May 25, 2012
| by Lisa Montgomery
Media rooms and lights that turn off automatically are fairly common in most high-tech homes. Shades that move up and down on command from a remote are cool but not unusual; and thermostats that set back when the security system is armed are standard fare, too.
A renovated home I visited recently in West Michigan had all the typical automated accouterments, but what wowed me the most was an Internet-connected salt-water aquarium programmed to react to the weather conditions in one of the owners’ favorite vacation destinations: Fiji.
The lights inside the tank turn on and off with the sunrise and sunset of the island, and if there’s a thunderstorm, the lights flash like lightning. If the ocean is waving in Fiji the aquarium water rolls, too. According to the owner, these changes to the environment inside the aquarium help promote growth of coral.
There were other amenities that really stood out, too, such as an honest-to-goodness shooting range in the basement, complete with computerized targets and a rubber bullet stop; secret passageways disguised as cabinetry; a jukebox that distributes audio to dozens of speakers throughout the house; and nifty installation tricks in a dedicated theater.
The audio/video gear and Crestron automation system were installed by Bekins in Grand Haven Michigan.
Check out the slideshow for a look inside the home.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.