Anyone who has been to Las Vegas in the last decade has probably made a point to watch the amazing water show at the Bellagio. Set your watch for it, or you’ll miss it. The owners of this renovated Hollywood backyard can enjoy a similar spectacle, albeit on a smaller scale, any time they like.
A few taps on the screen of a portable Crestron touchpanel starts the aqua ballet in their own 45-by-15-foot swimming pool, which features cannons that fire water 50 feet into the air. “It’s the largest residential system of its kind,” says Patrick Martinez, senior systems designer at DSI Entertainment Systemsin Los Angeles, Calif. He and his team of custom electronics pros programmed the controls that choreograph the operation of a variety of jets, fountains and pumps to create the Bellagio-style water show. Colored LED lighting was incorporated into 10 different water scenes, each of which can be engaged by touching the appropriate button on the Crestron touchpanel. Of course, the pool is also designed for swimming, and again, the Crestron system is there to lend a hand. DSI connected a Badu SwimJet System to the Crestron processor so a command from the touchpanel activates jets to create a current in excess of 5,000 gallons of water per minute. The effect is akin to running on a treadmill, but by stroking in place in the water.
Although music usually doesn’t accompany the dancing water—or the water treadmill—the owners can add a song to their water show or workout by using the touchpanel to access their Crestron whole-house music system. A special page on the touchpanel displays icons represent the available A/V sources: Apple TV, DirecTV, Blu-ray Disc player, XM Radio and ReQuest music server. The owners touch the icon they want, and the music plays through a combination of 20 Sonance and James Loudspeaker speakers. If guests will be hanging around the pool, the owners can turn off the speakers by the patio temporarily, either via the touchpanel or wall-mounted Niles volume controls. Should the party move to the cabana, they can play the music in this area only, keeping the speakers in the rest of the yard silent.
The cabana is also home to a 23-inch SunBrite all-weather TV and a 19-inch NuVision TV. Jacks that DSI installed into the wall of the cabana link the displays to a wide assortment of video components, including three Blu-ray players and two DirecTV receivers. Again, the owners touch the appropriate icon on the Crestron touchpanel and the video is delivered over high-speed cabling to the TV.
This same wiring backbone ties the inside and the outside of the house together. From the touchpanel in the cabana the owners can operate anything inside the house, including the security system, lighting system, and heating and cooling system; likewise, from any of 15 panels inside the house, they can control everything outside. And when they want to control the inside and outside at the same time, global scenes like small party and big party set the lights and music throughout the property.
With features like these, the backyard has become a popular spot for the owners to entertain, but their primary reason for the upgrade, says Martinez, was to create a fun environment for their grandkids. “They wanted them to visit often, and this was one way to accomplish that.”
Follow Electronic House