Mountain of Technology Fills Mountainside Estate
Lighting control, security and concealed A/V helps balance the decor with high technology in this South Carolina home.
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FINALIST: Best Home of the Year
October 12, 2009 by Arlen Schweiger

With a home that’s set on a mountainside overlooking the South Carolina foothills, the location and aesthetics effected special treatment—especially to complement its Mediterranean style. This homeowner has an extensive electrical background, and was particularly focused on the lighting elements as well as the entertainment systems, according to Fred Fabian of local custom electronics pro eLifespaces.

“The timeless grandeur of the home dictated that many architectural elements of the structure be properly illuminated. Utilization of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), LEDs, chromotherapy lighting fixtures, and star ceiling lights were to be incorporated into the lighting control system,” notes Fabian. “Placement of the lighting control load panels were also of concern because of the length of wire runs and building code requirements. Focus was also to be made on the expansion capabilities, particularly since the main structure was to have a slab foundation.”

Not only did the lighting need particular attention to detail, but the lighting control as well as the other desired security, whole-house control and A/V systems, needed seamless integration and easy operation.

“Special security needs were also identified beyond the traditional burglary and life safety protocols. In addition, the homeowner wanted to outfit the home with closed-circuit cameras accessible when he was traveling abroad,” says Fabian. “He expressed that the lighting control was integral to the security of the home. He was also interested in how such a system could simplify his lifestyle.”

Aesthetics were definitely a concern (as you can note from the photos below). The entry, living, and dining areas are very formal, explains Fabian, so every device in these rooms had to be hidden or blended into its surroundings. Banks of switches were simply out of the question for these rooms or elsewhere in the home (slick touch controls simplified tasks, and were even placed in locations such as the bathroom to provide total convenience).

Watching television or movies would be confined to the leisure room, study, second floor billiard room, and the master suite, says Fabian. “Music, on the other hand, would be distributed throughout the house and pool deck with control specific to each area,” Fabian adds. “The homeowner was also interested in simplifying the use of his CDs on a device accessible throughout the house. Finally, he expressed ‘ease-of-use’ and was not interested in multiple remote controls.”

A Crestron control system, Integra electronics and mix of architectural speakers from Jamo, SoundAdvance, Sonance and Rockustics filled the bill. It all helps create a perfect symphony of systems befitting the residence.

Leisure Room:

Billiards Room:

Chromotherapy:

Master Bath:

Driveway Sensor:

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Arlen Schweiger - Contributor, Electronic House Magazine
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com and Electronic House magazine.

Installer/Equipment List

Systems Design & Installation
eLifespaces
Charleston, S.C.
www.elifespaces.com

Equipment
Control: Crestron: [Processors - Pro2; Audio – CNX-PAD8; CNAMPX-12X60 CNAMPX-1X60; C2N-BF12s; Source –C2N-TXM; C2N-TFM; CEN-IDOC; Touchpanels – (2) TPS-3100Ls; (2) TPMC-8Xs; X-Panel]
Lighting Control: LiteTouch [18 various relay & dimming modules with associated enclosures & 30 control stations]
Audio/Video: Integra: [DTR-7.8; DSR-7.3; DPC-8.5; NAS2.3]
Speakers: Jamo [Models 892A2s; 10.5A2s; I/O8A2s; 8.52DVCA2s; 8.5A2]; Rockoustics Planter Speakers; Sonance [Cinema Select LCR; Ellipse In-ceiling Surrounds; Virtuoso A880D]; SoundAdvance [SA2 Invisible Speakers];
Security: GE Security [Smoke; CO2; Door contacts; Motions, accessories]; (3) PTZ IP-based CCTV cameras; (1) VisionTech in-wall camera; Sanyo DSR-2004 IP-based DVR; Cartell Driveway Sensor
Displays: Pioneer PD-6010FD; Sharp LC-37D62U; (2) Sharp LC-32D62U; (1) Sharp LC15SH7U; Totevision LCD-560LX
Racks & Mounts: Middle Atlantic Racks [(1) AX-SXR-34 and (2) AX-SXR-16s with custom rack shelves]; Peerless mounts;
Cabling & Infrastructure: GE Connection Center; Liberty Cable; Cisco Air-AP; Ultralink Interconnect Cabling
DVR: TiVo Series 3
Sencore & Goldline measurement instruments for room audio and video calibrations


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