Smart home technology is designed to run ‘in the background’ and shouldn’t impact at all on the design and aesthetics of the home.
When the term ‘interface’ is used in terms of your home automation, it means the device that enables you to interact with the subsystems integrated to become your ‘home automation system’.
To explain, a light switch is easily understood to be a basic interface for a room’s lights for example. With a home automation system it is usual to integrate a variety of subsystems (lighting, blinds, AV, security etc) so the interface needs to be more complex than an ordinary light switch, but nevertheless should be equally simple to use.
Common interfaces include intelligent switches (some very similar to a conventional light switch), keypads and touch-panels, smart phones and tablets.
We would always recommend that you have more than one way to control your home automation system. For example you may wish to control your lights with a smart phone app, but we would also suggest a locally situated keypad or touchscreen also be installed.
What is best for your home will depend on a number of factors: the number of subsystems to be controlled, your personal preferences, and the ‘look’ you have chosen for your home.
It is common for IEL (Intelligent Environments Ltd) to work closely with your architect or interior designer, as well as yourself, to ensure the control interfaces are both unobtrusive, and co-ordinate with the chosen décor.