Digitek Digital – The Myths and Realities of Home Automation
When it comes to home automation, the Regency Team turns to our partners at Digitek Digital to provide the latest bells and whistles. Dave Mihalovich, owner at Digitek, recently sat down with the Regency team, and we uncovered a lot of misconceptions about home technology. Here’s what he had to share:
Myth: Home Automation Technology is Complicated
Realty: Today’s Systems are Designed to Be Simple
Perhaps the biggest misconception when it comes to home technology is that you have to be very tech savvy to use it. Years ago this was true…from programming the VCR to complicated whole home sound systems, using technology was complicated and often frustrating. But today’s manufacturers have done an excellent job focusing on intuitive user interfaces and apps. Yes, the hardware has changed and improved over time, but perhaps the most significant advancement is how simple home automation has become!
Digitek believes that home automation and technology should be driven by you. What do you like? What is important to you in your home? And how can we simplify those experiences? From automated lighting to motorized shades, some simple technology touches in your home can truly simplify your life. What’s more, Digitek selects its products based on leading edge, not bleeding edge technologies.
“We want to make sure that any technology investment in a home is going to be long lasting. That’s why we partner with industry vetted, homeowner-friendly products that are gaining popularity based on their ease of use. Your home should not be work. Your home should be a retreat from stress and the everyday challenges of life…that certainly applies to the technology you choose to put in it,” Dave shares. “I always ask people who are hesitant a few questions ‘What if technology just worked every time? What if whole house wi-fi meant whole house wi-fi? What if sound systems could be designed in a way that actually could be quieter and still clearly audible?’ By starting the conversations there we can typically explain how simple today’s options are!”
Myth: Home Automation is about Electronics
Reality: Today’s Systems are all about Design and Aesthetics
Technology isn’t about wires, speakers, screens, and remotes anymore…the market has shifted to form, function, and, of course, beautification of your home! This is what makes these systems such an important consideration for a Regency Custom Home!
A great example of home technology designed to enhance your living surroundings are the lighting control systems brought to us by Digitek and Lutron. As one of the area’s only Lutron dealers, Digitek works with our clients to design these one-of-a-kind home experiences!
“From overhead to under cabinets and pendants to lamps, homeowners spend so much time and money selecting the perfect light fixtures for their home, and then rarely turn on the right lighting for each occasion. We can help design custom lighting ‘scenes’ that are preprogrammed into the elegant wall controls. With one touch you can change lighting for the perfect morning cup of coffee and newspaper experience, or switch to dinner party mode in an instant,” Dave explains. “Lighting controls from Lutron can be set to bring landscape lighting on at dusk and off at sunrise, help minimize large banks of dimmers and switches that we like to refer to as ‘wall acne.’ Controls are available in several styles and a myriad of colors ranging from the simplest white to the boldest of brass anodized aluminum finishes to match any home decor.”
Myth: Home Automation Technology is Inconvenient
Realty: Today’s Systems are Integrated
A remote for this, a controller for that, a nob, a button, and a dial in every room. Today’s systems are not only integrated, with most controlled from your smartphone or tablet, but are also minimizing the points at which you access controls throughout your home. In the past, homeowners who wanted to enjoy technology throughout the home had to control technology throughout the home, that is no longer the case!
The larger footprint of Regency homes means that home technology can really simplify your life. As you sit in your third floor master bedroom and think, “Did I turn off the light in the lower level exercise room?” you can rest assured and check from your phone. You got your steps in for the day during your power hour – no need to run back downstairs to check!
“Smart systems can turn off all the lights in your home from a single button at the back door. Growing up in the era of turning off the lights before you leave has never been easier!” Dave jokes. “Even with the evolution of LED lighting, homeowners often feel the necessity to turn the lights off, and they can do that from one, integrated button in the mudroom. Of course, that convenience is two-fold, turning the lights on to greet you as you return home.”
Myth: Home Automation Technology is Expensive
Realty: Today’s Systems are Affordable Luxuries
Yes, technology is an investment, but realistically speaking the cost for many systems has come down, and new products enter the marketplace every day that make home automation affordable for the masses. What’s more, many products offer add-on capabilities, allowing you to start with simple configurations and add to them over time.
Depending on your needs, Digitek Digital can often bring many smart technologies together for the fraction of the cost of a full-home system. The catch, you have to use a few different apps instead of one. Not a bad trade off! Still all from your smartphone or tablet, it’s as quick as switching between your Facebook and Pinterest account!
“One of the most popular and affordable systems on the market today is from Sonos. It’s the single easiest way to spread music and sound across your home. With wireless, portable speakers starting at $149 and a whole 5:1 surround system offered for $1,696, homeowners can drive a whole home entertainment experience very affordably,” Dave shares. He also adds that unlike other systems, the Sonos business model is not based on collecting ongoing revenue from its customers, making it even more affordable. “Because Sonos isn’t a content creator, they don’t have a monthly fee for their service. Their app simply distributes the music or subscriptions you already have from iTunes, Spotify, Pandora and more!”
Myth: Home Automation is Hard to Support over Time
Reality: Today’s Decisions Support Tomorrow’s Troubles
Yes, it’s true, technology can come with its challenges. It changes, new software rolls out, there are new integrations, and so much more. That’s why support is so essential. The right team provides service before, during, and well after the sale. Digitek Digital prides itself on being in the service industry, not the technology industry and that mindset is all the difference.
Like Regency Builders, Digitek seeks to build a long term rapport, sharing our “Customer for Life” mentality. From simplifying the experience to providing education throughout the process, Digitek doesn’t stop when you move into your new home. They help homeowners upgrade software and hardware, are able to reconfigure systems as needed, and can offer warranty and service of items that may need ongoing support.
“Our team prides itself on the fact that we don’t advertise. 100% of our business is driven from referrals – that means we have to provide an ultimate service experience to survive. While other technology and home automation companies sell you the largest, most expensive systems and then disappear, we want to design an experience that meets your needs, budget, and expectations for years to come,” Dave humbly shares. After a bit of prying we also uncovered that Digitek often will ‘take over’ support from other companies who haven’t been responsive after the sale, “While we don’t have a service-only model, our company is built on service so it’s important that we provide it regardless of who installed the system.”
Myth: Home Automation Technology is an Add-On
Realty: Today’s Systems are an Essential Insurance for Your Home
Home technology has been synonymous with security and safety for years. It’s no surprise that things like security systems and water and flooding alarms can decrease insurance bills and provide valuable peace of mind for homeowners. But, while systems like lighting controls and cameras provide peace of mind for homeowners hoping to thwart off unwanted intruders, they don’t protect against an everyday home intruder – sunlight!
Thousands of dollars of furniture, rugs, and valuable artwork are destroyed every year by harmful UV rays entering the home. It’s not that homeowners don’t have the proper window treatments installed to protect these investments, it’s that using them is cumbersome.
“The average Regency home has 100 windows, with Great Room heights frequently reaching 14’ to 19’ tall. Controlling these systems by pulling on the the traditional cord can be difficult and possibly even cause heavy shade systems to tear from the drywall. Lutron Triathlon Shading Solutions offered through Digitek offer homeowners the most fashionable, flexible, and affordable motorized shading systems on the market,” Dave shares. “With the touch of the button, both roller and cellular shades can open and close, protecting that Persian rug! The convenience of a battery that lasts up to 8 years and the ability to automatically adjust shades at programmed times of day means your furniture and home accents will never be damaged by UV rays again.”
In addition, these shade control systems from Lutron are the perfect balance of style and savings! Splurge a little on your favorite fabric upfront – with designer fabrics, colors, and textures as well as different light transmittance options! Then, save for years to come on your energy bills by opening and closing the right window treatments as the sun hits, closing out the sun to stay cool and comfortable all summer and letting the warm sun in during the winter to reduce heating costs.
Digitek Digital and Regency Builders
“Simplify the experience. Whether it is homebuilding or technology, Regency and Digitek agree – Regency clients work hard each day – they shouldn’t have to work hard on their home,” Dave explains. “Regency really understands what it’s like to build a custom home – how many decisions there can be and how overwhelming that could be for the homeowner. Whether it is initial design, material selections, or technology choices, they make the process easy and enjoyable. At Digitek Digital we strive to do the same.”
It all starts in design, where Dave’s team uncovers your unique needs and opportunities to integrate technology into your plans. Collaborating with the designer, architect, and builder, Digitek helps layout different lighting scenarios, recommends television placement and consults on what must be “behind the walls” to drive automation throughout the house.
“Proper planning up front leads to the best design and avoids ‘I wish we would have’ statements later,” Dave shares. “By future-proofing your home, you can enjoy tomorrow’s technology that’s driven by today’s plans.”
Because many technologies don’t retrofit well, Digitek works with our clients to plan for all types of systems – entertainment, security systems, lighting, wi-fi, and more before and during rough carpentry. They can build in basic configurations that are able to be expanded on over time, so even if initial construction budgets don’t include technology you are prepared to add it later.
About Digitek Digital
Digitek Digital has been providing home technology and automation solutions since 2002. Owners Dave Mihalovich and Chris Greco are self-proclaimed tech geeks who still often have to pinch themselves, living the dream of playing with the newest toys in tech each and every day. What’s unique about their business, however, is not the products they offer, it’s the hands on, small team approach they bring to the market. Their team of four all share roles of sales, install, and support – providing service after the sale to each of their clients.
“I believe we’re able to make better decisions for our clients because of our low overhead. We aren’t tied to any one product and can offer more value for our client’s investment,” Dave shares. “What’s more, the four of us are some of the most skilled technicians in the area, putting us in a competitive position to provide great service for years to come.”
Digitek Digital has a small showroom located in Waukesha and asks that homeowners schedule an appointment to receive the very best service. From whole-home automation to entertainment systems, lighting and shade control to security products, Digitek offers the following expertise:
- Structured wiring design and installation – Voice, audio, data, and video
- Surveillance and security systems
- Whole-house Wi-Fi
- Media room and theater
- Sonos multi-room music control
- Lutron light and shade control – Certified Homeworks QS dealer
- Savant and Control 4 whole-home automation