It’s hard enough for professionals in the home electronics business to keep up with technology. So when consumers start looking at TVs, speakers and Blu-ray players, the options can seem overwhelming.
Choosing technology for a home becomes even more complicated when you realize that there are more than just TVs and sound systems to consider. Automated lighting, motorized shades and whole-house control systems are just a few of the lesser-known systems that can add real value to your home.
Exploring New Options
A Chicago couple was just so enlightened during the construction of their 8,000-square foot home. “At the beginning of the project, we just wanted our house to have a cutting-edge stereo system and some flat-panel TVs,” says the homeowner. But that was before he and his wife became acquainted with the technology experts at Baumeister Electronic Architects in nearby Niles, IL. Per the recommendation of their architect, Mark Demsky of Chicago, the couple arranged to meet with Baumeister president John Baumeister.
“He really opened our eyes to what the options were,” the owners recall. “A lot of what we talked about was completely new to us, but once we saw [the systems], it all made sense.”
Demonstrating technologies to potential clients is standard procedure at Baumeister Electronic Architects. However, unlike many firms that use their own showrooms to display working systems, Baumeister opts to take clients to the homes of previous customers.
“John took us to a home nearby and gave us a demo of the home control system,” the owners explain. “When we saw how easy the system was to use and what a difference it could make in the home environment, we knew we had to have something like it for our own home.”
Tying It All Together
That “something” ended up being a Crestron home control system. The field trip left quite an impression on the homeowners, and they decided to put the system in charge of nearly every electronic device in their home, including the lights, thermostats, security cameras, motorized draperies, and audio and video equipment.
The robust controller could have been set up to regulate those devices automatically, like turning off the lights and shutting the drapes every evening at midnight. Some families might have jumped at the chance to put their lives on automatic pilot, but not this couple.
“We envisioned using the system to simplify tasks like finding a piece of music to listen to or getting the family room ready for a movie,” they explain. In other words, they wanted it to help them manage the electronic devices in their home, not totally take over. That task-oriented approach was perfectly fine with Baumeister. Because the Crestron system is driven by software, his team of engineers would be able set up the system however the homeowners wanted.
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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.