Which Smart Home System is Best For You? Comparing Two Big Ones: Savant vs. Control4
What is a smart home system?
In essence, a smart home system allows you to control all of the smart devices on your property from the same place. Indeed, there are so many benefits to investing in a smart home system, such as more easily communicating with other family members and sharing experiences through the home, such as listening to music or other media.
Another huge advantage of a smart home system is that it offers a convenient way to take care of your home’s security, energy, and device management all at the touch of a button.
Furthermore, there are some additional specific advantages, such as the fact that many smart home systems are built to be future compatible. That means as you go on to add more technology in the future, you can be sure it will integrate successfully.
Essential questions to ask before
you buy a smart home system
Before we make a detailed comparison of the Control4 (what Rob has in his home) and Savant (what Chris has in his) smart home systems, let’s look at the important questions to ask before investing.
The first of these to query is whether the system will automate with any of your current equipment (if you have any). In other words, if it is important to you to integrate some of the current pieces of DIY technology you already have, then verify if and how it can utilize those devices. This isn’t always a guarantee because many DIY-devices build a “self-contained” system. However, knowing this can prevent you from buying any new devices that will not be able to integrate. Make sure to double-check with us!
Next, you should also ask about any support contacts, contracts, and warranties. This is imperative as many devices you buy off online retailers might only be short equipment warranties; while, a reputable professional should always warranty their labor (at least for a year), offer the ability to add extended warranties, and/or also have a support plan in place (even with contract) so that you are protected. Could you imagine having people over to watch the Super Bowl and nothing works and you’re told, “Sorry we can’t help you right now. Call back later!”
Finally, when it comes to buying a smart home system, you must query if your current network can handle the extra load. Both Control4 and Savant’s main controllers communicate through the local internet network.
Compare it to the spinal cord and brain: You could have a fully functioning brain but a severed spinal cord or even a weak back, so communications between your body parts and/or extremities won’t function at all or incorrectly. The network is your spinal cord to your smart home and the control system is your brain. So make sure you have a solid “backbone” or network before you even get started. This will save a lot of headaches in the future. Pun intended.
Take a deep dive & listen to our podcast about Savant vs Control4
A comparison of the Savant and the Control 4 smart home systems
User Interface (UI)
The user interface is one of the most important features of any smart home system. After all, if you can’t control your system, you won’t get as much functionality as possible.
Both the Savant and the Control4 have standard UIs, although they are quite different. In particular, Savant’s UI is a little more sophisticated, and it uses photographic images to represent parts of the home and specific scenes the user may wish to create.
“The look, the feel, and the touch are very “Apple-esque,” says Chris.
However, the Control4 system is prized for its simple and easy-to-use UI. Indeed, the clear icon imagery this system leverages makes it an excellent choice for those new to smart home systems. Your in-laws could come over for a visit and they would have no difficulty figuring out the interface.
One of the most used features of a smart home system is its ability to control all property lights. Indeed, not only can you turn off every light in the home once you have got into bed, but you can also change the scenes to ones you have preset according to your mood or the time of day.
With both Savant and Control4, you can automate such scenes, using them as a reminder to start winding down for bed, for the kids to come down for their dinner, or even a signal to begin to wake up in the morning.
Another of the most-used features of a smart home system is its ability to stream music all over the house, independently of what other people are listening to. That means mom, dad, the kids, and anyone else in the home can listen to their favorite streaming services in the spaces they are in, easily, and conveniently.
The Savant system has streaming services like Pandora and Deezer already built-in. In comparison, the Control4 system includes these and iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Napster, Qobuz, and Tidal. With the Control4 system and the Savant system, you can also access the ever-popular Spotify.
Smart thermostats have become increasingly popular with homeowners for some obvious reasons. The first is that they much more easily allow them to regulate the temperature in their home, and while doing this, save money and energy. Secondly, smart thermostats let users operate their HVAC systems anywhere inside the home or via the Internet of Things (IoT) outside the house.
With this in mind, connecting a smart thermostat to your smart home systems is an excellent idea. However, it is usually better to choose devices designed to operate on specific systems than opt for generic ones like Nest. Although, both the Savant and Control4 systems will work with this device if necessary.
One of the most technologically advanced features that smart home systems offer is security. That is, you can use your home systems to activate and deactivate your home security remotely.
The good news is that both the Savant and the Control4 integrate with electronic doors, locks, and security cameras. However, it is worth pointing out that Control4’s system does have the capability to manage more electronic locks than the Savants at this time.
Being able to control your smart home system with your voice is important to you, then you will be pleased to know that both the Control4 system and the Savant system are easily integrable with Amazon’s Alexa.
Indeed, being able to use Alexa for simple commands such as turning on single lights, turning off the music, and unlocking doors is a more viable option for both the Control 4 system and the Savant.
However, it is worth noting that most smart home system users currently prefer interacting with touchscreens, tablets, or remotes. Although, as voice technology becomes more advanced, both smart home systems are equipped to use this in the future.
In addition to the features above, each system has some of its own that are worth a mention.
- For example, Control4’s smart home system boasts better integration with third-party devices, including Sonos sound systems and the Nest thermostat. It also has an interface that can display on your TV.
- The Control4 system is an out-of-the-box product that you can have set up and running in a very short amount of time.
“My favorite thing about C4, its superpower, is that you don’t have to plan for what you might want to do in the future within your home. It can give you automation in a single room and later down the road, if you wanted to add lighting in the hallway, it would be no problem. C4 has you,” says Rob.
Savant’s system has some notable features as well.
- The first of these is perhaps the most important, and it is that the Savant has unsurpassed reliability, something that means less maintenance and a reduced need for technical support.
- Despite the Control4 system being an out-of-the-box product, the Savant system is also incredibly easy to use, install, and modify. Indeed, one of its major advantages is that users can even create specific scenes in the home and customize various features to allow them maximum functionality without the need of an integrator doing the custom programming.
“Savant is about empowering the homeowner, rather than the programmer,” says Chris.
Also, it is worth mentioning that the Savant system has an “Apple-esque” feel, thus you could say this is the clear choice for Apple users and those that lean towards iOS based operating systems as we mentioned earlier.
Overall, they are both wonderful systems and two that come highly recommended by everyone here at CO-DA.