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.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.