Depending on which macro setting is engaged, the sconces on the stairway react in a certain way. For example, if the room lights have been dimmed for a movie, the sconces will match that level. If the room lights are bright, the sconces will go full tilt, too. It all happens automatically when someone steps on a pressure sensor mat that was planted underneath the carpeting.
Pathway lighting occurs all over the house, courtesy of the Lutron HomeWorks Interactive system. One of Tim’s favorite settings, “goodnight,” dimly lights the way from each master bedroom (the house has two) to the kitchen. This command, which can be enacted from any Lutron keypad, also turns off any fireplace and interior lights that have been left on and sets the hallway and stairway lights to a soft glow. Other lighting scenes set up the different lamps in the house for entertaining, dining and casual evenings around the fire. For all this convenience and elegance, Tim spent just 20 percent more than he would have for a standard lighting setup, says Ridenour.
iPod Takes Over
Designed with a home theater, plasma TVs in each master bedroom, fireplaces and awesome views of the mountains, there’s something for everyone at Tim’s Breckenridge retreat. But no matter what’s on the agenda, music is almost always playing in the background. A Niles Audio whole-house music system feeds tunes from Tim’s iPod to speakers planted in the walls in nearly every room. The iPod attaches to the music system by plugging into a docking station on the kitchen counter. Tim can choose which songs he’d like to play directly from the iPod or from a Niles Intellipad keypad. Ridenour installed two music keypads, in addition to several Lutron lighting keypads. Utilizing separate controls for each system was less expensive than outfitting the house with touchpanels that could operate everything, according to Ridenour.
Everything in Moderation
Given that so much of the home is automated, Tim really didn’t need something as robust as a touchpanel to operate the lights, music, fireplaces and security sensors. A telephone is just about all he needs to turn things on and off from the road. A few additional keypads and a universal remote control offer a convenient way to close up the house for the night, call up a piece of music or rev up the home theater. “In all, Tim spent around $50,000 for the systems and labor,” says Ridenour. “The house is a great example of how moderately priced systems can give you a lot of bang for your buck.” Tim couldn’t agree more. A modest two-zone music system and home theater keeps him and his guests well entertained without breaking the bank, while a basic telephone-based monitoring system lets him know his house is well cared for when he’s away. For a homeowner like Tim, having that peace of mind is priceless.
Follow Electronic House
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.