CCTV Buyer’s Guide

Download this PDF guide which explains how to select the right CCTV solution for your home or business…

  • CCTV options overview
  • Monitoring choices
  • Cost implications

CCTV Buyer's Guide

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Home Automation Buyer’s Guide

Download this PDF guide to better understand Home Automation

  • Entertainment, Security, Lighting Control
  • Benefits
  • Technology & Brands

Home Automation Guide

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Burglar Alarm Buyer’s Guide

Download this PDF guide which explains how to select the right CCTV solution for your home or business…

Alarms buyer's Guide

  • Burglar Alarm options overview
  • Monitoring choices
  • Cost implications
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Light-up your garden – Alan Titchmarsh

Light-up your garden

Make the most of your garden at this time of year by installing outdoor lighting, says Alan Titchmarsh, as he explains the effects you can create for maximum impact.


Garden lighting can transform an ordinary plot into something magical. By deliberately positioning various types of lamps, lanterns, candles, tea-lights, spotlights and garlands of lights, you can create a wide range of eye-catching effects and extend the time you spend in the garden. As dusk descends, and twilight turns to darkness, garden lighting comes into its own. You can flood light across patios and lawns to illuminate alfresco parties, or use strategically positioned lamps and spotlights to create gleaming pools that highlight interesting features, such as a statue, attractive seat or an architectural plant.


You can also use lights to create an illuminated welcome at an entrance, make paths and steps safer to use, as well as providing overnight security. Post lights and glowing orbs are ideal for gently illuminating steps and paths, while garlands of lights look best strung around a seating area, through a pergola or between posts at the back of a border.Paths, steps and entrances can be safely illuminated by a series of lanterns and lamps, and temporary ‘party lights’ will bring the patio to life during the evening. Around my own garden, I have installed spotlights to highlight a range of architectural plants and garden features as well as provide added security – with pond and fountain lights completing the light-show after dark.

Up-lights and down-lights


Designing with lights in the garden is very much like using atmospheric lighting in the home, but outside the surrounding area will be pitch-black. You can use this to your advantage to hide unsightly features, such as bins, a compost heap or next-door’s garden shed, by a calculated manipulation of the outdoor lighting. The brighter the light the darker the black, so bear this in mind when trying to hide eyesores. Down-lighting is best for illuminating paths and steps, or for focusing a spot on an attractive feature or isolated seat. Up-lighting creates a completely different effect. If you place an up-light at the base of a silver birch tree it creates an upside-down fountain effect with a brilliant flaring trunk pointing into a sparkling canopy of white stems and shimmering leaves. Position the light behind the tree and suddenly it is transformed into a dark and somewhat sinister silhouette. Equally dramatic effects can be achieved with shrubs, statues and other garden features. For best results, obscure the light from view and set it slightly to one side to give a dramatic 3-D appearance.

Mains electricity lights

Are more powerful, so can be used to light up large areas, wall mounted lights can be very effective. Use spotlights to pick out special features round the garden. Shine a single light up a statue or the trunk of a tree, so that it glows. Use floating candles to make a pond sparkle and if you leave a fountain running, spotlight it to make the moving water stand out. The effect will be magical. Combine this with solar powered, lanterns and fairy and tea lights and the results are magical!


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What is Home Automation? Control4

The possibilities for home automation are truly endless.

The following video highlights a few of the amazing ways you can turn your home into a smart home.

Please click here to view the video clip.

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Are you designing a Future Ready Home?

crestronlightingWhether you are an Architect, a Developer or building your own Dream Home, thought needs to be given to how your home will work with the technology of today and also be ready to deal with the technology of tomorrow.

From heating and lighting control, integration of fire and security systems, distribution of High Definition TV & audio, right through to your own cinema room with bespoke seating, lighting and full Dolby Atmos sound with invisible speakers.

We are committed to educating our Clients and Partner Companies in this field. We can provide Architects with an RIBA & CEDIA approved course “Designing Future Ready Homes” End Users and Designers will also benefit from our breathtaking demonstration facilities.

home cinema

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Benefits of Home Automation

Complete home automation may sound complex and expensive, but many systems are surprisingly affordable and simple to install. For just a minute, let your imagination wonder. Imagine what it would be like to have automatic lighting control, video surveillance accessibility and thermostat control and be able to control everything from your mobile phone. Consider for a moment having the ability and capability to properly manage energy to help lower your bills.

Home-automation ipad hands house

What was once thought to be a fantasy is now a reality. Wireless home security automation lets you do all this and more.

What is complete home automation? Basically, home automation can be defined as accessing or controlling many of your home’s appliances, security, climate, and video monitoring from a remote or centralised location.


1. Convenience:
Life, and sometimes traffic can make it difficult to be home the moment the kids come in the door or when the repair person shows up. And since you can’t be in two places at the same time, having the convenience of accessing your home systems remotely can be a real time saver. Turn off all the lights in your home without having to get out of bed. Use your mobile phone or portal device to turn your wireless home security alarm system on/off or use voice recognition to control appliances around the house.

2. Energy Management & Savings:
When used properly many home automation products, also known as “smart” products, help you manage your home’s energy consumption. For example, automate your thermostat to adjust settings throughout the day based around the times someone is home or the house is empty.
Some “smart” devices can be synced up to your appliances with real-time energy information. This helps your home appliances know the most cost-effective times to operate. For example, your dishwasher may run at 2am because this is the best time for the lowest price.

3. Wireless Home Security:
Complete home automation systems have many security benefits. As mentioned, they allow you to check in on your home from a remote location, giving you true peace of mind. Some systems will let you interact with your home security system, providing you with the ability to arm and disarm your home remotely. Some complete home automation systems will alert you by phone, text or email if there is any unusual movements within your home.

Home automation products provide convenience and save you time and effort performing household tasks. When you properly manage your energy, you can reduce your energy consumption, which may help you save money. Maybe and perhaps most importantly, complete home automation lets you customise your home to fit your family’s unique needs and lifestyle.

Remember when pages were just for doctors and mobile phones were the size of a brick? Back then, home surveillance systems were about the size of a mail box. Thankfully, times have changed.

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Simple burglary prevention steps to your property:-

Advice from The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network

-Keep windows and doors shut, locked and in good condition

-Property mark your valuables with a UV pen or forensic property marking kit, then register on Make a note of all model numbers and serial numbers of all electrical items.

-Use a timer switches to make your home look occupied in the evenings

-Perhaps purchase a fake/simulated TV device which lights up a room like a real TV.

-Ensure car keys are safely stored away from the front door

-Keep tools and ladders locked away out of sight.

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Beat the Burglar this Winter – Top Tips

Darkness provides the perfect cover for opportunist thieves. Use the Matters Group handy tips to secure your home this winter.

hoody burglar
With burglaries an unfortunate fact of life, it’s natural to want to protect what is important to you. As experts in home security alarms, Matters knows the true cost of burglary is not only what they take away, it’s what they leave behind. Over half of burglary victims said they felt afraid for their children after they were burgled.

But with protection from a Matters’ home security system, you will have the peace of mind your family and your home are kept safe.

Start with the front door

Because that is what burglars do. If your front door looks tatty, or if it only has one cylinder lock (e.g. Yale), instead of a cylinder lock plus deadlock (mortise), it will catch a thief’s eye.  Wooden doors require a 5-lever mortice lock (BS3621 Standards), UPVC and Composite doors require high security anti-snap locks.

Don’t skimp on the alarm

Bell Box on Wall straight

Burglars will bypass the cheap systems and spot dummy alarms a mile off. For maximum security, alarms fitted with cameras allow you to view your home from your computer.

Our monitored alarm systems give you reassurance that we’re watching over your home 24/7. More than 90% of burglars avoid a property with a monitored house alarm, so they’re a great deterrent too.

The light’s on but nobody’s home

security light timer
Install a security sensor flood light; burglars don’t like to be seen and set up timer switches inside to make it look like someone is at home.

Defend your alley

Make sure your side gate does not have a convenient handle for the thief to step onto and over. Put some trellis on top, too. Burglars hate it because it snaps

Keep things hidden

To the passing burglar, your sitting room is like a shop window. Use curtains and blinds, so it is difficult to see in. At the same time, make sure your windows are locked.

Cage your letterbox on the inside

It is standard practice for burglars to put a long stick or magnetic device through your letterbox and “fish” your keys off the hall table. Not only will they be able to break into your house, but they will be able to steal your car, then take away more of your possessions.

Lock up your tools

View your shed or garage as an extension of your house. Put at least a couple of locks on the outside, plus wire on the window, so thieves can’t use your garden spade or fork to prise a door open.

Don’t take any chances, use our handy tips and secure your home this winter.

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