In this 21st Century, we all agree that technology drives our world and how we live our lives! We are living in the world of software and data. Yet, however when it comes to lighting, the technology hasn’t changed much within the last 100 years.
Lighting Can Drastically Change the Mood of a Room
Make smaller rooms appear more open, larger rooms feel cozy
Difference between a well-lit office versus an intimate restaurant
Lighting Plan Factors to Consider:
Lamp life, system efficiency, maintenance
Color rendering and appearance, daylight integration and control
Light distribution and points of interest
Cost and flexibility
A new age has dawned in the lighting industry. Gone are the days of Romex wiring and high voltage. With the emergence of LED technology and its minimal power requirements, energy efficient lighting solutions represent today’s state-of-the-art. Easy-to-install, cost-effective LED lighting offers unmatched flexibility, with exciting lifestyle and wellness features and benefits. In short, the possibilities are endless with today’s technology regarding lighting solutions. Users now control the color and temperature of their lighting.
One of the leaders we’ve been partnering is Colorbeam Lighting, a manufacturer with global reach. Their GATEway DMX processor offers an array of feature sets, including circadian rhythm/human-centric lighting applications, tunability, RGB/color, third-party controllability and perfect flicker-free dimming from 0-100 – in a wide array of indoor recessed fixtures, tape light and outdoor/landscape fixtures for residential, hospitality, commercial and MDU applications.
The Right Light For All Occasions
Colorbeam Lighting delivers a revolutionary low voltage lighting system that brings imagination to light and offers a better lighting experience. Colorbeam’s patented GATEway Processor drives health benefits through circadian rhythm and human centric lighting applications while creating more productive, appealing, and dynamic spaces.
Colorbeam’s lifestyle and wellness lighting offers endless possibilities at a press of a button. Energizing light in the morning, natural light during the day, and elegant warm light in the evening sets the scene to live, work, and play under a light that’s just right. Personalize your home with Colorbeam’s tunabable human centric lighting solution and create a healthier and pleasant living environment. Your family’s indoor and outdoor living experience will never be the same.
Please call us (626) 395-9597 to find out more about Colorbeam!
Once restricted to luxury or super-tech buildings, home automation is proving to be an increasingly fundamental and affordable addition to architectural projects, whether to new buildings or renovations. While understanding how they operate can be extremely complex, the primary purpose of technology is to make life simpler, safer, and easier. By definition, home automation seeks to be globally intelligent, functioning as a system that facilitates processes without unnecessarily complicating the user’s life. The idea is to connect devices, which in turn connect and talk through a centralized control unit, accessible by computers, tablets, and mobile phones. These include lights, appliances, electrical outlets, and heating and cooling systems, but also alarms, doors, windows, smoke detectors, surveillance cameras, and many other sensors and devices.
For example, home automation users can turn the lights on or off at specific times each day, adjust the heater or air conditioner to turn on a few minutes before they arrive home, or turn on all the lights in their home when the security system alarm is triggered. In addition to these immediate effects, monitoring applications can also provide accurate home information by generating detailed reports on equipment that could be working better or spending less.
As systems such as Google Home, Alexa, and Amazon Echo become more and more common and artificial intelligence becomes more and more sophisticated, the integration of diverse applications in residential spaces should increasingly enter our daily lives through the Internet of Things (commonly referred to as IoT). That is, in addition to smartphones and personal computers, appliances and sensors are able to identify patterns, process information, and perform tasks both through commands and automatically. From a clock or a refrigerator to cars, machines, and urban infrastructure, many of the mechanical products we interact with can communicate and automate processes. Although it sounds like a science fiction script, these are technologies that are not so far from us. Listed below are some relevant questions on the topic:
This is one of the main reasons why people opt for home automation systems. Information gathered from connected devices and motion sensors allows the system to understand when users are indoors and out, to lock doors and gates, and to leave some devices on standby. But artificial intelligence can also be used to automate threat detection and perhaps more proactively alert us if something looks wrong, such as heat sensors and video cameras setting off alarms and calling firefighters in the event of a short circuit. Through facial recognition algorithms on social media, the system itself can tell if someone outside your circle of acquaintances is trying to access your space and send a message to your mobile phone asking whether you want the doors to stay locked or not. This type of technology can improve the efficiency of security systems and reduce false alarms.
Although the system installation may be a high initial investment, it can be cost-saving in the long run because of the savings it can provide. Technologies such as thermostats and smart lighting connect to centralized control that can act on its own or be programmed to control energy consumption and reduce waste. Just as lighting and home security can be controlled by a single device, even the water bill can be impacted. For example, intelligent irrigation systems work similarly to stop flow and save money, some even reacting to weather conditions to apply exactly the correct amount of water to the soil.
Make everyday life and buildings smarter
The ability to automate repetitive housekeeping can free time for more important things. For example, an internet-connected refrigerator can check for missing items and make purchases online. With smart devices, many home appliances can be remotely programmed and will work automatically or by touch. You would be able to trigger almost everything by smartphone.
It is important to mention that these systems must be highly protected, as a single attempt to break into this centralized system can lead to the invasion of privacy and the loss of valuable confidential information. Still, most people who have experienced life in an automated space will likely be uncomfortable returning to traditional systems. It is critical to experience the benefits of home automation in order to understand its potential and to know which elements will best improve your daily life.
Please call us how Home Automation will affect your home!
Architect and Urbanist graduated from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC). Master in Urban Planning, History and Architecture Program, also at UFSC, with research related to the theme of mobility and urban sprawl. Interested in projects of urban requalification, non-motorized transport and public spaces, among many other subjects. Has been collaborating in ArchDaily Brasil since 2012 and is currently Editor of Architecture Classics and Articles.
Understanding trends in kitchen and bath remodeling can provide greater insight to the home technologies that will make a real impact.
By Lisa Montgomery
There once was a time when technology and design rarely intersected. Electronic products evoked a high-tech feel that was often considered a complete departure from a home’s overall design scheme. Those times have changed, as home systems integrators and interior designers are no longer adversaries but partners on projects. Electronic systems and furnishings fuse together gracefully. Today, design and tech work hand-in-hand to achieve the same goal: a home environment that’s comfortable, efficient and enjoyable.
For this reason, it’s important to keep abreast of design trends. If you know what’s hot now and where things are headed, you’ll be able to create a space that is fresh and modern and will stand the test of time. One of the best places to gather inspiration is the annual Salone del Mobile, an international design show held in Milan. This year’s show also featured the biennial kitchen show, EuroCucina, and the International Bathroom Exhibition—Salone Internazionale del Bagno, as well as EuroCucina, FTK a special exhibit just for technology in the kitchen.
The following are some of the key findings as reported by Kitchen & Bath Business magazine. Granted, they are what’s trending in Europe, but it’s likely that many will eventually hit the American market.
Connectivity in the Kitchen
Today’s cooking area is connecting in more ways than one. The physical space continues to join with the spaces around it, inviting more guests to congregate in the main prep area. At the same time, appliances are evolving into smart devices able to be monitored, controlled and automated for efficiency and convenience.
Style-wise, the kitchen has started to morph into a space that resembles a living room, evident though an upswing in open cabinetry. Many manufacturers are starting to introduce more open shelving—both under and above—as well as glass and translucent doors.
There’s been a departure from white to warmer tones, so keep this in mind when choosing devices like smart speakers, remotes, and touchpanels.
Kitchen islands are getting bigger, which means more opportunity to integrate motorized lifts that stow and show TVs, countertop appliances, and cooking utensils.
Technologies that complement this aesthetic: High-quality speakers and TVs; LED lighting solutions for the open shelving.
Be a Remodeling Trendsetter
The kitchen and bath continue to be the primary areas of the home that people remodel and apply a large portion of their home building budget. Add the fact that designs are departing from utilitarian concepts to schemes that support a multitude of functions and activities, and there’s never been a better time to infuse complementary technology in these two spaces. Entertainment, wellness, and convenience are driving consumers to adopt fresh kitchen and bath designs; be sure to focus on these areas when undertaking your own home remodeling project.
Please call us (626) 395-9597 to schedule your In-Home Consultation!
Lisa Montgomery has been a member of the Electronic House editorial team for nearly 20 years; most of that time as the Editor. With a knack for explaining complex high-tech topics in terms that average consumers can understand, her style of writing resonates with people who are interested in addition electronic systems to their homes, but are unsure of the steps involved and the solutions available. From basic lighting control systems to full-blown automation systems, Lisa understands the home electronics market well, and is able to point consumers in the right direction on their quest for a smarter, more convenient, efficient and enjoyable home.
Over the years, she has developed close relationships with key manufacturers and seasoned custom electronics professionals, giving her a keen sense of what home technologies are hot now and what’s on the horizon. She shares this wisdom regularly through feature stories, product roundups, case studies technology spotlights and comprehensive guides and books, which can be found on the Electronic House website, www.electronichouse.com.
Each home is a unique expression of the lives lived there. Your life, taste and passions. Crestron brings your idea of home to life. Inviting and comfortable. Entertaining and secure. Made possible with smart home technology that is intuitive and simple. Instantly responsive to touch or the sound of your voice. A complete smart home system engineered to become invisible, so all that remains is the experience. Your experience. Your home. Just as you imagined!
Find your comfort zone
Would you like the lights to rise, and the shades to shut, when the sun sets? Or know the temperature will change at the same time every day? Or instantly respond when you say its “too hot” or “it’s too dark”? Crestron Home can be set to do what you want when you want it. Whether you want your home to be cool upon arrival, simply change the lighting, or do them both together, finding your comfort level is easy with a touch of your hand, from any Crestron Home touch point.
Embrace the seasons
Warm your house on your way home. Cool each room individually or every room simultaneously. A Crestron Home climate control system responds to your every need. Pre-program your home to change with the seasons or simply the time of day. And do it all by touch or voice command. See how it all happens seamlessly and instantly.
Let in the light or not!
Bathe your rooms in soft morning light. Or protect your home from the noon sun. Your smart shades respond to your every command with whisper quiet ease. And they do it in style Curtains, rollers, shades, blinds, sheers, romans and drapes come in a myriad of fabrics, colors and textures. Each unique because it’s made to your specifications. See our collection or choose a fabric of your own. All come with a lifetime warranty that ensures quality and durability.
Set the mood
Cooking for the family. A formal dinner. Movie or game night. A late night read. Lighting sets the tone. Your Crestron Home lighting control system dims at your command, brightens at your touch and allows you to tune the color and set the scene. Say “goodnight” and the lights shut. And every option comes with a warranty that ensures quality and durability.
Support Multiple Homes
Fast and Intuitive User Interface
This new platform will allow any Crestron installations to be faster, more intuitive and more cost effective, please call us at (626)395-9597 to schedule your consultation!
Leverage the power of your iPhone smartphone or iPad tablet by turning it in to an amazing handheld controller for your URC® Total Control® 2.0 home automation system. Right from your mobile device easily control and monitor things such as entertainment, lights, security systems, thermostats and more in fast, new ways. Swipe, tap and rotate your way to securely control your equipment!
If you are already running on Total Control 2.0, all you have to do is to download the new app from your favorite App Store.
The landscape of Home Tech Experts, Integrators, A/V guys, Installers, Technologists, or whatever you want to call them, has been rocky. In Southern California, 20 years ago, we had about less than 50 companies and they all specialized in Custom Home, now we have about 7000 companies in all sizes and specialties. Unlike medicine, law, or architecture, there exists no real qualification process to open a business and call oneself a “home technology professional”. This low to no barrier of entry has resulted in countless sub-par technology experiences for consumers. This problem has plagued the home technology industry for decades. Everyone has suffered. Consumers own homes that they cannot operate, manufacturer’s names are sullied, and qualified home technology firms are faced with an untrusting public.
Historically, homeowners have chosen firms based on price or the personality of a salesperson. Sometimes the company was referred by a builder or architect. Typically, consumers have not done much due diligence on prospective technology installation firms, and the selection process has been confusing. This confusion has led to hiring the wrong company, bad system design, and bad technology implementation.
The company that did an amazing job on your cousin’s 1,500 sq ft home may not be the right company to outfit your 10,000 sq. ft estate, and vice versa. The first step of a successful home technology project is hiring the right company. This is also easily the most important ingredient in the recipe for success.
Here are some helpful tips in choosing the right home technology firm:
1 – Understand Your Budget
Some firms specialize in projects of $600K and above, others are great at projects between $10 – 20K. Typically, the really good firm that specializes in $20K projects is not equipped for the $600K project, and the $600K specialist may not be interested in the $20K project. You want a firm that has the most experience at your budget level. So, how do you determine your budget? This is a difficult task for homeowners with a limited knowledge of technology. Here are some basic guidelines: On a new construction project or a major remodel, expect to spend between 4 – 8% of the home’s value on your home’s technology installation. You will be on the higher end of the spectrum in regions where home costs are lower (Houston, Atlanta, Utah, etc.) and on the lower end of the spectrum where real estate costs are high (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc.). We have a proven metric system to calculate what the appropriate budget for your project is to maximize your enjoyment and Return of Investment. Do not be alarmed if your budget range comes as a surprise. We have found that most homeowners spend 2.5x the original number they had in their head for home technology.
2 – Hire a Firm that Specializes in Homes of Your Size and Value
Budget is not the only guideline. Also consider the size and value of homes the firm specializes in. The complexity and fit/finish expectations of a 15,000 square foot custom home are wildly different than a 3,000 square foot production home. Technology systems do not “scale” in a linear way; the larger the home, the complexity increases exponentially. Find a firm that matches up nicely to your home size, and more importantly, your home value. In our dealer profiles, we show you these statistics. Hiring a firm that is out of their wheelhouse is the single biggest mistake homeowners make.
3 – Assess your Service Needs
Unlike an electrician or a framer who you rarely see after the home is finished, your technology specialist will be a fairly regular visitor to your home. Technology is imperfect and changes constantly, so you need to choose a firm that gives you the level of service responsiveness you require. Are you ultra-demanding and expect immediate service when there is a hiccup, or can you live without technical perfection for a few days? Home technology installation companies handle service in different ways. Here are the things to look for:
Does the company have a dedicated service department? This indicates a commitment to after-the-sale customer service.
Who handles the service call? Do you get a service technician, or is it a small company where the owner is also the one to service you? Which do you prefer?
Does the company offer 24-hour service for that evening or weekend problem?
Does the company offer same day service for emergencies?
4 – Find a personality fit
This will be a long-term relationship, so be sure to hire someone you feel comfortable with. If you do not feel the main person you will be dealing with is a fit, abandon ship. Also, understand the firm size and pick a good fit for you. If you only ever want to deal with the owner, a small boutique firm of under 10 people is best. If you desire a larger firm that has a team of specialists, look for those firms with 20+ employees.
We suggest that you use these criteria as a start to select who you will interview. Pick three firms and get to know them, their approach, and what makes them different from their competition. This is a good starting point, though we encourage you to do your own reference checks as well.
We are specialized in Custom Home larger than 5000 sq feet, over $500/sq feet in property value. Our primary focus is to serve Homeowners in Professional field: Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers and Domestic/ International Business Owner who wants to enhance their security, comfort and convenience in their custom dream home with Smart Home Technology. Our service area include Pasadena, San Marino, La Canada, Arcadia, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Brentwood, Hollywood Hills, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes, Bradbury Estate and Newport Beach.
Remember, this is just the beginning, exciting and more technology will come ahead! Good luck on building your dream Custom Home!
We are excited to annouce that we are moving to a new location next month! Everything in our showroom must go. Help us by enjoying deep discounts on all floor models. All Audio components, Video components and even some of our furniture and fixtures are for sale. Make us an offer!
Crestron Lighting Guide for Architect and Specifier Made Simple
Step 1: Determine the lighting load
For Electronic low-voltage, LED, incandescent, tungsten-halogen, electronic CFL, 2-wire fluorescent ballast, please choose: CLW-DELVEX-P Cameo® Wireless In-Wall Dimmer, ELV, 120V, $270 each (or $230 each for the Express version, non 3 way application)
ForIncandescent/ Tungsten Halogen and Magnetic Low Voltage up to 750 Watts, please choose: CLW-DIMEX-P Cameo® Wireless In-Wall Dimmer, $230 each (or $180 for Express version, non 3 way application)
For 0-10 Volt fluorescent ballast or LED driver (4 wire) loads, please choose: CLW-DIMFLVEX In-Wall 0-10V Dimmer, 120V, $200 each
Step 2: If you need a slave/ remote dimmer for 3 way or 4 way application, please add:
CLW-SLVU-P Cameo® In-Wall Remote Dimmer, 120V, $120 each
Step 3: Choose the Brain/ Processor
Pyng Hub (OS1) for lighting, shading and climate control only $599
CP3R (OS2) for lighting, shading, climate, audio video, pool, security $1800