There are no rulebooks when it comes to automating your home. You can incorporate as little or as much technology as you deem necessary or that your budget allows. You can start out small and grow your smart system gradually. You can focus on one room or on the entire house. You can even concentrate your automation efforts on a particular element of your home.
The owners of this luxurious London residence chose the latter approach, utilizing a Lutron HomeWorks QS system to automate their home’s more than 70 windows and doors to the hilt—a decision that helped their home win the Lutron Excellence award for Project of the Year.
Lutron QS Synchs the Control of Windows, Shades, and Doors
The Lutron HomeWorks QS system was designed and installed by the London-based home systems integration firm SM Contracts (SMC) Limited to control every part of the home’s numerous windows and doors. This would include motorized blinds and curtains on the interior, motorized shutters and awnings on the exterior, and even the positions of the windows and doors themselves.
Additionally, the HomeWorks QS system was programmed by SMC to signal the glass of select windows to turn from clear to opaque at the touch of a button.
Elegantly engraved buttons on easily accessible Lutron seeTouch® keypads—more than 95 total—provide the homeowner and his family with a simple, intuitive way to take charge of the home’s wide assortment of light fixtures. More than 240 circuits of lights, including colored LED fixtures, can be set perfectly in seconds for any occasion, and dimmed and brightened to the precise, eye-pleasing level—all while the windows, blinds, curtain, shutters, and awnings adjust positions, adding a view of the outdoors, fresh air, or natural light to the indoor environment. “This extreme level of window automation preserves the view of the lush backyard, helps conserve energy, and sets the mood for a variety of activities that take place in this family-oriented home,” says SMC director Robin Courtenay. “The owners went above and beyond the level at which most homeowners choose to automate, optimizing the capabilities of the HomeWorks QS system to the full extent.”
90+ Lutron seeTouch® Keypads Offer On-The-Spot Command of Lights and Shades
With so many items in this home under the aegis of the Lutron HomeWorks QS system, the family would need an equally robust user interface This would require that each room be fitted with a keypad that was able to accommodate numerous buttons. A standard Lutron seeTouch® keypad can hold 10 buttons, so SMC ganged two keypads together for double the control options. The faceplate on each of the home’s 90+ keypads were flushed mounted into the wall for a seamless appearance. To simplify the control process further, each button was custom-engraved and fitted with an LED that changes color to indicate the status of the window treatments and lights.
The seeTouch® keypads function admirably for on-the-spot adjustments within a particular room; for times when the owners would like to sweep through the entire house—perhaps closing all of the windows and doors before leaving for a vacation—they grab an iPad or visit a wall-mounted Crestron touchpanel to access commands that can adjust every window, door, blind, curtain, awning, and light for their departure, bedtime, and other common household routines. The family can also use the iPad control app to quickly determine which lights might have been left on and where, if any blinds have been left open, and so on.
Remarkable Room Transformations at the Touch of a Button
Unified control over dozens of devices is not only handy for speedy departures; it enhances the functionality of the house. For example, what could have been a barebones exercise area transforms at the touch of a button into a full-fledged yoga room where the owner is able provide instruction to her students in a peaceful, serene, restorative environment. Programmed moods and effects can be instantly engaged by tapping a button on an iPad or on a Crestron touchpanel. SMC integrated Philips DMX colored lighting into the HomeWorks operating system so that any hue from thousands can wash over the walls to enhance the effect.
“Blue lights might make the room seem cooler; red, warmer,” Courtenay explains. And like any good yoga studio, the temperature, as well as the music, which plays through two imperceptible in-ceiling speakers, can be tweaked to suit the specific practice of the day. To make the room feel cozier, another touch of a button lowers custom-designed fabric shades over a bank of windows. Open them, as well as the motorized sliding glass doors, and the yoga-goers can enjoy the view of and the breeze from a lush backyard, where various water features—again, all controlled from the owner’s iPad—can create the perfect atmosphere, whether it’s in the yoga room, family room, kitchen or anywhere else in this smart, exquisite, elegantly automated home.