If you’re considering turning your new or existing home into a “Smarthome”, two brand names you have no doubt come across are Crestron and Control4. This article explains the main differences between the two brands, breaking down what you need to consider when shopping between the two Home Automation brands. (Full discloser: We install Control4, but we do not install Crestron. Both are great brands.)
On average, a Crestron solution will cost more than double a Control4 solution. Crestron is more expensive for 2 reasons:
1. Crestron is a richer solution. Crestron can control more brands, more simultaneous devices without issue, and its user interface can be customized for unusual and very specific needs.
2. Because of the programming capabilities, Crestron is substantially more difficult to program. This requires very advanced labor, and more of it.
Let’s address #1 – For most home automation demands, Control4 is more than capable. Control4 works with the most common brands. If you want to control something unusual (i.e. a wine cellar), it’s likely that Crestron will be the only option. But for audio visual gear, lighting, security and HVAC, Control4 works well. Similarly, Crestron is the better solution for a mansion because it can control a huge number of devices simultaneously (and with proper programming, will control it all glitch-free.) Control4 is not meant to control mansions, and would be more prone to glitches in a massive setting with hundreds of devices. Finally, regarding the user interface, the same concept applies. Both brands have wonderful iPhone and iPad apps, as well as a variety of touch screens in-wall and table-top. Both brands can program multiple events to happen at the touch of a single button on a user-friendly interface. The typical demands of smarthome can be met by either brand, but more visual customization is possible with Crestron.
Now # 2 – Control4’s initial goal was to bring home automation to the masses. They accomplished this by building on a platform that was much easier in terms of programming than Crestron’s. Control4’s programming is more user friendly, so labor ends up being cheaper.