Subtle Home Integrations For Romance & Relaxation
What does romance feel like to you? You may enjoy sharing espresso and biscotti on the porch or cooking a 5 course meal for two in your chef’s kitchen. Perhaps romance is relaxing with your favorite binge-worthy show or having a movie date night at home. Maybe romance feels like dimmed lights and your perfect playlist streaming through your audio system.
No matter what romance feels like to you, there is a way to program smart scenes for your home so that you can set the mood with the touch of a button. These are the home technology automations that turn your house into a home… And enrich your life through subtle integrations. Most people think of home technology as the ability to control your appliances from your smart phone. But smart scenes take it a step further to enhance your lifestyle and match your mood.
How do you set the scene? Let’s look at the home systems that work together to create the perfect “Romance” setting. Bonus points: they also work to protect your home, improve energy efficiency, and bring joy into your day to day routine.
Sultry, Seamless Lighting
When we say that humans are visual creatures, we mean it. The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it processes text. The brain loves visual information, which is fortunate since 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. This visual-centric processing carries into our homes through our strong personal preferences for interior design.
Some of us are soothed by minimalist feng shui, cool stone, and clutter-free spaces while others feel comforted by piles of old books, rich Orientals, and crackling fire places. On the flip side, we are sensitive to harsh, unwelcoming visuals. We recoil or feel anxious when our home aesthetic is out of whack (read: our children ripped apart the living room or we feel overwhelmed by a pile of dishes).
If you have ever accidentally installed a bright white light bulb in your bathroom, then you know that lighting makes a big visual impact – and that the wrong lighting can be a turn-off. Beyond our design preferences, humans are universally attracted to soft, warm, natural light. We don’t want to squint under the glare of an over zealous flood light while we unwind with a glass of wine on the couch. It is no surprise, then, that lighting is the first step in setting the scene for romance.
Lighting solutions, like Lutron, can bring full automation and preprogrammed scenes to your entire home. Your lighting can tie directly into your whole home system for easy control through your inwall touch pads, remotes, and smart devices. With Lutron, you can automate one room or orchestrate a lighting scheme for your entire home based on activities, times of day, your arrival, your departure, and everything in between. Lutron is a step above the competition because they are the only lighting specialists who offer truly seamless dimming capabilities.
What does this mean? When most of us dim our lights, they dim smoothly from 100% to 30% and then they jump to 0%. Seamless dimming gives you finer control over your lights and delivers the entire range of light from 100% to 0%. For your “Romance” scene, this gives you the ability to accurately define lighting levels and experience smooth transitions between preset scenes. You can transition from “Afternoon” to “Romance” without a jarring flicker. Because romance should be smooth, right?
Have you ever locked eyes with a special someone as your song comes on and felt that electric surge? Us too. What if you could bring this energy and excitement into your home through hi fidelity audio? Whole home audio solutions integrate directly with your “Romance” scene to enhance your movie night or spin through your carefully curated playlist.
If your idea of romance involves music, you can take it a step further with MQA for master quality music in your home. MQA music delivers lossless quality music through the convenience of streaming. Lossless quality means that you are listening to the audio just as it was laid down in the recording studio – without missing any of the nuance or emotion. MQA brings your song and your playlist to life for a spine-tingling experience that will turn your home into your favorite concert venue.
If your idea of romance involves movies, turbocharge your home theater with 3D sound for a transformative viewing experience. Dolby Atmos 3D is so convincing that a recent showroom visitor said they could actually feel the airplane in the movie zooming by overhead. The experience can only be described as breathtaking. 3D theater audio envelops you in sound in a way that keeps you in the present, wholly experiencing the rich emotion of the story on the big screen.
However you choose to bring audio into your home, a fully integrated home will allow you to incorporate sound into your custom scenes. For romance, choose audio to match the mood set by your lighting presets. Adding a layer of audio to your “Romance” scene brings depth to round out the experience.
Keep in mind that your scenes can be applied to the entire house or just a room, like your living room or bedroom. A “date night” preset might set the mood as you get ready to welcome the baby sitter and go out for the evening. A “home romance” preset might set the scene for a relaxing night at home.
Do you ever look around your home to find everyone glued to their devices? The kids are dazed by their tablets, your spouse is scrolling into an Instagram spiral, and you are mindlessly clicking from app to app. New studies show that smartphones are driving a wedge through romantic relationships, dulling communication and sparking that nagging feeling that you are being ignored. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to start using technology for good in your home.
Encourage your family to turn off devices, maybe even put your phones in a bowl in the kitchen. Once you have unplugged, it’s time to reconnect through the shared experience of dazzling home entertainment. For some couples, this means carving out time to watch your favorite TV show together every week. For others, this means holding a romantic staycation in your home complete with in home couples massage and meal delivery. For movie-lovers, romance looks like an at home date night to watch the latest flick or an old standby. No matter how you define romantic entertainment, the quality of your visual experience makes an impact.
By tapping into the latest 4K or LED technology, you can ensure that your eyes are anywhere but on your phone. Crystal clear picture, balanced colors, and sleek technology blur the lines between the couch and the TV. The latest TVs make you feel like you are looking through a window rather than gazing at a screen. You will forget about your small smartphone screen in no time and find yourself making more time for shared entertainment experiences.
When you want to watch a romantic movie or listen to some slow jams, your “Romance” scene helps every system in your home work in harmony. Lights dim, music starts or your program audio kicks in, front and rear doors lock, and you are brought fully into the present moment. This is technology working as it was intended: forging connection instead of encouraging distance.
At the end of the day, romance for so many of us looks like relaxation – a moment to unwind and share human connection. Many smart kitchen integrations help you free up your time, clear your countertop, and prep a perfectly timed meal. All of these elements alleviate the chaos and busyness of everyday life, giving you back hours of your day. These are the hours when you can hit “Romance” and unwind with your partner and your favorite red.
Hidden convenience manifests itself in many forms. At the end of a long day, hit your “Bedtime” scene to lock every door, shut off interior lights, make sure the coffee pot is set, and bring soothing light and sound into your bedroom. No matter what helps you make extra time for romance, there is a home integration to help you automate it.
Your carefully programmed scenes can be implemented in single rooms, zones, or the entire home. The choice is yours. That’s the beauty of home automation: there is no right way. Your preferences are mirrored by your home technology to enrich your home environment. Once you use your custom scenes you will wonder why you ever lived without them.