February 02, 2010
| by Steven Castle
Anything “easy” on the outside, though, usually means it is complicated on the inside. Overall, there is control over a slew of Philips Color Kinetics energy-saving LED lights, 31 shades and nine drapes, plus integration with a security system and doorbells. There are also occupancy sensors for lighting control in 12 rooms, control of five ceiling fans, and iPhone control of the lighting system.
There’s auto shutdown of the HVAC system in the event of a fire, display of weather information and caller ID on touchpanels, the ability to remotely unlock exterior doors for guests once they have been identified, and operation from a car visor. External control of the house systems is even available via the Internet.
“The Lutron lighting system required not only integration with the Crestron system but with the Color Kinetics LED lighting controller, a large number of shades and drapes, security system, and doorbells,” explains Hudkins.
As if that’s not all, LEDs in the townhouse elevator shaft change color as the elevator ascends. The owners can select from multiple effects to fit the mood. For example, the elevator can be red, white and blue for the 4th of July or a deep maroon for a quiet cocktail party.
There’s energy-saving features as well, such as occupancy sensors in rooms to turn on and off lights automatically and an away button that shuts down the home’s electronics and heating and ventilation systems when the family is not at home.
Why does the townhouse feature more than the summer house? The townhouse was equipped first, and the homeowners liked the Easy Button and overall system simplicity so much, they had Gramophone install a similar system into their existing summer house.
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