Loads of Lights
While the Elan system keeps the home humming, a CentraLite Elegance system operates the lights—all 120 loads. Like the Elan S12, the Elegance system is managed by a central processor that receives commands from its own network of sleek control keypads. Mizerek equipped most rooms with at least one keypad, a setup that eliminated the need for unsightly banks of individual wall switches. Each custom-engraved button on a keypad was programmed by Mizerek to dim and brighten select groups of lights. A party button on the keypad by the front door, for example, activates several lights on the first floor and lower-level home theater. “It’s a command designed to help the homeowners get the house ready when they come home with guests,” Mizerek explains. Other “scene” commands can arrange the lights for activities like watching movies, outdoor entertaining and bedtime, for example.
A United Front
Operating independent of each other, the Elan S12 and CentraLite Elegance systems provide the owners with a simple, efficient means of managing two important facets of their household. When networked together by an HAI OmniPro II home management system, though, these systems become even more beneficial to the busy couple. The HAI system’s built-in astronomical timeclock, for example, turns the lights on and off automatically according to sunrise and sunset. The lights also react to signals from the OmniPro II’s built-in security system. For example, pressing the away button on an OmniPro II control panel by the entryway not only activates the security sensors, but also switches off any lights that are on and lowers the home’s seven thermostats.
A battalion of motion sensors, door and window sensors and glassbreak detectors keep the home well protected, while four outdoor surveillance cameras stand ready to capture any unusual activities in and around the property. The homeowners can view the camera video—recorded or in real-time—by touching the camera icon on an Elan VIA! touchpanel. When they’re at work or traveling, the Internet provides them with a link to their home systems. They can remotely monitor and control the lights, thermostats, security system, audio/video equipment, and surveillance cameras from anywhere by plugging a special USB key into a computer.
Thanks for the Memories
Most people build a home theater for the love of movies. The owners did that too, but also used the space to pay tribute to a special day in their lives—their wedding. In addition to the standard fare of A/V equipment, the room features a custom-designed fiber-optic lighting display on the 8-by-12-foot ceiling. The fiber-optic points of light were arranged in a pattern that duplicates the night sky that appeared on the couple’s wedding night. The personalized lighting effect conjures up fond memories while softly illuminating the space. It’s just enough to light to allow them to see the buttons of their Pronto remote control without distracting from the video presentation.
Like the starfield above, the video display at the front of the 375-square-foot room magically transports the owners to another place and time. Images projected onto the 119-inch Da-Lite screen by a Sim2 HT3000 video projector produce a high-def viewing experience that put viewers in the middle of the action. A Denon 7.1 surround-sound system provides the aural sensation of escape by directing audio toward the staggered rows of nine comfy leather seats from all four corners of the room. The three front speakers and two subwoofers are hidden behind the front wall, while the remaining rear and side speakers are tucked into decorative columns. All seven of Definitive Technology speakers and two subwoofers are concealed by acoustical fabric (the acoustically transparent Da-Lite screen does the trick for the front three speakers and two subwoofer) to stay out of sight yet perform without a hitch.
Having It All
Security, convenience, comfort, entertainment and energy-savings—these homeowners could have had it all through one very expensive system. Instead, they got it from a combination of less expensive systems that work well together. Through the unique package put together by their home systems contractor, they discovered that by mixing things up a bit, you can have complete, full-featured home control that’s affordable.
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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.