Posted by Travis Leo as News and Events
As new technology advances by leaps and bounds and a multitude of new devices and gadgets come to market, its clear that the initial driver in the development of such technology is most often from government agencies such as the military, and industry. There are a few reasons for this, not the least of which is economics; new technology is invariably too expensive for average people. Government agencies may also restrict the availability of new technologies for security reasons, or people may be distrustful of new devices until they have been thoroughly proven to work safely.
Ultimately however, new technologies eventually filter down from these larger institutions to find their way into the hands of average citizens in some form. Case in point: the cell phone, which is a direct descendant of the “walkie-talkies” used by G.I.s during the Second World War. For that matter, need we mention the Internet or hand-held tablet computers, which pack hundreds of times the processing power of their room-sized ancestors of sixty years ago?
What is interesting for us is to see how this may be working in reverse for home automation technologies. While homeowners have enthusiastically embraced many of the benefits of home automation technologies offered here at Residential Services Inc, over the past several years, the trend is to see commercial and industrial institutions widely adopting automation technologies. One high-profile example is the use of automated dimmers that automatically adjust lighting levels. While homeowners have been benefiting from this money and energy saving technology for some time, architects who design commercial buildings are have only recently been incorporating such devices into their designs because their clients are increasingly demanding it. Increasingly, commercial developers are discovering the many benefits of lighting control and are stepping up to meet the rising demand.
Technology Growth is a Team Effort
Part of this reverse trend has to do with scale; a home automation system and a similar system for a 30-story office building or condo present much different problems and require different approaches. Another factor is the sheer speed at which this technology advances; it takes a highly skilled workforce and continual, ongoing training programs in order to keep pace. Such workers need to know not only how to install these devices, but also an understanding of the underlying technologies. As you might imagine, this is a mammoth undertaking, requiring a partnership between government, private industry and organizations such as electrical unions like the IBEW and NECA.
Its not just about saving money on operating costs, though this is a primary consideration. However, it’s also about the increasing trend toward “going green” and these commercial clients presenting themselves as environmentally conscious. It’s something that makes a significant impression on clients and customers, including office tenants and condo buyers.
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While home automation and smart home systems are often talked about as being “high tech,” one of the most overlooked benefits of a smart home is something so simple, people never see it. While most of the industry attention on home automation systems focus on audio/video control, a fully automated smart home can help clients save a tremendous amount on their monthly utility bills while helping our environment at the same time.
Last month, we talked about how lighting control can help save our Clients money on their energy bills. This week, we look at how automated shades and remote climate control can help clients further save money on their heating and cooling costs.
Automated Shades & Drapes
In Colorado, the sun is hot! In the winter, solar gain is a big benefit, helping reduce our heating costs. In summer, solar gain greatly increases cooling costs. By installing automated shades and drapes that adjust with the time of day or level of the sun, clients can harvest solar gain when needed and reduce it when it is not optimal.
In the winter daylight hours, shades and drapes can be set to raise to allow maximum sun exposure and reduce heating costs. At night, the system can be programmed to close the shades/drapes, providing an extra layer of insulation to prevent heat loss.
In the summer, the shades and drapes can be closed during the day to minimize solar gain. When the sun goes down and solar gain is at its least, the shades can be programmed to open and provide you with views of the great Colorado sunset.
Studies show that 20%-25% of monthly heating bills go towards heat loss from exposed windows. Keeping windows covered during evening and nighttime hours can greatly reduce your heating bill in the winter by providing an extra layer of insulation against the elements.
A programmable thermostat can save up to $170 per year on energy costs on an annual basis. With a communicating thermostat, clients can adjust their thermostat from their iPad or iPhone from anywhere in the house, as well as remotely. How often have you left your house for a weekend vacation in the summer, only to remember you forgot to turn off the air conditioning? With a full home automation system, you can remotely access your thermostat and adjust your heating and cooling set points to save energy.
In addition to the energy saving components mentioned above, Savant Systems offers a full line of products that allow homeowners to view and mange their energy usage, giving them even greater visibility and control into their home’s energy consumption. These systems can be accessed by a client’s iPad or iPhone and help them reduce energy consumption and manage it in an intelligent way.
At Residential Systems, Inc. we encourage our clients to look at all the benefits of a home automation system when evaluating their options. While smart home automation technologies are extremely high-tech, they are also extremely functional and can save you energy. Contact us today to learn more about the energy savings that can be achieved with a home automation system from companies like Control4 or Savant.
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While smart home automation and smart home systems are often talked about as being high tech, one of the most overlooked benefits of a smart home is something so simple, people never see it. While most of the industry attention on home automation systems focus on audio/video control, a fully automated smart home can help clients save a tremendous amount on their monthly utility bills while helping our environment at the same time.
How Does a Smart Home Automation System Save on Energy?
A Smart Home Automation system can help clients save on energy costs in a variety of ways. At Residential Systems, Inc. we focus our clients on three main areas: Lighting control, automated shades & drapes and climate control. This week, we focus on lighting control and show you how a smart lighting system can save big money on energy bills!
- Lighting control—-A lighting control system can help clients save energy in a number of ways.
- Lighting control systems can be programmed to turn off all the lights in a house with the push of a single button, reducing the chance that lights are left on in a house when the home is unoccupied. This can help save 5%-10% of a monthly utility bill.
- Lighting control systems can also be set to turn on certain loads of light at sundown. In the summer, sundown is at 8 PM and in the winter it is at 5 PM. Instead of always turning on the exterior lights at 5 PM, a lighting control system is smart enough to only turn on the exterior lights at 8 PM in the summer, saving you three hours per day of energy in the summer months. Three hours of unnecessary lighting each day can really add up over the course of the entire summer.
- Light dimming—By installing intelligent dimmers, clients can save energy without perceiving a difference in the light level in the room. A light bulb that is dimmed to 90% will save 10% on energy costs. Additionally, the bulb will last twice as long, resulting in less trash in our landfills. The human eye cannot see the difference between a light that is turned on at 100% and a light that is turned on at 90% so installing an intelligent dimmer can help reduce lighting costs by 10% with no perceived difference in light level. At a savings of approximately $15 per bulb per year, these savings can really add up!
At Residential Systems, Inc. we encourage our clients to look at all the benefits of a smart home automation system when evaluating their options. While smart home automation technologies are extremely high-tech, they are also extremely functional and can save you energy. Contact us today to learn more about the energy savings that can be achieved with a home automation system from companies like Control4 or Savant.
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At Residential Systems, Inc., many clients come to us thinking that we only do home theater systems and home automation system. While we are very proud of our home theater and home automation divisions, one of the neatest and must functional things we do for our clients is lighting control. While lighting control is not new technology, it is only now starting to get mainstream adoption as price points have come down and functionality has improved.
Simply defined, lighting control is the intelligent control of the various “loads” of light inside and outside of your house. In a traditional home, each “load of light” is controlled by a single light switch. That light switch is designed to turn on/off the light fixtures that are attached to it. In general, most switches will control somewhere from one to five light fixtures, depending on wattage. Most homes will have somewhere between 50-100 light switches with large custom homes having even more.
Intelligent lighting control allows clients to control multiple loads of light from a single switch or keypad. Controlling multiple loads of light from a single keypad provides clients with extreme convenience and functionality. If you think about most homes when you walk into a large common area (kitchen, living room, great room, etc…), you are presented with a bank of switches on a wall. Those switches will control various lights in that room. One switch may control the ceiling lights, one switch controls the decorative sconces, one switch controls pendant lights and another switch controls the exterior lights at the entry way. In many larger homes, it is not uncommon to find a bank of eight to ten switches in a single area. Many homeowners will live in homes for 5+ years before fully understanding which switch controls which load of light!
With intelligent lighting control automation, all of the light switches in the house communicate with one another, allowing a single button press to control multiple loads of light. For example—in a kitchen, a lighting control system can be programmed to turn on a specific “scene.” That scene can be programmed any way a client wants. For example, the scene can be programmed to adjust the LED ceiling lights to dim to 80% (saving energy), the pendant lights to come on at 100% and the under-cabinet lights to come on at 50% brightness. Press the button once and the scene is activated. Instead of turning on three switches and adjusting their brightness, the same thing can be accomplished with the press of a single button! Press the button twice (double tap) and the same scene is activated but this time it is accompanied by the client’s favorite Pandora station being turned on, as well! The same keypads that are used for lighting control can also be used to control additional home controls such as audio, video and automated window coverings.
What Are The Benefits of Lighting Control?
Lighting control systems have many benefits. If you asked our clients who have installed lighting control systems, these are the things they would site as main benefits:
- Energy savings—One of the most used features of a lighting control system is the “All Off” button which can be set up on keypads near front doors and garages. Instead of going around the house and finding which lights are on before a client leaves the home, a lighting control system allows clients to turn off all of the lights in the house with a simple press of one button. This functionality helps clients save on their electrical bill while doing good things for the environment.
- Convenience—In addition to the “All Off” convenience mentioned above, lighting control systems provide clients with the ultimate in home convenience. When clients return home, instead of turning on a light in the entry way and then walking down the hall and turning on another light, a lighting control system can detect that the garage door was opened and automatically turn on BOTH loads of light, lighting a pathway through the house. This is especially convenient when clients are returning from the grocery store where they may have their hands full.
- Aesthetics—We’ve all seen homes that have banks of wall switches that look downright ugly. Large banks of switches (also called “wall acne”) detract from the aesthetics of a room. By centralizing or hiding the light switches, clients building new homes can opt for elegant keypads to control all the light in a room.
- Security—Lighting control systems are great for providing home security. Lighting control systems can easily be programmed to turn random loads of light on and off, giving the house an occupied feeling when clients aren’t home. Additionally, lighting control systems can be programmed so that all the lights in the house turn on when a security alarm goes off.
How Much Does Lighting Control Cost?
While lighting control used to be a technology that was only found in high-end custom homes, today’s wireless lighting control technologies make lighting automation available to homeowners of any size. While the price of a lighting control system will vary greatly based on the size of the home and the number of loads of light to be controlled, the “brains” of a lighting control system are usually $1k-$3K and then each switch is a couple of hundred dollars.
Lighting control systems are also very scalable and can be expanded over time. Many of our clients will start with controlling a few loads of light and then add additional loads of light as they go. Expanding lighting control systems is extremely easy and cost-effective.
Lighting Control Technologies
There are a number of lighting control and lighting automation solutions available in the marketplace today. Among the most popular are:
At Residential Systems, Inc. we have experience in all four major lighting control systems. Having installed lighting control systems in thousands of homes over the past 25 years, we are experts in Lutron’s HomeWorks and RadioRA2 products, as well as Savant, Vantage and Control4.
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Posted by Travis Leo as Our Projects
At Residential Systems, Inc., we are very fortunate to be able to work in some of the most exclusive residences throughout Denver and Colorado. From large, custom homes to smaller residences with high-end finishes, RSI has worked in thousands of homes throughout Colorado and across the world. Every home presents a unique opportunity for Residential Systems, Inc. to showcase our expertise in custom electronic architecture and this month, we are featuring a recent project we completed in Denver, CO.
A few months ago, a Client contacted us to tell us that they were purchasing a new residence at the Four Seasons Private Residences, located in downtown Denver. The Four Seasons Private Residences are located in the Four Seasons hotel and provide the highest level of finishes, amenities and service to their Clients.
In our initial meeting with the Client, he and his family asked us to evaluate all the options for turning their residence into a “Smart” home. Using our 25+ years of experience in residential system integration, we worked with the Client to explore solutions in the areas of:
- Lighting control (“Smart” light switches that can operate multiple loads of light from a single button press)
- Climate control
- Natural lighting control (Solar shades and draperies)
- Whole-home audio
- Video, including home theater
- Home automation
- A Savant home automation platform, featuring HDMI video switching, a Savant whole-home audio solution and control from the Client’s iPad, iPhone and Savant Select remote control.
- Lutron’s Radio RA2 product, the leading wireless lighting control solution
- Samsung 8000 series televisions, the best pictures in the business!
- Lutron QS solar shades and Lutron drapery tracks
Once the Client had agreed to the scope, we began by pre-wiring the unit to allow for video distribution over CAT-6, as well as running speaker wire for audio and additional wire for controlling the system including lights, shades and draperies. Working in a high-rise, private residence can be a challenge but thanks to our excellent technicians and project managers, we completed the pre-wire in less time than was expected.
Following the pre-wire, we installed the equipment using the highest level of fit and finish. In a multi-million dollar residence, Clients expect nothing but the highest level of finish and Residential Systems, Inc. was able to exceed the Client’s expectations for both timeliness and quality of work. The installation consisted of three Samsung 60″ televisions, a 70″ Sharp LCD television in the theater room, Sonance Visual Performance speakers throughout the unit, James loudspeakers and sub-woofer in the theater room, Lutron QS wireless shades, Lutron’s Radio RA2 “smart” switches and Aprilaire thermostats. All of the “head end” equipment was installed in a closet in three Middle Atlantic equipment racks to ensure proper cooling for all of the Client’s equipment.
Once the equipment was fully installed, our Savant programmer programed the entire system to operate from any iPad in the residence, as well as from the Client’s personal iPad, iPhone and Savant remote controls that are located throughout the unit. The Client opted to put three dedicated iPads in in-wall docking stations throughout the unit to enable one-touch control for both residents and guests.
Thanks to the collaboration between Residential Systems, Inc. and the Client, the finished product allows the Client to:
- Enjoy any video source (DirecTV, AppleTV, Blu-Ray, etc..) on any television in the unit, using HDMI and full 1080P display capabilities
- Control lighting, climate, audio, video and shades from an intuitive user interface on their iPhone and iPad
- Press the “All Off” button as they leave their residence. This button automatically turns off any light in unit, lowers all the solar shades to conserve energy and relaxes the climate by 3 degrees. When the Client returns, they can press the “Entertain” button which adjusts the lights to the appropriate level, begins playing music and opens all of the shades to the appropriate level.
- Program their thermostat from their iPad, allowing them to set climate schedules and conserve energy
- Listen to iTunes, Pandora, Spotify and other audio sources throughout the unit with a simple push of a button
- Watch movies in full 1080P brilliance in their dedicated theater room
At Residential Systems, Inc., we are very proud of all our work and this project is no exception. By listening to our Clients and presenting them with value-based solutions, RSI was able to exceed this customer’s expectations from the start! Thanks to our excellent team including Brad Fowler, Shelby Moore, David Shogan, David Wilkerson and Andrew Grandpre, the project was completed in less time than expected. At RSI, our staff is what makes the difference to our Clients and this project was no exception!
To learn more about this project and to see additional of pictures, visit our gallery on Houzz.com or contact us to schedule an appointment to learn more about this project and to see additional photos of the installation.
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Posted by Travis Leo as Tips and Trends
At Residential Systems, Inc., one of the common questions we receive from our clients is “Should I upgrade my custom electronic infrastructure or can I get by with what I have for a while longer?” While the answer to this question is part art and part science, the good news is that upgrades to custom electronic systems are relatively easy and can be done without breaking the bank.
Like any electronic product, custom home electronics and home automation systems become outdated with time. Think about the personal computer you purchased 6 years ago. At the time, it was top of the line with all the bells and whistles you could image. Today, it is outdated and very slow, if it hasn’t already been replaced by a newer model.
Moore’s Law of technology says that technology doubles in efficiency every two years, if not sooner. If you do the math, the home automation system you purchased 6 years ago has been bettered by a factor of 8 since the time it was installed. If you are like most consumers, being able to get 8X the performance is well worth the cost of the upgrade.
One of the beauties of technology is that it is constantly changing for the better, making things more functional and more affordable every day. New technologies such as HDMI, Zigbee, Wifi, iPads, Apple Airplay and others have made custom electronic upgrades necessary, but easier and more affordable than ever before.
No one wants to spend money unnecessarily. That’s a given. But with technology being at the heart of our daily lives in so many ways, we encourage our clients to look at upgrading their home automation systems and custom electronic systems to maximize their utility.
When evaluating whether an upgrade makes sense for our clients, here are the things we encourage them to consider:
- How much are you spending on service/repair? Has it become as costly to keep the existing system as it would be to upgrade to a new one?
- Are you able to take advantage of the latest technology such as HDMI, digital switching, etc…
- Are you at risk of your technology becoming obsolete and not supported anymore?
- Has the way you use the system changed?
- Are there additional features you would like to take advantage of that weren’t available when you purchased your system? For example—-many homes with whole-house audio systems have volume control knobs located throughout the house. Today’s technology allows users to bypass those volume control knobs and control the volume from their iPhone, iPad, Android, etc…
At Residential Systems, Inc., we work closely with our clients to upgrade their custom electronic technology in a cost-effective manner. As Denver Colorado’s leading dealer for Crestron, Savant, AMX and Control4, we are able to offer our clients a full choice of solutions for upgrading and updating their existing systems. Additionally, we offer a full lineup of audio and video products from leading manufacturers including Sony, JVC, Onkyo, Digital Projection Inc., Samsung, LG and others to replace and update outdated electronic components.
If you have an existing home automation system or a home theater in need of updating, contact us for a free consultation. We also invite you to stop by our design studio in Lakewood to see the newest in technology options from Control4, Savant and others!
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At Residential Systems, Inc. one of the most common questions our clients ask us is “What are the major differences between Control4 and Savant and which should I use in my house?” As authorized dealers for both of these world-class products, this can be a very difficult question to answer. I joke with our clients that, when it comes to Savant vs. Control4, it is sort of like picking which of my kids do I like the best! Fortunately, I love both of my kids and at Residential Systems, Inc. we feel the same way about Savant and Control4!
Both Savant and Control4 have revolutionized the home automation and smart home landscapes for our clients in Denver. Control4 is the more seasoned of the two companies, having been around for many years. Control4 recognized a major shift in smart-home technology and capitalized on this by making their products available to a broader marketplace through more reasonable pricing. Savant, the newer of the two companies, has strongly leveraged their partnership with Apple to gain momentum in the last few years. Since the invention of the iPad, Savant has grown tremendously and has made smart home technology more appealing to the mass market.
Let’s take a closer look at the strengths of each company:
Strengths of Savant
- Apple-based system is familiar to most consumers
- Easy integration with client iTunes libraries for whole-house audio distribution and movie downloads
- Carrier-grade switching equipment for audio switching, HDMI switching, etc…
- Easy ability to integrate with other world-class smart-home products including Lutron, Vantage, HAI and others
- The whole house is easily accessible from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch
At Residential Systems, Inc. we tend to recommend Savant in applications where quality is of utmost importance to our clients or where the clients are self-described “Mac People.” For example—Savant’s HDMI switching products are some of the best in the world so if a client is particular about that, we will recommend Savant. Our clients recognize that they pay a premium price for that, but they also recognize that they get incredible quality, as well. Additionally, if our clients are very comfortable with the Apple operating system (and already have their content housed in iTunes, etc…) Savant is the more seamless approach for usability and functionality. We also tend to recommend Savant for clients in the Colorado mountain communities (Aspen, Breckenridge, Telluride, Vail, etc…) as the remote management capabilities give us the ability to troubleshoot issues remotely, potentially saving our clients a service call.
Strengths of Control4
- Control4’s products are available at lower price point, enabling clients to do more with their budget
- Control4 offers a full line of automation products including thermostats and lighting control under one umbrella. This makes integration incredibly simple and quick!
- Control4’s handheld remote control is one of the best we have ever used. It is intuitive and rarely fails.
- Control4 offers an Android application for those users who prefer Android over the Apple Operating System
- A large majority of the Control4 product line-up can be installed wirelessly, making it very easy to use in retrofit environments
At Residential Systems, Inc. we tend to use Control4 in applications where price/budget is more of a consideration. While Control4 can do many of the same things that Savant can do, the interface is very different. It is extremely intuitive and the on-screen display make it very easy for clients to control their entire home from their TV, iPad or Android device.
At the end of the day, this decision boils down to customer preference and perceived value. For clients who value an integrated home-automation system with high functionality, Savant presents a more “luxurious” option. For clients who want the ability to control their entire home and not break the bank, Control4 presents a wonderful option.
- What is the budget I have for this project? This is probably the most important question to ask yourself so that you can be prepared for the trade-offs that will be necessary if the scope exceeds your budget.
- What do I want to control? Is this a relatively simple Audio/Video control or do I want to integrate other technologies like climate control, lighting control, security, cameras, motorized shades, etc…
- What type of technology am I comfortable with today? If you are an “Apple Zealot,” Savant may present a better solution for you and your family.
At Residential Systems, Inc., we are proud to be dealers for both of these products, as well as AMX and Crestron. By offering our clients a full line-up of smart home solutions, we can meet any needs and operate under any budget.
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When someone says “million dollar home,” what thoughts come to mind? If you are like most people, you probably think of a custom-built home with 7,000+ square feet of living space, high-end finishes, 6+ bedrooms and a dedicated home theater. In addition, most homes in that price range would have some sort of home automation, whether it be distributed audio/video, lighting control, integrated security & cameras or a whole-home automation systems from companies like Crestron or AMX.
In the late 90′s and through 2007/2008, the trend in the Denver market was for bigger, custom homes with these types of high-end finishes and automation systems. Everyone wanted one and builders were building them everywhere. Every Parade of Homes in Denver featured large custom homes with automation systems and custom touchpanels on the well. Walking into these homes presented prospective buyers with the ultimate sign of luxury and elegance.
Fast forward to today—Two major things have happened that have changed the industry for home automation and smart home systems in Denver, Colorado:
- The trend in the Denver home market has changed dramatically. Large, custom homes are out. Smaller homes with higher-end finishes are all the rave and seeing high transaction volume in the real estate market.
- Home automation technologies have become attainable to the mid-market customer. Companies like Control4 and even Apple (with the launch of the iPad) have made technologies that were previously unaffordable available to the masses.
At Residential Systems, Inc, we were quick to adapt our philosophy to serve the mid-market customer. While we still work on a number of large, custom jobs in 10,000+ square foot homes, we have seen a large increase in demand from clients with $400K-$700K homes that want to take advantage of smart home technologies. We are also seeing an increasing number of clients who are building new homes and thinking about home automation as a key component of the project. Instead of building a 10,000 square foot mansion, we are seeing more customers opt for smaller homes with higher end finishes. For example—Instead of putting in a dedicated theater, many homeowners are spending their project dollars on things like lighting control, distributed audio and home automation.
If you are thinking about adding home automation to an existing house or building a new smart home, here are some things you should consider:
- How much do I want to spend? What used to cost $500K+ can now be accomplished for much, much less! In many instances, homeowners have been able to build a full home automation system for $30K-$50K!
- What do I want to control? Many clients are choosing to do home automation in phases, starting with things like lighting control and distributed audio and then adding distributed video and integrated controls down the road.
- Will I get the resale value for my automation project? Most all home automation technologies improve the value of a house, from a resale standpoint. While some technologies will require updating over time (just as things like countertops and faucets require updating over time), home automation helps improve the value of a house when it comes time to sell it.
If you are thinking about building or buying a new smart home in Denver or Colorado, we encourage you to contact us or stop by our showroom in Lakewood, Colorado to check out the latest in home automation technologies from companies like Control4 and Savant. Let Residential Systems, Inc. show you how home automation and home theater can be affordable to the average Denver homeowner.
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Think about the home you live in, today. Then, think about the devices you and your family use in your house. If you are like most homeowners, you probably have some combination of the following devices in your home:
- One or two desktop computers
- A “Smart TV”
- 2 iPhones or Android devices
- One or two iPads
- A Netflix or Roku box
- Two or three laptop computers
- A gaming console (e.g. X-Box, PlayStation, Wii)
- An AppleTV.
When most Denver homeowners do the math, they find that they have 6+ devices that connect to the internet from their home. What do all of these devices have in common? They rely on a solid home network in order to achieve their maximum utility.
Five years ago, a simple wireless router was sufficient to serve the needs of the most complex home network set-up. If you were one of the lucky new homeowners who had structured CAT5 wiring in your house, you were golden! Fast forward 5 years. The explosion of IP-connected devices has caused the old home networks to be woefully inadequate.
The IP network in the house is just like the foundation that the house is build upon—If it isn’t constructed well, with enterprise-grade equipment, nothing else in the house will work the way it was designed!
For example: Our RSI staff got invited to propose a home automation solution for client who purchased a 14,000 square foot custom home in Greenwood Village, Colorado. The new homeowners had moved in to this house and wanted to know their options. In a home of this magnitude, one of the first things we do is look at is the home network. If the home network isn’t rock solid, it is very risky to assume that the rest of the house will work as designed. As we began looking at the home networking equipment, we discovered that most of the backbone equipment was consumer-grade equipment such as Netgear & Linksys. While I have nothing against Netgear or Linksys for small consumer applications, a 14,000 square foot home with 25 touchscreens, 6 iPads and numerous wireless devices needs an enterprise-class IP infrastructure, not to mention 4 or 5 additional wireless access points to ensure adequate WIFI coverage in the home.
If you think about it, most businesses occupy well less than 14,000 square feet, yet rely on Cisco equipment for their business IP needs. In this situation, though, the previous homeowners of this house felt that they could operate all their consumer electronic devices with a simple Linksys wireless router. Needless to say, we proposed a significant upgrade to the home network infrastructure to ensure that everything would work as designed.
Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself when thinking about considering how well your home network operates today:
- How many devices do I connect to the network?
- What type of traffic am I going to be using over the network? Is the traffic going to be “bursty” traffic or streaming traffic (e.g. Netflix)?
- Do I have good WiFi coverage in my entire home? If not, you are probably experiencing slow speeds and dropped connections.
- Will my home network be adequate 5 years from now? With the explosion in IP-connected devices, am I confident my home network can keep up with the demand I will place on it?
At Residential Systems, Inc., we have years of experience in setting up and installing enterprise-class home networks for our clients. From ensuring optimum WiFi coverage in all corners of the house to creating VPN connections for remote access, RSI can be counted on to be your home network experts. Our networking experts have a full range of tools that allow them to go through your home and test the WiFi set-up and throughput to ensure maximum performance for all your devices. If you are building a new home, we can help you design the network infrastructure from the ground up to ensure optimum home network performance in your Denver home.
For any questions about home networking in Denver, or for a free consultation on the network in your house, contact us today!
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I had a chance to go Aspen the other day and meet with a couple of custom home builders to discuss the projects they are working on. These are builders who are working on $10M+ projects in one of the most exclusive zip codes in all of The United States. In speaking with them, one thing became abundantly clear—-AMX and Crestron control systems are yesterday’s technology. Serious builders are doing one control system in today’s high-end custom homes—Savant!
For those that may not be familiar with it, Savant is changing the home automation industry for the better. What once was complex is now infinitely simple with Savant. Savant’s Apple-based interface is familiar to end-users and solves the biggest challenges with home automation systems—The ability to make it simple to use!
If you can use an iPhone or iPad, you can use a Savant home automation system. Period. Heck—my two year old knows how to navigate my iPhone to get to his favorite YouTube video so it’s only a matter of time before he finds the Savant application and can turn on the big-screen and play his favorite movie (Cars).
From controlling audio/video to lighting and climate, Savant gives users an experience they are already familiar with from their existing iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Simply load the Savant application onto your device and take control of your home. Use gestures and swipes to navigate menus and set schedules for the climate in your house. Have all your music on iTunes? There is no better way to listen to your iTunes collection throughout your house than with Savant. Savant’s amplifiers and control systems enable you to listen to multiple streams of iTunes music in various audio zones in your house—all with the iTunes look and feel that you are already familiar with. Browse playlists, cover art and the iTunes store just like you would from your PC or iPad.
One of the beauties of Savant Systems is its all-IP based infrastructure. Everything operates over a common, converged transport mechanism which allows for remote management and remote access. For homeowners in vacation markets such as Breckenridge, Keystone, Steamboat Springs, Vail and Aspen, this gives them the ability to manage their system without having to install proprietary technology. This makes Savant very popular for homeowners with multiple homes in Denver and Colorado.
At Residential Systems, Inc., we are proud to be a Savant dealer serving Denver and Colorado. If you are looking at a new home automation system or are building a new home in Denver or Colorado, you really need to take a look at Savant. It is changing our industry for the better.
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