Savant vs Control4: what’s the best smart home system?

Savant vs Control4

Deciding to automate your home is the easy part. However, it can be difficult to choose the ideal smart home system. So it makes sense to compare two of the leading systems, namely Savant vs Control4.


While they achieve similar outcomes, each system uses a unique method. So, there are positives and negatives to both, and situations where you might prefer one over the other.


What makes the choice a little harder is you need to work with an approved dealer to install both Control4 and Savant. Sadly, there’s no DIY option available. You need to be serious about installing a smart home system and have a suitably sized budget.


Let’s look at each system in detail and try to compare Savant vs Control4. While the difference between the two systems might seem subtle, they are unique with many differences.



Savant home automation

Savant brand image

photos by Savant



As a relative newcomer to the market, Savant was founded in 2005. Their mission remains unchanged. Savant still aims to design a technology foundation that could make all homes smart, all without the need for expensive, propriety, custom solutions that quickly become obsolete.


Available through a global dealership network, over 2 million homes are powered by Savant technology with integration and connectivity across nearly 10,000 unique protocols, devices and leading music streaming services.


Savant offers solutions that are inventive, easy to use, and designed for longevity. Their products are designed to serve all of the home while providing a superb user experience.


How does Savant works?

While the Savant home automation system offers more complex programming than virtual assistants and other smart home systems, its design and functionality are simple and sleek.


Extremely versatile, Savant can control a multitude of services, including heating, security, intelligent lighting, AV, and more. You can  create a whole home system that operates almost every conceivable function.


You can easily control your system using a tablet, remote control or smartphone. The system also works with Alexa and the Google Assistant.


The system efficiently blends wired or wireless products, allowing you to place devices in areas where cable access is restricted. Yet, it’s sophisticated enough to still function optimally.


While offering a wide range of control over devices in the home, it’s intelligently versatile and a pleasure to use. Savant has combined performance and aesthetics to create a cutting edge home automation system.


Is it DIY friendly?

Savant products are only available from an approved dealer. So, while you can sit on eBay and wait for devices to appear, you’re unlike to find everything you need in a short time scale. Thankfully, their devices are quite affordable and widely available.


That said, as you have to work with a dealer who will design, install, and configure your home automation system, you’re limited and can’t attempt a DIY install.


If you’re happy to work with a dealer who can turn your ideas into a fully working system and deal with any issues that happen when installing a smart home system, Savant might be ideal for you.


Current product range

The Savant Smart Home experience allows you to seamlessly personalise and control all of your smart home technology. At the heart of every system is a hub, which acts as the brain.


Monitor your home and ensure its security remotely with two-way communication. The system’s temperature control options balance comfort and flexibility while helping you keep bills in check.


With GE Lighting and USAI fixtures, part of the family, Savant now offers a smart and sophisticated lighting solution for any budget.


Simple to install and easy to control, their shade solutions work in harmony with the system. Whether you’re at home or away, you can control your blinds.


Savant’s lineup of speakers, multi-room solutions and single app control bring the best in music enjoyment throughout your home. With excellent video distribution solutions, you can enjoy video tiling and on-demand entertainment throughout the home.


Any downsides?

Being forced to hire a dealer to design, install, and configure your system can easily double the cost of Savant. And while some prefer to hand their project off to someone more qualified, others will want to get stuck in.


As the system blends wireless and wired elements, you might be able to save cash by not needing to rewire your home. That said, if you opt for a wired system, you can expect the cost to double as a larger chunk of your budget will be spent on labour.


If you want to update or modify your system, you might need to employ a dealer unless you spend the time doing the research. Some dealers will throw in free remote software updates for a year or two, but the ongoing maintenance cost might be higher than you first expected.


Savant isn’t compatible with every smart home device, so you might find your current equipment also requires updating adding yet more costs. Thankfully, the Savant does work with Sonos speakers.



Control4 smart home system

Control4 brand image

photo by Control4



Since launching in 2004, Control4 has established itself as a leading provider of home automation systems for both homes and businesses. Based in Salt Lake City, USA, the company operates through a global network of nearly 6,000 authorized dealers.


Each system is unique as it’s built around the client and their requirements. Control4 can help automate and control connected devices. You can use the system to control features such as lighting, audio, video, climate control, intercom, and security.


To buy a Control4 system, you have to use one of their approved dealers as products aren’t available directly to consumers. The dealer will install and configure the system, creating a bespoke smart home.


In addition to a superb range of products, the Control4 operating system now works with tens of thousands of third-party products. Over the years, they have cemented their place as a market leader by acquiring several companies such as Pakedge, Triad, Neeo and others.


Around 475,00 homes worldwide use a Control4 system with more than 15 million connected devices.


How does Control4 works?

Control4 is a predominantly wired system, usually requiring your home to be rewired. Devices are wired into rack-mounted modules that control the system. However, the majority of the controllers are wireless and battery-powered.


Many wireless devices, including Sonos smart speakers, can be effortlessly integrated within a system, allowing the user access to a wider set of functions. The system even works with Google Assistant!


As a wired system that requires programming from the ground up, unless you’re a highly trained engineer, it’s near impossible to install alone. It’s why they have dealers all over the world! That said, once installed, a Control4 system is rock solid.


Since you can’t buy products off the shelf, the only way to negotiate a good deal is by playing two dealers off each other. Buying a control4 system is completely different from asking a local electrician to install a few smart sockets!


If you were to compare two homes with a Control4 system, you’d quickly realise that each will act differently depending on the homeowner’s demands and requirements.


Is it DIY friendly?

As a wired system, it’s far from DIY friendly. Unless you know what you’re doing or have endless time to research, you’ll need to hire a dealer or installer who understands how to install and configure the Control4 ecosystem. Typically, this isn’t cheap as it’s a highly specific skill.


If you think you can buy second-hand devices from eBay and rewire your home, you’re in for a shock. Plus, it’s unlikely you could ever cobble a system together from what’s available on eBay, even if you waited a while.


So you’ll need to work with one of their dealers from conception to configuration.


Current product range

Designed to be a complete home automation system, Control4 offers something unique as it can help you control your lights, power, security, media and more. It’s truly a comprehensive solution.


On top of the Control4 branded products, they have worked with a range of 3rd party manufacturers. You, therefore, have access to an even wider range of products that seamlessly integrate with the system.


As long as it’s a repetitive task, you should be able to automate it with Control4. You can even connect all of your TVs to your Control4 system, then be able to pause and move rooms while taking the show with you!


Any downsides?

Due to it being a wired system, installing a Control4 smart home involves rewiring your home. So, if you live in a historic or listed property, you might struggle to actually install a Control4 system.


Another issue with having to run cables throughout your home is doing so isn’t cheap. The labour cost alone quickly adds up, not to mention buying the cables and equipment.


As a closed dealers network, they expect that you’ll spend a sum of over £50,000. So, it’s hardly a system you would install on a whim or give it go yourself. Nor should you expect your system to be installed and working overnight.


Buying Control4 products is costly. Even finding the latest price list is tricky as dealers don’t want to be knocked down on price or have clients trying to remove features to save money.


You can’t update the system or products with new software and firmware, so you’ll need your dealer to send their engineer out to apply the latest updates.



Savant vs Control4

Having looked at both of the systems in detail, you might wonder how Savant vs Control4 compares. Let’s take a look.



Compared to Control4, the Savant user interface feels more sophisticated. It uses images to represent parts of the home and scenes the user may want to create. Some might draw parallels with Apple products.


The system allows control over the basic features as expected. Due to its unsurpassed reliability, Savant requires less maintenance and a reduced need for technical support. So you’ll be able to programme scenes and automations yourself, whereas, with Control4, you might need a dealer.


With its Apple-esque feel, if you’re at home with how the iOS operates, you might prefer Savant vs Control4.



Control4 offers better integration with third-party devices, including Sonos sound systems and the Nest thermostat. You can also display its interface on your TV, allowing for seamless operation.


There are far more Control4 dealers and knowledge available than Savant. So, if you need someone to help you update software or programme a custom scene, you can hire a remote engineer.


The Control4 system can manage more electronic locks than the Savant system. So, if security is a priority, it’s worth considering this option over the other.



control4 savant compared



Picking a winner: Savant vs Control4 home automation system!

Comparing Savant vs Control4 is like asking someone to name their favourite child! Both are fantastic systems that give you back more control over your home. And you can use your smartphone, voice commands, tablets and remotes to control either system.


With both, you’ll need at least £45,000 and will have to work with a dealer to realise your ideal system. There’s no DIY option, sadly. However, it’s best to visit dealer’s smart home showroom who offers both systems.


They’ll be able to highlight the differences and similarities. Also, they’ll help you choose between Savant vs Control4 based on your budget, requirements, and goals.