There's no better way to prepare for summer than by inviting family and friends over, whether it's to share in a few cocktails, a little shisa nyama and more than likely the weekend's big game. As the chief entertainer, you have a few things to consider when planning the rollout of your perfect event. You want to offer good food, great drinks, and exceptional ambience. Sparking a little bit of envy of all the features of your dream home can't hurt either...

Music is a touch that's often left to the last minute, and that's a rookie mistake. Entertainment, in the form of exceptional surround sound and the perfect UHD picture quality, plays a pivotal role in setting the mood for your event. It's the kind of thing your guests may not know you've worked hard at, but they'll certainly notice if it's poor quality!

An all-encompassing home automation product like Control 4 integrates your home theatre system, music player, video player, lighting, security alarm, CCTV cameras and the creature comforts like underfloor heating and air-conditioning so that you control everything conveniently from your remote.

As the chief entertainer, you have a few things to consider when planning the rollout of your perfect event.

Picture the following scenarios in a home that would be considered an entertainer's dream home and decide for yourself:

Security and access control

It’s 3pm and the guests are due to arrive. It’s been a busy morning getting the catering ready, the house on point and the kids bathed and ready. You’ve just put the last beers on ice when a video call comes through on your cellphone. Since you have your intercom system installed, you can see that the Skosanas have arrived, and you can greet them at the gate and grant them access from your phone.

Background music

You realise that it’s extremely quiet, as you can hear every footstep echoing down the passage. That's just awkward. As you make your way to open the front door, quickly open your app and select your favourite chilled house session playlist, press play and immediately your home is more inviting and festive.

Irrigation control

All the guests have arrived and prepared snacks have been served. Everyone is settled in, drinks in hand and the kids are out on the lawn fiercely competing in a game of backyard football. Suddenly the sprinklers come on, to the horror of the parents and the delight of the kids. Fortunately, the sprinklers are automated, so you don’t need to run through the mud in your favourite white shoes to switch them off. Quick on the draw with the smartphone and with a flip of a switch, the crisis is averted and the sprinkler is deferred until tomorrow.

Home theatre system

It’s 5pm and the big game is about to start. The ladies are in the kitchen drinking bubbly while prepping the salad, and the men dash to the couch to grab a seat. Instead of having to walk the gauntlet and trying desperately to search and navigate the five remotes to get rid of that annoying singing purple dinosaur on the TV, you reach for the conveniently located automation remote in its cradle. With the push of a single button, switch the wide-screen TV to the sports channel and adjust the volume to your preferred level. All you have to do is sing the anthem with pride and get your game face on.

Lighting automation

The game's done, the meat is on the fire, everyone is in a party mood and the ambience is awesome. The sun is setting and a little light is needed on the subject. Never fear when the automation app is near. With the press of one button, all the lights in the house can be set to predefined levels. This eliminates the unnecessary walk to numerous light switches where you try to figure out which switch turns on which light, and when you eventually do, it’s completely blinding as the dimmer is not set correctly.

The curtain call

The party was a raging success and the neighbours are probably not very impressed at the moment but you’ve made it up to bed safely, even though the world seemed to be spinning a little faster than normal. Using voice control, ask Alexa to activate the goodnight scene. This will dim the bedroom light slowly, switch off all the necessary lights that you accidentally left on, turn on the security lights, activate the alarm system, close the bedroom curtains and set the air-conditioning to the perfect temperature. All in preparation for a well-deserved rest.

To turn your entertainment dreams into reality with a tailor-made quotation for all budgets, visit Sounds International at