For decades home control and automation was classified as a niche that enabled DIY enthusiasts and the highest earning homeowners to have their fun with their lights, A/V and HVAC systems.
That perception no longer holds true however. Over the past several years home control and automation has been growing through increased consumer awareness. Validating this growth, data from Markets and Markets finds that global home automation revenues are expected to increase from just over $32 billion in 2015 to more than $78 billion by 2022.
Moreover, a study from Statista.com finds that over the next several years home control and automation is expected to grow at a pace of 17 percent through 2021 to reach a household penetration rate eclipsing 31 percent.
Fueling this forecasted growth are companies like the global motor manufacturer Somfy and electronics professionals such as N.J.-based Total Home Interiors.
Automated Window Coverings Central to Modern Lifestyles
It wasn’t all that long ago that home theater was the main driver for electronics professionals. Over the past several years the market has shifted to now place an emphasis on networking, control and streaming media.
Matt Falcone, vice president sales & marketing/project director, Total Home Interiors, says his company, which operates in New York and New Jersey, is experiencing an increase in consumer awareness, and through Somfy’s support it is now much easier to integrate a variety of motorized window coverings into clients’ homes.
“Motorized shading is no longer a niche market, almost everyone with a smart home is aware of the benefits,” notes Falcone. “I believe that most consumers see the benefits of using Somfy to motorize their homes. Somfy’s diverse product line makes it easier to find a solution for everyone’s needs.”
Somfy is providing integrators like Total Home Interiors new solutions like its Sonesse® ULTRA 50 line of motors, and supporting them with its Somfy Synergy™ API initiative. The API is the backbone for its drivers for control systems from Control4, Crestron, Savant and others, and it can be utilized with its Somfy myLink™ WiFi to RTS interface to ensure consistent system installations.
With the market growing, Falcone points out that some of the most popular requests from Total Home Interiors’ clients include multipurpose installations that address some of the small residential dwellings that dot New York and New Jersey urban spaces.
“Some of our clients are limited on space and want a room to serve multiple purposes,” says Falcone. “Using Somfy motors we can turn a living room into a home theater in seconds. With a motorized drop-down screen and motorized window treatments, our clients can enjoy the best of both worlds with the touch of a button.”
Referring back to the wealth of Somfy products that are available to electronics professionals, Falcone reiterates the company offers a choice of high-voltage, low-voltage, wireless and wired motors. Putting it more succinctly, Falcone specifies that Somfy provides dealers with a variety of choices that include large and small motor options to meet just about any residential or commercial application.
Supporting those product choices, he emphasizes that Somfy goes above and beyond to ensure dealers have all the tools they need to succeed.
“I know I can always get someone knowledgeable on the phone. The customer service is great,” states Falcone. “Whether its tech support or sales, I’ve had a very positive experience working with the Somfy team.”
In addition to its products and technical support, it shouldn’t be overlooked that in today’s era of market cross-pollination, where mainstream consumer electronics have become a disruptive force affecting integrator revenue streams, Somfy’s protected, limited distribution product line provides a key profit center for electronics professionals. This means that unlike many of the products that are available for home control and automation from mass-market websites and brick-and-mortar chains, Somfy’s line is only available through authorized dealers. This exclusivity provides more margins for dealers, and through the additional support of Somfy’s dedicated integration team, the company provides a host of benefits that are designed to drive dealers’ sales and marketing initiatives that exceed traditional methods.
Looking ahead, Falcone recognizes the next several years will see the residential control and automation market move into mainstream. Falcone says that because Somfy is proactive with its research and development (R&D) and support policies, authorized Somfy dealers will be well equipped to move their businesses into the next phase of the maturing residential technology industry.
“Somfy has been working to make integration into home automation systems easier, and as an installer this is something I appreciate. I’ve had a great rapport with their technical team and they always ask me how they can make their products better for the installer and end user. Somfy is making products easier to setup and more reliable,” he adds. “The Somfy team has been a pleasure to work with and their customer service has been great. I look forward to using their products on smart home and commercial installations in the future.”