Crestron and Savant Smart Home Systems Explained
If you are planning to install a Smart Home system in to a residential property you will probably come across Crestron and Savant (and Control 4 but we have that covered here). These companies are the two main players in the residential smart home market – luckily we are accredited dealers for both.
Either of these two systems will perform a great job of providing a whole home audio video, lighting control and hvac in the home but care should definitely be taken to choose an installer who has experience of designing large residential systems – we perform lots of remedial work on existing systems for new clients. A well designed network is fundamental to both of these systems working well – a network should be working well within capacity providing opportunities for future expansion and a fast infrastructure with great wifi. It’s so important that one of our team is a qualified network designer and IP specialist, we also spend lots of time evaluating manufacturer kit to ensure we are specifying the best equipment possible for a given budget. Without a sound network infrastructure neither system will perform.
Crestron are pioneers of the entire home automation industry – they started supplying solutions over 50 years ago, long before most people had thought of home automation. The range of solutions is huge from video matrices to audio amplifiers with lighting control in the middle. Each of their solutions is hugely flexible – for instance the video matrices can take any video signal and distribute it to any or all outputs at once and the audio system is modular so a mixture of stereo and digital audio signals can be distributed to stereo zones (and stereo zones can be combined together for rooms with more than one pair of speakers or an output can take on the role of a subwoofer). Lighting Control is another example of flexibility – lamps can be hard wired or wireless and any type of lamp can be controlled. This flexibility ensures complete client satisfaction as we never need to say no – any request can be accommodated. This flexibility means we have controlled everything from fire pits through to irrigation systems with saunas and steam rooms too. The modular nature of a Crestron system allows us to build a system of any size and complexity. We have one of the best programmers in the country as a permanent staff member which allows us to develop solutions in house in addition to providing industry leading ongoing support.
Savant are the relative new kids on the block – they have been making smart home systems for approximately 10 years. Savant have a polished eco system which relies heavily on Apple devices – the user experience is tight and fluid. We tend to specify Savant for our smaller jobs than Crestron – ones which require less customisation and less bespoke requests. Programming tends to be more straightforward which can result in a lower cost to install than a truly bespoke Crestron system. The Savant range of products is good – providing whole home audio video, lighting control and intercom integration – iTunes integration is also very tight. If you are a big fan of Apple devices and a user of the Apple ecosystem then Savant can be the logical choice.
The two systems are excellent at what they do but we would tend to recommend Crestron to clients with large houses who want a truly bespoke system designed just for them. For smaller properties and clients who want a slick system integrated tightly with Apple we may recommend Savant.
The main thing prospective clients should be researching is the quality of the installation company – how long have they been in business (since 1998 for us), do they employ there own programmers (yes for us) and can they design good systems (our case studies pages show we deliver exceptional systems and our awards back this up).