Smart thermostats, lighting, streaming music, A/V components, door locks, security systems — in today’s app-based world you can pretty much control your entire house from your smartphone or tablet.

Homeowners come to us wanting to know if an app-controlled house is good or bad. Our answer, neither. It’s more about the experience you want to have on a daily basis when controlling your home.

When trying to decide what is the best route for you, start by deciding how many systems (ie: lighting, temperature, or audio/video equipment) you’d like to control in your home. If you only care about your thermostat and your audio system — you may only be switching between a couple of apps. Often times the best-in-class user experience comes from the app created by the product’s manufacturer. It’s built for one specific use and is often times more powerful and intuitive than a home control app that is trying to control several systems under one interface.

That being said, as you continue to grow your app-controlled home, many homeowners find it useful to unify all systems under a single home control app such as Crestron, Control4, or Savant. By doing so, a single command at bedtime can signal for the lights to go off, the temperature to drop, the front door to lock and the security system to arm. This is far more convenient than finding the first app, selecting each light you want to turn off, closing the app, opening another and so on.

In the media room, apps are like remotes these days! Which one controls what component? Even just having a small control system for media room use only can make the experience more streamlined and you can even add a little lighting control to dim the lights when you hit play!

Maybe that’s too techy for your taste, or you feel like it’s overkill for what you want to do. How you control your system should be designed in a way that is best suited for you. Ultimately, we want you to enjoy the everyday experience of your system more than how you control it.