to pick up some tips and tricks to keeping the house cool along the way. Not only will these life hacks assist in regulating the temperature of your home, but they’ll also help you simultaneously practice energy efficiency!
Around The House
There are a few arrangements you can make to keep your home sustaining energy at an ideal temperature throughout the day. For the windows that are letting in unwanted sunlight, consider purchasing Thermal Insulated Curtains as a solution! These curtains are made of heavy cotton or polyester and are used to prevent air from entering or escaping your window. Also known as blackout curtains, they are increasing in popularity and therefore provide a wide selection of colors and styles to fit your existing decor!
If you’re looking for a more permanent investment to block glare and reduce UV rays, consider installing Solarized Shades. They are made to be an eco-friendly, energy efficient option in place of the typical blinds.
Some other quick fixes can be as simple as changing to LED light bulbs, making sure the fan is set to summer setting (counter clockwise), keeping household items unplugged when they aren’t being used, etc.
Around The Clock
You wouldn’t think that timing your chores strategically could help you beat the heat, but hear us out! When you run large appliances during the hottest hours of the day, you are increasing the steam in the air and adding warmth to the surrounding areas. Wait it out! Run your dishwasher at night, iron your clothes before bed, bake your cookies in the evening, and even hold off on using the laundry dryer until the sun goes down. Not only will your house be cooler, but you will feel much more comfortable during your chores!
With smart homes, your installed thermostat is available via your mobile phone, making it possible to control the time and temperature inside as degrees go up and down outside throughout the day. As you learn how to regulate the thermostat, you’ll see the positive effects on your energy bill as a reward for your efforts! The timer feature is an effective way to keep the air conditioning off during the day if you aren’t home, or if you have a varying schedule this summer you can utilize the convenience of having your thermostat on your phone.
Remember a few months ago when we were all saying how much we miss summer, how we can’t wait for the warm weather!? Well, the time has come, and it’s our duty to enjoy it! If you’d like more information on home automation systems that have features such as the mobile thermostat control or the solarized shades, reach out to us at Symbio, we would love to help. Otherwise, jump in the pool as often as you can, host BBQ’s and cheers with your friends, live a little, sweat A LOT- it’s Summer.
by kkistler | Jun 5, 2019 | Blog
When you are planning to sell your home, you have to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. What will make your home stand out from the rest? What are buyers considering when they are looking at multiple properties? Let’s say you have a five bedroom house, impressive counter space, wood floors, and upgraded bathrooms…but so do your neighbors selling their home down the street. Before you put your home on the market, you need to decide what your ultimate selling point will be. Making your home a Smart Home is not only a solid investment when it comes to the value of your home, but it is also extremely attractive to the buyer with options.
The numbers speak for themselves. according to Consumer Reports, smart home features can boost your home’s resale value by up to 5%, calculating an additional $50,000 on a $1,000,000 home. This value can increase or decrease depending on the extent of your installation. Something you can’t put a number on is instilling that peace of mind in the buyer. When they compare your home to several similar properties, a home automation system including a security system, doorbell camera, electricity monitor, etc, will be a major distinguisher.
In addition to being an investment based on security and safety, home automation systems are actually extremely fun! Nothing sells better than luxury and convenience. And let’s be honest- a home automation system is designed specifically with both in mind. When a realtor shows a potential buyer how to control the AC, lighting, door locks, TV, fire pit, stereo system, and more – it becomes very easy for them to picture themselves living there. Aside from the day to day convenience, this is an upgrade that is easily shown off.. Sold!
It’s estimated that millennials will purchase at least 10 million homes in the next 10 years, dominating the housing market. That being said, who is more attracted to technology than this crowd? Typically, the online home buyer sets up a filtered search with their criteria that they get daily reports on until finally, something stands out. You have to remember that your house is going to be compared to so many others that are similar in features.. The difference between yours and the others, though, is that when they purchase your home they are being introduced to the world of home automation and smart home benefits.
Investing in a home automation system has many benefits for the user that extend to benefit you when you decide to sell your home. If you would like to hear more information about purchasing a home automation system, contact us at Symbio for a rundown of how we can help you get started!
by kkistler | May 24, 2019 | Blog
As Summer is beginning, new schedules are forming! If you have kids home from school and are still working your normal hours, you’re going to want to keep an eye on the house while you are away. We can all attest to the mischief we got into on those long summer days while our parents were at work! Parents have a habit of saying they “have eyes and ears everywhere”, but how would you like to say that and really mean it?
While there are realities to misbehaved children when we aren’t home, what truly matters to us is their safety. A home automation system is a sure way of preventing avoidable accidents and monitoring the safety of your home.
Monitor From Your Phone – If you’re sitting at work and just want to check in at home, you can open your app to view all live camera footage from wherever you are! Need some reassurance that the chores are getting done? You can set up cameras anywhere around your house to monitor at any time! On top of live footage, you also have access to being notified when anyone comes through the front door, meaning no unexpected visitors.
Security System – Also controlled by your mobile device, a home automation system comes with the installation of a home alarm and security system. You can personalize the security however you’d like and find comfort in the fact that your loved ones are always protected when you are not there. A bonus to having access on your mobile device is never having to turn around and run home if you forgot to set the alarm!
Electricity Management – Here is something we can all relate to. When more people are home for more hours of the day, the electric bill is sure to rack up. Whether it’s from the lights left on, the AC cranked up, or the extra devices being used, you are able to monitor and adjust electricity usage through the system on your phone. You no longer have to worry about unexpected surprises on the electric bill when you have it all under control!
Convenience – There is a number of possibilities to be considered with the added convenience of this technology. On a rainy day, the kids can easily put on “movie mode” to dim the lights, lock the doors, and turn on the surround system! Since you can monitor TV usage and electronic times through your automation system, you can set a limit for them that will shut it off and send them to play outdoors.
Ultimately, a home automation system provides the means for a comfortable and safe living space when you are both home and away. With today’s technology, you can control the chaos this Summer while also being reassured that your kids are at home, safe and sound. At Symbio, we think you should love where you live and we fully believe that a home automation system will only improve your experience.
by kkistler | May 10, 2019 | Blog
We are coming up on the hurricane season after an already extremely wet year so far. When it’s 3 o’clock in the morning and you are waking up to flashes of lightning and pounding thunder, you want to be confident that you’ve done all you can to keep your home safe. There are precautionary measures necessary to take when preparing for a storm to help prevent serious future damage after the fact. To focus in on electricity protection specifically, let’s look at a few things you might’ve forgotten to think about.
Install an electrical surge protector – Consider this tool your new designated thunder buddy! For plug in appliances and electronics, think of a surge protector as a plug in median between the ground connection and the appliances connection. In the case of an electrical surge, this device will ensure that the surge is diverted to the ground connection to protect the appliance.
Whole home power surge protection – Remember the story of The Three Little Pigs? And how the big, bad wolf couldn’t blow down the third pig’s house of bricks? Well, imagine you’re the fourth pig who went above and beyond with a whole home power surge protection system. This installation should be done by a professional technician, but once completed, your entire home is protected from excess electricity during power surges. It is installed in the main power line and protects all appliances in your home including the HVAC system.
Warranty plans and insurance coverage – For your peace of mind, know what you have placed under warranty and what exactly is covered under your home insurance before an accident happens. We can go out of our way to protect our belongings, but nature finds a way to take its own course. If you have appliances that you know specifically are not covered by warranty or insurance, and aren’t ready for a power surge protection system, consider leaving them unplugged during a storm to avoid electrical damage.
It is a helpless feeling when you are waiting out a storm. Symbio Solutions offers at home automation systems that can ease your nerves during a storm in a number of ways. If you want to see exactly what you have plugged in utilizing electricity, you can monitor this from your mobile device. The security system allows you to have a visual from all camera angles, so if you are worried about potential flooding at your home while you are at work – you have access to view that on your phone as well. For long term protection, Symbio offers a client care plan that operates remotely to fix any troubleshooting issues without having to come to your home. Their technology team is available to answer your questions and provide solutions throughout the day. Call us today if you have any questions at 713.780.4601