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Articles tagged with: lighting control

Technology Can Improve Your Quality of Life

Echo Workshop specializes in designing and integrating smart home systems that are simple to use and improve your quality of life.

Technology Can Improve Your Quality of Life

Quality of life means something different to each of us.  One thing we can all agree on, though, is that less stress in our lives contributes to a better quality of life.  Although the list of contributors to these stressors is endless, smart home technology can help you effectively reduce stress by improving your health, saving you time and money, and giving you more peace of mind about the security and safety of you and your family. 

Did you know that properly designed lighting can lead to improved cognition during the day and ease you into sleep at night?  Echo Workshop has a lighting designer certified by the American Lighting Association and can help design a system that emulates your circadian rhythm.  Since most people spend the majority of their time indoors, lighting is extremely important to your overall wellbeing, and let’s face it, we all know sleeping great at night is a huge contributor to how we feel throughout the day.

Smart technology can also simplify your life and save you time.  We spend many of our days rushing from activity to activity, and having automation in our home that we can simply activate with our voice, or that automatically sets the scene with scheduled lighting, shade control, and music, can immediately set you up for a more relaxing experience in your home.   

Of course, the safety and security of our loved ones is always at the forefront of our minds.  Smart home security allows you to view your property remotely, monitor smoke alarms, and lock and unlock doors for family and service technicians.  Just imagine, you no longer have to be home to let your trusted plumber in.  Consider how much time that feature alone can save you (no drive time to get home and no missed work while you sit waiting for their arrival).

If saving money is something you enjoy, smart technology again comes into play.  Energy efficiency can be achieved not only with the convenience of programmable thermostats, but also by the convenience of turning off lights remotely.  Appliances and TVs can be set to automatically turn off when not being used. Pre-set scenes can turn the lights on in the morning and off when you leave for work or at bedtime, not only saving you time, but money too.

If your list of priorities for a better quality of life includes having more time to yourself, a comfortable, safe, and secure home, and more money to spend on what you want, then smart home technology is something that you should consider.  Echo Workshop specializes in designing and integrating smart home systems that are simple to use and improve your quality of life.

The Perfect Space to Learn and Work

Set Your Student Up for Success

The Perfect Space to Learn and Work

It’s back-to-school time and many students (and workers) are still attending remotely.  We all want our students to have the best opportunity to learn.  Here are a few elements that can set your student, or you, up for success when considering an at-home office. 

First of all, let’s take a look at the overall setup.  A space set aside just for learning is ideal, and if it can be in a room separated from the rest of the hubbub of home, that is even better.  It’s important in our learning and work life to have a space where we can work without distractions, and then leave that space behind completely at the end of the day. 

Have you heard the saying “a clean home equals a clean mind”?  The same is true for your work/school desk.  Having things clean and organized allows you to work and learn uninterrupted, without searching for the necessary supplies needed for success.  Proper desk and keyboard height are also important considerations, along with a comfortable chair positioned at the correct height. 

One of the most frustrating things about working or learning from home can be unreliable internet and WiFi coverage.  There are a few simple things you can do to improve your overall reliability, such as checking for damaged cables and making sure that cables are pushed in all the way.  Next, consider the age of your router and the devices that you are using via WiFi? Older devices have limited capabilities and it may be time for you to consider an upgrade.  It’s also important that you make sure you are running the latest system software.  If your speed or WiFi coverage still have you down, consider getting the experts at Echo Workshop involved.  An access point can go a long way in covering the WiFi dead spots in your home, and with WIFi6 options available, coverage and speed are better than ever.

Now that your space is set up to learn and work optimally, here are just a few friendly reminders!  Make sure that you get up and take a little walk around your house now and then to get your blood (and brain) flowing.  Set time aside to stretch.  Drink plenty of water and make sure that you have nutritious snacks and meals available. 

All of us at Echo Workshop wish you a great start to the new school year, and remember, we are here to help with all of your technology needs.

Storm Protection

Echo Workshop can assess your home or business and offer solutions designed to best protect you.

Storm Protection

It is hurricane season here in Texas.  That can mean lots of rain, and it can also mean lots of lightning strikes.  With technology becoming more prevalent in our homes, and with many of us owning tens-of-thousands of dollars’ worth of electronics, it only makes sense to protect it as best we can.  We know it can be difficult to spend money on something that you can’t see and doesn’t seem to immediately add value to our lives.  However, like the insurance we all carry, we quickly appreciate the value once it is needed and used. 

First of all, what is a power surge and where does it come from?  While lightning can be one source, there are many others such as defective wiring within your home, failing electronic equipment, power outages, grid issues, and electric noise.  Surges for any of these reasons can lead to complete shutdown and destruction of electronic equipment, data loss, and, of course, loss of your time and money.

So how do we protect our homes?  Surge suppression and surge elimination equipment are the best solutions for these worries.  While these terms sound very similar, and they do both work at limiting excess voltage, their effectiveness and the way they protect your home are very different. 

Surge suppression is the more basic protection of the two.  No, we are not talking about the power strips that most of us have around to extend power and provide extra outlets.  Proper surge suppression devices divert and/or diminish excessive current and voltage.  However, depending on the amount of voltage, surge suppression cannot always eliminate the threat to your electronics.  It’s also important to note that the individual electronic devices that you are trying to protect must be plugged directly into the surge suppressor. 

On the other hand, surge elimination is used to protect your whole home by diverting excess voltage into the ground before it reaches your electronic devices.  While surge elimination is more costly, it also protects things that are wired directly to your electrical panel such as your costly HVAC system, stoves, washers, dryers, etc.  This device is installed near your home’s electrical panel and offers protection for your entire home.  Since we experience frequent storms here in Texas, whole-home surge protection offers the greatest protection for all of your devices.

If you are concerned that your home and electronics are not properly protected, Echo Workshop can assess your home or business and offer solutions designed to best protect you.  Don’t wait until after the storm, when it’s too late to save your costly devices, to look into the best solution for you.

Security Systems

Echo Workshop can evaluate your needs and design a system to help protect what is most important to you.

Security Systems

Protecting our families and homes is something on all of our minds, but what’s the best way to do that?  There are many options when choosing between products and services available today.  Let’s break down some of those options and what that means to your safety. 

One of the first things you need to consider is what you are trying to accomplish with your system and how much you want it to do. There are two types of systems commonly used in homes:  security systems and surveillance systems.  A surveillance system is used primarily for monitoring your property.  You can go back into your CCTV (closed circuit TV) system and take a look at what has already taken place.  A surveillance system’s primary goal is to deter crime before it takes place and to have video evidence for later viewing. 

A security system can do more for you, including notifying you and a central monitoring station that an event is taking place, and if the situation calls for it, the monitoring station can report it to the appropriate emergency service.  A standard security system monitors the opening of windows and doors, and also gives you the ability to add additional features that monitor for fire, smoke, heat and other environmental emergencies. 

While family and home security are the number one reasons any of us consider a security system, there are added benefits you may not have considered to securing your home or business.   With many people adding a Smart Home System, you can monitor more than just your cameras.  Have you considered the convenience of being able to unlock and lock your doors when you need to let family or a neighbor in?  What about scheduling lighting to simulate your activity when you’re away or turning lights off and adjusting your thermostat to save energy and money?

Is your head still swimming with all of the options available?  Do you still have questions about what type of system is best for you?  Let the experts at Echo Workshop help.  We can evaluate your needs and design a system to help protect what is most important to you.