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CEA: 67% of Consumers Want Professional Home Automation Installation

New home automation study from CEA also reveals 88 percent of consumers want integrated home automation, not stand-alone apps.


CEA’s chief economist and director of research Shawn DuBravac says new data shows the term “home monitoring” is the most identifiable phrase among consumers when referencing home controls.

As Mark Twain said, “The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Likewise, the rumor the home automation industry is going all DIY appears to be equally overblown.

A new study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) not only reveals that consumers want professional installation of home automation, but they don’t want home control that requires them to launch multiple individual apps for each subsystem. The study also shows security (not audio, video, climate control or lighting) is the most important impetus for the purchase of a home control system.

Speaking at the CE Pro 100 Summit, CEA’s chief economist and director of research Shawn DuBravac revealed some positive information for integrators about consumers’ attitudes toward their services. He also gave some interesting tidbits of terminology that might influence integrators and their market approach.

Here are some of the most interesting details from the yet-to-be released study:

  • 67 percent of consumers want a professional installer; another 18 percent would prefer to install a system themselves, while 9 percent would prefer “someone else” to do the installation for them. (Presumably, that means an integrator, family member or friend.) Only 7 percent did not know who they would prefer to install a system for them.
  • 88 percent of consumers prefer a single, integrated app to run their home automation system vs. just 12 percent who would prefer individual apps for each subsystem
  • Security companies are identified as the No. 1 source a consumer would call to install a home automation system (23 percent). Home improvement centers came in second (17 percent) while “professional installer” was third (10 percent).
  • When asked why they would buy a home automation system, “security” was the most important driver (62 percent), followed by “Energy Savings” (20 percent) and “Convenience” (14 percent).
  • ”Home Monitoring” is the term consumers most identify with. Indeed, 52 percent of consumers felt that they understood that terminology, compared to only 32 percent familiar with the term “smart home,” 25 percent with “home automation” and 20 percent with “connected home.” As one CE Pro 100 integrator mentioned, the affinity with “home monitoring” was enlightening to him. He believes that term reinforces that consumers fully expect to pay monthly contracts for home automation. That expectation will make it easier for integrators to charge regular “monitoring” fees and also could give security companies a leg up in the space.
  • 37 percent of consumers are “interested” or “very interested” in learning more about home automation. The figure jumps to 45 percent of consumers earning over $75,000 per year.
  • 35 percent of consumers who are familiar with home automation have actually experienced it. The most likely place being a friend or family members’ home, followed by an office building and then a hotel.
  • Showing that wireless is a popular trend, 63 percent of consumers said they would prefer to have a home automation system with “limited capabilities” as long as it meant there would be no digging into their walls to run new wires.  On the flip side, 37 percent said they wanted a full system with new wires in their walls.

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Article Topics

News · Research · Home Automation and Control · Control Systems · Security · Events · CE Pro 100 · Ce Pro 100 Summit · Consumer Electronics Association · All topics

About the Author

Jason Knott, Editor, CE Pro
Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.

5 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by greatsound  on  11/13  at  06:53 PM

Great article Jason, a lot of insight into how the consumer perceives automation and control. We look forward to the study coming out.

Posted by Chad  on  11/15  at  01:32 PM

..until they see the costs

Posted by Dave Swartz  on  11/17  at  11:41 AM

Are you related to Stu Knott, former President of Schlage Electronics?

Posted by greatsound  on  11/17  at  06:08 PM

@Chad, The beauty of a “good” automation system is it’s scalability which allows the end user to start with a basic system and add on as they choose. A decent basic system can be had at the cost of a 60” smart tv, so I guess it’s dependent upon a persons’ priorities, wishes, and needs.
Cost as all things, can be managed, if you aren’t fearful. cool smirk

Posted by Marcuscassius  on  02/18  at  01:57 PM

I don’t need a security system > I need automation. Security is a myth. Automated dimmers and coffee in the morning? That i can use!

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