Looking for Your Ideal Home? Think Practical! Created on April 4, 2017, Updated: April 4, 2017 by The Socket Store Team The Ideal Home Show is now in full swing, with all the latest and greatest designs and ideas on show for the budding interior designers, home builders or the home improvement enthusiast. If you’ve never been we would highly recommend it. It’s not only packed with a stack of bright ideas, it also has plenty of great businesses that are there to help you achieve your dream. With the idea of our ideal home set firmly in our head it set us thinking, what are the things to look out for when creating your ideal home? One thing that is all too often missed is always ensure you are creating a great place to live in, not just a great looking place. Below are our three top tips to make sure you won’t be kicking yourself six months down the line. Lighting No, no matter what you think one single light bulb in the middle of the room is no longer going to cut the mustard. Think about how you are going to use the room. Do you need task lighting? Think reading in a living room at night. Do you want to be able to dim the light in the evening? You may want a statement piece above the dining room table or breakfast bar, but you also will want to have some spotlights above the work areas, maybe even some under cabinet lighting. Charging In years gone by one of the major irritations was older houses never had enough sockets. While developers and builders have got their head around the problem technology came along and gave us another headache! Who gets to their phone in the morning to find it’s not charged as one of the kids unplugged it to charge their iPad? We’re sure it’s not just us! USB sockets are thankfully here to save the day! While plastic sockets with USB charging have been around for a while now, we’re pleased to see the manufacturers have also caught up with the metal finishes too, you can get USB sockets in very range we stock now. It’s a huge bonus! Get Online Of course, no self-respecting home is complete without a network these days. The thing you need to consider if whether your broadband router is up to the job. Many broadband providers give you the bare basics when it comes to routers. While this may be fine for some people others may need to think about upgrading. Gaming, multiple devices, larger houses or old houses with thick walls can all have issues. There are typically a few ways to get around the problem; Upgrade your router to a better quality one, one that covers a greater distance, or one that has two bands. One for devices like phones and tablets, and one for gaming, streaming and PCs. Install repeaters; You can install repeaters. These typically piggyback on the back of your wireless connection, extending it further around the house or down to the bottom of the garden. Perfect for streaming music for your Barbecue! Installing a mesh network; Upping the ani somewhat is the mesh network. It provides a much better coverage, working like an overlapping mesh (similar to a cellular network that runs the mobile phone network). It’s ideal for larger houses or where you need a greater coverage. Hard-wired networks; Not always practical, especially in old houses and renovations, but don’t rule out network cabling just yet! Even though wireless networks have developed noticeably in recent years they typically still aren’t give you the robust connection a wire will. Obviously not all devices have a network cable connection anymore. Some will use the cabled connections to power their repeater network or mesh network. Especially good for covering longer distances, like installing wi-fi in the kids’ treehouse. You know it’s a must for the kids of 2017! Get Connected You didn’t really think getting online was the end of the story, did you? Of course it isn’t! We live in a connected world, and it’s going to get a whole lot more connected in the coming years. We have already seen a huge increase in the popularity of controlling your lights from apps, the technologies such as the Hive for controlling your home from your mobile, even when you’re not there, are now becoming the norm. We also have a great range of Megaman Lightwave RF product coming soon that will give you even more control in your home. Make Decisions Early! We often talk to customers who realise things too late to be able to change them. Thinking about the final fit may be the last thing on your mind as the walls go up on your new build, but thinking ahead could save you a pretty penny later. Back Boxes Our screwless and flat plate sockets and switches are extremely popular, but did you know you need a deeper back box to fit them? Don’t tell your electrician two days before the final fit that you’ve chose flat plates, he is likely to blow a fuse (pun intended!). You need to tell him before the first fit, so he can plan ahead. Lighting Plans The electrician need to know early on where he’s fitting the cables. Adding cables later is time-consuming and a lot more expensive. They also need to know simple things like the cut-out dimensions of downlights. The earlier he or she knows these details better they can plan ahead. Browse around shops, check out online lighting sites (like ours of course!) and get onto Pinterest for inspiration. Plan the lighting (and sockets and switches) out. It can be on a CAD pacakge, but if you’re doing it on a budget there is nothing wrong with (graph) paper and a pencil too. The main thing is clear planning done as early as possible in the process. To LED or not to LED? We know the answer! We are extremely biased with this one. We are huge fans of LED lighting. The technology has moved on a long way and there are bulbs (or lamps) for almost every situation now. We would always encourage people to move over to LED. Especially if they are doing a new build or refit, but making the decision early can again save issues later on. For example, if you want to dim your LED lights you need to have dimmable LED bulbs and LED compatible dimmers. While most dimmer plates can have LED dimmer modules retro-fitted later it is an unnecessary expense. It’s far better to make the decision up-front and get everything right from the start. Don’t worry though, we stock LED dimmers in every range we sell, as do most manufacturers, so it shouldn’t limit your choice. We hope you are about to embark on a fantastic and exciting project, and we hope we’ve given you a couple of helpful tips to get it right from the start, and maybe even save a couple of quid in the process. If you are about to embark on a project and you need our help producing a quote for lighting, LED bulbs and sockets and switches, please feel free to give me of our team a call on 02920 004 887/ We’re here to help!