October 09, 2009
by Arlen Schweiger
If you’re a snowbird who travels from the north to a warmer climate to live for part of the year, you shouldn’t have to worry about the state of your primary residence. Having home automation systems make that an easier pill to swallow, as was the case with these Ohio homeowners who can remotely look in on their abandoned home thanks to the help of custom electronics pros Architectural Entertainment (or check in on their vacation home).
“In this home, we decided to go with a HomeLogic control system. One of the major reasons for this is the remote log-in capabilities,” says Architectural Entertainment’s Taylor Kunz. “Since the homeowners live in Florida for half of year they are able to log in to their home in Ohio, via Internet, and control their audio system, video system, thermostats, lighting, garage doors, security system, and view their cameras. Other features let them view weather, traffic cameras, and leave messages for any of their kids.”
Of course, when the homeowners are actually in Ohio and have every system at their fingertips is when they really get to enjoy the multitude of displays, speakers, distributed audio access, lighting and other features. Architectural Entertainment designed the HomeLogic wireless tablets and their PCs to enable easy access and control over everything.
“From these tablets they can view any of their three satellite boxes or PlayStation 3 on any of their seven flat screens or 106-inch projection screen in the home,” says Kunz. “Each flat screen is accompanied by a pair of Paradigm in-ceiling speakers for quality sound, which can also give them AM/FM/XM radio or iPod for music.”
The home theater features a BenQ DLP projector to fill the large screen, and a 5.1 surround system that gives them 100 watts to each Mordaunt-Short speaker and LFE output to a Paradigm Ultracube so there’s booming sound for any type of media.
Through the automation system the homeowners also have the ability to set lighting scenes at the touch of a button for entertaining, which was a priority, Kunz notes. “When he walked through his house for the first time, he noticed that all the light fixtures were a little to bright for his taste. So we provided dimmers on all the fixtures, which they can access on their tablets, to give the home a more intimate feeling,” says Kunz.
Along with lighting, another home factor that gets a lot of attention and is conveniently controlled through HomeLogic is the heating and air conditioning. The tablet interface lets the homeowners set the temperature, make a weekly schedule, and view a history graph of activity for any thermostat in the home, says Kunz.
“They can also access their security system and cameras placed around the home,” says Kunz. “Cameras were placed in the garages so that they could view and operate their overhead garage doors on their tablet. Since the HomeLogic system communicates over an I.P. network, they have access to weather radar, weather forecasts, traffic cameras, and the web. This system is a lot to look at but simple to use.”
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.