Careful Planning Keeps 12K-Square-Foot Home Running Smoothly
Sophisticated lighting systems, high-performance home theater and easy upgrades were possible with all the prewiring that went into this Atlanta home.
Credit: Haigwood Studios
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October 21, 2009 by Lisa Montgomery

Keeping It Simple
Proper lighting design isn’t just about making a room look good, says Gienger. “A big part of it is deciding how all the different loads will be controlled,” in other words, which lights will turn on and dim together. It’s a process that requires significant input from the family.

For this home, LightLogics relegated that task to 31 Vantage control keypads. The basement was fitted with 10 of them, while the remaining 21 were installed in place of the standard light switches on the main level. The number of buttons on each keypad varied between four and eight, and Gienger labeled each of those buttons by taping computer-printed slips of paper on them. The temporary labeling isn’t the most elegant solution, but it saved homeowners a lot of headaches in the long run.

“Often, we’ll go through several iterations before we finalize the customer’s desired settings and then have the buttons custom-engraved,” Gienger explains. For this project, the homeowners used tape and paper labels for almost six months before deciding on the most appropriate button terminology.

What they discovered was an overwhelming desire for simplicity. “They didn’t want to be able to enact a ton of different lighting scenes from the keypads,” says Gienger. “They felt they could accomplish everything they needed with just a few simple commands.”

COME HOME, GOOD NIGHT, ENTERTAIN and AMBIANCE were ultimately chosen as the four primary commands. COME HOME activates the lights in the kitchen and living room to specific intensity levels, while GOOD NIGHT fades out every light in the common areas over a period of a few minutes, then turns on the hallway lights to just 10 percent. ENTERTAIN focuses on the areas downstairs and darkens the bedrooms. “It’s a sign for guests to stay out of those rooms,” says Gienger. Last but not least, AMBIANCE puts the main room lighting to a low level while increasing the intensity of the accent lighting. The remaining buttons on the keypads are used to turn on and off predefined groups of lights.

Built-in Flexibility
The keypads are an integral part of the lighting design, but they aren’t the only means of control in this home. A combination of 10 in-wall and portable AMX touchpanels can also operate lights, as well as a NuVo whole-house audio system, surveillance cameras, AMX thermostats, a B&K video distribution system and Runco home theater equipment.

Careful planning helped make entertainment access quick and easy throughout the home. Any source in the home theater or in a temperature-controlled equipment room is accessible from any area of the house. In addition, several Universal Remote handheld remotes can enact quick commands, mainly to the local audio and video equipment that serves each of the home’s 17 flat-panel TVs. The family can choose to watch something on the local DVD players, or go to an AMX touchpanel to select from the hundreds of movies or thousands of songs that are stored on the hard drives of Kaleidescape servers in the theater and equipment room.

Adding Some Drama
Lighting also plays a special role in the home theater—adding to the ambiance and fun. On command from a keypad, remote or touchpanel, the lights dim perfectly for family movie night, brighten slightly during intermission and turn off completely when it’s time to call it a night.

In addition to the spectacular Xenon lighting effect, a Stewart Filmscreen 110-inch display offers breathtaking movie images. HomeWaves and LightLogics supported the sights with amazing sound from an Anthem 7.1 THX-certified surround-sound system, paired with in-wall Paradigm speakers and a subwoofer. Even the homeowners’ sense of touch was catered to, as HomeWaves fitted the bottom of six home theater seats with ButtKicker tactile transducers that shake and rumble along with the movie action.

So are the results of this home worth the wait? Ask this family, and they’ll light up in agreement.

Click here to view additional photos of this home.

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Lisa Montgomery - Contributing Writer
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.

The Team
Systems Design and Installation
HomeWaves and LightLogics
Cumming, Ga.,

Intown Builders Group
Atlanta, Ga.

Ademco Vista security system
Ademco 6160 keypad
Ademco Aurora motion sensors (5)
Ademco fire detectors (5)
Ademco heat detectors (5)
Ademco speakers (3)
Ademco keyfobs (2)
Ademco water detectors (3)
AMX NetLinx control system
AMX NXD-CV10 10-inch Modero wall-mounted touchpanels (2)
AMX MVP-7500 7.5-inch ViewPoint touchpanels (5)
AMX NXD-CV7 7-inch Modero wall-mounted touchapnel
AMX NXD-CV5 5-inch Modero wall-mounted touchpanel
Autopatch Optima video switcher
B&K HD6 video switchers (2)
Bay Audio 150W Power Pack amplifiers (2)
Bay Audio 900 subwoofers (2)
ChannelVision DP-0252 door station
ChannelVision structured wiring panel
ESL ESL40COE carbon monoxide detectors (3)
Hitachi CMP4211 42-inch plasma TVs (3)
Hitachi 55HDM71 55-inch plasma TV
Hunt Electronics HTC-76N/3.6 surveillance cameras (14)
Integra DTR-4.5 A/V receivers (3)
Integra DTR-5.5 A/V receiver
Integra DTR-4.6 A/V receiver
Integra DTR-7.4 A/V receiver
Kaleidescape Kserver-1500 media server
Kaleidescape Kplayer-5000 (2)
Kaleidescape Kmusic-4000
Kenwood DT-7000S Sirius satellite radio tuner
LG 17LX1R 17-inch LCD TVs (2)
LG 32LX1D 32-inch LCD TV
LG 23LC1RB 23-inch LCD TV
LG 15LW1R 15-inch wireless LCD TVs (2)
Marantz DV6600 DVD player
Middle Atlantic equipment racks
NuVo Grand Concerto whole-house music system
Panamax M5300 surge protector
Panamax M5400 power conditioner
Panamax M1500 power conditioner
Paradigm CS60R in-wall speakers (24)
Paradigm CS160 in-wall speakers (7)
Paradigm SM60R in-wall speakers (5)
Paradigm SA60R speakers (20)
Paradigm Stylus 150 speakers (2)
Paradigm AMS-250 speakers (7)
Paradigm PDR-8 subwoofers 2)
Paradigm Atom speakers (2)
Runco VX1000D DLP video projector
Runco CW-50mc 50-inch plasma TV
Runco PL-43DHD 43-inch plasma TV
Runco CW-43mc 43-inch plasma TV
Runco CR-26HD 26-inch plasma TV
Sentex Crown Jewel telephone entry system
Sonance 1250MKII amplifiers (2)
Sonance Sonamp amplifiers (2)
Sonance 8000 R
SpecoTechnologie DVR-16NT 16-channel CCTV DVR
Stewart Filmscreen 110-inch screen
Toshiba HD-XA1 HD DVD player
Universal Remote Control MX-850 remotes (4)
Universal Remote Control MX-350 remotes 2)
Vantage CW1000 C-Box lighting controller
Vantage ScenePoint dimmers (31)
Vantage keypad stations (2)

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