There’s a lot you can do with a home control system. They are so smart and powerful that if you wanted to automate the dog you probably could. Not quite, but there’s no limit—other than your budget—to the amazing setups possible when you’ve got the right system, the right professional installing it and a really creative mind.
The Elan g! system programmed by AudioVideo Specialists, LLC.,Gilberts, Illinois, for a 10,000-square-foot suburban Chicago home epitomizes the extend of a well-executed home control plan. Some of the niftiest setups include:
• If any equipment rack exceeds a set temperature limit (A/V components are prone to generate heat when running), the g! system will send a text message to the homeowners’ iPhones and shut down the A/V system for protection.
• If the security alarm is triggered, the coach and porch lights will flash and pathway lights inside the house will activate until the security system is disarmed.
• When the doorbell rings every TV and speaker in use pauses; the TVs display a view from the front door camera and the speakers broadcast audio from the intercom.
• Should any sump pump or ejector pump fail, the g! system will send a text message to both the homeowners and the builder, allowing them to fix the problem before any damage occurs.
The g! system accomplishes these and other feats by seamlessly integrating a variety of electronic systems under one main control processor. Tied together in this home are a whole-house audio and video system, lighting, heating and cooling, security, surveillance cameras, motorized window treatments, irrigation and pool and spa controls. All of these systems can be monitored and managed via the homeowners’ three iPhones, two iPads, 12 Elan remotes, nine in-wall Elan touchpanels and a wireless Elan tablet.
The house is packed with gear, including 11 flat-panel high-def TVs, two of which are 3D TVs with LG 3D Blu-ray players and another that’s a 46-inch weatherproof SunBrite TV. Every TV can access four DirecTV boxes, two Sony 400-disc Blu-ray changers and eight surveillance cameras. A total of 54 speakers and seven subwoofers, as well as 12 outdoor speakers and two subwoofers throughout the house complement the video. Each listening space can receive music from a rack of centrally located equipment including a dual AM/FM tuner, a three-terabyte hard drive (enough space for 600,000 songs), two iPort tabletop iPod docking stations, Pandora Internet radio, XM Satellite Radio and feeds from the intercom system.
The icing on the A/V cake is a sophisticated home theater which features a 106-inch Screen Innovations motorized screen, a 7.2 surround-sound system and an Optoma video projector.
While entertainment rules this roost, the control and automation of other systems were just as important to the homeowners, as they knew that operating lights and thermostats manually in a 10,000-square-foot abode would be challenging. Tied to the g! system, t a Vantage lighting control system allows motion sensors to trip certain hallway lights, and many fixtures to turn on an off according to a predefined schedule. Additionally, keypads mounted flush with the walls let the owners set groups of lights to preset intensity levels by pressing just one button. As for the thermostats, there are 18 of them, which can all be adjusted remotely from any of the owners’ control devices.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.