June 04, 2008
| by EH Staff
For sprawling master suites, consider the display to a mount that can be retracted from the wall or cabinet and tilted and swiveled in all directions to face toward various locations in the room. Some mounts can be motorized to move to a preset position when you press a button on a remote. Finally, if you’d like to completely remove all visual indications of the TV, consider tucking it inside a cabinet equipped with a motorized platform that can lift the TV out of the box when you’re ready to watch, then lower it back into the cabinet when you’re finished.
Lighting can enhance both your viewing and listening environment. By dimming the lights, for example, the display will look brighter and the music will sound seemingly sweeter. A lighting control system can arrange the intensity of every light in your master suite to suit your mood. All you have to do is press a button on a wall-mounted keypad to get the fixtures to respond. A morning command for example, could gradually brighten the bedroom lights over the course of 15 minutes, giving your eyes time to adjust. By connecting the lighting system and the whole-house music system together, this same command could also have your favorite morning news station piped through the bathroom speakers.
A recent twist in lighting control systems is their ability to seamlessly operate motorized window treatments. By having the shades open and close on command, you can utilize the sunshine as another lighting source. For example, instead of having a reading scene activate a table lamp, you could have the blinds by your favorite chair lift to let in the natural light.
Depending on the size of your suite, one lighting control keypad may not be enough. At the very least, you’ll want to have a keypad at the entrance so you can cue scenes as you walk into the room, and another keypad by the bed so you can issue commands from underneath the covers. If it’s convenient and fits your budget, consider putting additional keypads in the sitting area, closet, and other places where you plan on spending a good deal of time. Just remember that the controls don’t always have to go on the walls. You can have your home systems contractor program a handheld remote or a wireless touchpanel to operate everything in your master suite.
Automating some of the lighting functions is an option, too. For example, you could have the built-in timeclock of your lighting control system turn the fixtures on and off and lift and lower the shades at certain times of the day. In addition, small sensors planted beneath the carpeting could be used to trigger a lighting pathway to the bathroom when you step on them in the middle of the night. Ask your home systems contractor which features to automate and which to control from a remote or keypad.