A common misconception in Home Automation is that when making a large investment in a Home Automation system, the system should be trouble free without any preventative maintenance.
When someone invests in a new luxury vehicle, they do not expect that vehicle to continue to run without proper maintenance, some manufacturers are including a maintenance plan in the purchase price. Electronic equipment is manufactured and placed in a Box and sent to a warehouse for storage until it is purchased, in the mean time the manufacturer continues to make updates to the equipment.
For instance when you purchase a new flat screen TV, did you know that in most cases the firmware needs to be updated to get the latest features and as new features are added new firmware is released.
If that flat screen TV is not connected to a Home Automation system the user does not notice any changes, but when it is connected to a home Automation system the changes that were made sometimes will affect the communication between devices making the system unresponsive. The home owner will blame the Home Automation system.
There are several levels of equipment, starting from the equipment that is sold in Big Box stores such as Best Buy and then the equipment that is only sold to industry professionals. The lower level equipment is priced lower because it is designed to be obsolete and replaced within a year or two. Most devices at this level will not communicate and will not accept firmware updates. The higher level equipment is designed to communicate with more devices and to be kept longer because it is a part of a larger system; the manufacturer designs new features and releases updates, upgrading that older piece of equipment with the latest features.
With preventative maintenance your investment continues to have the latest and greatest features, this is not to say that the equipment will not become obsolete.
Many consumers feel that the Custom Electronic Contractors or Custom Electronic Consultants like Vsys Automation specify the higher price equipment based on price alone. We specify this equipment keeping Design, Communications, and latest technologies in mind (keeping in Mind the Highest Value for our customers) unlike the contractor that Low Bids with equipment that will most likely be obsolete by the time the project is complete.
I have learned by trial and error that “You get what you pay for”.
Having an integrated home and or building has many advantages and can be very luxurious and convenient , but often times there are certain applications where a bulky touchpanel is taking valuable wall space or has to be located in a very inconvenient space making it more of a hassle than a convenience. Other times it just makes more sense to have a in wall solution and a hand-held remote for mobility. Now there are many proprietary hand-held touchpanels and Remotes to do this, but here are a few alternative deices that can control your automation system at a fraction of the price (Yeah, there’s an app for that).
IOS Devices-The iPod touch, The iPhone, & The iPad:
Android Devices-Android phones and Tablets:
This is only a small fraction of possible mobile devices, but I am confident when I say that everyone reading this owns at least one of these devices and probably thought about purchasing one of the others. These are all fantastic devices, some of things that they can do are simply amazing. Think about it. I can watch netflix, email, check my facebook account, play music, take photos, check sports scores, make a phone call, get directions, and post this article to my blog. You use this device everyday in your life to do all the things listed above and many more. why wouldn’t you want to have it control your home?
Some of these devices are obviously too small to control everything, well that’s not entirely true, but I’ll tell you like I tell everyone else, just because you can drive with your feet that doesn’t make it a good idea. Smaller phones and such would best be suited to control a few things at most like a few lighting scenes, arming and disarming alarm systems while entering or leaving the building.
The tablets have more real estate for more control of multi-room solutions and even entire systems depending on size of project and devices.The point is that there are options for everyone, and most of us are already carrying around one with them at all times. Lets put it to good use.
There are also manufacturers embracing this idea so much that they are designing docking stations (In-Wall and on-Wall) and hard button solutions to accommodate your wants and needs.
So whether you are trying to save wall space, some money in the budget, or just put your electronics to good use, there are new options for to consider.
In the deep dark secluded areas in Vsys HQ, Where no one dares to venture because terrible and great experiments are being done. This is where I have been spending my days and sometimes nights working on “Project Jaberwocky.”
Here are some photos of project Jaberwocky. More on this later.
Maximizing functionality, while maintaining simplicity, are the key features of an intelligent system. A system integrator brings in a wide array of components to accomplish the goal of creating a unified, functioning system that meets the needs of the client. A control system sometimes needs to expand outside its normal parameters to include a subsystem that would normally not be included, for such instances a module is developed by the programmer to interface into the 3rd party devices. Some companies who claim to be system integrators lack the experience and knowledge to create a module to control such 3rd party devices, and will simply deny or claim the ability to include that subsystem in the design by saying “It can’t be done.”
A systems integrator is a person or company that specializes in bringing together component subsystems into a whole and ensuring that those subsystems function together, a practice known as Systems Integration. As lighting and A/V systems increase in their level of sophistication and the number of manufacturers for components of these systems increase, so does the demand for system integrators. Such subsystems that are included in the control design are lighting, distributed audio and video, climate control, irrigation, access control, security, surveillance, networking and communication, home theater, spa, and energy management to name a few. Each one of these systems can be controlled independently, however with a control system and an experienced integrator; full functionality can be achieved with ease of use through one user interface.
Usually a client will request control of a device or subsystem that would normally be a standalone system where drivers for communication do not yet exist, creating the need for the system integrator to build new drivers or modules. In this situation the “non professional integrator” will tell you that it simply can’t be done ,when in reality they just don’t have a dedicated programmer or division of programmers that specialize in system integration, and now you will most likely be missing a lot of “advanced programming” that simplifies use. A true integrator knows that anything electrical or mechanical can be integrated.
Lutron Hailed as Most Used Brand
by Top 100 Custom Electronics Industry Integrators
Coopersburg, PA (June 23, 2009) –– Lighting control manufacturer Lutron Electronics was ranked as the most used brand in the Lighting Control and Shade Control categories in a recent survey by CE Pro magazine, a publication targeting the custom installation community.
The top 100 custom product integrators were featured in the May 2009 issue of the magazine. The most used brand analysis was compiled using the data provided by the top 100 integrators.
Of the 100 integrators profiled:
69% prefer Lutron as their lighting control supplier and
64% prefer Lutron as their shade control supplier
Lutron has been a part of the custom installation community since the early 1990s when its HomeWorks® total home lighting control system debuted with rave reviews and created the category of whole-home lighting control. Since then, the company has gone on to introduce several new lighting control solutions, including Sivoia QED™, an automated shade and drapery system.
About EH Publishing
EH Publishing is an integrated media company, producing market leading publications, event and e-media for the technology and construction industries.
About Lutron Electronics (www.lutron.com)
Lutron Electronics Co., Inc., headquartered in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, designs and manufactures lighting controls and automated window treatments for residential and commercial applications. Lutron products save energy and make light bulbs last longer, making them an eco-friendly addition to the home and office.
Originally posted at Lutron.com
Specializing in Home Intelligence
For Immediate Release
Affordable Home Control
Prodigy™ by Crestron, the most respected and trusted name in home automation, is control without compromise. Installed in more homes worldwide then all other brands combined, Crestron is the global standard in luxury homes. Backed by Crestron quality, expertise and support, Prodigy provides the power and scalability you’d expect at a price you can afford. Now every house can be a Crestron home with Prodigy.
Prodigy offers you affordable, simplified control of your home and entertainment from any room in your house or any place on the planet*. Keep all your music, movies, lights, thermostats and security at your fingertips where ever you are and wherever you go. You are always in touch and in control with Prodigy. Make your home the perfect sanctuary where you can escape everyday stress. Just a simple tap of your finger brings you serenity, comfort, convenience and pleasure. Prodigy does all the thinking so you don’t have to.
Starter Package includes control of your television, Blu-ray/DVD player, surround sound receiver, six lighting zones and thermostat. Entire system controlled with 1 LCD Handheld Remote and iPhone/iPod Touch**. Starter packages are expandable for full functionality.
Starter Packages are available now installed and programmed starting at $3,750.00. Offer ends October 1, 2009.
*high speed internet required
** iPhone/iPod Touch not included
It is 7 am, the lights in your bedroom slowly turn on, the Lutron QED shades open letting in natural light and your favorite music begins to play over your Totem Tribe Series speakers.
You get up and walk into the bathroom, the lights turn on, the shower begins and the towel warmer turns on. After your shower you go to a Crestron touchpanel and check your stocks, traffic alerts or consult the weather channel to decide what to wear. In the nook as you are having breakfast you go to your Crestron touchpanel and catch the morning news, you hear your dog Woofy outside barking, from any of your Crestron touchpanel you can select security and now you can scan through your surveillance cameras.
You take off to work and as you are driving out the driveway you reach up to your HomeWorks car visor control and press Away , your house goes into Away mode: All lights turn off, selected power outlets turn off, your Climate control goes into a setback mode and your Alarm is activated!
While you are away the afternoon sun is beating on your windows, hardwood floor, leather furniture, and most important your art work. Your Intelligent home closes your shades therefore avoiding damage to your belongings.
When the home senses rain, the windows and sky lights close to avoid any damage, the irrigation controls gets interrupted to save water.
While at work you receive an email, it’s from your home, the garbage man attempted to use his gate code on the front door, a picture of the garbage man with a time stamp is attached to the email. Open an internet browser and log into your home, view the cameras, check your lights, and climate control for peace of Mind.
When you arrive in the evening you reach up to your car visor and press Home, a path of lighting welcomes you to the home, your garage opens, your favorite music begins to play and your climate control is back to comfort. All this was accomplished with a push of a button.
As you walk around your premises motion sensors activate lighting but if you would like to choose a special scenes or would like to listen to music you reach into your pocket and take out your I phone, push an Icon and presto you have full access to your control system. Multiple remotes are a thing of the past; any Smart phone can be used to talk to your home
Goodnight – As you enter your bedroom you simply press the “Goodnight” button and while your bedroom lights remain on as you prepare for bed, the house has automatically begun to shut down ready for your peaceful sleep or for you to read in bed.
You no longer have to check the lights around the house to make sure everything has been turned off. Your intelligent home has taken care of things for you.
Panic Button – When you hear a “Bump in the night” you immediately press the Panic Button located on either side of your bed and your Intelligent Home automatically turns on external lights and selected lighting in your home, turn on your TV and select security now you can view your entire exterior without leaving the safety of your bedroom.
We are VinoSystems and We Connect physical to Digital
Now available as a free download from the iTunes® App Store, Crestron Mobile for iPhone keeps you Crestron-connected, wherever you are. An intuitive graphical interface enables seamless control and management of climate, lighting, shades and security systems. View room and device status and adjust control features in a primary residence, vacation home, and office in real time, communicating via the 3G or Edge cellular network (or Wi-Fi, where available).
iphone and ipod Touch Crestron App