Making Buildings ‘Smart’

Molly Coffman and Nick Henson.

Louisville Low Voltage transforms homes and offices

By Remy Sisk

Photos by Kathryn Harrington

If you’ve visited a residence occupied by a millenial in the last year, you’ve likely encountered some form of automation. Maybe the lighting was altered via a smartphone. Or the music could be controlled from an iPad. Or a motion-activated security camera notified the resident of your arrival. All of these aspects come together to form smart homes, or, in the commercial sector, smart buildings. Louisville has yet to fully commit to the idea of automation, which at its core is all about energy efficiency. However, one company is ready to take the city to the next level: Louisville Low Voltage.

Nick Henson founded the business as a side project in 2016 and quit his day job one year later as the business, then called Independent Installers, was experiencing remarkable success. Then, in May 2018, Molly Coffman and her husband, Dustin, came on as partners and rebranded and relaunched it as Louisville Low Voltage. Today, the company offers an extraordinary host of services for both residences and office buildings.

Unlike the conventional definition of “low voltage” – an electrical potential that isn’t large enough to cause injury – in this context, the term refers to the additional components, including wiring and cablinge, installed within a building to support the latest digital technologies.

Louisville Low Voltage offers home-specific services, including audio/video needs such as home theater systems and surround sound; automation in regard to thermostats, lighting and security systems; security-specific installations such as doorbell cameras or cameras throughout a property; and networking and wireless solutions to ensure a home is always working at full speed.

The company can provide the same services to businesses as well as access control (think: key cards) and structured cabling. While it isn’t always the most glamorous, it is one of the most important aspects to a properly functioning business. In addition to the security equipment and installation Louisville Low Voltage can provide, they also offer monitoring, as they are now an authorized Brink’s dealer.

Once a client reaches out to the company, the next steps are simple. Louisville Low Voltage conducts a complimentary walk-through to discuss what the customer envisions. After talking through possibilities and offering suggestions, they then quote the client. Coffman says they secure 70 percent of the jobs they quote, as their price point is reasonable and their commitment to high quality is unwavering. Following installation and setup, the team then goes over everything the homeowner needs to know about operating the new system(s) without question or confusion.

That ease of use is a priority for Henson and Coffman, as so often what stands in the way between a homeowner and the smart home of their dreams is the intimidation of inadequate user-friendliness. “The most important thing is making sure it’s all super easy to operate,” Henson emphasizes, “because it is so simple for someone to get a ‘smart home’ and they’ve got nine different apps on their phone and they don’t even know where to begin. It happens all the time, and we want to be the ones who come in and say, ‘Hey, it doesn’t have to be difficult.’”

Coffman maintains that users of any age are able to fully utilize Louisville Low Voltage’s services without headaches, particularly because of its streamlined function and the comprehensive instruction the company provides. “Automation is one of those things that I think a lot of the millennials understand but a lot of older generations don’t,” Coffman admits. “You can go on Amazon and buy different devices to install in your home to make it ‘smart’ or automated, but it’s a do-it-yourself and you have different apps. What we do is streamlined into one and it makes it very simple.”

Although much of Louisville Low Voltage’s business comes from already-built homes and offices, they do encourage those who are building to keep low voltage in mind, as there is no better time to install than before the drywall goes up. Henson calls it “future-proofing” – running a few extra wires to ensure the home is ready for the technology still to come. “We truly think that if someone is building a new home or a new office space, it should no longer be just plumbers, framers, electricians – low voltage should be another part of that process because whenever the walls are open, the sky’s the limit on what you can get done.” VT

Louisville Low Voltage

1201 Story Ave., Suite 144