News / Media

Crestron Pyng Puts YOU in Control

Pyng, the newest addition to Crestron home controls, now allows you to make program scheduling changes yourself without waiting for your programmer! The newest addition to the Crestron line allows adjustments to lighting, shades, climate, and security right from your iPad. Having a party and want a scene specifically for the one night? No problem, Pyng it! Feel like your house could be a little more cozy now that it’s colder outside? Pyng it! Pyng brings your home control to your fingtertips for the easiest, most convenient system yet. Learn more at the links below, or give us a call!

http://youtu.be/Ja4ppY4yGMM

http://www.crestron.com/features/crestronpynghomeautomationipad_app/

Posted by ryan Tue, 11 Nov 2014 17:45:00 GMT

My Favorite (A/V!) Things From 2013

At Electronic House we are lucky to be exposed to the best new technology and most impressive. In the spirit of Julie Andrews’ rendition of “My Favorite Things” (or Carrie Underwood if you prefer) from The Sound of Music, we bring you our favorite things from 2013.

LISA MONTGOMERY:

Homes

Sophisticated Library Includes Hidden Lighting Controls I love it when custom electronics professionals get creative, and the book spine that was fitted with buttons for controlling the room’s lights is the epitome of thinking outside the box.

Smart Glass Creates a Home Office Hideout It’s not often we run across a home where smartglass has been integrated into a control system. Here, a curved wall of glass goes from clear to frosty when a button on a Lutron keypad is pressed.

Frosted office

NetZero Home Gets 600 LEDs Controlled by an Automation System To me, a story about an automated home is always more interesting when the owner of the house is intimately involved in the project. In this story, the owner was not only involved … he actually built a product that would expand the functionality of his professionally installed home automation system.

Trends

5 Up and Coming Technologies for the Home It’s fun to look into the future ball of home technologies, and this story does just that.

WiFi Strengthens its Position as a Home Control Protocol I always like cheering for the underdog, and in this story I do give a big hurrah to Wi-Fi, as it makes inroads as a very viable home control platform.

Integrated Control Vs. Multiple Apps for Home Automation Smartphone and downloadable apps have had huge implications in the home control marketplace. This story investigates the advantages and disadvantages of using apps to rule your house.

Products

Super Shading Solutions Get Motorized Of all the electronic systems available to the home, motorized shading is one of my favorites, mostly due to the fact that shades look about as low-tech as a throw pillow. Add a motor to them, though, and they can do some amazing things. This story discusses what’s possible.

High-Definition Artwork for Your TV This story came to my by surprise. I received a very well written email about a new technology that solves a very real problem facing anyone who owns a flat-panel TV: what to do with the screen to make it look better when the TV is off. This solution, unlike many others, is super affordable, easy to implement and lets you change the look of your static TV screen on a whim.

TV Art

To read the full article, click here.

Posted by ryan Tue, 24 Dec 2013 21:29:00 GMT

Control4 Hardwired Centralized Lighting Control System is Here

New ‘panelized’ hardwired lighting control system is the first for Control4, best known for its wireless home automation systems.

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It took a few years for Control4 —best known for wireless home automation—to perfect its first ever hardwired centralized lighting system but “it’s really here,” says Paul Williams, VP of security and communications products. The system, which Control4 calls “panelized” lighting, was shown in its finished form at ISE 2013 in Amsterdam in January. The solution is Ethernet-based, readily integrated into an IP-enabled automation ecosystem.

The panels and termination blocks are “ready to go,” says Williams, “so dealers can start spec’ing it.”

Control4 added a few niceties to the system since it debuted a few years ago, including some features you don’t see in every hardwired lighting control.

The new lighting system is available in both U.S.-centric panel configurations and European DIN rail mounting.

The system can operate from 120V to 277V allowing it to operate worldwide in commercial and residential applications.

Control4 Panelized lighting control system

Click here to view full article

Posted by ryan Tue, 02 Apr 2013 16:56:00 GMT

Lutron Demos Energy-Saving Motion Sensor Switches, LED/CFL Dimmers, and More on Fox

by Dennis Burger on April 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm



Click here to view the full article

http://www.technologytell.com/hometech/85350/lutron-demos-energy-saving-motion-sensor-switches-ledcfl-dimmers-and-more-on-fox/

Our pal Melissa Andresko from Lutron appeared on Fox Tech Take this week to show off the company’s C•L dimmers, which are notable for their ability to smoothly, reliably, and consistently control dimmable compact fluorescent and LED bulbs as well as old-school incandescents and halogen bulbs. Also on display is Lutron’s new Maestro occupancy/vacancy sensor, as well as those cellular shades you might remember me geeking out about at last year’s CEDIA Expo.



Click here to view the full article

<strong><a href="http://www.technologytell.com/hometech/85350/lutron-demos-energy-saving-motion-sensor-switches-ledcfl-dimmers-and-more-on-fox/" target="_blank">http://www.technologytell.com/hometech/85350/lutron-demos-energy-saving-motion-sensor-switches-ledcfl-dimmers-and-more-on-fox/</a></strong></p>

Posted by chantal Wed, 30 May 2012 16:07:00 GMT

High-Tech Helps Save Energy at one of Subways First Eco-Restaurants

Control4 Press Release

Control4 automation solutions and Eragy energy management lower utility bills to pay for the system in just three years.

Salt Lake City, UT – April 5, 2012 – A new, high-tech Subway franchise in Kokomo, Indiana recently received the state’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) commercial project certification thanks in part to a Control4 automation system. As part of Subway’s Eat Fresh, Live Green™ Eco-Restaurant initiative, the restaurant earned accolades for its use of intelligent automation technology for saving energy and for its green-building methodologies.

George Estep, franchisee of the newly opened Subway, had experienced the sting of his monthly electricity bills at his other restaurants and knew that building a “green” restaurant was about more than just recycled construction materials and native plantings. “Rising utility expenses were a factor in deciding to make this location a showcase of energy efficiency,” stated Estep.

Estep teamed up with Brandon Pitcher, Chief Sustainability Officer at Indiana-based real estate development firm, Fortune Management, who presented a vision for a store that was high-tech, economically sound and environmentally conscious. Pitcher then commissioned Huston Electric to create a fully automated lighting, HVAC, and occupancy sensor-driven system powered by Control4 that would allow the building to act and react automatically to predetermined commands.

The building was fit with programmable light switches, thermostats, motion sensors, daylight sensors, and an eGauge energy monitoring device that communicates wirelessly with the Control4 system. The processes were then automated so interior and exterior lights would switch on and off based on pre-set opening and closing hours, bathroom and kitchen lights function based upon occupancy, and two exterior light level sensors harvest daylight to automatically conserve power. When the sensors reach a set percentage of light, near 60%, the dining room lights on the side room will shut off, thereby “harvesting” the natural light coming into the dining area. Thermostats were also programmed to rise or drop automatically based on business hours alongside an in-ceiling ERV air recovery unit also controlled through a Control4 switch. A monitor in the lobby displays the Control4 navigator with the Eragy App in real time, acting both as an education and informational display tool.

In order to measure the project goal of a return on investment within 36 months, Huston turned to Eragy, a leading provider of smart energy software applications and services, to monitor the building’s overall power usage. The Eragy system monitors electrical loads throughout the restaurant so that energy usage can be tracked and accessed remotely, allowing the restaurant staff to quickly understand projected monthly energy costs even before they get their bill, and make prior adjustments as needed.

Being able to monitor and record the shops’ energy savings allows Estep to track just how much money he is saving on his monthly electric bill. The energy savings alone is projected, at its current rate, to pay for the system in just over 2 1/2 years – sooner than their original goal. At that point, the energy savings becomes additional profit to the business’ bottom line.

“Control4 and Eragy allowed us to combine high tech with a positive environmental impact,” stated Huston’s Nate Cushman. “By organizing the different systems to work together, we’ve created effortless control with environmental consciousness that allows this Subway location to monetize their energy savings.”

The store displays the energy usage on a large monitor for customers to enjoy and discuss. “We invested in an intelligent system because it made solid economic sense,” said Pitcher. “We went public with Eragy’s Watts On Now! app to expose customers and staff to the real world energy usage it takes to make a Subway operate. We want our store to provide creative and interactive experiences to our customers so they gain an understanding about economic and environmental issues.”

“Eco-restaurants reflect our commitment to social responsibility and sustainability,” said Marketing Director Elizabeth Stewart, who heads the Subway brand’s corporate social responsibility efforts. “We have pledged to make our restaurants and operations more environmentally responsible and it’s exciting when a franchisee takes this level of effort with their restaurant. They set a great example of just what can be done.”

With today’s affordable technology solutions, even small restaurants and businesses can deliver a high-tech experience to customers, while also enjoying energy savings.

Posted by chantal Fri, 06 Apr 2012 22:34:00 GMT

Introducing the Card Access Sub Zero Smart Appliance Module for use with your Control4 System!

It’s a long-held stereotype that beauty and brains don’t go together. Well, not anymore. Introducing the Card Access™ Sub-Zero® / Wolf® Smart Appliance Module™. This new product from Card Access gives the beautiful Sub-Zero BI-Series of refrigerators the needed brains for integration with the award-winning Control4® home control system.

Underneath the Sub-Zero BI-Series’ refrigerators are several advanced technologies that work together as a comprehensive food preservation system that provides you with fresh, wholesome food and water in ways no other appliance can.

The Card Access Smart Appliance Module combines these advanced appliance features with the capabilities of Control4 to monitor:

  • refrigerator door / freezer door open and close states
  • refrigerator and freezer temperature set points
  • ice maker on/off state
  • Max Ice Mode on/off state
  • Pure Air on/off state
  • water filter useful life (displayed as a percentage)

And set a variety of refrigerator operating modes including:

  • Short and Long Vacation Mode
  • High Use Mode
  • Sabbath Mode
  • Normal Mode
  • Night Ice
  • Heat Store

The free Card Access Sub-Zero Smart Appliance app–available for download from Control4’s 4Store™–gives Navigator access to these refrigerator features.

You can now take advantage of the combination of these two systems to receive alerts, throw a better party, or vacation with greater convenience and peace of mind… All with a little help from Control4 and Card Access.

Who says you can’t have beauty and brains in a single package?

Posted by chantal Mon, 19 Mar 2012 16:20:00 GMT

The Importance of Being Illuminated

Published Feb 23, 2012 By KARYN ELLIOTT



Click here to view the full article

http://hdliving.com/learning-center/2012/02/23/importance-illuminated



A lighting design practice integrates the arts, sciences and business of illumination design and implementation far beyond concerns of visibility. Putting the enhancement of beauty aside for a moment, in the average home, 25 percent of all the electricity we use is for lighting and small appliances, such as TVs, VCRs and stereos.

One-half of that is wasted by inefficient lighting sources or careless consumers. Residential has long been the ugly duckling of lighting design, it has been incandescent-based and completely unsophisticated for decades.

It’s not about buying expensive light fittings; it’s about having quality in your living space. It’s not always the case that where the money’s being spent is where the best design happens. Thoughtful lighting design can play a crucial role when it comes to the comfort, quality and energy efficiency of your home’s lighting.

Here are a few principals of home lighting. First, get a certified lighting designer involved. No matter how much you take the following suggestions and points to heart you will want a qualified professional to assist you in implementing them.

The most important thing to realize is that human visual performance depends as much on the quality of light in a home as it does on the quantity of light.


Click here to view the full article

<strong><a href="http://hdliving.com/learning-center/2012/02/23/importance-illuminated" target="_blank">http://hdliving.com/learning-center/2012/02/23/importance-illuminated</a></strong></p>

Posted by chantal Fri, 09 Mar 2012 17:37:00 GMT

High tech and high class. How luxury hotels are embracing technology

FEBRUARY 26, 2012BY KRISSY RUSHING



Turn up the music, turn down the lights, and start a movie – with the swipe of a finger. Here’s how high-tech room controls are making your next luxury hotel room classier than ever.



Click here to view the full article

http://www.digitaltrends.com/lifestyle/high-tech-and-high-class-how-luxury-hotels-are-embracing-technology/



Technology is an important part of the home, and what better way for hoteliers to make guests feel at home than to provide them with state-of-the-art technological amenities? We are talking about a deeper level of connectivity than a simple iPod dock, or a reliable Internet connection in your hotel room. The trend in luxury hotels across the globe is a simple touchscreenwith an easy-to-use graphic user interface that can control all your room’s amenities, such as lighting, air conditioning, TV, movies,and music. These systems also have the capability to handle communication with the front desk, housekeeping, concierge, and checkout. The modern hotel also offers staff facility-wide monitoring and management capabilities.

In fact, most of the major control companies are already entrenched in the hotel market, from Control4 to Crestron and Apple. Needless to say, hoteliers are jumping on the control bandwagon, which is the“wow” amenity of the moment that puts luxury hotels a cut above.

Inspiration from across the street

At the legendary Plaza in New York City, Manhattan’s iconic NYC Apple Store sits just across the street. When the Apple iPad came out, the hotel’s general manager, Shane Krige, walked across the street and purchased a few to put in the hotel lobby for guests to play with. Once the Plaza team saw everything the device was capable of, they put an iPad in every room.

Guests are greeted with a personalized welcome screen and a video from Krige explaining ICE, the Interactive Customer Experience.Once acquainted,you can control the room temperature or set lights at various levels from 100 percent to completely off. You can send messages to the front desk, request toothpaste from housekeeping, or ask the concierge for a restaurant reservation. Guests can arrange transportation or learn about the hotel, which just underwent a $450 million renovation. You can even check airlines and print boarding passes. A mobile ICE app in the works will be downloadable from the Plaza’s website, allowing you to do all these things before you even arrive.

The room that knows you’re there

Across the sea in Sydney Harbour, Australia, the Star Hotel & Casino offers complete guest control in its 174 luxury suites.Guests get on-screen control of the television, IBAHN Video-on-Demand system, lighting and temperature, a Philips Dynalite lighting control system, a wireless thermostat, Samsung LED 3D TV, Bose Cinemate music system, and more. A Control4 system acts as the backbone, allowing simple control with a straightforward interface.

The suites all feature a button labeled “Leaving Room” by the entry door that automatically places the suite in an energy-saving mode: With a single touch, it closes blinds, turns off lights and dials back air conditioners for energy savings. Should you forget to press this on your way out, after 30 minutes the system will sense there is no one and trigger the button automatically. Upon return your room will greet you by opening curtains, turning on the lights and displaying a welcome message. “Door Ajar” and “Privacy” notification pops up on the TV so you know you are safe and won’t be bothered by the hotel staff.

The greener side of high-tech

At the Montage Deer Valley mountain resort in Park City, Utah, 154 deluxe guest rooms and 66 suites are equipped with a similar Control4 Hospitality Solution that lets guests control lighting,temperature, the fireplace, entertainment, privacy settings and energy-saving features. Hotel guests can enjoy theses effortless tech amenities while the hotel industry – known for its oversize environmental footprint — can reduce negative impact.

Crestron is also doing interesting things in the hotel industry, and has installed control systems in some of the world’s top hotel chains, including Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group, Four Seasons, and Starwood Properties.

“Hotels are using more technology to enable a higher level of service,” says Crestron’s director of hospitality, Michael Stegmann. “The modern hotel standard presents new challenges to manage and integrate it all.”

Crestron’s Hospitality solution is up to the challenge, monitoring and managing centralized AV sources and lighting controls for all areas of a hotel from a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android device and a local Crestron touch screen. As with Control4 systems, Crestron’s offers a number of ways to cut back on electricity consumption, from dimming systems to occupancy sensors and daylight harvesting. In-room amenities, including security, AV, and HVAC are standard. The environmentally minded Gateway Canyon Resort in Gateway, Colorado, for example, uses a Crestron system to control hotel-wide functions, including the Kiva Lodge, a 38-room hotel with fitness center, spa, café and pool area. The Crestron CP2E system controls AV and background music distribution throughout the lodge. Wall-mount touch screens and keypadsadorn the luxury space for walk-up, one-touch control.

Click here to view the full article

<strong><a href="http://www.digitaltrends.com/lifestyle/high-tech-and-high-class-how-luxury-hotels-are-embracing-technology/" target="_blank">http://www.digitaltrends.com/lifestyle/high-tech-and-high-class-how-luxury-hotels-are-embracing-technology/</a></strong></p>

Posted by chantal Mon, 05 Mar 2012 17:10:00 GMT

Home Automation

Will home automation become something that we can’t imagine living without? Jeff Wilson takes us on a tour of a design showroom that highlights some of the time- and energy-saving benefits of automation.



Wed Feb 15 2012 Written by Jeff Wilson



Click here to view the full article

http://buildipedia.com/at-home/jeff-wilson-everyday-diy-blog/home-automation



Home automation sounds a little intimidating. Just the mention makes me think of the USS Enterprise on Star Trek – seamless integration of controls for everything from lighting and sound to heating and air-conditioning to security and energy-efficiency. Oh, and don’t forget to set those phasers to stun.

Ten years ago, the only kind of home automation I’d heard of was “the Clapper,” which I didn’t think I’d have any use for until I was old enough to fall and not be able to get back up. Times have changed, though, as I learned during my recent visit to the Crestron Design Showroom in New York City – Crestron is an automation company well known in commercial building for their very high quality and attention to detail. Bryan Celli, the Design Showroom Manager, gave me a tour of the Crestron facility in the Decoration and Design Building in Manhattan.

According to Celli, Crestron has helped office towers and hotel chains to manage their energy use more efficiently by automating simple tasks like lighting and HVAC. When you check into a hotel, for example, the heat is turned up automatically and the lights are turned on so that when you reach your room, it’s warm and inviting. Until you got there, however, the lights were off and the room was cold. Pretty smart. With such large buildings, the large, up-front costs are easily offset by the energy savings over time.

It used to be that automation solutions for homes were far too expensive, and most companies that dabbled in home automation only tackled one aspect, like lighting or audio and video. Homeowners who dished out the cash to put in these early systems soon found themselves with five remotes for different systems that couldn’t “talk” to each other because they were made by different manufacturers. That resulted in cobbled-together systems that didn’t really work as intended.

Enter Crestron – this company employs an army of engineers to make sure that all aspects of their system work together effortlessly, and it uses technology like touchscreen controls to make using the systems intuitive.

They even have apps (and docking stations) for your tablet or smart phone, so you can (for example) unlock the door for the plumber while you’re at work (and lock it again when he leaves and know how long he was in the house) or set the thermostat lower at home when you’re on vacation. But that’s just the beginning.

From a convenience standpoint, imagine tapping one icon marked “Movie Time” and having the lights dim, the motorized shades lower, and the home entertainment system boot up. Then, from that same control, sort through the movies on your home server and start the show (I’m sure automated popcorn is in the works). Tap an icon that says “Goodnight,” and the lights turn off, shades drop, all doors lock, and the security system is armed. Another icon marked “Dinner Party” brings down the lights a bit and brings up your favorite Ella Fitzgerald collection at just the right listening level. “Have to get up in the middle of the night?” Celli asks, motioning to small downlights mounted in the walls about a foot off the floor. “These will come on automatically, giving you some light to get down the hall, and then shut off again when you’re back in bed.” For me, that would mean no more stubbed toes at 3 AM. Pretty nice.

From an energy-efficiency standpoint, Crestron’s systems can be customized to control your heat and air conditioning, as well as automated shades in the windows, to help minimize your energy use. Shades can drop in the windows on the sunny south side of the house in the summer to keep the solar energy from heating the house and stressing the air conditioning. Lights can be automated so that they’re turned off in rooms without occupants. Rather than cluttering the walls with thermostats, a single thermostat controller can be mounted in a closet, and small, inconspicuous temperature sensors can be mounted in different parts of the house to help control a multi-zone HVAC system. Energy use can be closely watched through Crestron’s Energy Monitoring interface so that you’re aware of where you’re wasting energy and can adjust your habits accordingly.

Click here to view the full article

<strong><a href="http://buildipedia.com/at-home/jeff-wilson-everyday-diy-blog/home-automation" target="_blank">http://buildipedia.com/at-home/jeff-wilson-everyday-diy-blog/home-automation</a></strong></p>

Posted by chantal Wed, 29 Feb 2012 17:26:00 GMT

Xbox, Lights. Solar Powered House Uses Kinect for Smart Control

by Jeff Kleist at January 26, 2012 3:33 pm



Click here to view the full article

http://www.technologytell.com/hometech/82871/xbox-lights-solar-powered-house-uses-kinect-for-smart-control/



SCI-Arc and Caltech have designed the Compact Hyper-Insulated Prototype (CHIP) Solar house in a successful bid to win the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathalon. Featuring 45 solar panels on the roof, the domicile can generate up to three times its energy requirements, enough power to charge two electric cars on top of keeping everything running.

Currently on display at the California Science Center, one of CHIP’s secret weapons in power savings is the Xbox Kinect, which is integrated into the home automation system. Those who prefer manual control can use gestures to turn off lights, or raise and lower shades. Less engaged individuals are tracked by the Kinect camera, and the system cuts the juice to areas that are not occupied, or takes other smart measures to ensure efficiency.

Click here to view the full article

<strong><a href="http://www.technologytell.com/hometech/82871/xbox-lights-solar-powered-house-uses-kinect-for-smart-control/" target="_blank">http://www.technologytell.com/hometech/82871/xbox-lights-solar-powered-house-uses-kinect-for-smart-control/</a></strong></p>

Posted by chantal Fri, 17 Feb 2012 17:24:00 GMT