When you live thousands of miles away in a completely different country from your vacation home, staying connected can be difficult … unless you’ve outfitted your getaway with a home automation system that can be accessed remotely. The owners of the “Jewel Box House” in Sarasota, Fla., did just that, choosing a Crestron automation system as their intercontinental link from their home in France to their seasonal Florida destination.
“The ability to control aspects of the Sarasota residence remotely was extremely important to them,” says Mark Bolduc, president of Wicked Smart Homes, the local home systems integration firm hired to handle the design and installation of the home’s smart electronic systems. “They not only wanted to make sure the home was secure and operating efficiently in their absence, but also wanted an easy way to visually monitor activity in and around the house.”
Simple & Sophisticated Surveillance
Bolduc and his team outfitted the 5,000-square foot house with several strategically located Visualint surveillance cameras. “These are the next generation of IP cameras,” Bolduc says, noting that in addition to standard features like allowing the homeowners to view footage in real time remotely via their smartphones, the Visualint cameras can be configured to notify the owners of activity under very specific conditions. They can be set up to watch only a certain area of the property at only certain times of the day, for example. The ability to fine-tune each camera ensured that the homeowners would only be alerted when absolutely necessary—like when a person stepped onto the property in the evening—rather than every time the landscapers stepped onto the yard during the day. Wicked Smart Homes also created a virtual perimeter at the seawall, which would ensure that nobody would trespass onto the property from the water.
Smart Door Locks Maintain a Vigil
Complementing the cameras in their vigil are two Yale electronic door locks and a Liftmaster garage door opener. “These two elements are important to seasonal homeowners, because they allow them to let maintenance people into the house and property without having to provide keys,” Bolduc remarks. From their home in France, or anywhere else for that matter, the homeowners can create unique codes for people to enter, change those codes on a whim, and enable the codes only for certain periods of time.
Creating a Comfortable Home Environment
The remotely accessible cameras and door locks to a good job of protecting the Sarasota residence; the Crestron system provides the homeowners with means of controlling the home environment. From a Crestron mobile app, the owners can prep the house as they leave the airport, adjusting the Crestron thermostat and opening the Lutron HomeWorks QS window shades, for example. They might also turn on a few lights, courtesy of the Lutron HomeWorks QS system, and instruct an Autonomic Mirage media server to stream music to the Paradigm speakers and Leon Speakers soundbar in the family room. As the pull into the driveway, the house is bright, welcoming, and comfortable for their arrival.
In the same easy manner they can prepare the house for their departure, using their smartphone to sweep through the house to close the shades, adjust the thermostat, turn off the lights, activate the security system, and lock the doors as they drive away.
Easy Everyday Routines
As convenient as the mobile app is to prep the house for their arrival and departure, it comes in just as handy for simplifying common, everyday routines. The three in-wall Crestron touchpanels serve as home control dashboards, showing the homeowners the status of every light, shade, surveillance camera, door lock, security sensor, thermostat, and Pentair swimming pool controls on the premises and enabling them to adjust the settings of anything from any of these convenient locations.
In addition to facilitating simple, easy management of the home environment, the Crestron system also delivers music and video to several destinations in and around the house. Using a Crestron remote, the owners can cue video from their video distribution system to play on any or all of four Sony TVs. Audio from the Autonomic Mirage Music system, meanwhile, can be dispatched to nine different music listening zones, including a pair of Terra speakers poolside, and a surround-sound system in the family room, where an Anthem receiver, Paradigm speakers and subwoofer, and 75-inch TV do the entertainment honors.
In Complete Control from Anywhere in the World
No matter the season, no matter the day or if they’re five minutes or 5,000 miles away, the homeowners of this Sarasota home are in complete charge of their waterfront destination. They can use a mobile app while on the road or a sleek Creston wall-mounted touchpanel when they’re relaxing at home to alter the environment to their liking. And when it’s time to leave the residence, the Crestron system, in coordination with top-notch security devices, ensures that the house is safe and sound until their next visit.
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