Leviton acquires Home Automation Inc.

Acquisition broadens Leviton's offerings in automation controls market
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Friday, August 3, 2012

MELVILLE, N.Y.—Leviton, based here, announced on Aug. 3 that it has acquired Home Automation Inc., a provider of home automation controls for residential and light commercial applications. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

HAI will operate as a new stand-alone business unit, HAI by Leviton, and will continue to be based out of New Orleans. The new unit will be managed by Jay McLellan, CEO and president of HAI.

There is very little overlap in the offerings of the two companies, McLellan told Security Systems News. "We plug-and-play like a plug in a light socket."

The two companies have worked together for two decades, and McLellan said they'd often discussed "how [a merger] might work." This deal has been in the works since January, he said.

"Leviton's acquisition of HAI represents a significant expansion of our offerings in the residential market, and furthers Leviton's commitment to providing customers with the latest technologies as affordable, easy-to-use solutions," Daryoush Larizadeh, CEO of Leviton, said in a prepared statement. "Leviton and HAI are two established brands coming together to offer a complete whole home automation solution that customers can trust."

HAI's products range from systems that allow homeowners to control their automated video surveillance systems and audio devices over the Internet to programmable thermostats and light switches accessible from a smartphone.

HAI product lines will soon be available through Leviton's U.S. and international channel partners and distributors. Leviton also plans to provide its builder and contractor network with the training required to install HAI systems.

McLellan said security has always been an important element of HAI's offering, but said HAI will never play in the low end of the market. The target end users are high-end residential and small commercial players. If a security installer is just looking for a "monitoring [contract] and slamming in a system with two motions and a door, that's not us," he said.

He said HAI/Leviton offers more variety for high-end resi and commercial installers. "[Those installers] can get the monitoring and a more complete set of automation features and they don't have to be limited as to the structure [of the system] and they don't need to use a third-party system."

In addition, a savvy installer can "come up with their own RMR package" [for customers] based on customized service contracts for things like temperature and humidity sensors, or determining remotely if some part of the system is not working. "It gives [installers] a great deal of flexibility that isn't offered in other systems," McLellan said.