We ask industry insiders one question: What is your advice to clients about the need for battery backups, surge suppression, or power conditioning to protect their smart home systems?
Todd Anthony Puma, Owner, The Source Home Theater
We always include power management and UPS with all proposals. When clients do question the products and their cost, we reiterate how the IP power conditioners allow us to support them and provide great service – that a problematic device can be rebooted remotely and immediately, as opposed to waiting up to 72 hours for a service technician to come to their home. We also remind them that a service call is charged at our hourly rate, but a remote reboot is included in our service plans at no charge.
Chris Smith, COO, Cloud9 Smart
Some system components are preferences (speakers, TVs, size of an iPad), but power isn’t one of them. BlueBOLT by Panamax is our non-negotiable service standard for power. If you get a system by Cloud9 Smart, it will have at least one M4315-Pro for protection and, most importantly, to enable remote reboots.
John Sciacca, Co-Owner, Custom Theater and Audio
We live in one of the lightning capitals of the country, so our clients inherently understand the importance of using power protection. Also, when we explain the benefits of using smart surge protectors, like OvrC and BlueBOLT, with network monitoring and the ability to automatically reboot the modem and router when it senses a loss of connectivity, or using scheduled reboots on the cable box to improve reliability, they generally really embrace it.
Eric Crawford, CEO, The Loop
Today’s home electronics are vastly different than days past. No different than with phones, computers, and tablets, reboots are required to ensure consistent, reliable operation. So, we pose the question of, “Would you rather dig back behind your equipment to reboot devices every couple weeks, or would you like us to install a device that will do that for you automatically, while also protecting your equipment from lightning, surges, and brownouts?”
Greg Margolis, President, HomeTronics
We discuss technical power and grounding during the course of a client discovery process. We explain that sensitive electronics are vulnerable to brownouts, spikes, and unfiltered power coming from the utility, causing glitches, lockups, and reduced lifespan of equipment. Implementing a clean technical power and grounding system ensures equipment is always running at its optimum and is unhindered by outside influences.
Ryan McDaniel, President, One-Touch Automation
I start by telling them that inside every piece of equipment there are microprocessors that need constant, clean, reliable power to operate reliably. Any noise or power fluctuation can cause the microprocessor to lock up or the power supply can fail. It is important to protect these devices to keep a solid, reliable system up and running. When devices do need to be reset, with today’s network-controlled outlets, we can simply reboot devices from anywhere we are versus having to roll a service truck to do so.
Ken Irvine, System Designer/VP Vendor Management, Premier Luxury Electronic Lifestyles
We bring up the topic of power management and the differences between a standard UPS and an online UPS during our initial investigation meeting. We explain that most of our service calls are related to three areas of the system (network, provider issues, and power issues). If you bring up the subject early in the conversation, it’s not a shock when you start discussing it during your system design presentation.
Joe Whitaker, President, The Thoughtful Home
I typically steer this conversation in four areas: clean power, spike or drop, total loss, and reboot. I usually start with the reboot conversation as it is the easiest. I ask a client how many times has your ISP or cable company asked you to reboot a modem or cable box? Let us manage that for you; you shouldn’t be having to do anything. I then group power loss and power drop together and explain that not all devices are completely smart. When you lose power, some devices may not restart, or may restart out of order and not function correctly.
Eric Lee, Owner, Integrated Control Experts
We have typically just included it in our proposals. Many do not even question it. If we do discuss it in any detail, we talk about the trips they make to unplug the cable/satellite box that is typically inconveniently located in a rack somewhere, and it is locked up, and we add the ability to do it from an app on the phone, or even by calling us on the phone to do it. Once that conversation is had, it becomes an easy sale. We live in a beta world. Everything needs updates and subsequent reboots.