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Few Dispute 2018 Is the Tipping Point for Smart Home Technology.

Brought to you by Leviton

What a difference a year makes.

A year ago it may have been possible to find a volume home builder still on the fence about smart home technology. Good luck finding one today. Today it’s mandatory to offer some form of HVAC, lighting, entertainment, security, and major appliance smart control.

Many top-ranked production builders have made their bets. One top-ranked national builder is opening its model homes as Amazon Alexa-enabled experience centers. Another national player in retirement community development and construction routinely installs smart speakers into the ceilings of its homes.

With uncertainty rapidly melting away, it’s time for national, regional, and custom home builders to ask, “Is it time to embed smart technology into my homes?”

Rick Gavenda has some ideas.

Gavenda leads the home builder program for Leviton, the global maker of lighting control devices for residential and commercial buildings. To understand the ubiquity of the 112-year-old business, Leviton manufactures more than 28,000 products and holds 600 patents. Gavenda commands a comprehensive industry perspective few in the business can claim. Here are five observations:

  1. Think IoT. Short for Internet of Things, IoT is causing more than a ripple through the industry. For some it’s a crashing wave that helps differentiate a home-building brand as progressive and proactive, according to Gavenda. “We’re seeing a trend where builders will offer one or two smart devices as standard, say a switch, thermostat or door lock,” Gavenda reports.

  2. Cloud-Based, Not Hardware-Based. Leviton has partnerships with nearly every smart device operating system, including Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings and Apple Home Kit in addition to many device makes like Nest or app-based such as IFTTT. “What’s nice about a lot of the technology is the foolproof plug-and-play aspect of it. Today the brains of the home is app or hardware-based and down the road, you’ll see it more cloud-based,” he says.

  3. Elite Vetting. Very few in the business have the R&D resources to research and field-test smart home technology. Smart home technology may be one area where it makes sense to play follow-the-leader, advises Gavenda. “The Lennars, Pultes, Taylor Morrisons, KB Homes, and other majors are forcing others to seriously consider the opportunities,” observes Gavenda.

  4. Watch It In Action. Gavenda’s sure-fire cure for skepticism: “I just plug a lamp into one of our decora smart™ plug-in modules, download the app to my phone, and start playing with it. They realize wow, this is really simple,” he says.

  5. Align Yourself With A Respected Name. Technology is no place to gamble on no-name companies. Stick with name-brand players, cautions Gavenda. “This is our 21st consecutive year as being named the number one brand for lighting control devices for builders. We leverage our 112 years of experience and can offer an industry-leading 5-year warranty on these types of devices. That kind of peace of mind means a lot to a performance-minded builder,” Gavenda explains.

Gavenda reminds builders that IoT is everywhere in a home today. “Builders are more comfortable selling smart home devices than a year ago. This is a fast and furious time for smart home adoption.” For more information, contact Rick Gavenda at or click here to learn more.

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