CONTROL IN PARADISE
21. Rule number one: Don’t bring the remote control near the pool. Rule number two: Always, always, obey rule number one. The exception is if you use a waterproof remote like the ones made by URC or Crestron. Since many people are now using their smartphones and tablets for the control interface, take special care that those don’t get wet or lost.
22. If simple A/V controls are all you’re looking for, a simple weather-resistant controller like the RTI U1 is inexpensive and easy to integrate with either local or distributed sources. Its simple design and rugged weatherproofing make it perfect for poolside A/V control.
23. If you’re interested in controlling an entire home automation infrastructure from an outdoor environment, a step-up controller like RTI’s weather-resistant U2 can facilitate.
24. An RF (radio frequency) remote is often preferred over IR (infrared) in an outdoor setting, both for greater coverage and to avoid IR interference from sunlight. But if you plan to use an infrared remote control outdoors, you’ll need to install an infrared receiver somewhere to capture and relay the signal to the equipment inside. Carl Bevando of multiroom technology manufacturer Xantech suggests locating the receiver in a shady area for the best response. Smart phones and tablets will connect to the control
25. For good wireless roaming range, “we will put Crestron RF repeaters out in the yard and hide them in weatherproof boxes that are hidden throughout the landscaping,” says Christian of DSI Entertainment Systems.
26. If you’re using your smart phone or tablet as your control interface, make sure you have a strong Wi-Fi signal outside so your control device can connect to the network.
POOL CONTROL & IRRIGATION SYSTEMS
27. If you have a swimming pool ... and a home control system, think about tying the two together. This way, the operation of the pool system can be synchronized with the settings of the outdoor lights, music and video. Jandy’s Aqualink RS Series, for example, is a pool system designed to work in concert with home control systems.
28. When more elaborate pool system control is needed independent of an existing automation system, many pool installers turn to the Pentair IntelliTouch system, which offers valve control, chemical monitoring, security integration and other automation features.
29. Consider adding a pool alarm, especially if you have children. Mark Ontiveros of Tustin, Calif.-based Audio Images looks to SonarGuard products to provide peace of mind for clients with kids. Control touchpanels around the house can be triggered by SonarGuard annunciators alerting homeowners “very loudly that ‘a child is in the pool.’”
30. Ask your CE pro to integrate your irrigation systems with your home control system. Right from a home control keypad or touchpanel, or remotely from a phone, you’ll be able to view the status of the sprinkler system and adjust the settings if necessary.
Read more about planning an outdoor audio/video system here.
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