Our client’s brief was well defined from the start: he wanted complete convenience and control from our smart home technology solution. It should naturally allow him the benefit of an automated home, but the systems were not to be intrusive to the overall aesthetic of his home.
The technology systems, therefore, were to include: full lighting control; intercom; HVAC control; a dedicated cinema; two media rooms; audio and video distribution and also security.
Smart Home Lighting Control
The client in particular asked us to produce the aesthetic lighting design and the electrical lighting design. In short, the emphasis was on scenes of light that would be beautiful and functional. Our client requested preset scenes of light for scenarios such as entertaining; night time use for guests; low-level nursery lighting for his baby daughter and finally mood lighting for his cinema. There were also many other benefits to the fully commissioned system, our client was pleased to learn. These would, in particular, include security lighting, vacation mode, astronomical scheduling and remote access.
We completed all elements of this project in-house, from the visual lighting design to the electrical design and verification and compliance with Parts “P” and “L” of Building Regulations. For example, we achieved our solution through the use of energy-efficient LED lighting. Furthermore, we layered these with selected sources including incandescent, ELV, MLV, HID and so on. By combining these, we have as a result achieved striking visual scenes that are energy efficient and practical. We chose a combination of fittings; some were unobtrusive and, in contrast, some were more prominent, to achieve a more definite lighting effect.
Crestron Smart Home Control System
This, and each of the remaining sub-systems (multi-room audio/video, HVAC control, intercom and security), were interfaced and presented the control platform (Crestron). As a result, our client could access each system via in-room touch panels and keypads. Most importantly, we used a contemporary visual layout to the touchpanels and ensured that the functionality was intuitive and uncluttered. As the client enjoys entertaining, it was therefore fundamentally important that the systems could be used and appreciated by all of his visitors.
Audio and Video
We distributed various centralised video and audio sources around this automated home. These included Sky HD, Kaleidescape movies, iPod audio, DAB radio and security images. In summary, each was fed into the Crestron matrix switchers and distributed around the home. Thus, from any room, our client can access various media sources or check security. We also used in-ceiling speakers to discreetly reproduce audio.
Similarly, we interfaced control over the single-stage heating/cooling system. The touchpanels receive reports from the HVAC system about each zone. Consequently, with the touch of a button, the client can make adjustments to the environment in each room. The client has full control over each independent zone and the system was designed to provide greater energy efficiency over a conventional system. It also provided all of the convenience of a smart home system to the user.
The client asked us to ensure that his dedicated cinema had an authentic feel, with dedicated seating and lighting to match. He was a huge Star Wars fan and so he wanted the room to feel a little futuristic and masculine.
We installed a Screen Research fixed acoustically transparent screen and in-wall Bowers and Wilkins loudspeakers. We also incorporated movie and intermission lighting scenes, triggered by the movie server.
The client was very firm on the idea of a central walkway. This is less than ideal from the perspective of achieving seat to seat uniformity in performance. To overcome this, we configured his seat as the primary listening position and calibrated the room accordingly.
The design was completed eighteen months before the actual installation was started. Naturally, this would cause its own unique challenges. During the interim, the client made many changes to the build and our element of the project. Naturally, this required us to be diligent in our methods and documentation. To ensure that we omitted nothing; we stayed constantly abreast of alterations. Similarly, we had to ensure that we instigated the correct communication with the project design team.
Our client said, “We have experienced first hand the hard work and commitment, efficiency and extreme attention to detail that Imagine This seems to carry out as standard, their enthusiasm and drive is second to none. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them and look forward to using them again in the future”.
For further reading, please see our articles: Lutron Lighting Control, Lakeside Home, Smart Home Lighting London – Apartment Living in The Shard or Why Upgrade to Lutron HomeWorks QS Lighting Control System?