The best way to get a true taste of what home automation is all about is to see it in action and to live with it. Custom electronics (CE) professional Todd Anthony Puma of The Source Home Theater, New York City, is doing both, turning his own house into a place where potential clients can test drive products and systems, and where his family can reap the benefits of living with the conveniences of cutting-edge technologies.
For years, Puma has used his residence as a test bed of sorts, having experimented with a variety of technologies. But this most recent high-tech iteration is by far Puma’s favorite. “Once I drank the Kool-Aid, I couldn’t stop,” says Puma, referring the Crestron automation system that’s currently in charge of his household. “I started by installing a very modest system in January, and little by little we’ve been adding on and upgrading.”
What started as a basic system designed to distribute music to in-ceiling Paradigm speakers in eight independent listening zones, and to provide simple pushbutton control of preset groups of lights, has grown into a “premium” automation system that’s now also controlling electronic door locks, every light fixture in the house, the A/V equipment of two home theaters and is distributing video from a single rack of components to eight TVs. It’s to the point where Puma feels the technology “fits his life” and allows him to fully demonstrate to potential clients what’s possible in their own homes. “This—my house—is how I’m able to sell jobs,” he says. “Being able to live with the system in my own home has made me more confident about installing it in homes of my clients.”
Although the Crestron system is doing its job and doing it well, Puma says it continues to evolve. “We are making changes all the time, and trying new things.” One element that may never hit the Puma house, though, is complete automation—the type of automation that requires no touch of a button or swipe of a touchscreen. “Our family prefers to interact with the electronic systems by tapping icons on the control menus of our iPads and iPhones,” he says. When the Puma family isn’t clutching a tablet or smartphone to control the lights, A/V equipment and other products, they’re touching buttons on the low-profile Crestron keypads installed in each room. Programmed by Rich Fregosa of Fregosa Design, the buttons can operate the lights, TV, and ceiling fan of a particular room. It’s proven an easy manner of control for his family to grasp, and one that resonates with his clients, too.
For more pictures inside Puma’s home/showroom, click here.
Check out some of Puma’s handiwork in client homes here:
Screen is Center Stage in Family Room Theater
New York Apartment Features Ultimate High-Def Man Cave
“Feel” the Music in This NY Brownstone with Dynamic Home Automation
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.