Can Wayne Dalton’s Home Manager Penetrate Mainstream Market?
The relatively affordable Z-Wave based home automation line includes sophisticated features.
Most CE pros ignore an enormous segment of potential clients by not offering affordable home automation, according to James Cody, national sales and marketing manager for Wayne Dalton.
Instead, CE pros tend only to offer relatively expensive home control solutions from brands Crestron—No. 1 on CE Pro’s 2008 Brand Awareness Study.
It’s not that mainstream consumers don’t want home automation. It’s not that CE pros don’t want to offer it to them.
It’s just that, thus far, most integrators haven’t found an affordable, scalable, quality home control solution that makes sense for the non-super-affluent.
(CE Pro blogger Lee Distad recently pontificated on the issue.)
Cody hopes Wayne Dalton’s Home Manager will change that perception when it’s released later this year.
The system, which provides for the creation, configurations and maintenance of a home control network using Z-Wave technology, is targeted at $185,000 to $600,000 homes, he says.
It seems like the solution by Wayne Dalton, traditionally a garage door and opener manufacturer, requires relatively little training and installation time. The company says the homeowner can configure a home network using on-screen wizards for adding Z-Wave enabled devices.
It does have some sophisticated features normally associated with high-end control products. Homeowners can create custom lighting scenes, such as “all lights in kitchen at 50%,” according to the company.
Wayne Dalton is also rolling out its LCD Touch Screen Controller, a 3.5-inch display that allows homeowners to manage lighting scenes, adjust thermostat settings and tweak monitor devices.
The Home Manager line is part of Wayne Dalton’s aggressive foray into the home automation category. The company recently introduced its Teleport Audio-Visual Remote control, also Z-Wave based, which can manage up to 232 components, including lights, window coverings, thermostats, appliances, DVD players and TVs.
The plan is for Wayne Dalton to sell the Home Manager through the builder channel and it announced the line at the recent International Builders Show (IBS) in Las Vegas. Cody even hosted an educational lunch during which he basically explained to builders what Z-Wave is.
Wayne Dalton is also pursuing the CE pro channel, Cody explains, but it makes sense to push through new-construction since the company is so embedded in the building industry.
During IBS, Cody told builders to expect generous margins offering Home Manager. He emphasized to CE Pro, however, that it makes sense for integrators to take advantage of those margins with the retrofitable line.
Tom has been covering consumer electronics for six years. Before that, he wrote for the sports department of the Boston Herald. Migrating to magazines, he was a staff editor for a golf publication and an outdoor sports publication. Now, as senior writer/technology editor of CE Pro magazine since 2003, he dabbles in all departments and offers expertise in marketing. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Tom at [email protected]
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