Home of the Year Awards
High-Tech Transformation
Silver Winner: Before & After
May 23, 2011 by Steven Castle

For installer Michael Wackernah of Limitless Systems Inc. (LSI) in Huntington, N.Y., this 24,000-square-foot retrofit project was an Olympic test of endurance, attention to detail and control (both emotional and technical). “He’s the CEO of a profitable technology company, so he’s always on his game,” Wackernah says, adding the client double-checked LSI’s work, and required them to vacuum behind drilled drywall. Needless to say, this retrofit involved a lot of extreme vacuuming, since LSI retrofitted nearly everything, including a 65-inch Samsung 3D TV wired through an 8-foot-wide stone fireplace.

When a ton of technology is incorporated into a new home or a retrofit project, a hard-working, impeccably trained and always-in-control manager is required: That system is Control4.

Control4’s automation system is programmed to anticipate the homeowners’ needs in advance and perform upon demand with ease from touchpanels, cell phones or the home’s existing Panasonic telephone system. For example, preprogrammed lighting in the garage, driveway and applicable passageways accompanies the husband or wife when arriving or departing from “his” and “her” garages. Smart lighting also greets the CEO at 5 a.m. with an eye-pleasing, 30 percent glow. When the system anticipates guests in the driveway, it sounds a doorbell chime through the home’s speakers; it also alerts the police if the lady of the house presses the DISTRESS button on a house phone or any touchpanel.

Design & Installation
Limitless Systems, Huntington, N.Y., www.limitlessav.com
Castro Construction Corp., Roslyn, N.Y.
Theater Design:
Theo Kalomirakis Theaters, New York, N.Y.
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Need more? From anywhere on the five-acre property, the client can access 19 flat-screen Samsung TVs, 30 audio zones, more than 300 indoor and outdoor lights, or the independent “his” and “hers” audio/video systems in the gym. Control4 even oversees the 13-year-old’s Internet and TV habits, prohibiting her from surfing or tuning in after 11:30 p.m.

“We created a full-blown manual with 290 pages of custom programming [and behind-the-scenes details], and we have a paper trail of everything, down to the remotes,” Wackernah says. “So any tech can upgrade and program the system.” Wackernah even provided the homeowner with his own printed manual and a backup copy on a USB memory stick.

“Control4 lets us do everything remotely,” he continues. “Just today we remotely reprogrammed the system so the wife can access her cable box from the guest bedroom. It’s that easy.” EH


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Steven Castle - Contributing Writer
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates.

2) apple tv's
5) scientific Atlanta hd cable boxes
3) 12x12 Sony component video matrix
1) 4 terabyte zatabit video server
3) zatabit video clients
1) tripp lite battery back-up

20) control4 hc-200 home controllers
1) control4 hc-500 home controller
1) control4 hc-1000
3) control4 16x16 audio matrix
1) tripp lite battery back-up

1) netgear dual router gigibit Ethernet. Back of rack
1) net gear router for guest network
2) 48 port netgear Ethernet switches. Back of rack
1) 24 port netgear ethernt switch. Back of rack
2) 48 port patch panel Back of rack
1) 16 port power switch for CCTV cameras
1) 17 inch rack mounted LCD
1) mid Atlantic rack mounted keyboard and trackwheel
1) zatabit rack mounted pc for video entry on server
2) control4 dual tuners
3) control4 16ch amplifiers
1) tripp lite battery back-up

1) jbl synthesis equalizer sdec4500
1) jbl synthesis equalizer sdec4500
1) jbl synthesis home theater processor sdp40hd
2) jbl synthesis 5 ch amplifier s5165
1) jbl synthesis 2 ch amplifier s820
2) denon home theater reciever
1) Samsung 3D blu-ray DVD player
1) tripp lite battery back-up

NASA tech room
4) mid Atlantic equipment racks
16) rack mounted ultra quiet cooling fans
The racks have all custom rack shelves with faceplate kits,
Lacing bars, power strips,
1) panasonic tda-50 digital hybrid phone system.
1) panasonic tga-50 voice mailbox
1) ademco vista 128fbp fire and burglary alarm. (integrated with home system)
1) elan media panel for catv, telco terminations and phone system.
13) cordless panasonic telephones.
2) 20 inch LCD tv's for system diagnosis
1) 20 inch pc monitor. Used as 2nd monitor from laptop for programming.
4) blue LED strip lights for front of racks. Motion activated.
1) mid Atlantic ceiling mounted cable management racks
3) Fresh air cooling system with fans and thermostats keeps rm @ 65 degrees
4) Control4 hc-200 home controllers spread throughout the house

Remote controls
3) Control4 7 inch portable touchpads
6) Control4 7 inch in wall touchpads
25) Control4 sr-250 remote controls

1) 65 inch Samsung LED tv
1) 55 inch Samsung LED tv
1) 50 inch Samsung LED tv
2) 46 inch Samsung LED tv
8) 40 inch Samsung LED tv
2) 32 inch Samsung LED tv
2) 26 inch Samsung LCD tv
2) 20 inch Sony LCD tv

60) Zones
5) Water bug detectors for air handlers and hot water heater
5) 6150 alpha keypads

Sim2 lumis c3x projector
Motorized anamorphic lens
Screen research 130-inch wide with vertical screen masking
2) Ultra2 18 inch subwoofer SIS-EX
3) Array horn modules SAM1HF
3) Array dual8 module SAM2LF
4) THX surround loudspeaker S4AI

4) Truaudio stereo speakers
32) Truaduio 6.5 inch in-ceiling speakers
10) Sunfire cinema ribbon cmp2
1) Sunfire cinema ribbon cmp3
3) Truaudio lcr.1
2) Truaudio sur.1
2) Sunfire dual 10 inch subwoofers
4) Bose outdoor speakers

4) apple airport extremes
House has hardwire Internet access In every room with a wireless overlay which works flawlessly anywhere on the 5 acre estate

250) Control4 zigbee dimmer switches
100) Control4 zigbee non dimmable light switches
6) Control4 six button keypads
9) Control4 three button keypads
5) Control4 power outlet modules for remote power cycling of access points
7) Control4 wireless thermostats
3) Sony ps3
1) 20 thousand cellphone range extender
3) Central vacuum systems

Installation Info
Systems Design & Installation: Systems Design & Installation: Limitless Systems, Huntington, N.Y., http://www.limitlessav.com
Acoustical Treatments: Extraordinary Homes Audio Video Interiors, East Islip, N.Y.
Builder: Castro Construction Corp., Roslyn, N.Y.
Theater Designer: Theo Kalomirakis Theaters, New York, N.Y., http://www.tktheaters.com

Systems & Equipment
Video projector: Sim2
Screen: Screen Research
Lighting and Control: Control4
Speakers: JBL Synthesis

Project Details
Home Size: 24,000 square feet
Cost: $15 million
Project Duration: Two years
Construction: Retrofit

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