Smarthouse Blog

home automation for commercial

Case Study: Home Automation for Commercial

Sound & Video Contractor magazine featured a case study on our work at Waterworks, one of Sarasota’s premier social and business clubs. Learn more about our commercial technology automation projects here.

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SmartHouse Earns Top ELAN Awards at CEDIA Expo 2018

September 2018

CEDIA, the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association, held their annual Expo in San Diego earlier this month. This home tech trade show and conference brings together more than 20,000 home tech pros and 500+ exhibitors for the leading event in connected technology. During the event, they present the heavily sought after CEDIA Awards which honor the best of the best in technical excellence, product innovation, and individual professionals within the home technology industry.

SmartHouse Integration had a very successful week at the CEDIA Expo bringing home two very prestigious awards, the Top ELAN Dealer in Florida and Top ELAN Flagship dealer in North America. Nortek Security & Control hosted the top ELAN dealers in North America for a dinner and celebration of this year’s success where SmartHouse was exclusively honored for being the Top ELAN Elite Flagship Dealer in North America. “This is a huge honor for our company”, states Mark van den Broek, CEO of SmartHouse Integration. “We saw the Flagship program as an amazing value for our clients. A five-year warranty on electronics is unheard of in our industry. Adding this type of warranty to our expertise ensures that our clients have some of the finest designed and installed systems in the industry.”

 

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Ask SmartHouse Why You Need Lutron Shades

Daylight has a quality that we respond to emotionally. Colors read true, finishes reveal their texture, and an uplifting quality pervades any room bathed in daylight. As we become more conscious of our footprint on this planet, we realize that making the most of daylight in our homes simply makes sense. Utilizing daylight reduces our need for electric light, and saves energy. Lutron shading systems provide precision control of daylight – all at the touch of a button.

Save Energy

Utilize your shading system to save additional energy beyond routine use of shades. “Winter warm” opens the shades, taking advantage of sunlight warming a southern façade. “Summer cool” does the opposite by lowering shades and blocking solar heat gain, thereby reducing your cooling costs. In addition, Lutron shading fabrics are made from sustainable materials for complete environmental and energy savings.

Elegance & Ambiance

Lutron controls are designed to look and work beautifully. Stylish control and fabric options coupled with innovative technology elegantly transition a space to create the right amount of light for any activity. Shades align precisely within 1/16 in of each other for a balanced, beautiful look to a row of windows.

Convenience

Managing daylight is not restricted to a single wall station in your home. Shading systems can be controlled using a myriad of keypads, IR remote controls, wireless tabletop controls, or set to an astronomic time clock for automatic adjustment of shades.

Safety & Security

Utilize a whole-home shading system for simultaneous control of all shades. By setting a pre-determined scene for “Away”, simply select this button when leaving to close all shades and restrict the view inside your home.

Reduce Glare & Protect Furnishings

Lutron shading systems diffuse light and prevent glare from washing out a computer or television screen. Shading systems also protect furniture, fine art, rugs, and even wood surfaces, from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter by using shading systems to deflect or harness solar heat.

© 2018 Lutron Electronics Co., Inc

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SmartHouse Integration: NEW Upcoming Projects

Check out two of the NEW and EXCITING projects SmartHouse Integration has in the works; Halcyon of Siesta Key and The Pearl Sarasota. Both projects are multiple dwelling units (MDUs) where we are not only using home automation and lighting control within each of the residences, but also for the grounds energy management and access control.

Both buildings are currently under construction, however there are only a few units left available for sale, so follow the links below to inquire about owning yours today.

Halcyon of Siesta Key

The Pearl Sarasota

 

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SmartHouse Integration Open House – May 16, 2018

If you were fortunate enough to attend our Open House, thank you for stopping by and making it such a huge success. The event brought together industry professionals to show, instead of tell, what home automation can do. The demonstrations featured A Day in the Life with a SmartHouse” which took attendees through a full day as owners of a smart home, displaying the various interactions and capabilities of the ELAN home automation system. The features showcased were automation of shades, lighting, audio, video and more. We hope everyone enjoyed seeing what a SmartHouse can do, as much as we enjoyed showing all of the products and services we have to offer.

We’d also like to give a special thanks to our vendors that attended; Jason Davis and Bret Jacob from Nortek Security & Control, and Brett Karuza from AMI Sales (pictured from left to right below). We hope we showed off our brands as well as you all represent them.

          

If you missed the SmartHouse open house, you definitely missed one heck of a party as you can see from some of the photos below. Be on the lookout for the next one, or swing by the showroom in the meantime and we’ll be happy to give you a private demonstration.

                                                                                                

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Island Get Away Project: 2018 Mark of Excellence Award WINNER!!!

January 10, 2018 — SmartHouse Integration was awarded the 2018 TechHome® Mark of Excellence Award for CUSTOM HOME OF THE YEAR – UNDER $50,000 for their Island Get Away project. This award was presented at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 9-12, 2018. This makes the 15th award SmartHouse Integration has received for their work since 2009, and it is starting off as another award winning year.

The TechHome® Mark of Excellence Awards, presented by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™, recognize the best in custom integration and installed technology. Each year manufacturers, distributors and systems integrators compete in more than 30 award categories for this coveted honor. Entry categories include manufacturer products and integrator projects, as well as the TechHome Integrator of the Year Award, which celebrates outstanding business success, resource use, comprehensive technical skills and exceptional quality in professional installations. All entries are judged by independent experts within the industry, and winners are announced at the Mark of Excellence Awards Reception during CTA’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES)®.

SmartHouse would like to thank the amazing homeowners of the Island Get Away for allowing them to turn their vision into an award winning SmartHouse!

Check out the March 2018 edition of CE Pro Magazine for the feature article on the project, as well as coverage on cepro.com.

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SmartHouse Integration – Your Sarasota CEDIA Integrator

SmartHouse Integration – Your Sarasota CEDIA Integrator

CEDIA is the international trade association and central touchpoint for 3,700 member companies that represent every facet of the ever-evolving technology market.

The association powers integrators’ passion by providing development pathways that move them to the next level by providing education, community, resources, and vision.

CEDIA members deliver technology solutions that allow people to have their best moments in life from the comfort of their own home: life lived best at home.

Contact us today, your Sarasota CEDIA integrator, to see how we can help you live your life best at home.

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SmartHouse Integration partners with Bang & Olufsen

Like no one else.

Since 1925, Bang & Olfusen has become an international design icon and a global symbol of audio-visual excellence. Today, Bang & Olufsen is world renowned for its distinctive range of quality televisions, music systems, and high-performance loudspeakers; products that combine technological excellence with emotional appeal in a sensational design language.

SmartHouse is very excited to be a Bang & Olfusen Professional Partner serving the West Coast of Florida and beyond. We have a variety of products on display in our showroom. Come by to check out how we can bring the audio-visual excellence of Bang & Olufsen into your life.

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Get Ready for Your New Smart TV

If it’s been a few years since you have bought a new TV, well, a lot has changed. No longer is it enough to go into a store and simply look for the best picture and sound. The advent of smart TVs has turned the typical display device into an all-in-one media center. This is good news, because you now get a lot more functionality for your money; however, it also means there are many more features you need to learn about and consider.

What is a Smart TV?

For the past two years at least, nearly every HDTV on the market has also been a smart TV. When these products first started emerging, we called them Internet TVs or connected TVs or a few other terms that have fallen out of use to be replaced by Smart TV. In short, a smart TV is any television that supports an Internet connection and online content services. Often, smart TVs include advanced features such as voice or gesture control, voice search, social media integration, app control and universal search features. The more features the TV has, the smarter it is.

The most popular feature on a smart TV is online media streaming. Services like Netflix, Amazon Video, VUDU, Cinema Now, Pandora, Slacker and more offer instant gratification for people who like a wide assortment of content available at their fingertips. A smart TV with media streaming and an Internet connection requires no extra hardware to be a complete entertainment hub. This has traditional cable companies a little upset because many customers have decided that directly-streamed Internet content is all they need, so they forgo those expensive cable subscriptions. Along with that, it’s important to remember that every HDTV sold today includes a digital over-the-air tuner for broadcast television networks. An inexpensive TV and a broadband Internet connection can often provide all the television content a family could ask for.

Where do you start?

When selecting a new TV, you’ll first need to decide how you plan to use it and what you want to watch on it. If you’re convinced that online streaming services are not for you, and you don’t want to learn how to use any new features, then look for a very basic smart TV. These days you’ll have trouble finding them, but some of the less popular TV brands still offer barebones TVs at bargain prices.

TIP: A smart TV with multiple streaming services is a good choice for a bedroom, den or kitchen,where installing an additional cable box would be difficult.

SIZE: TVs have gotten bigger and thinner over the years. There are several rule-of-thumb approaches to selecting the appropriate size TV, and most of them suggest a larger size than you had originally anticipated. This is because they’re based on field of view, and sometimes resolution. Instead of calculating the TV based on your field of view, instead consider how much space you have. You probably have more space than you believe. Today’s TVs have almost no bezel around the picture screen, and that lets you fit more TV into the same amount of space as your older TV. The average viewer sits about 10 feet from his/her living room TV. At this viewing distance, a 60- or 70-inch HDTV is not out of line. THX recommends a 40 degree field of view, which means that if you sit 10 feet from your TV you should be watching a 100-inch screen. If you opt for a new 4K Ultra HD TV, then your eyes wouldn’t even notice pixels if you were five feet away.

TIP: Our rule of thumb is to get the biggest TV that your wall space can accommodate. For a family’s main TV nothing smaller than 55 inches will do.

DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY: The selection of display technologies available on TVs today is a lot simpler to comprehend now than it was just a couple of years ago. There are two main choices among 1080p resolution TVs: LED LCD and plasma. Just a few years ago you’d need to decide between LCD and LED LCD, plus DLP rear projection. The LCD and DLP options are largely gone. In fact, plasma TVs have also mostly been phased out, much to the disappointment of a lot of TV enthusiasts. Only Samsung and LG still make plasma TVs (and Samsung won’t for very much longer), and just a few at that. So essentially you have a choice between a few models of plasma and a lot of LED LCD TVs. If you’re looking for the best picture quality, especially if you plan to watch TV with the lights on and the window shades open, then check out the better plasma TVs. Other than that, LED LCD is the way to go.

There are two different types of LED LCDs: edge lit and backlit (sometimes called full-array). Unlike a plasma TV, an LCD panel doesn’t actually produce any light itself. It requires a light source to create the picture—that’s the LED part (light emitting diode). TV manufacturers can either put the LEDs on the sides and then use a system of light channels to pipe the light behind the TV, or they can place the LEDs directly behind the TV. Edge-lit TVs have the benefit of being thinner (centimeters in some cases) and often cheaper than full-array models. Because of the placement of the LEDs, often edge-lit TVs will produce some uneven distribution of the lighting—this is usually seen in the form of brighter spots around sides or corners during very dark scenes of a movie. Full-array or backlit LED LCD TVs usually make up a company’s line of premium offerings. In a full-array model, the LEDs are divided into multiple zones behind the LCD screen. If the TV has a feature called Local Dimming (different manufacturers may call it slightly different things), then the LEDs have the ability to dim or turn off individually for dark sections of a picture. This produces a better contrast ratio (the difference between the TV’s blackest and whitest picture) and better black reproduction. The more dimming zones the better. Some edge-lit TVs also include local dimming features, and while they work, they’re not as effective as dimming on true backlit TVs.

What about OLED? OLED (organic light emitting diode) TVs may be the next big thing in TV display technology, but there are only a few models on the market now, and for most people, they’re prohibitively expensive.

What about 3DTV? Around 2009 3DTV seemed to be on a rocket ship trajectory. But like the exhaust of a rocket ship, the fad quickly faded. While now almost every TV over 32 inches is a 3D TV, it’s now just a standard, rather than a premium feature. The number of 3D movies and 3D Blu-ray releases has also dropped as viewers have pegged 3D a gimmick they don’t much care for. Still, if you like TV, then you have two choices of 3D: Active or Passive.

Active 3D TVs use battery operated glasses ($50 to $100) with built-in LCDs that act like shutters in sync with the alternating frames of a 3D video. Passive 3D puts most of the work in the screen, rather than in the glasses, so they use simple and cheap ($10 to $20) polarized glasses, similar to what most 3D movie houses use. Both systems work pretty well, but in a 1080p TV, the passive 3D method reduces a video’s resolution by half.

EH Staff  •  May 6, 2016  •  www.electronichouse.com

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Art Collector Controls Waterfront Home With ELAN

17,000-Square-Foot Home Uses Smart Lighting to Highlight Art

With exquisite artwork, a comprehensive wine collection, and a keen eye for modern design, two Sarasota, FL homeowners decided to push their smart home beyond industry convention. To enhance the home’s art, architecture, and interior design with modern technology, they put their 17,000-square-foot home in the hands of SmartHouse Integration’s Mark van den Broek to install a complete home management infrastructure that fuses new-wave design with modern smart home functionality. At the center of it all is an ELAN Entertainment and Control System that serves as the home’s central hub to guarantee complete control and remote accessibility.

“Beyond installing the usual smart home functions, such as temperature, lighting, audio/video and security control, I was called upon to utilize lighting to emphasize and highlight the homeowner’s displayed art collection,” van den Broek said. “This project showcases how technology integration truly merges with interior design.”

To serve as the backbone of the entire smart home infrastructure, van den Broek installed an ELAN System Controller, accessible through eight ELAN 7-inch in-wall touchpanels, four smaller ELAN touchpanels, and three ELAN HR2 remotes, all of which are positioned strategically throughout the home. “Selecting a reliable smart home control system was essential to a project of this magnitude,” van den Broek said. “None of the critical design or functionality elements would be possible without a reliable controller.”

When developing a design-centric home management system, van den Broek made lighting his number-one priority. To sufficiently marry functionality and design, van den Broek integrated Lutron Homeworks Lighting and Shades with the ELAN Entertainment and Control System so that the lighting could function automatically, or be controlled by the homeowners from anywhere in the world.

“I used lighting as a design element in the same capacity that I use it as a functional element,” he said. “Throughout the home, the lighting evolves and changes to best enhance the art it emphasizes. Each application, depending on the exhibit it highlights or room it illuminates, is specifically catered to that space.”

To emphasize the homeowners’ art collection, lights were strategically placed underneath or above them to enhance each piece. While art-enhancing light found in traditional galleries is usually stark white, van den Broek strived to stay away from harsh hues and rely on light more conducive to a residential setting. To do so, he played with the light’s consistency and power, automating them to fade and ramp up at specific times throughout the day. By doing this, he achieved an art gallery-like atmosphere. “When the sun begins to set, the lights slowly ramp up, incrementally highlighting the art as the sunlight continues to fade,” he said. “It’s a truly stunning effect.”

One of the home’s most distinctive art pieces, the Orb—a kinetic aircraft aluminum sculpture designed by Chuck Hoberman—utilizes light as part of its playful interaction of electrical engineering and design. Positioned from the ceiling of the home’s grand salon (or living area), the Orb shifts and expands, giving the illusion that the fixture is alive and breathing. To complement the shifting nature of the piece, van den Broek installed RGD LED controllable lighting in a circular configuration around the piece. Through ELAN, the homeowners can initiate the Orb’s movement or change the color and frequency of the lighting. “The effect is quite hypnotic,” one homeowner added. “The lighting is spectacular and sets the mood of the room. With the touch of the button, I can change the lighting or the speed of the Orb’s movement from anywhere in the home.”

As avid wine connoisseurs, the homeowners asked for a functional and well-lit wine cellar that was both fully automated and discreetly located. Thus, van den Broek installed a network of security, lighting, and temperature control elements, all of which are accessible to the homeowners through the ELAN app. When the wine cellar is opened with a password, white light illuminates the wine bottles’ labels. Additionally, temperature control guarantees that the room remains between 56-59 degrees Fahrenheit; if it strays outside of that range, the homeowners will receive an email notification. “The wine cellar’s interplay of light, security, and temperature control truly represents the marriage of design and function,” van den Broek said. “This micro smart system, set within the confines of a much larger system, improves the user experience by giving very close attention to detail.”

To tie the home’s functional lighting in with modern décor, van den Broek worked closely with interior designer Pamela Hughes of Hughes Design Associates to ensure that certain accent areas were sufficiently highlighted. According to Hughes, the interplay of lighting and design is crucial for the home’s interior décor. “Beautifully designed lighting highlights my work,” Hughes said. “You could be the best interior designer in the world, but if the lighting isn’t good, the project will fall flat. I worked closely with SmartHouse Integration to ensure that all overhead lighting served as a design element in its own right.”

In a home of this magnitude, a modern and sophisticated security system is a must. Utilizing infrared technology, van den Broek installed a laser beam-based security system. “We made sure to equip the home with an extremely advanced security and camera system,” van den Broek added.

The homeowners also love to entertain. That’s why van den Broek designed and installed a whole home, multiroom, indoor/outdoor audio system with the audio power to potentially “blow the doors off the place.” With 18-foot ceilings in the grand salon, van den Broek chose to forgo in-ceiling speakers to avoid the risk of sounding faint. Instead, he relied on two Sunfire Atmos Subwoofers to get the job done and achieve the powerful system he was looking for. “Even without in-ceiling speakers, small and compact Sunfire Atmos subwoofers propel sound to create an impactful and entertaining audio experience,” van den Broek said. “They may be small, but they pack a lot of punch.”

To protect the home’s extensive smart home infrastructure from power surges, van den Broek installed four Panamax M4315 Pros with BlueBOLT remote energy management as well as two Panamax MB850 and two Panamax MB1500 Uninterruptible Power Supply units. “BlueBOLT allows me to manage the home’s power as well as service the home remotely,” van den Broek added. “For example, if the cable box isn’t working, I can reboot it from anywhere in the world with the touch of a button. This product is optimal for maintaining network health.”

Overall, the homeowners are thrilled with every element of the home’s technological design. “I have used smart home control systems before, and ELAN is by far the easiest and most reliable,” one homeowner concluded. “Between ELAN’s reliability and Mark van den Broek’s superb design skills, my home embodies the ultimate ‘wow’ factor while still maintaining a high degree of user-friendly efficiency.”

RS Staff  •  March 2, 2017  •  www.ResidentialSystems.com

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