Note: This article was originally published at Connected Design.
A Longboat Key, Florida couple was recently tasked with finding someone to integrate a system into their home that would allow for total control of their technology by voice command. The music-loving duo elicited Mark Van den Broek for the job who then selected ELAN home automation and Amazon Alexa to make the 8,000-square-foot home become all that they envisioned.
“Mark and his team were the only ones who asked us what we wanted the house to do, instead of just listing what they could do, and then they made it happen,” the homeowner said. “It was like magic!”
Step one in the entire process was to integrate an ELAN controller into the home to act as the “brains” of the operation. Next, Van den Broek and his team installed nine Amazon Echo Dots throughout the home with customized Alexa voice controls to allow the couple to speak to Alexa in a more conversational tone. For instance, the homeowners can say “Alexa, good morning” to turn on the lights, open window shades, turn on the living room TV, and disarm the security system. Conversely, they can say “Alexa, goodnight” to shut off the audio and video on the first floor, turn on the master bathroom lights, turn off the indoor pool fountains and waterfalls, adjust the thermostats to a preset temperature, and dim the foyer chandelier to 10 percent until 2 AM when the lights completely turn off for the night.
With their love of music and appreciation of high-quality audio in mind, SmartHouse Integration also created a 16-zone audio system featuring ELAN amplification and distribution, an Autonomics media server, and SpeakerCraft AIM Series 2 in-ceiling speakers to allow the couple to listen to music from anywhere in their home. Accessing their music selection is as easy as opening the ELAN app or using one of the many ELAN in-wall touch panels.
“We knew that top-quality audio was a make-or-break feature of this system,” Van den Broek said, “so we used the best ELAN and SpeakerCraft equipment to ensure every room sounds fantastic, access is fast and easy, and they can use content from multiple sources simultaneously.”
Like the rest of the home, the theater was designed with the best in audio from three SpeakerCraft AIM Cinema in-wall speakers, a SpeakerCraft Profile AIM center channel speaker, and two Sunfire 10-inch subwoofers.
And with the ELAN remote the couple can change more than just the channel.
A single touch of the remote’s TV button creates a complete ready-to-watch atmosphere. The Sony projector is turned on and displayed onto the Dragonfly projection screen, the surround sound is activated, and the lights are dimmed to an appropriate movie-watching level. From there the couple can access their media services including streaming and downloaded content through Apple TV, Roku, or a cable box. And if you thought the level of detail couldn’t get any more precise, when a program is paused or stopped, the wall scones automatically brighten to 50 percent until play resumes.
“This beautiful island home became a true paradise for my clients,” van den Broek added. “By making nearly every electronic function of the home easier to use, accessible from anywhere, and connected for monitoring, the ELAN system with Alexa voice control has entirely changed their home life. We hope this inspires others to investigate how smart home control can make their houses easier to manage and more comfortable to live in.”