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Home automation business/consultant

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by LeasingEval, Apr 1, 2020.

  1. LeasingEval

    LeasingEval UKBF Regular Free Member

    297 23
    Like many, the current situation has made me think a lot more about what I want to do once thw world starts getting back to normal.

    Home automation has been a passion of mine for many years - I work as software engineer and have worked on automation systems in the past.

    I would like to start-up as a home automation consultant once the craziness is over.

    My intention would be to initially provide a design document to meet a customer brief which would describe the products required for lighting, blinds, cctv, alarms, heating etc. And in the future I would like to expand this to having a contractor network that would also install.

    Any suggestions on where to look first with regard to marketing myself as a home automation consultant?
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: LeasingEval Member since: Aug 20, 2008
    #1
  2. johndon68

    johndon68 UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

    3,439 631
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: johndon68 Member since: Nov 2, 2009
    #2
  3. Socio South West

    Socio South West UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    987 255
    You are AutoSergei, and I claim my £5!!!!
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: Socio South West Member since: Mar 24, 2013
    #3
  4. mattk

    mattk UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2,306 848
    I'd imagine you'd have to go very high end, as the mass market kit is designed to be set up at home by the home owner. There is also the problem that whatever you charge (let's say £500/day) would put you outside the budget of the average buyer.

    Therefore, I'd be look at home improvement shows, conferences etc. and maybe tie-ins with manufacturers, high-end builders and so on.
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: mattk Member since: Dec 5, 2005
    #4
  5. Ian J

    Ian J Factoring Specialist Full Member - Verified Business

    6,174 2,036
    You are missing out what could be the most important sector which is audio visual as most of the stuff that you have listed is fairly easy to self install and your major competitors would be the people that supply and install home cinemas and do the lighting, heating and blinds etc whilst they are at it.

    As mattk has already mentioned there probably isn't any demand at the low end of the market as Alexa and Hive are easy enough to self install - well if I've done it, it must be simple :D
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: Ian J Member since: Nov 6, 2004
    #5
  6. LeasingEval

    LeasingEval UKBF Regular Free Member

    297 23
    Yes agreed that AV would be a large part of it also.
    Ok - you say you have self installed it yourself, but to ask a simple question then - could you turn off every single light in your home with 2 clicks on your iphone?
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: LeasingEval Member since: Aug 20, 2008
    #6
  7. Annoying Donkey

    Annoying Donkey UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,867 990
    Why would you want to...? :confused:
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: Annoying Donkey Member since: Sep 13, 2009
    #7
  8. LeasingEval

    LeasingEval UKBF Regular Free Member

    297 23
    Going to bed at night, going out for the evening or just to simply demonstrate that you have control of every sigle light in your home.

    If you can do this then you can have "scenes" e.g. watching TV in the lounge where mood lighting is on, but everything else is off. Or going to bed where everything is off other than the hall light and bedroom light. Then get into bed and with 1 click all lights are off other then a reading light. Any type of scene can be programmed.

    What most folk have is a Philips Hue bulb or 3 plus the iphone app, Which all works fine unless you have a non-tech savvy person in the house who will be completely unreasonable and insist on using the lightswitch to turn the lights on and off...and then your app won't work.

    None of the consumer grade off the the shelf solutions are ideal - some are better than others and most can be improved upon with a little but of time, knowledge and money. And spending a little money with a consultant will save you on all 3.
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: LeasingEval Member since: Aug 20, 2008
    #8
  9. alan1302

    alan1302 UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,642 302
    You would need to look into how many people would want what you offer as well as how many people who may want it would be willing to pay.

    Got to admit I'm very much for tech stuff but can't see the point of a lot of this...if I want a light on I'll flick a switch. Quicker than having to get phone, open app, and turn off that way.

    Good luck with your venture.
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: alan1302 Member since: Jun 2, 2018
    #9
  10. johndon68

    johndon68 UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

    3,439 631
    I've self installed and no need to use the phone (although I could), I can just tell Alexa to turn all the lights off if I want...
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: johndon68 Member since: Nov 2, 2009
    #10
  11. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

    11,881 2,472
    Stirling Moss the ex Racing driver had a automatic home in the 1960's often shown on TV. 60 years on the average home is still using switches and a percentage with Alexa

    Most would appear to be acceptable to turning the heating on from the phone, but that's probably it, after all how many bother to use the timer facility on their cookers

    So basically a very hard sell and those who would be interested are more likely to do a do it yourself kit for the next few years, apart from people having there own house built for them and that's a limited market
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
    #11
  12. Ian J

    Ian J Factoring Specialist Full Member - Verified Business

    6,174 2,036
    Yes. It's easy enough with Alexa
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: Ian J Member since: Nov 6, 2004
    #12
  13. Ian J

    Ian J Factoring Specialist Full Member - Verified Business

    6,174 2,036
    I have been using a Logitech Harmony remote for years to control all of my AV equipment and am a recent convert to Hive to control the heating but I haven't a clue how the timer on the cooker works :D

    I investigated wifi controlled fridges and kettles but couldn't see the point in either
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: Ian J Member since: Nov 6, 2004
    #13
  14. Darren_Ssc

    Darren_Ssc UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,269 389
    Stirling Moss also fell down his own lift shaft....
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: Darren_Ssc Member since: Mar 1, 2019
    #14
  15. Darren_Ssc

    Darren_Ssc UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,269 389
    Probably better trying to find yourself a niche rather than being a generalist for everything.
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: Darren_Ssc Member since: Mar 1, 2019
    #15
  16. Socio South West

    Socio South West UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    987 255
    On a serious note - hope you will be selling a good secure system. We hear about the wonders these things supposedly do... but precious little about the potential information a skilled hacker can obtain and dissipate about you.

    I refuse to have anything remote operated by phone or internet at this time as I don't believe there is enough security attached to these devices, and I believe this will be the next target for hi-tech thieving in that they will be able to monitor your movements and know when your home is vulnerable.

    And as for Google, Facebook and others listening in and recording everything that goes on with that damned Alexa thing... don't get me started!
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: Socio South West Member since: Mar 24, 2013
    #16
  17. LeasingEval

    LeasingEval UKBF Regular Free Member

    297 23
    Security is very important - devices absolutely need to be secure and unable to be accessed by those without the authorisation to do so,
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: LeasingEval Member since: Aug 20, 2008
    #17
  18. Darren_Ssc

    Darren_Ssc UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,269 389
    I think he makes a valid point in that 'those with authorisation' include random people who happen to work for the companies providing the service rather than people you have any control over.

    A video door bell, for instance, seems innocent enough until you think about the points in between the original image capture and that image appearing somewhere else?
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: Darren_Ssc Member since: Mar 1, 2019
    #18
  19. NickGrogan

    NickGrogan UKBF Ace Full Member

    2,522 602
    If something as simple as that took 2 clicks, once I've found and unlocked my iPhone I'd be wanting my money back.

    I can already turn off all the lights, the upstairs lights, the downstairs lights by telling Alexa. I can also set the lights to any level/colour on a light by light/room by room/floor by floor basis and could easily control sides of the room separately if I wanted to.

    Two clicks to turn off all the lights sounds like a big step backwards.
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: NickGrogan Member since: Nov 15, 2012
    #19
  20. LeasingEval

    LeasingEval UKBF Regular Free Member

    297 23
    That sounds gppd Nick - what system are you using for that?
     
    Posted: Apr 1, 2020 By: LeasingEval Member since: Aug 20, 2008
    #20