At the core of the Turcotte Smart Home is a dedicated computer running HomeSeer software, an INSTEON PowerLinc Controller, and the 32-Bit RF Receiver. In the home, all the lighting is controlled by motion sensors. When someone enters a room, the lighting automatically comes on and turns off again when there is no motion for a set period of time.
The system also knows when to turn the lights ON/OFF and partially dimmed based on triggers set in the software. For example: On a sunny day, no house lights will turn on, and in the early morning, the house lights will fade to a dimmed level for sensitive morning eyes.
With the Windows Media Player Plug-In, HomeSeer is integrated with a XM Satellite radio, over the air radio stations, and the home PC with access to the complete music collection. A whole-house audio system setup with each room having its own set of speakers and volume controls allows music to be enjoyed in any room in the house.
For the ultimate in security, HomeSeer constantly keeps track of calls to the home telephone, whether someone rang a doorbell and even takes videos of anyone who comes on the property whenever the front porch motion detector is triggered by a visitor. Spread around the outside of the house is a series of IR cameras and motion sensors designed to cover all areas as well as window and door sensors that will set off an alarm in case of intruders.. For extra peace of mind, the porch and living room lights come on automatically whenever someone comes home at night.
Here is a typical day at the Turcotte Smart Home:
6:00 a.m. - The towel warmer in the bathroom turns on.
6:05 a.m. - The pool filter turn on.
6:30 a.m. - XM Radio turns on to a favorite station, but only in the kitchen and bathroom. As we each move about the house getting ready for the day, the lights go on and off, dimmed to our settings. In winter, the back porch light comes on around 6:30 a.m. and goes back off 10 minutes after sunrise.
7:30 a.m. - The mini blinds automatically open. With a touch of the fingerprint reader, Homeseer kicks off the day by announcing the number of new emails, any appointments for that day, the daily forecast, and even if it is trash day.
8:00 a.m. - Once HomeSeer senses there is no one home, using the motion sensors throughout the house, it automatically turns off all the lights and the radio to save energy.
10:00 a.m. - The pool filter turns off, and the fish tank turns on to oxygenate the water for 30 minutes.
6:00 p.m. – Upon coming home, the family can check the status of the house – mail and newspaper deliveries or whether there were any visitors to the house that day – by touching a fingerprint reader.
Evening - As night comes, the mini blinds close automatically at sunset and the back porch light comes on. For more customization, the family can choose lighting scenes for different occasions: party lighting, quiet time, movie time, and the lights will fade up or dim accordingly.
Bedtime – With a touch of a button, HomeSeer goes into bedtime mode and turns off all the house lights and all home AV equipment. From this point on HomeSeer will go about its business quietly, only turning on rope lighting in certain rooms when motion is detected so no one stubs a toe going to get a drink in the middle of the night. In addition, HomeSeer takes care of all the computer-related tasks—doing nightly backups, virus checks, and defragging the computer hard drives.