Using the Windows Media Center, homeowners can control Lifeware from a computer, TV, or wall-mounted controller.
Using the Windows Media Center, homeowners can control Lifeware from a computer, TV, or wall-mounted controller.

With the flip of a switch, the leading man dims the lights and the stereo plays mood music. Seem futuristic? Once just a movie fantasy, now home automation product manufacturers say on-demand control of lighting, audio, temperature, and more, is becoming more popular in the remodeling market. “Today, there's a wireless version for everything in your house — thermostats, light switches, security systems,” says Mike Seamons, vice president of marketing for Exceptional Innovations, which produces the Lifeware brand. “That's why the remodeling market has provided the opportunity to develop these services as a simple way to control your home.” Many manufacturers are adding more building professionals to their ranks of installers and dealers. Generally, these systems are not installed by homeowners, making the service a high-tech remodeling upsell. “Each system is designed to provide a custom solution,” says Derek Jensen, marketing communications manager for Vantage Controls, which manufactures the InFusion product line. “We offer training to our dealers so they're well-educated in installing the systems in any home. We've also set up our interface so that programs are savable and repeatable. If a dealer develops a solution for a room scene that works well, he can save it and export it to other homes without recreating the programming.”

Beyond lighting, audio, and HVAC, Monte Spencer, sales and marketing director for Lagotek, says the company's Fusion Suite and other systems can control irrigation, security systems, and more. “People don't generally understand what a ‘smart home' is, but once we explain it to them and show them what's available, they see that it makes sense to control more than just lighting,” he says.

For more product information, visit ebuild, Hanley Wood's interactive product catalog, at ebuild.com.