Kiwis have a real “can do” attitude and our number 8 wire mentality has seen a lot of creativity spawn new products in the NZ Home Automation industry.

Clever Kiwi inventors have created products such as Smart Wires, (also known as Eboss) Kristal based in Auckland and recently Ata Touch from Hamilton –  even Cbus and Dynalite from across the ditch started as a home grown idea.

Recently I was contacted by a person in Te Awamutu that had a local sparky install a cowshed washdown control system in their house – it probably seemed like a great idea at the time but after a year it was driving the family mad when they couldn’t get some lights on and some would not turn off.  Some systems work well and give years of great service, but some are plagued with issues.

Sometimes the issues are caused by the system itself, but commonly they are caused by either stretching the system to do something it was not designed for or that the installer did not install it properly, either because they didn’t have the skills or experience to do it correctly or because corners were cut – usually to save costs.  Comments like “The system hasn’t worked since day one” or “The installer is lovely and tries but it still has faults” or “He just won’t answer the phone anymore” are common in these cases.

If this has happened to you, we can get you sorted out.  Automation Associates are one of NZ’s oldest and most experienced full service home automation companies with a nationwide team dedicated to “simplifying lives through technology”

We will come and look at the system, give you a frank appraisal of what is wrong and provide a plan to sort it out.  Whether the solution is working with a certified integrator for the system you have or replacing the system with one that works – you will soon be enjoying a simple home automation system that enhances your life.

Check out what Kris has to say about the work we did for him on his broken Kristal system:

“I have spent most of the last decade trying to keep my Kristil system running. Increasing failures and repairs, alongside a desire to stay abreast of evolving technologies caused me to search for a replacement and after lengthy evaluation chose a Vantage system from Automation Associates.   Since upgrading to Vantage I have finally achieved the vision I originally anticipated – a system that works reliably, can be controlled from anywhere, and that my family can use easily.  The AA crew are outstanding and truly know their stuff – I recommend them as seasoned professionals and only wish I had engaged them from the start. – Kris – Campbells Bay.

Email me at and we’ll get your system sorted out 😊

This AA Commercial Testimonial from one of our happy commercial clients…

We engaged Automation Associates in May 2014 to help us with our audio visual needs for our new office in Christchurch. It was a collaborative process and we worked closely on the project with Dean Murrell of AA in Christchurch.

We outlined:

• what we wanted to achieve in each of the spaces
• some of the problems that we had encountered in the past that we wanted to avoid
• the need to create spaces that were easy to use
• a requirement to make sure that we were installing equipment that would go the distance
• make a positive impact on the way that we presented information to both of our own people and our clients

Automation Associates came up with a number of creative solutions that we could use which meant that we were able to see the solution come to life when we moved into our new office in Cambridge Terrace in March 2015.

Automation Associates were great because like every installation there are always last minute changes or issues that need to be resolved and they were quick to fix them. Throughout the whole process AA were extremely professional and ready to answer any questions as well as work with the build and design team when needed.

I would thoroughly recommend Automation Associates and would be very happy to use their services again in the future.

This AA Commercial Testimonial provided by Name and Company details withheld.

This installation covers:

• Six rooms
• Three to four room combinations
• Five 60” monitors
• Two projection screens
• Five rooms capable of Lync Room (Skype for Business) meetings
Crestron control systems

Automation Associates is a dynamic company specialising in the design and installation of hi-end home and business technology systems – theatre, screens and displays, audio, security, intercom, smart wiring, access, and integrated automation.

Sky, Netflix, Lightbox, iTunes? – What streaming video system should I choose?

I don’t watch a lot of TV, I am lucky to make it home for the late news, so it’s usually a movie at night if anything, but when I want to watch a movie, I want a good choice, it needs to be easy to select, and the quality needs to be in keeping with the system I am watching it on. So which streaming video system is right for me?

I have had Sky for a long time, so that’s my go-to, I use the planner every month to skip forward through the coming movies and record stuff that I like the look of, this gives me a list of movies to choose from at a time that suits me.

The friends hard drive full of badly ripped movies from the end of the last decade (Pirate bay torrent type content) has had a place in our movie past, but I just don’t need the hassle now, ease of use has taken precedence over the allure of free content.

I have had both Kaleidescape and Mozaex Media servers at home and both were great for storing my own movies, but the day of the spinning disk is rapidly coming to an end – even Henry from Transvideo Rentals in Herne Bay has retired and moved on.  If I had a few shelf metres of DVD’s and Blu rays they would be my first choice, but that’s not the case for me.

So for me it’s down to Netflix, Lightbox or iTunes to give me access to streaming video content.  I have been using iTunes for the odd movie, but it seems expensive and the user interface (Cover Art) selection system was not brilliant, the player itself was a little clunky to use.

So Netflix or Lightbox?  I am using an Xbox to run the software and Netflix was available on their store, so I downloaded it, signed up for the free trial and three months later I am hooked.  The content was initially disappointing and I certainly let them know in a “hows it going survey”.  Funnily enough, the content came right about a week later and there are more movies and TV shows in there than you can shake a stick at now, so no need to start lying about the fact that my credit card and PC and myself are from NZ.

If you are looking at your movie options, give the home automation technology team a bell here and they will come and take a look with you and get you sorted.

Happy Viewing


Negotiating Your Home in the Dark? An automation system provides solutions to everyday challenges and increases home safety.

Last week I was talking to a client, who has been living in an automated home we did for them 4-5 years ago, about an upgrade to the new Vantage Equinox system. He mentioned his wife had recently taken a tumble on the stairs. It turns out she often heads down to the kitchen in the night for a glass of water but never turns the lights on for fear of disturbing him in his sleep. We had a simple solution to improve their home safety!

We popped around and added a “sneak” button so she could turn on the lights to a dim level leading away from the bedroom and negotiate the stairs in her home safely to the kitchen. We thought this was a pretty good solution until the lady of the house pointed out she has no hope of reading the the buttons at night without her glasses – so I had our tech glow the LED so she can easily find it at night.

Double win, we improved our clients home safety and restored a little marital harmony at the same time.

The ability to change the homes functionality and programming as a clients needs change is something you just can’t do with a conventionally wired home – a great reason to have smart wiring.  A lighting control and automation system means you can do anything you like at any time in the future as clients needs change – including improvements to home safety!

Here’s her feedback on the sneak tweak:

“Hi…just a big vote of thanks for solving my problem negotiating my many stairs in the dark! Stepping off into space and landing in a heap is no fun. Your techie made it super easy by illuminating the words to a brighter lux between the hours of 10 pm and 5 am. Thanks!”

Are your smoke detectors in working order?

Walking around a clients house yesterday, we were updating their home to a Vantage Equinox System. We were done and dusted when I noticed a tiny little smoke detector outside the kitchen, it was very pretty, and miles up on a 3 meter high ceiling so you barely noticed it – an interior designers dream. The problem was the client hadn’t noticed it either and nobody had any idea whether it was working or if it even had a battery in it. Off we went for another lap of the house and discovered a total of 5 smoke detectors, all in various states, some with covers off and batteries missing, all impossible to reach without a good sized ladder.

We were running cabling nearby so the client asked us to put the whole lot onto the alarm system where they are centrally powered and battery backed up, if there is any issue with them, the panel will alert monitoring.

The primary reason for smoke detectors is life safety, and this is the reason we are required to install smoke detectors within three meters of any “sleeping space”, most commonly bedrooms, but if you have a pullout couch for the odd hanger-on, then this needs covering as well.

The secondary reason for smoke detectors is property protection. Given that many of our clients spend a good part of the year elsewhere, usually somewhere warmer, the house or bach is often empty for days or weeks at a time. I have to ask the question – what good is a battery powered smoke detector beeping it’s heart out while the house burns to the ground around it?

The law says you need hardwired smoke detectors if the people sleeping in the bedrooms are paying to be there (i.e. hotels and lodges). Why are they better protected than your own family?

If your current smoke detectors are from the bin by the tills at Bunnings or you can’t remember if you changed the batteries last year or not, please get them connected to your alarm system so we can all stop worrying about them! Click here if you want yours checked out.

Rant Over – Brendon :)

P.S. We use and recommend heat (rather than smoke) detectors in kitchens to avoid the wet tea-towel dance when you burn the toast – nuisance tripping is a thing of the past now, so no excuses!