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It's holiday time!  That means special time with family and friends, or maybe even some fun entertaining and parties.  Using smart lighting as part of your smart home system allows you to set the mood and the scene.  Echo Workshop partners with companies like Savant Systems and Lutron Electronics to create the perfect system designed for your home.  Scenes have pre-set on and off times, give you the ability to set brightness and color/warmth of the lighting and which rooms you would like illuminated.  With one touch you can be ready for an intimate dinner, a glitzy party, or game night with the family.   You can even set a scene to turn your holiday lights on and off at set times – talk about convenience! 

Like so many of us, you may be feeling a decline in your energy with the coming of winter.  Perhaps you can’t sleep through the night or just aren’t feeling as sharp mentally.  You may have seen talk on the news lately about wellness and how your circadian rhythm plays into this.  As we spend more and more time indoors, we need to be conscious of keeping our bodies and minds in balance.  By simulating the sun’s natural path through automated lighting, many sleep issues can be eliminated, mood disorders improved, and, as an added benefit, people often find themselves with far more energy.   

Finally, lighting can just make things prettier and more festive.  Things like additional landscape lighting and changing the color of your lights for special events can bring your holidays to life.  Does your family have a favorite holiday movie that you enjoy together every year?  Along with the hot chocolate and popcorn, adjust your lights to red and green for some added family fun. 

The possibilities are truly endless with smart lighting.  From setting the scene for a perfect Thanksgiving dinner to improving your overall health, lighting can have an immense impact on you and your family.  With our certified lighting designer, Echo Workshop can help illuminate (sorry, couldn’t help myself) the whole process, from design to installation. 



Probably the first thing that most people think about is the type and size of the video display.  Do you want a TV or a projector and how do you determine what size is best for your space?  Both the size of the room and the distance that you will be sitting from the video display are determining factors that need to be considered.  If that isn’t enough to boggle your mind, there are numerous types of projectors (short throw or mounted) and numerous types of screens.  You also want to think about how much ambient light will be in your home theater.  Extra light can make your picture look washed out or cause a glare on the screen that can be frustrating and take the magic out of the whole experience.

Of course, the video display is very important, but the speakers and how they are placed is equally important.  We know you want surround sound, but what about Dolby or Dolby Atmos?  Do you want the speakers in the ceiling, in the wall, or mounted on the wall?  Have you considered how many subwoofers you would like or whether you want them hidden?  Whew!  There are already so many decisions to be made.  Did you know that producing great sound in a home theater often requires exact measurements for the best clarity and overall experience?  The acoustics of the room are also extremely important.  Are you planning on having wood floors or paneled walls?  There will be more sound reflection and that can possibly interfere with clarity and even cause an echo effect.  Carpet and drywall may be better materials, but there are other options, such as acoustical treatments, that can also improve overall sound quality.   

One of the biggest mistakes people make when designing their own theater is not checking to make sure all of their components are compatible.  This can cause big issues when one device won’t “talk” to the other.  Also, have you considered where these components will be stored (in a cabinet, on a shelf, in a closet) or the cooling device you will need to keep your equipment healthy?  Sound generated from this equipment also has to be carefully thought through.  You don’t want something as simple as noise from a fan ruining your theater experience!    

Don’t forget about perfect lighting - like art lights to highlight those movie posters and special fixtures to set the mood.  We also have you covered when it comes to comfortable seating.  And if you’re looking for something to take your home theater to a whole new level, you may want to consider a starry sky.  The sky is the limit here - with the ability for you to have constellations and even shooting stars. 

I know!  There are so many things to consider that you may be feeling overwhelmed, but the experts at Echo Workshop can walk you through the whole process.  With thoughtful design and a vast knowledge base about all things home theater, we can take the confusion out of what to choose and help you make thoughtful and informed decisions.  Contact Echo Workshop today to learn more about our design and installation process.



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.



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.


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