Smart Installation Myths
1. "Smart Homes Aren't Environmentally Friendly."
Wrong. Smart homes are so environmentally friendly that they constantly overlap with the same benefits of green homes. Though they are two different types of buildings, the amount of difference is a thin line. While green homes are focused more on the sustainability of water, energy and temperature, smart homes are focused on the control of these features. One uses less of them, the other controls the use of them. Different, but similar. With smart homes, the usage is literally in your hands.
2. "Only celebrities can afford smart installations."
With that mentality, probably, but I don't think that way. If you can afford to go out to eat on the weekends, you can also afford smart living. Something as simple as having an Amazon Alexa can make your space a smart one!
3. "I'm not good with tech, I'm too old for this stuff, smart technology just isn't for me..."
The best part about smart technology is that it does all the thinking for you. It's not called smart for nothing! After allowing the experts at We Are More to do the installations, you can sit back and relax. Voice commands and single remote control make smart living as easy as anything else you're accustomed to.
4. "Your entire property has to be smart."
Not at all. Let's say you're wanting smart lighting for your bedroom but don't care to have smart lights in the kitchen. You don't need smart lighting configured throughout your home just to have it in one room. It can specifically be installed into your bedroom and nowhere else without any problems. You will always be in charge of your smart installations and the rooms you want it to be in.
5. "Smart thermostats save money."
Yes and no. It is true that smart thermostats can save thousands of dollars each year, but a regular thermostat can save just as much money if monitored. The cool thing about smart thermostats is that they are programmable and can reduce energy bills without you having to do much of anything. To keep the price down with a regular thermostat you have to constantly remember to turn it off and on. With a smart thermostat the temperature can be set to automatically change with the temperature of the home, or be controlled from your smart device. The only difference is convenience.
6. "Smart technology is only used in brand new buildings."
False. Majority of smart homes aren't (nor do they have to be) brand new. You could take a rickety old shack and turn it into a smart home in less than a day. Smart technology does not discriminate.
Do you know of any other smart "myths" that need debunking? Let us know in the comments and we'll do our best to answer your questions!
12 "Smart" Parenting Tools
Parenting will always be a rollercoaster of sleepless nights, joyful times, and testing patience but, with smart technology, it has never been easier. Parents who utilize smart appliances are turning stress and anxiety into peace and calmness. Creating a childproof smart home is also simpler than it sounds. Below is a general "tip list" of the types of appliances that all parents can benefit from while lowering their heart rates.
1. Smart Sleep and Breathing Monitors
Monitor children's sleeping patterns along with heartbeat, breathing, and other sleep habits like rolling over and waking up. This is especially helpful for new parents. They won't have to get up as often to check on their baby through the night.
2. Video Monitors
Keep an eye on children from anywhere in the house. Parents will always know their toddler's whereabouts so they can calmly relax while having their attention in two places at once.
3. Entry Sensors for Doors and Windows
When babies start crawling and walking they'll want to go as far as they can. Use entry sensors to always know when they've crawled through a door or are attempting to open a window
4. Flood and Leak Sensors
Bath time is fun! Until parents end up with a waterlogged floor costing up to hundreds of dollars in repairs. Keep the splashing to a minimum with your older toddlers using flood and leak sensors to monitor any signs of water overflow from baths and sinks.
5. Indoor Security Cameras
Much like baby monitors, indoor security cameras help keep children safe. Parents can view their kids from anywhere to make sure they aren't getting into any mischief, but indoor cameras can also be doubled with alarms and intruder alerts. This helps parent's go about their day, and allow them to sleep soundly knowing their child is safe.
6. Sound Machine
Babies need their sleep as much as parents do, but sometimes they have a hard time getting any. Sound machines block out unwanted noises that could wake a child up. They're also soothing and can give children something to focus on while falling asleep.
7. Motion Sensor Lights
When toddlers are past the point of potty training, they'll need to get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. Having motion sensor lights that turn on as they walk to the bathroom will allow them to see where they're going without waking their parents up or crying out of frustration not knowing where to go. These lights can be installed in bedrooms, hallways and near doors.
8. Smart Vacuum
By now, most people know about the famous iRobot Roomba. Such a great little gadget that does a big job at keeping things tidy. Busy parents can't always find the time to vacuum, that's why childproofing a home with a smart vacuum is beneficial! Limiting messes and one less chore is always nice. On days when nothing else gets done, at least the floors will be clean!
9. Temperature Thermometers
Nursery and bathwater thermometers are great for keeping children calm. Babies are sensitive and don't adapt to swift changes in temperature as well as adults do. Being able to monitor the temperature in a baby's room or bath water can help keep their agitation down while in a fussy mood. Helping them sleep better through the night means the parents will sleep better too.
10. Pool Alarm
Most babies and toddlers love water! It's just fun. Sadly, an average of 350 children die each year from drowning in a backyard pool. There's no reason for children to continue adding to the statistic. Any parent with a pool would be wise to get an alarm for their pools.
11. Other Smart Room Sensors
If a parent doesn't have any cameras installed, or they do but want extra assurance, smart room sensors are good to have. These sensors notify parents when their child has left a certain section and gone to another, or if they've walked or crawled into a part of a house that's off limits. These areas could be a laundry room, office, pantry etc.
12. Reminder Clips
If you want smart child safety to go a step farther, take it to the car! Reminder Clips are clipped onto children in cars and set off an alert if their parents leave the car without them. It might sound like common sense to some, "don't forget your baby in the car!" but babies die of heat exhaustion from being forgotten in a car multiple times a year. Even if you are the best parent in the world and know you would never leave your baby in the car, it's still a good idea to get one-- no parent ever planned on leaving their child in the car.
Lunch Spots For Hangry Workers In Lahaina
The days seem longer at work, yes, even in Hawaii. Employees still enjoy paradise from the office and job sites, but workdays always get a little better around lunch time. Knowing the best spots to get food is a must on the islands.
If you were raised in Hawaii, you are bound to know a few of the best lunch stops around. There are so many, however, that you probably have not heard of them all. Most of the ones I’m going to mention are well known, but make sure to drop some of your favorites in the comments so We Are More can try those out too!
First, We Are More employees usually get food from places that offer take out. Being able grab food on the run, and still be able to enjoy a fresh meal is essential. Disclaimer: These places are not in order from most loved to least loved, they’re all great food options!
Foodland is a supermarket that can only be found in Hawaii. It’s the land of food! My favorite thing to get there is the fresh avocado ahi poke bowl with white rice. You just walk in, tell them what you want, pay for it, and go back to work. It is quick and fresh! They have a wide variety of choices to choose from when it comes to lunch favorites! I am stuck on the avocado poke though. You can never go wrong with a poke bowl, and Foodland’s bowls are always both affordable and tasty.
When I first tried their surf club panini— I was hooked! Back then I was a college student, and the price of my sandwich had me second guessing my lunch choice, but everyone assured me it was worth it. They were right! It was mouthwatering goodness that I would gladly fork up my last dime for! The panini was packed to its fullest with chicken breasts, tomatoes, applewood smoked bacon, basil dijonnaise, and cheddar cheese, served on warm sour dough bread. It also came with a fresh and savory side salad and pickles! I’ve been back quite a few times since then and it’s always just as good as the first time, no matter what I order.
I am not a vegan, or vegetarian, or any other type of person on a no meat diet. I love meat, it is part of my balanced diet, and it always will be. Moku roots is a vegan restaurant. I’m sure meat lovers everywhere are getting ready to skip reading this part of the blog. However, if meat eaters actually took a look at their daily eating habits, they’d be surprised at how many “vegan” foods they eat every day. Vegan food has the potential to taste just as good, if not better, as any other type of food! It just has to be prepared correctly, and Moku Roots does it right! Their food is not only healthy and nutritious, but it also tastes really, really, really good! My favorite thing to order from them is the loaded fries. I think it’s actually an appetizer, but there’s so much food on my plate that it could feed two people as a regular meal. They have so many different healthy options that are so delicious! Trust me, check them out.
Acai bowls are probably more popular in Hawaii than anywhere else in the US. Since that’s true, there are so many places to grab one, and they’re all delicious. We especially like Baya Bowls, not just for their insanely good bowls but also because they are nearest to our office for a quick pick up. Their acai bowls come with bananas, strawberries, granola, agave/honey, and of course acai. They also have a list of other treats you can add to your bowl. My favorite thing to add is lilikoi! I love the tartness mixed in with the sweet. Baya Bowls also offers different sizes, large and small. It’s nice having the option of how big my bowls are so I don’t waste a single drop!
Aloha Braised & The Edge Maui Food Trucks
Aloha Braised fried rice herb chicken bowl is my go-to. When I’m feeling extra hungry, they’re always kind enough to whip up some buttered garlic shrimp and put it over some rice for me. They have all kinds of local favorites from loco moco’s to poke steak to local style tater tots! It’s always hard to decide what to get, but you could choose literally anything off their menu and be satisfied. All their food is delicious. Local or not, everyone should try it!
The Edge Maui is pretty similar to the Aloha Braised food truck, which is why they’re also super good. They offer the same style of food, with their own way of making it. Their menu specials change from day to day. My favorites are their steak plate and their shrimp scampi with parmesan garlic bread. Simply amazing food that’ll leave you craving it on any workday.
Every food stop in Lahaina has tastey food — if they weren’t all great choices, then they wouldn’t be in business. The eateries listed above are just a handful of the ones We Are More’s employee’s stop at on the busier days, but the list goes on and on. Hopefully, you will get to try some of these awesome places soon.
We Are More is not sponsored or endorsed by the companies listed above, this is not a sponsorship ad.
Prepare For Hurricane Season, Protect Your Systems
It’s important we do what we can to prevent damage to our systems. The state of Hawaii is always busy getting supplies together before a storm. That's why we compiled a 5 minute read to help you prepare.
Storm damaged computer equipment is more common than most people think. Probably because a modem (or any other computer equipment) is one of the last things we think to protect in the event of bad weather. Fortunately, its not difficult to avoid the hassle of replacing your modem or, even worse, the cost of replacing your entire computer system.
A simple surge protector can do wonders. It'll protect your computer equipment from most thunderstorms, as well as common power fluctuations that occur with rain or wind (We Are More usually installs these for the businesses we work in).
Surge protectors can't always protect against heavy storms, though, so it's a good idea to unplug your computer when a storm is in the forecast. You should also unplug your peripheral equipment (printers, scanners, etc.). It's pretty simple if you have a surge protector, just unplug the surge protector from the wall (there's no need to disconnect your equipment from the computer).
Don't forget your high-speed modem router and switch that controls your VoIP WiFi and point of sale systems. If your Internet connection runs through coax (most do) unplug the coax cable. Power surges can travel through the line and fry your modem. This also goes for all audio visual equipment (amplifiers, signal processors, televisions) and security systems.
If you don’t get a chance to disconnect your computer before this or any storm and a power outage occurs, go ahead and unplug your equipment. Power spikes can occur when service is restored, so this will help prevent damage.
When the storm ends and the power comes back on, connect and turn on your computer first, then peripheral equipment. This will protect against power spikes that can occur as the computer starts up.
Preparing for a storm should only take you a couple of minutes. And trust us--that's nothing compared to the frustration we all deal with if a computer modem or router goes down. We look forward to Douglas passing and We Are More continuing business as usual! Stay dry! Aloha from We Are More!
Featured blog by Ola Shaw
Family Time With Technology
Families are finally spending huge amounts of time together! Which is probably a nightmare in some households, but it doesn’t have to be! When is the last time your family did a video game competition, or a BBQ with good food and music, or just a movie night in general? You can’t recall huh?
We Are More thinks these last months during the corona virus pandemic (and going forward) have been the perfect time to remind families how much fun they can have together. All they need is a TV screen, a good sound system, and some magic dust from our installation crew! Seriously. Technology has the power to bring people together.
Sarah M. Coyne did an article on the benefits of playing video games as a family. She said that “research has shown that video games can strengthen parent-child relationships and marriages when used in the right context.” This is an exclusion of violent video games or the overuse of video games to the point of addiction, but it shows that healthy use of video games is possible and can bring people together. So instead of taking frustration out on each other, why not let it out on a friendly game of Mario Cart?
Or stop ordering takeout and start having a BBQ once a week! We Are More’s sound system installations will make every backyard BBQ feel like a party. Add in some lighting features while you’re at it to keep BBQ’s going later into the evening. Throw some steaks on the grill, burgers, shrimp, the works! Then bump up the tunes (or leave it low, as serene background music) and enjoy each other’s company. Wherever there’s good food, there’s happy people. Save the image below and send it to your family group chat to get things started tonight!
Happiness can also be found in silence. Instead of struggling with trying to put the little ones to bed, why don’t you have a movie night? Make them excited about popcorn and other snacks. Remind them they have to behave to watch the show and that silence is key in the theater room!
We Are More has a wide selection of TV screens that can be mounted in any room for your theater experience. They also offer surround sound installations, so it’s really “just like the movies.” Along with automated lighting control to turn your lights down from your comfy spot on the couch, they also recommend television providers that would be good for your personal preference. You’re going to have to choose the movie on your own though (I know, such a bummer. That’s usually the hardest part!).
Whatever the activity, We Are More can help make quality time a good time with technology. There are so many ways technology can bring families together. Don’t wait to think of ways to spend more time with your growing kids. Let’s use technology how it’s supposed to be used— to our advantage!
Why The Internet Is Important
We live in a world where the next best thing is already a thing of the past, thanks to social media. Where we hear any and everything from news stations as long as their channel is the first to let us know. Where the spread of epidemics, mass hysteria, famine, economic distress, and the end of the world is on everyone’s minds due to the screens in front of them. These are just a few of the subjects that have been turning the globe upside down since the start of 2020. Thankfully, the internet is also keeping everyone connected and almost sane.
People are learning how to interact differently. Even children are dependent on it more than ever as a means to education for the upcoming school year. What we do with the internet, how we utilize it, is vital to how it can benefit people in these troubling times. The internet was once a luxury to some and is now a necessity to everyone. To communicate with loved ones, stay informed, and even for things people used to take for granted, like shopping from home.
Did you know –despite over 22 million Americans filing for unemployment (see chart below from The Washington Post)— since the corona virus hit the nation, America has seen an exceptionally high increase of online shopping?
Online buying has never been more popular. Sure, states are reopening, and some businesses are too. Yet we still see the elderly fearing for their lives in grocery stores, even with a mask on, and others who cannot wear masks due to health conditions or phobias, keeping them away from public places. Not to mention the thousands of stores that were shut down due to the risk of spreading the virus that have yet to open up again, and financial obligations that closed some businesses indefinitely. It makes sense that there would be a rise in online purchases.
According to The New York Times, the spike in online sales happened after Americans received their first stimulus check (see chart below), which aided in a surge of online shopping later in April. If the internet were not accessible, what exactly would people be doing for essential items? They would be growing their own food and sewing their own clothes, which some people are great at doing; but the rest of us? Not so much. The comfort of online shopping proves to be an essential part of the internet and is something that is helping online businesses stay afloat.
Though the internet might seem like an awful place with everything going on, without the internet, people would be in even more chaos than they are now. Online businesses seem to be the only ones doing as good as normal. So, what could people do as unemployment rises and online sales increase? Here’s a thought, why not start an online business? It doesn’t even have to be a business you are passionate about; it just has to be something that would sell right now.
A popular money maker during this time is recycled (used) clothing. Everyone loves shopping, but no one likes paying the highest price for something they could get cheaper elsewhere. Since there are so many people out of work, no one wants splurge on anything new, but they still want the satisfaction of buying things they want that they can afford. If you are someone who is staying home, think of the things people are willing to spend on, get creative, and start selling— boom, online work.
Being a legitimate business owner entails a lot of other legal requirements, but starting small on resale cites like Mercari, Poshmark, eBay etc. is something anyone can do to make some extra cash. It’s the perfect time to make money while cleaning out your house. There are so many opportunities as well as advantages during this time of global stress. Use the internet! Find your niche. You got this!
We Are More is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned.
No copyright or infringement is intended.
When Should You Upgrade Your Security System?
Like most tech. installations, low voltage installations keep costs low, keep families and businesses safe, and keep us up with the times. Technology changes so rapidly because it’s constantly getting better, more efficient, quicker, smarter etc. For this reason, it’s good to update your smart systems. The great thing is you don’t always have to update the whole system. Integrating new parts as time goes on can keep your systems running smooth as ever.
Security systems are important to keep up to date. Always check to make sure that camera quality, alarms, locks, and sensors are all working properly. Security systems are easy to maintain. They usually last, with no updates, for about ten years. Some people might recommend checking them before that, but We Are More installs high quality products that should be good to go for at least that long.
Camera’s play a big role, if not the biggest, in any security system. Making sure to switch out your security camera’s every 10 years is recommended, or even every 8 years if you’re trying to stay ahead. Clarity in day and night vision images shouldn’t be questionable. Visibility is the purpose of a camera. It should be easy to distinguish between objects, if it isn’t, you probably need an upgrade. If it's not already included, you should also consider upgrading the camera system with discrete audio security as well (more info. on audio security is in the slideshow below).
Alarm systems can differ but if you’ve had an alarm system for up to 5 or 7 years and you notice it isn’t working so well, that doesn’t always mean it’s done for. The first step would be to change the batteries. That will usually have your system up and running good as new. After switching out batteries, if the system still doesn’t function properly, you probably have a system that is out of date, and you guessed it—time for an upgrade!
Sensor systems are part of alarm systems. They are the reason an alarm will go off. If a sensor system isn’t working correctly, it might be time to change sensors but not necessarily the whole alarm system. The best way to find out if sensors are working the way they should is to test them yourself. See if your sensors detect your movement. For more detailed information on sensors, check out this blog on The Beginner’s Guide to Motion Sensors.
Smart locks are the heart of your security system. When all else fails, smart locks probably won’t. Smart locks are meant to last the longest out of all components of a smart system. Deciding when to change out a lock is situational rather than malfunctional. The obvious reasons are as follows: somehow random people have your smart lock information (this contributes to having multiple roommates and letting employees go; when someone moves out or leaves the business, change the lock), the physical smart lock is damaged in some way, or if you lose a smart device connected to your security system and/or you forget or lose your key code.
If you have any further questions or want a free consultation, don’t hesitate to contact We Are More. They’d love to help keep you, your business, and your home safe and secure.
No copyright or infringement is intended.
How Does Smart Automation Save Time?
Depending on others can be hard. What if no one is around? How do you find a reliable person? What if something comes up and they can’t do what they promised? Well, it’s a good thing technology can take loads of responsibility. It takes a good team to make a business grow, and technology is the MVP.
Closing hours aren’t always the best. Locking every door, turning off every light, and checking inventory can be a lengthy process. Why not save your time? Seems like a no brainer!
Smart locks can be a huge help for any business. Whether your building has one door or twelve, install smart locks to use time more efficiently. Open and close by unlocking and locking up any (or every) door with the touch of a button on a smart device. Yes, it can be that simple!
Smart lights can be used the same way. Never worry about leaving a light on or forgetting to turn one on in a certain area. Just use a smart device to control the lights whether you’re in the building, just left, or about to arrive for work. With a larger business, smart control panels can be installed so employees can control everything from the same place.
Smart inventory management is a must for majority of businesses. Restaurants, warehouses, stores and so on. Using smart inventory tracking will give you and your employees more time to use work hours on other priorities, keep track of all your inventory, make sure that your business is always stocked, and never have to double count products again.
There are multiple ways to use smart technology in businesses. Above are just three of countless other control tactics to save time, money, and energy. For any further questions or a free consultation, contact We Are More! They want to help you save.
Below is a chart taken from Insight to show the rise of small businesses spending on IT from 2011 to 2017, which shows the positive effects technology has had in growth terms for many businesses.
No copyright or infringement is intended.
Multi-Functional Digital Display Systems
The words “Digital Display” make me think of those giant screens in the airports that show all the inbound and outgoing flights and where their gates are. Which only account for one of the innumerable options there are with digital display systems. Ranging from digital clock and whether displays on a bedside table, to the big screens projecting music artists at their concerts.
There are so many types of digital display systems. Each holding a different range of importance. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have digital displays with more functionality? Scoreboards, for example, are a type of digital display that make games more enjoyable. When someone makes a score, we can see it change in less than a second. I enjoy that a lot more than waiting for someone to manually change out the numbers. But what if the scoreboard could be used for other things during the week, like during hosted events?
We are More recently input digital display screens at a local gym. These screens will be used as scoreboards, but there are more than one and they’re all multi-functional. With this being the case, these screens can also host sponsor logos, video shots, promotional ads, and more. Spending money on individual displays doesn’t have to be the case anymore – it hasn’t been for a while.
Whether it’s singular or multifunctional, having digital display systems are a good idea for businesses, gyms, schools, office buildings, cruise ships, billboards, churches and – well the list goes on. Give We Are More a call with any further questions or a free consultation!
What Are You Missing From Your Whole Building Audio?
Whole building audio; it’s fun, relaxing, and establishes the mood for any setting. There’s only one thing you’re missing, an installation team. You might be wondering why you can’t just set up speakers on our own. You could, it just wouldn’t be the same as We Are More installing it for you.
Let’s imagine you trying to give your house “whole building audio.” You go out, buy all the speakers, wait, do you know which speakers to buy? Which speaker goes where? Should you get the big ones or the little ones? Which brand is going to last the longest? I guess google could help with that right? Yeah, let’s move on.
Okay, so you get the speakers, and you start setting them up in the kitchen. Do speakers go in the kitchen? What about the bathroom? Do you need them in there? Is the garage considered part of the “whole building audio” space? Hmmm, Google could help with that too, I’m sure. We’ll just skip that.
So, you’re setting up your sound system in the kitchen, then you start looking for outlets, because they need power— hold on, does this mean you’re going to have wires running through your kitchen? Yes. Do you want that? I sure hope not. The only way google could help at that point would be to help you look up someone to hide the wires for you.
Lets back up, after all the hard work of getting the speakers, rearranging your house to get them in a spot that has potential, and spending a lot of time trying to hide wires, you finally realize that you should’ve just hired We Are More to get everything done for you.
We Are More would make sure you get the best quality speakers and the right types, they would set them up in optimal spots that make sense, and they’d make sure that all wires are hidden with a mess free finish that leaves you wondering how they did it. No need to fuss with uncertainty again.
Stores, office buildings, and houses come to life with whole building audio. Next time you or anyone you know wants to install “whole building audio,” save the trouble for another day and hire We Are More! Smart service at its finest.
No copywrite or infringement is intended.
Samara Towers does We Are More's PR & Marketing which includes writing our blogs! She was born and raised in Hawaii and graduated from Corban University with a Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing. She produces content to give our audience more insight and opinions on technical solutions big and small.