Ask your home automation specialist (Systems Integrator) about their:
Certification Qualifications Experience Project-Proposals
||Manufacturer certification - essential.
- Manufacturers conduct training on the proper design, installation and
programming of their home automation equipment.
- This manufacturer training and certification typically involves two stages (titles
Approved Installer training appropriate for the installation of systems
that have been designed by someone else, and;
Systems Integrator training appropriate for design and programming.
- Manufacturer certification " should be regarded as a complement to education, work
experience, and related skill sets, not as a replacement."
["Certification Uncertainty" article by Susan Karlin, p. 45 November 2006, IEEE
- Most manufacturers train both professionals and tradespeople to help
increase the market penetration of their products.
- What manufacturer certifications has your home automation specialist attained?
These should of Systems Integrator level such as a C-Bus pointOne accredited home automation
professional, and an Inner
Range Advanced Technician.
||Formal qualifications - the more, the better.
- A home automation specialist should ideally be to home automation what
an Architect is to a new home.
- An Engineer highly trained in electronic hardware, software, and system design practises
would be such an example.
- You may ask a Technician or an Electrician to design your home automation instead of an
Engineer, just as you may ask a Building Designer or a Builder to design your home instead
of an Architect. You will however expect to receive a lower standard of support if you do
- Professionally qualified home automation specialists tend to provide better long term
value, and may actually charge less than some of their less qualified counterparts.
- What formal qualifications does the person designing and programming my home
automation project have?
While experience and manufacturer training are important, they are no substitute for
||Practical experience - essential.
- Would you prefer that your Systems Integrator learn most of their
practical lessons during your project, or previous ones?
- As with most specialised occupations, home automation integration involves discovering
undocumented technical quirks and developing specialised business practises and
procedures, over and above training and formal qualifications.
- How many years experience does your home automation integrator have exclusively
in home automation?
It may be two years before a Systems Integrator's practical discoveries mostly relate to
new products and fine-tuning their procedures.
||Detailed project proposal - essential.
- A detailed project proposal is required at the quotation stage to
specify to you what is included, where it is to be located, and how your specific needs
are to be supported.
- This project proposal should include an itemised part list with individual prices,
clear project schematics, and even preliminary wall-switch function assignments so you
know if enough switches have been provided in the right locations.
- A typical Electrician's quick quote is an inadequate basis for a home automation
- Ask to see an example project proposal to see how complete their documentation
Paying a fee to obtain a proper home automation project proposal can be a very wise
||Client consultation - essential.
- You and your home automation Systems Integrator need to appreciate how
much consultation time is required to achieve a home automation project that meets your
- Your Systems Integrator needs to understand your current and likely future needs;
- Explain how your needs can be meet by a home automation system, and its limitations;
- Indicate what future expansion is possible and what is involved to achieve this;
- Show you how to use your system on site; and
- Adjust your system programming after you have moved in and been using your home
automation for a while.
- Ask if your home automation Systems Integrator will allow sufficient time to
perform all support tasks.
Also make yourself sufficiently available to consult properly with your Systems
||Systems Integrator's company
website - desirable.
- Home automation projects increasing involve Information Technology and
- Your home automation Systems Integrator's website should be professional and
informative, just like they should be.
- Feel more confident if their website is this way because they have designed and
implemented their website themselves.
- What is your company website address, and have you designed and programmed it