April 23, 2009
| by Lisa Montgomery
It’s a warm autumn afternoon, and there’s a whirlwind of activity in the yard of the Lucker residence.
With pigtails flying, three little girls are zooming up and down the driveway on their bikes, getting in one last sprint before Mom calls them in for dinner. Dad’s out there too, watching for wipeouts while tinkering in the garage. This bustling outdoor area has become a popular hangout for the Luckers, and since they’ve started using their whole-house music system, the time spent outside as a family has become even more enjoyable.
Music has always been a big part of the Luckers’ life. “We’re really into listening to all different kinds of music and we entertain a lot, so there’s always something playing in the background,” says Mrs. Lucker.
In the “old days” having music close by meant either carting around a boombox or blasting the stereo. Neither were very elegant solutions, the homeowners admit. So while their 6,000-square-foot Colonial home was being built, the Luckers brought in the experts from Audio Video Excellence (AVE) in Thornwood, N.Y., to install a system that would be able to feed a variety of songs from several components stored in the family room entertainment cabinet to dozens of speakers strategically positioned all over the property.
Of course, the yard was one of the first places the Luckers thought of when considering their housewide audio plans. Weather-hardy Paradigm speakers were mounted to the deck and garage, and a Niles volume control was installed inside the garage. Those few additions—integrated into a Crestron whole-house music system—simplified matters dramatically for the family.
“My husband can crank up the tunes or mute the music without stepping foot inside the house,” says Mrs. Lucker.
Ready for More
It seemed like the perfect arrangement—until the Luckers lived with the system for awhile. A few months after they moved into their house, the family was craving greater control over their music—and the Crestron system accommodated. AVE swapped the garage volume control for a 4-inch Crestron touchpanel. From this one interactive display the Luckers can pick out exactly what they want to hear and set the volume appropriately. One day the song of choice might come from the kids’ Hannah Montana CD; the next, something from their compilation of R&B stored on the hard disc drive of their Crestron media server.
The ability of the Crestron technology to adapt to their changing needs and lifestyle is something that immediately attracted the family to the system.
“They wanted to stay within a certain price range to begin with, but be able to easily expand and add on new features to their home in the future,” explains AVE designer Chris Johnson.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.