When we first visited Buddy Valastro, the celebrity baker on the TLC series Cake Boss, he just had his 9,000-square foot home automated (featured in the September 2011 issue). Thanks to the handiwork of brothers Abiose and Chima Gale of 360 Media Innovations in Maplewood, N.J., an Elan g! system manages many mundane tasks for the busy Valastro family. Lights in Buddy’s house turn on and off at certain times of the day. Thermostats adjust according to the family’s schedule. And Buddy and his wife use an app on their iPad to operate an assortment of audio and video gear and view real-time surveillance camera feeds.
The Valastros relished the fact that the g! system could be expanded to control many other elements in their home. They recently took advantage, linking several elaborate holiday lighting displays to the system. The guys at 360 Media Innovations had already rigged the house with powerful 2,400-watt switches to handle multiple strands of exterior Christmas lights, and added 24 modules to the electrical outlets inside to automate other festive decorations. These switches and outlets are wired directly to the Elan g! system, so they turn on and off at precisely the times the family wants. Unlike traditional timers that are set individually, the g! system allows the Valastros to create a schedule for all of the lights from the iPad or one of several Elan wall-mounted touchpanels and handheld remotes. For this holiday season, the setup is basic: the lights turn on at sundown and off at 6 a.m., and the family can easily program the lights to turn on in a pattern or sequence.