May 29, 2009
by Lisa Montgomery
When you live in a high-rise, space can be tight. To give themselves more elbow room, the owners of this 17th-story residence bought three apartments and had the walls removed to create a 10,000-square-foot living space.
During the renovation, the homeowners decided it would be worthwhile to put in some electronic systems—not just a basic security system and entertainment setup—but a sophisticated design that would automate everything from the window blinds and lights to the door locks and even the toe heaters in the bathroom.
“One of the only things we have in life that’s finite is time,” says Jason Perez of Conundrum Technologies, a home systems design and installation firm in Denver, Colo. “The least amount of time you can spend making sure the doors are locked, the lights are off and the blinds are closed, the better.” Sold on that philosophy, the homeowners went ahead with a two-year project aimed at making their home as efficient to manage as possible.
An AMX control system was chosen as the brains of the operation. Meticulously programmed by the engineers at Conundrum Technologies, it would allow the family to operate more than 50 motorized window shades, direct music and video from a central rack of audio and video equipment to 30 listening zones and 13 flat-panel TVs, adjust 19 thermostats, lock and unlock 10 magnetic door locks and view images from three exterior video cameras—all from an AMX touchpanel or handheld remote.
Conundrum fitted the house with more than 30 of these home management stations to ensure that control was never more than a few steps away.
From any of the touchpanels the family can control each system independently or they can command several systems at once by engaging one of the nearly 100 scenes programmed into the AMX system by Conundrum. Many of the scenes focus on the lights, window shades and thermostats as a way to curb energy use.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.