hsh spring 2014
It's a great escape
to an island—or two!
Texas takes on Main Street, USA.
Takes a team to build
dreams like these...
This pro player gave us an all-
America's Main Street has
access pass to his unbelievable
never looked better—or more
Indiana abode with all the bells
high-tech—than here in Spring,
and whistles. Plus, go inside a
Texas. Come on in, y’all!
fan cave built for a real Cub!
El Secreto is the getaway that
can help you relax, restore,
To everything there is a season,
and replenish—automatically.
and that includes automation.
Grab your UV protection,
Here are 10 tips to round
and let's hit the beach.
out your calender year.
Property developers on a
Have Control4, will travel.
It's a sunny proposition
for the Meyers family: to
enjoy their vacation home
in Florida year-round.
Bahama island make a home
for their most challenging
client yet—themselves.
Shanan M. Carney
[email protected]
Control4 Creative Director
Editor, Home Smart Home
Don't worry, it's happy!
Let's get a few facts straight
This Flordia couple saw
about that dealer of yours,
the light when it came
okay? We'll give you some
to a powerful panelized
insights that may inspire a few
lighting solution for their
new (automation) outcomes.
dream home by the Gulf.
“It's a funny thing about life,” begins a quote that left an indelible impression
on my high-school self: “If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you
very often get it.” Spoken by the English dramatist and novelist W. Somerset
Maugham, the words capture a sentiment that some people on this planet,
especially those featured in this issue of Home Smart Home, not only believe
but truly embody. And oh, what a wonderful life it can be. A life worth living and
thoroughly enjoying, because you're the one in charge, deciding exactly what
bells and which whistles should accompany your drummer self as life's beat
goes on and on... I don't know about you, but that sounds like music to me.
So keep that in mind as you breeze through the following pages and enjoy a
peek into a few other people's lives from all over the globe. You'll read how home
automation technology is making its way to a pocket (or two) of paradise to ensure
island dwellers always stay stress-free. You may also learn a tip or two from an
NFL’er on how to keep games front-and-center, even when you're off the field,
and downstairs in the basement. And if you're impressed by such a man cave, just
wait until you see the fan cave we captured and documented near Chicago!
You'll wonder what Mr. Rogers would think of the neighborhood we visited
in Spring, Texas, where every home has a purpose and every purpose, well...
you can actually purchase for your own home—right from a touch screen
tablet. This version of “Main Street” may go mainstream in a town near
you before you know it. And finally, in a land far, far away, we'll make sure
you feel like a sultan as you slip through secret passageways and enjoy
a soak with a view in this Middle East masterpiece of a penthouse.
Ah, living, according to “the best.” Just accept it, I say.
Smart Home
Life under control
Shanan M. Carney
Jenny Duff
Control4 Corporation
Corporate Offices
11734 S. Election Road, Suite 200
Draper, UT 84020
Copyright 2014 Control4 Corporation. All rights reserved. Control4, the Control4 logo, and
the 4-ball logo, are registered trademarks or trademarks of Control4 Corporation in the
United States and/or other countries. All other names and brands may be claimed as the
property of their respective companies. All specifications subject to change without notice.
Special thanks to the following contributors for
their top-notch writing, research, or illustration:
Reuben Maness, John Anthony Foley,
Darryl Wilkinson, and Patric Dean.
The Importance of
Earnest Media Distribution
Make a Splash with OS 2.6
Darryl Wilkinson, Guest Contributor
This App
is on FIRE!
Is it getting hot in here?
The Control4 App is
among the first apps
available for customers
on the new Amazon®
Fire phone! Now
Control4 customers
can command and
control their homes
from virtually any
mobile device or tablet,
including iPhones,
iPads, Android smart
phones or tablets,
or a web browser.
The Key to Your Ultimate + Smart Dream Home
Recognizing tech-savvy homeowners expect convenience and control in this
internet-connected world, Toll Brothers, a leading national builder of luxury
homes, joins a host of regional and local builders to give home buyers the
option to include Control4 smart home automation technology into their new
homes. The combination of form and function, particularly with personalized
automation solutions, is transforming new houses into dream homes.
Stay in Control
By far the coolest—and coolest
looking—Control4® operating
system released to date. Explore
new artists with ease; enjoy
favorite albums; find obscure
songs from online streaming
services; and play, save, and
groom playlists. Control your
pool or spa and set heating
options from your mobile
device with a sleek, new-look
interface. And put new sensors
for door locks, water, smoke,
carbon monoxide (and more!) to
work as you control them from
any device. Learn more about
the elegant and exciting new
possibilities for your Control4
system at control4.com.
y father was a pioneer
in multi-room audio,
although he had no
idea of it at the time. In
fact, even today, if you
mention the terms “multi-room audio”
or “media distribution,” he’ll wonder
just what the heck it is that you’re
babbling about. Thankfully, that’s not
due to any age-related forgetfulness.
For him, having music and television
in multiple places throughout the
house is such a basic concept that it
doesn’t require a special name. He’d
give you the same quizzical look if
you’d said “multi-room electricity”
or “HVAC distribution”—although,
interestingly enough, when he was a
kid his family’s house didn’t have either.
I, on the other hand, can’t remember
a time when we didn’t have radios in
the bathroom, the kitchen, and the
garage, as well as a console stereo
plus a TV in the living room. As time
went on, the living room TV grew
larger (and dad finally bought a color
Fewer components, more entertainment: Store your satelite receiver, Blu-ray player, TiVo
DVR, Roku player, etc. in one centralized location but enjoy them anywhere in the house.
set), with smaller TVs appearing in the
kitchen and a of couple bedrooms. In
its most basic sense, I always lived with multi-room audio/
has the big bonus of being highly adaptable and expandable.
video. But, that version of having music and TV in more than
Think of how one of Apple’s current iPhones stacks up
one room of the house wasn’t much more than a collection
against one of last-century’s venerable Sony Walkman
of independent electronic gadgets, each operating as if
portable cassette players. In a way, portable media devices
it were the center of its own media universe. Using this
like Walkmans and iPhones were/are the epitome of “multiwhole-house “system” was easy because it never involved
room media-distribution;” they go anywhere you go. But of
much more than flipping the power switch and twisting the
course, the Walkman was limited to playing analog cassette
knob of an analog tuner. It wasn’t terribly convenient and it
tapes. And you could forget about randomized playback…or
was definitely not very flexible. (And those mono AM/FM
changeable playlists…or instantly downloading new music…
radios and tiny TV speakers didn’t sound that great, either.)
or playing movies...well, you get the picture. (And better
The modern version of multi-room audio/video—or whole- sound, too.) Not to mention the fact that listening to music
home media distribution, if you will—is just as simple (often
through headphones isn’t exactly the kind of thing that makes
simpler) to use, sounds way better, is much more useful, and
you popular at parties or during dinner with your family.
If there’s one town where the home automation
craze caught on early, it’s Hollywood. For more than
60 years, movies and TV have been showing us home
automation at its best, and worst. Most of these
depictions are portrayals of what were, at the time, only
imaginary technologies. My how times have changed!
What was once possible only in the fevered imaginings
of Hollywood screenwriters is now an everyday reality,
thanks to Control4. With that in mind, we thought it would
be fun to take a look back at home automation in film and
television, and see how the anachronistic representations
of yesteryear compare with the modern realities of today.
The House of Tomorrow
something different—say I want to
listen to BBC news in the kitchen as I
make breakfast and my daughter wants
to listen to a Pandora station while she’s
in the bathroom—it’s only a matter of
a few more button presses to get to
what each of us is looking for. Because
of the multitude of things to watch or
listen to, it’s a system that all of us want
to use. Just as important is the fact
that it’s quick and convenient to use,
which is why all of us actually do use
it. And because the system isn’t limited
to one single room at a time, we often
get double, triple, and even quadruple
benefits out of it whenever we’re not
all in the same room at the same time.
Every now and then when we
actually do find ourselves in the same
room together, it’s usually in the home
theater room. One of the most recent
times included my newly-married son
and daughter-in-law. We took the
opportunity to go through all of the
wedding photos we had. But rather
than crowd around the small screen of
a laptop or hand our smartphones back
and forth, we sat comfortably on the
couch and—thanks to the ability of the
whole-house media system to reach into
every digital nook and cranny where
each of us had stored our photos—
relived the event on the 55-inch flatscreen in the front of the room. It made
me think of the times when my dad
would fire up the slide projector to look
at vacation pictures. Unfortunately, the
whole process back then was such an
ordeal that we didn’t do it all that often.
Can a person live a complete and
fulfilling life without a whole-home
media distribution system? Well, sure.
I guess. But, as my early-adopter father
can testify, life is so much nicer with
it. And now that electronic media
has become such an integral part
of our daily lives, I don’t think it will
be long before people start being
surprised when a house doesn’t
have a media distribution system. ■
A seminal vision of the thrilling (and hilarious) possibilities of home automation, Tex Avery’s
animated short showed us the future—and it was funny. A wry satire on modern family life, this
cartoon features a house with everything: from an automatic sandwich maker to an all-electric
razor to a multi-screen TV. Just be careful of that exploding super-atomic oven!
You see, it’s an incredibly elevated
experience to have separate (builtin or in-room) speakers in multiple
rooms—and maybe a TV too—all
connected to the home’s media
distribution system. It’s not only
that your listening choices suddenly
border on the infinite—including
satellite or terrestrial radio stations,
streaming internet services (such as
Napster, Rhapsody, TuneIn, Pandora
or Spotify), podcasts, your entire
digital music collection, or potentially
music and podcasts stored on a family
member’s or friend’s smartphone.
Thanks to the magic of matrix
switches, you can listen to (or watch)
different sources simultaneously, too.
In my case, the touch screens and
keypads that are part of the Control4
home automation system installed
in my house are programmed with
buttons that provide one-press access
to my family’s most popular sources.
But if one of us is in the mood for
Not ready for a super-atomic oven? With Control4 automation and luxury appliances from
manufacturers like Sub-Zero and Wolf, your kitchen will make the year 2050 seem like the
Stone Age.
In 2013, Yahoo ranked
the “Most Asked
Questions” which
included the likes of:
For big laughs &
Roboticists at MIT have created
a robot that can put flat-pack
IKEA furniture together all by
itself. It has a specialized gripper
hand that can grab the pieces
and put the product together
with no human help.
An app created by
three University of
Iceland software
engineering students
helps natives avoid
accidental incest. By
touching phones, the
app detects whether
you are too close
to each other on a
of internet users have
posted original photos
or videos to websites.
share photos or videos they
found elsewhere online.
I am not allowed, for
security reasons, to
have an iPhone.
—US President Barack Obama,
in a speech to some young
folks at the White House
IN 1979
a Brit named
Kane Kramer
submitted a
patent that
almost perfectly
resembles an
iPod. He even
went as far as
predicting a
need for DRM
and a way
to distribute
the music.
family tree!
Whatever your heart desires.
Literally. Musical Heart, part
of the Septimu project going
on in Microsoft Research, is
a smart earbud that—based
on biofeedback—tells a
smartphone to recommend,
play, and share music that is
suitable for the user's mood,
health, and situation.
Si•lent dis•co \sīlənt diskō\
n: A modern dance event phenomenon
in which the music is broadcasted
and distributed via FM-transmitter to
the participant's headphones rather
than speakers.
MC10, a Cambridge, Massachusetts based
startup, is developing virtually invisible,
conformal, and wearable electronics made of
micro and nano-scale electronic structures
one fifth the width of a human hair!
Even if we use the Hubble
Space Telescope to look
at the moon, a football
stadium-sized object
would appear as one pixel.
ow do you tackle building a smart home when you’re
a former NFL star? You have a ball. We can’t tell you
the name of this retired athlete (he’d prefer to remain
anonymous), but we can say that he is thrilled with
how Control4 simplified his large and luxurious family
home. Let’s kick things off and check out this stately spread.
Just outside of Indianapolis you’ll find Carmel, Indiana, where gated
communities nestle near touches of country—trees, creeks, and fields. It’s here
in Carmel where our homeowner decided to build a home for his family of four
(with another on the way) four years ago. And, from the very beginning, the
project was a true team effort. “We worked with TJ West Designs,” explains
the owner. “TJ really did a fantastic job, working with me and my wife, getting
The automation
system works
behind the
scenes, letting
the homeowner's
decor take center
stage: lively colors,
NFL memorabilia,
and all that jazz.
Project installation by
Millennium Sounds
both of our styles, bringing them
together and making the house
modern and contemporary, but
still very relaxing for our family.”
As the homeowners strategized,
they decided automation was a
critical part of the plan. Having a
pre-game strategy was necessary,
given the size of their future dream
home—17,000 square feet. “This is a
very big project,” says Bill Lehman
of Millennium Sounds, the project
installer. And how did Control4 get
on the roster? “We knew we wanted
a control solution. There was a
budget in mind, and Control4 did
everything that the owners wanted
within their budget.”
“When we saw Control4, we
really fell in love,” the owner
notes. Right away, the team from
Millennium Sounds began its
pre-game workouts, huddling up
with the builders, going through
the blueprints room by room,
incorporating the customer’s
wishes into each area. “We also
worked very closely with the
interior designer,” explains Lehman.
“They helped with touch screen
placement, lighting control,
everything. We wanted the house to
look as good as they did.” Two years
later, the house was completed.
Automation touches nearly
every room. “We have twenty TVs
throughout the house, with several
sources of video,” Bill notes. “We
also have several zones of audio
throughout, and touch screens
in most every room.” That ease
of accessibility really makes a
difference in the family’s daily
activities, as the owner explains:
“This house is lived in. We use every
square inch of the home. And it’s
Individual audio zones keep the wacky kids'
music separate from the piano room (mom's
in-house hideaway), above. Outdoor music, the
poolhouse TV, and backyard lights can all be
fired up from the owner's phone, below.
The future is now
Leaf Ultra HD - HDCP 2.2 Compliant Video and Audio Matrices
Ultra HD Video 4K 30 - 4K 60 4:2:0
HDCP 2.2 Compliant
HDBaseT Class A and Class B models with POH
Coaxial Digital Audio inputs
Multi-zone variable line level audio outputs with Bass and Treble control
Variable audio Delay for Lip-sync correction
Ultra compact POH HDBaseT Receivers
DD 5.1 downmixing models coming in Q2 2015
Come see us at CEDIA Expo - booth 412
Living room loungers can access their own personalized video options on the big-screen TV, while others watch a separate source in the adjacent kitchen.
really useful to have those buttons
on the wall. A lot of times it’s a
challenge to find those remotes.
Just to be able to go to a TV screen
or any of the buttons on the wall, is
very helpful.”
The media distribution system is
a certain future hall-of-famer. “The
HDMI matrix switch distributes
video throughout the house, there
are several satellite receivers and
Blu-ray players, and in each room
they can pick the receiver and
Blu-ray player they want to use.”
That comes in handy in rooms like
the kids’ playroom on the second
level which features three TVs.
“Someone will want to watch one
show, another will watch a different
show or play a video game,” the
owner notes. “We really have the
capabilities to make sure that
everyone is happy.”
There’s a similar game plan in the
adjoining kitchen and living room
area on the main level. “We knew we
were going to spend a lot of time in
the kitchen, and the kids are going
to be right there in the living room,”
explains the owner.
With a house this huge, the onetouch button convenience saves
a lot of legwork. “They don’t have
to walk throughout the house to
check things or know if things are
on or off,” Bill explains. “When they
go into a room, they have lighting
scenes and music scenes. They
can just push one button and have
everything turn on.” It’s a whole new
ball game from the owner’s previous
pad. “In my old house,” notes the
owner, “you’re backing out of your
driveway and the upstairs light is
on. You’re not going to go back in
the house and go upstairs to turn
that light off. Here, before I leave
the house, I just press one button to
make sure all my lights are off.”
The owner’s favorite features
include the door station intercom
(“no more of those solicitors at the
front door,” he says), and the ability
to access the system remotely.
One touch of a button prepares the basement “man cave” for a superbowl party, poker night, or post-game cocktails.
“I can be somewhere else around
the world, and I can still access my
Control4 system,” notes the owner.
“I can look at the cameras in my
house, flicker on lights and scare the
heck out of my wife,” he adds with a
hearty laugh. “It’s just great to have
that ability, and Control4 definitely
got it done for me.”
But there’s one part of the house
that we haven’t even mentioned
yet, though clearly it's an area that
would make the highlights reel:
the basement, built out as one of
the most impressive recreational
areas we’ve ever seen. It’s a bar, a
theater, a workout room, a gym, a
trophy room, a casino…In short, the
ultimate man cave.
“It’s fully automated,” says the
owner. “We put on a lot of different
kinds of viewing events—Super
Bowl, fight parties, whatever it is.
I hit the ALL ON button and all
the TVs come on. I hit the PARTY
button; it sets up the back of the
room and the music will be playing,
and then we’re all set to go.” In
the exercise room, the system
is set up so that the owner can
simultaneously pump iron, watch
ESPN and listen to his music.
There’s a golf simulator, also on the
Control4 system, which means the
owner can also use the simulator
screen to call up television or play
video games. But even within this
top-of-the-line man cave, there’s
an ultimate room—call it the house
MVP—the gymnasium.
You descend even deeper into
the basement to find it—a shiny,
glass-enclosed gym, complete with
basketball court, wooden floor, and
multimedia on every wall. “It’s one
of the coolest rooms in this project,”
installer Bill notes. The owner
agrees. “A lot of my friends come
over, we’re competitive and we
play basketball.” Millennium Sounds
even added a custom feature to the
system: Press the BBALL button,
and Michael Jordan’s voice booms
through, challenging: “You want
a piece of me? C’mon!” A Jay-Z
track thumps and bumps and gets
the adrenaline pumping as the TVs
come to life and the lights shine
bright. It’s a super-charged moment
straight out of the beginning of a
pro sports game—something this
owner is very familiar with.
And so, even though this football
family has a lot going on in their
palatial pad, they are breathing easy,
thanks to an automated system
that lets them stay in control. “We
absolutely love the system,” the
owner notes. “It’s easy, it’s simple,
it lets you control a lot of different
devices and it really makes living in
this house a lot easier for us.” ■
Hoop dreams
come true in the
private gymnasium,
complete with allstar walk-on music
and television
screens. Televisions
and audio abound
in the workout
room as well.
Project installation by
Sonic Low Voltage Inc.
he only thing Stewart
McVicar loves more
than the Chicago
Cubs themselves is
watching the Cubs at
his favorite sports bar,
Club 400—a.k.a., his basement. But
compared to most man caves, this
one’s a guaranteed Hall-of-Famer.
Named after the center field
post at Wrigley Field, Stewart’s
private pub has all the fixings of
a commercial establishment, and
then some: TVs everywhere, arcade
games, even separate men’s and
women’s restrooms (including the
essential 24” flatscreen TV above
the urinal). You'll also find theater
seating, two bars, and Cubbies
memorabilia everywhere you look.
The entire system is integrated
and controlled by Control4 products,
so Stewart can operate everything
from his remote, or the 7-inch Touch
Screen. That includes eight audio
feeds for 16 outputs, an 8x8 video
matrix with dual outputs (for 16
different displays), and four different
satellite boxes, so Stewart can watch
four different live games at any
time. Lighting is also integrated,
so when it’s time to play ball, the
TVs fire up, the lights dim, and
audio from the game is broadcast
throughout the entire basement.
There’s enough space—and
entertainment—to occupy Stewart
and 40 of his closest buddies. It’s a
sports nut’s dream come true, but
what does Stewart’s wife think?
“She ‘s been 100% supportive of
the entire project,” says Stewart.
“But I met my wife at a Cubs
game, so she knew what she was
getting into when she met me.” ■
Take a journey
to the heart
of happiness
Project installation by
TEKHAUS Central America
ou deserve a break.
Quite frankly, so do
I. What do you say
we make a quick
escape together?
I’ve got the perfect
tropical paradise in mind—a location
sun-drenched in restorative energy,
an oasis of palm trees, white sand,
and turquoise waters that glisten
like a beacon to the overstressed
and work-weary. (It also happens to
be the finest in romantic getaways,
if you're so inclined.) Pack only
comfortable, light clothing and
prepare for temperatures in the
80s. We’re going to Belize.
Now the mainland of the leading
tourism country in Central America,
and former empire of the Mayans,
is not our final destination. No,
we are going someplace that can
only be approached by boat. Hop
aboard and enjoy the ride as we
motor eleven miles through the
Caribbean Sea to our port of call.
Full speed ahead to El Secreto!
This brand new hot spot is a
barefoot luxury resort located on
the Ambergris Cay, a small isle
situated along the second largest
barrier reef in the world. Yes, there’s
scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing,
kayaking, windsurfing, and plenty
more water activities that bring you
Aerial view of Central America's best kept
secret, top. The Spa Villa, ready to host
you and your most indulgent fantasies,
below left. Lounge poolside in a tropical
paradise, below center.
The NEW Kwikset® SmartCode™
deadbolt is transforming the
Control4® home automation
solution one lock at a time. This
new lock features a 10 digit
backlit keypad with a smaller
interior & sleek exterior design.
ƒ BHMA Grade 2 Certified
ƒ Quieter motorized deadbolt
ƒ All metal interior escutcheon
ƒ Tamper resistant
interior cover
Slimline Interior
Download the improved Kwikset App in the 4Store
A bedroom in one of the Sea Villas, above. First class amenities
and services ensure that you never want to leave, below.
face-to-fish with that spectacular
reef, but the land amenities make an
equally impressive splash. Namely,
the 13 individual villas spread
throughout the property—we can
choose a “tropical villa,” a “sea villa,”
a “lake villa,” and the much-coveted
“spa villa.” With only one party
to a villa, and only 13 villas, we’re
guaranteed an intimate retreat.
El Secreto owner Abraham Roffe
opened the resort to the public
just months ago, and he is proud
that Conde Nast’s Traveler recently
named it one of The Best New Hotels
of 2013. He designed the gorgeous
island getaway to be a 4-star
experience, giving his guests the very
best in personalized service every
step of the way, from fresh-squeezed
juice waiting outside your door
every morning to complimentary
5-minute power massages by
the pool. For Abraham, it was a
no-brainer to make Control4 the
backbone to El Secreto’s operation.
“I have been a Control4 customer
and user in my own home for about
five years, and I love the system,”
says Abraham. “Guests use it for the
control of their own villa, everything
from air conditioner control to TV,
lighting, music, and door locks. Each
villa has its own iPod dock, so guests
can play their own music or the
Rhapsody music that we provide.”
Each El Secreto villa comes
equipped with an Apple iPod
Touch, the guests’ “one remote”
for everything. There are also
specifically-placed keypads
throughout the villas to control
various lighting scenes. “All villas
have keypads in the entrance, in
each night stand, and the bathroom
entrance,” adds Abraham. “We
have an All-On, a bathroom light, a
romantic scene, a turndown service
scene, an All-Off, and many others.”
Abraham’s Control4 dealer is
Hiram Portilla, CEO of Tekhaus
Real-Time History Logging
Schedule User Access
On Screen Compatible
El Secreto's social area by night. Balmy weather courtesy of Belize; lighting by Control4.
Central America. With three
business channels—residential,
commercial, and corporate—Tekhaus
implements Control4 products as
the fundamental control system for
each. “Abraham and my customers
have all they need with Control4,”
Hiram tells us, “Because it is the
most user friendly and at the same
time the most powerful control
system. Control4 is unique in that
it’s the best way to control thirdparty devices while also having
the flexibility to do all that our
customers need. This is the first hotel
project for Tekhaus, and it opens
the doors to other kinds of business
Tekhaus didn’t have previously.”
Hiram and Abraham have teamed
up to bring the world a truly oneof-a-kind, sophisticated experience.
The high-tech conveniences are
state-of-the-art yet as easy to use
as a coconut Mojito is to drink (El
Secreto’s signature cocktail, FYI).
The resort itself is eco-friendly, built
using local artisans and resources,
and serving fresh food grown in its
own gardens. There, ahead—see
those thatched roofs along the
shore? Our boat ride to El Secreto
is almost at an end. As we near the
resort’s private pier, we can feel the
tension of our work and days begin
to drain away. By the way, each villa
has a thatched roof, or palapa, as a
tribute to the Mayan ancestors of this
land. “We have a man-made lake,”
says Abraham, “and our guests love
it. All the palapas are illuminated by
the lighting we set in the lake using
Control4, and it looks spectacular.”
And speaking of ambient lighting,
he adds, “We’re able to change
colors in all the common areas of the
All guests arrive via
El Secreto's private pier,
seen here by candlelight.
resort and achieve various scenarios,
so the guests have a different
experience every night.” So not only
is Control4 front and center for the
guest-facing services, but the staff
uses it too. “The management uses
the Control4 system as much as the
guests do, for lighting and music in
the common areas, as well as some
back-end programs to control door
locks, security, and reprogramming
technology in case a controller falls
from the network at some point.”
"As to the nuts and bolts of the
lighting system," Hiram informs
us, “We have Sylvania lighting
integrated with a DMX512 system.
We integrated the Control4
system using an Extra Vegetables
driver and ENTEC hardware.”
“It’s tricky to install a control
system in a commercial project,”
Hiram continues, “Because you don’t
have just one customer, you have an
endless array of guests and every one
of them is different. I’m very proud
of the stability of Control4 and the
easy way the guests so easily accept
it.” There you have it. Paradise’s
operating system. As we take our
much-needed down time to restore
our health and well-being, and we let
ourselves be pampered like royalty,
we can feel secure in the knowledge
that, with Control4 and Abraham’s
attentive staff, we're covered.
The boat is docking now. And here
is our El Secreto greeter standing
on the pier waiting to welcome
us with a cool scented towel and
complimentary cocktail. Take off your
shoes and put them away; you won’t
need them for several days. I see you
eyeing that hammock over there.
Go for it. Welcome to El Secreto. ■
Even though the sun is setting, the water is
never too cold for a dip, above. The Lake Villa,
here showing off one of its lighting scenarios
at dusk, below.
Property developers in paradise build a high-tech
home for their most challenging client—themselves
Project installation by
Master Audio Cameras
h, the Bahamas: Sunny paradise
of sleepy beaches, thatched roofs,
and… 103-inch projection televisions?
Yes, one can live large on a tropical
island, several hundred miles from
the mainland. Case in point: This
sprawling residence in the Bahamian
capital of Nassau. It’s a 10,000
square-foot beauty overlooking
the shores of Lake Cunningham,
complete with swimming pool,
cinema, two kitchens, luxurious
gardens, and a grand piano. It’s a
magnificent manse, but it isn’t one
of those museum-type estates full of
cold, expensive things. This is a real
home, kept warm by a real family—a
family, by the way, that uses home
automation to keep their big and
beautiful house humming. With three
kids, three dogs, and a successful
property development company
to manage, the owners, John and
Ghandi Kane, had a one-word vision
when it came to designing their
home—usability. “We tried to design
every inch of it to reflect us as a
family,” Ghandi, a seventh-generation
Bahamian says. “We didn’t want
wasted space.”
Sure, living large on
an island is luxurious,
but soaring energy
costs and sweltering
tropical weather
make managing this
home a challenge.
Being in the real estate business,
the Kanes were well aware of the
power of home automation. And
they had tried several other brands
in the past, with mixed results.
“The other systems tended to be
afterthoughts, rather than startto-finish solutions,” Ghandi notes.
After experiencing Control4 for
themselves at the ARIA hotel in
Las Vegas, they were drawn to its
simplicity and power. “We were sold.”
Now, Control4 runs throughout
the house. From thermostats
to televisions, security to
intercoms, Control4 does the
heavy lifting, leaving the Kanes
free to focus on living large on
their own piece of paradise.
This family is without a doubt,
tech-friendly. Both parents and kids
are comfortable popping an iPhone
on a deck and broadcasting their
own music, or firing up a movie from
the Control4 app on an iPad. John
is certainly a gadget nut as well,
but, it turns out, he’s even more of
a TV nut. “Being British, he watches
a lot of sports on television,” says
Ghandi. “He’ll have something on
one TV, and then in another room,
something else. At the same time, he’s
checking his iPad for all the scores.”
The Control4 system manages all
of the home’s televisions. “There’s a
television in just about every room.
The Kane family gathers weekly in their home theater to watch a feature on their automated
103-inch projection screen, above. The supersmart family piano can be broadcast throughout the
house, and, can be played remotely from such faraway places as Japan, below.
I’m not entirely sure why, but I think
he thinks it’s a good thing,” she jokes.
As frequent travelers, John and
Ghandi love the remote access
capabilities of the system as well.
They’ll check in from abroad to see
whether the cleaners came, or if the
dog is digging in the garden. Regular
visitors have their own door lock key
codes. “I don’t think I even have a
key,” Ghandi says. When the family
is in town, they’ll all gather for movie
night in the home theater, complete
with a 103-inch projection screen.
Automation makes entertaining
easier too, and that’s something the
Kanes do a lot of. (With a beautiful
spread like this, wouldn’t you?)
“Guests love the fact that when we’re
sitting out on the deck, we press a
button and the volume is changing,
the lights are changing,” says Ghandi.
“I don’t have to get up and run around
and try to be entertaining. We have
everything laid out for us right there.”
Guests are also dazzled by the
Yamaha grand piano, which yes,
looks beautiful, but is also a “smart
piano,” and linked into the system.
That means, when someone plays the
piano, it can be broadcast through
the audio system throughout the
house. That came in handy when
the Kanes hosted a children’s piano
recital recently. “We went to the deck
downstairs and my husband pressed
a button, and the music was flowing
through the garden,” Ghandi notes.
But this piano gets even snazzier;
because it’s wired to the system, you
can play it remotely. So, someone
else playing another linked piano
somewhere in the world will cause
this piano’s keys to play on their own.
“If I wanted somebody to play it from
Japan it would come through the
piano, and I would have the entire
house flooded with music,” explains
Ghandi. The inventors of the original
“player pianos” of the 1890s likely
didn’t foresee THAT possibility!
John and Ghandi’s three children
are even more tech-savvy. “My
daughter has changed the timing in
her bathroom for the light now that
she’s standing in front of the mirror
longer,” Ghandi laughs. “She reads at
night and she can just use her iPad
to turn off the lights and not get
up. Each kid gets to set their own
door lock code to keep out those
pesky siblings." (“Mommy has the
master code,” Ghandi assures us.)
Living in paradise presents its
own challenges. One particular
prickly point is the high cost of
electricity in the Bahamas—which
can leave a monthly financial dent,
especially on a property of this size.
At the Kanes, the Control4 system
helps keep the utility bill down in
a number of ways. First, the AC is,
of course, on the system and can
be controlled to turn on and off at
specific times automatically, so the
family never has to “remember” to
turn it off at less relevant hours. It
can also be operated remotely.
Another cost-saving superhero?
Motion-activated light timers
throughout the house. “That’s a huge
benefit in this country,” notes Ghandi,
Let there be (LED) light: Besides adding a flash
of color to the master bedroom, LED lights
save the Kanes a bundle on energy costs....a
significant savings on an island where electrical
power is pricey.
“Considering it’s probably one of
the highest costs in the world for
electricity here.” Yet another power
conservation tool: LED lights. “We
have used LED lights everywhere.
It’s really a cost saver for us. Our
electricity bills are so much lower,
the air conditioning works better,
you don’t have light bulbs heating
up the house, you don’t have issues
with changing them every five
minutes because they’re blowing,
and it’s really worked out for us.”
And because all of the lights are
on the Control4 system, John or
Ghandi can climb into bed at the
end of the day, hit one button, and
easily shut the whole house down.
Another challenge to having an
automation system in a remote area
is, the installer isn’t exactly next
door. In fact, he lives in Miami, over
250 miles away. He can do much
of the maintenance on the system
remotely, from anywhere. So, he
doesn’t have to visit the house as
often—a huge time and cost saver.
Having experienced mediocre
results from previous systems, the
owners knew what to avoid when it
came to home automation systems.
“My mother-in-law wasn’t comfortable
with them,” explains Ghandi. “The
housekeepers would come home and
wouldn’t know how to put the blinds
up. Control4 answered all those issues
that we had. It’s easy for everyone.”
And if Control4 is a success with
these seasoned smart-homers, that’s
saying something. “We did our
research, and we think it’s paid off,”
says Ghandi. “I’ve been very happy.” ■
Automated lighting comes to life when Ghandi
walks into her sparkling closet. LED lights
also illuminate the wine rack without heating
up the vino.
A Control4 dealer is a
professional installer
that has been trained
to design and service
your automation system
for as long as you
both shall... enjoy such
control. But here are a
few other fun-facts that
might come in handy as
you explore the endless
possibilities of the
automated life... together.
Inspired by projects they have previously completed or even by
living with a system in their own homes, authorized Control4
dealers can very likely suggest some clever ideas that you may
not have even considered, like having your home lock itself at 10
pm, or shades close the second the sun hits. Be sure to ask your
dealer what features they think might benefit you in everday life,
and what features just might "wow" you every minute of every day.
From working within the budget and parameters you set for
them, to gingerly handling your 105" curved utra-HDTV from one
end of the house to another, to transforming the endless twists
and turns of CAT5/6 cables into a "rack masterpiece" you won't
even want to keep in your closet because it looks so good, these
guys (or gals) know the devil is in the details. They obsess. They
compulse. And you will learn to love them all the more for it.
Let's be frank: These guys (and gals) are geeks. They love
everything about technology and they've got their finger on the
pulse of what's trending (and not just the #hashtag kind). Their
extensive knowledge on hardware, software, networking and all
things electronic aside, Control4 dealers complete rigorous training
and are sure to stay on top of every tech innovation. Feel free
to call them every three to four months and demand on update
on what's new. From a new, blazing-fast controller to feature
enhancements that bring a whole new level of comfort and security
to your home, you'll appreciate the opportunity to grow as you
go... as your schedule and budget allow.
As Control4 customer, you should know that you’re always
taken care of, so if you find yourself tempted by the latest
and greatest solutions and software that will take your
Control4 system to a whole new level, chances are that
you're eligible for special offer to boot. Which makes
adding to your smart home a real no-brainer. Enjoy!
Project installation by DataSmart
ometimes, Mike Feigin questions
his own sanity. And really, who
could blame him? Who in their
right mind, after all, would build
an entire neighborhood that’s
designed just for show? But there is a
method to Mike’s madness, and so far his
crazy creation is a huge success.
About 20 miles north of Houston, just
off Highway 45 in Spring, Texas, you’ll find
Mike’s project, 12 years in the making—Main
Street America. From the outside, it looks
like a giant shopping mall. But walk through
the gated archway and you enter a quietly
charming suburban scene: Twelve beautiful
homes line a quiet street. The lawns are
gorgeous and green. There’s designated
stroller parking on the sidewalks. All that’s
missing are the residents. That’s because
there aren’t any.
A suburban
street in
Texas has no
residents, but
lots of smarts
Main Street America isn’t a place
to live. It’s a place to dream. The
pristine homes are showcase homes
that would-be buyers explore to be
inspired. There is also a furniture
store, an accessory store, a cooking
school, and two restaurants.
And to top it all off, Main Street
America is also automated.
“There’s a lot to do here,” says
Mike, Main Street’s founder and
creator. After
a stint selling
Mike craved
the outdoors
and got into
the homebuilding
Then, the
idea hit him:
Mike Feigin
Create a
showcase neighborhood. Soon after
embarking on making his dream
a reality, Mike upped the ante by
automating his Main Street America.
But, he didn’t know what exactly
to DO with home automation. So,
he asked his long-time installer,
DataSmart Home Technologies,
to sign onto the project.
“It has been a pretty overwhelming
project, but it’s turned out to be
a great success,” notes Randall
Duncan, Managing Partner at
DataSmart. Jonathan Ping, one of
the lead installers who built the
automation system at Main Street,
agrees. “We were involved with
the groundbreaking, so we’ve
been here since the beginning,
working with Mike, to see his vision
through. We kind of had free reign
to make it come alive.” It was
then that DataSmart suggested
teaming up with Control4, a project
We were involved with the groundbreaking so
we’ve been here since the beginning, working
with Mike, to see his vision through. We kind
of had free reign to make it come alive.
Visitors get hands-on
experience using
smart home systems,
touchpanels, and
iPad controls, and
can check out live
system hardware up
close and personally.
partnership that has paid off.
Much of the park is now
automated. Main Street staffers can
control the audio in each of the 12
showcase homes, and the outdoor
speakers throughout the park from
their iPhones. The restaurant boasts
automation as well. But the star
features, at least from an automation
perspective, are two of the model
homes—the Italian-inspired Villa
Lago, and the sleek and urban
Midtown—each have been fully
automated from head to toe—er,
from roof to cellar. “Having these
homes out here with their electronics
is amazing,” Mike says. “And the
neat part is, it’s the whole house, not
just a tiny part of one room.” So in
a sense, Main Street America is like
a showcase of new homes, crossed
with high tech, and with a dash of
theme-park flavor. Call it the Main
Street Electrical Parade of Homes.
“It’s given us the opportunity to
bring our clients here and actually
show them a six-thousand-squarefoot smart home in action,” notes
DataSmart’s Rocky Flores. “Also, it’s a
great place for builders to come get
ideas, to walk the homeowner around
and show them the things you
can't go to Home Depot and see.”
Main Street even provides a
personal guide, who will take you
on a one-on-one tour through the
park, telling you everything you want
to know about whatever piques
your interest. His name is "TED.”
Ready to visit? Here's how it works:
As you enter Main Street America,
the first thing you do is grab your
TED guide. TED is actually a tablet,
designed specifically for the Main
Street America experience. Every
time you see a designated logo on
a tag or placard, you're welcome
The Villa Lago model
home is one of two
properties in the park
that is fully loaded
with automation.
to scan it with TED and learn more
about whatever you're looking
at —be it a piece of art, a couch,
or a Control4 door station. It’s an
audio headset tour at a museum,
but with the added option to build
a wishlist of things you just may
want to buy. The system goes by
the name TED. “That stands for
Technological Educational Device,”
notes Mike. “It’s a 7-inch Android
device. All the products have radio
frequency identification tags.
Consumers walk up to a tag, place
the tablet next to the tag, then it
reads it and gives you more details
about that particular product.”
DataSmart’s Rocky Flores agrees
that the TED system is a hit. “You
can go to furniture stores and
Why More Control4
Dealers Choose Yale
• Key free options = hassle free jobs
• Voice prompted programming
• Sleek capacitive touchscreens
• Modern aesthetics
• Gaskets protect the lock & the door
Changing codes? Tracking history?
Setting schedules? No Problem.
We’ve got an app for that!
get a salesperson; or you can go
to your standard retail store and
talk to an electronics guy; but
you're on your own time. You can
travel the park at your own pace,
learning everything at your own
speed. It’s a plus for everyone.“
“It’s the automated elements
that really stand out to Main Street
America visitors. DataSmart’s
Jonathan Ping notices it every
time he’s at the park. “The first
thing visitors say is “wow.” “They
didn’t necessarily come here to see
automation, but they find it, and it
ends up being their main focus as
they’re walking through the park.”
Jonathan helped install some
of the park’s more unique
automated features, like seasonal
Using their TED
devices, visitors
can scan all
kinds of things in
the Main Street
A/V equipment,
automation gear—to
get descriptions,
learn more, or
(for the impulse
shoppers) Buy Now.
Yale Real Living™
Custom Lock Manager
Available at the 4Store.
An ASSA ABLOY Group brand
TS-470 Pro
Ideal Storage for your
Smart Home
Automation is everywhere in the park, from in-house audio and video systems, to exterior speakers that line Main Street.
“announcement” settings that
can trigger hallways to flash
and play haunted sound effects
during Halloween, or holiday
decorations that can come to
life—inside and outside the
houses—with a touch of a button.
Because the property is something
of a theme park (“It did become
what some people call Disney-like,”
Mike admits), Main Street America
staff has a lot of prep work to do
in the mornings and evenings.
Some of the houses can take up
to 45 minutes to turn off properly!
Thankfully, automation helps
considerably lighten the load. “Of
the two homes in the park outfitted
with Control4,” notes Jonathan,
“there’s one button that can control
the whole home, so in the morning,
the staff comes in, they press the
Home button, it turns on the lights,
it sets up the TVs, it turns on the
audio for them, and they don’t have
to walk around the house and turn
on each individual thing separately.”
And, it’s not just homebuyers
and staffers admiring the high-tech
here at Main Street. Builders, too,
are taking notice. “It exceeded my
expectations,” says Stephen Hann,
chairman of the Custom Builders
Council of Houston. Scott Sensat of
DesignTech Homes, the main builder
on Main Street, agrees. “It’s exciting.
It’s good to have a place where
people can go and actually see what
automation features are available.”
Todd LeBlanc, a homebuilder
in the Houston area, is similarly
impressed. “I think it’s great. I would
definitely encourage my customers
to walk through and take a look.”
“There’s no place like this in the
world,” notes Mike. And that’s true—at
least for now. There are plans to build
a second Main Street America within
the next five years. Maybe Mike’s mad
vision of a neighborhood with no
residents isn’t so crazy after all. ■
Centralized multimedia storage
Multimedia storage for your home theater, access across multiple devices for
easy sharing
Intelligent media management
The only NAS integrated with Control4, smartly sync your multimedia library
between NAS and controller
One universal remote for your entire home
Easily switch from NAS media stream with one remote when you are watching TV
First NVR compatible with Control4
You can freely switch to check multiple camera live-view channels in just a couple
of simple clicks while you are enjoying your home theater.
E-mail: [email protected]
Interested in becoming a QNAP reseller? Send us an email to [email protected] or call us at 1-909-595-2756
Project installation by
Redwood General Trading
pparently, having the
tallest building in the
world isn’t enough for
Dubai. Now, it’s also the
home of what could be the most
high-tech residence on the planet.
Perched on the edge of the manmade Palm Island, this 11,000-square
foot penthouse was originally two
separate residences. The current
owner, a Brit who works in the
fashion industry, combined the
two units into one giant, sparkling,
futuristic, swanky home. It’s opulence
at its finest—sleek glass, white onyx
floors, handmade ivory furniture…
you name it, this posh pad got it.
And, in addition to its drop-dead
good looks, it's teeming with the
best in accessory automation.
The doorbell triggers audio
throughout the house, and pinhole
cameras spring to life to capture
visitors. Automated doors open to
greet welcomed guests. Once inside,
you face difficult choices—should
you A) listen to music on some of
the world’s finest speakers, B) watch
an action flick in the top-of-the-line
home cinema room, or C) take a
soak in the infinity pool on the deck?
(If choosing Option C, don’t forget
to trigger the waterproof TV which
raises out of the floor and positions
itself perfectly overlooking the Dubai
skyline.) In the hallway, a secret
pushbutton triggers under-floor
motors to open door panels and
reveal a Roman spa, complete with
Italian columns, an infinity bath, and
a steam room inside a mirrored cube.
The system itself truly is aweinspiring. “This project is arguably
the highest specification residential
While it's practically invisible, automation abounds in all rooms of the penthouse, left. Relax by the
pool and watch a movie on the self-positioning TV, or, take in the sweeping Dubai skyline, above.
Real-time, weather-based irrigation management
custom engineered for Control4
Don't touch a thing!
Control outdoor features and still reduce water use by 50% while
enjoying the healthiest landscape in the neighborhood all from
ONE device.
fit-out in the Middle East,” notes
Nathan Williams, Director at
Redwood General Trading, the
system installer. “The client has
spared no expense or sacrifice.”
The installation, which took nearly a
year and a half to complete, features
high-tech goodies that you won’t
find anywhere else. For instance,
the doors—in a futuristic home like
this, ordinary doors just wouldn’t do.
Instead, the entire residence is fitted
with sleek, Star Trek-esque doors
that slide open as you approach.
“The owner insisted the doors
shouldn’t have any door handles,”
says Brodie Clement, whose
company, Leaf Audio, supplied
the Control4 system. Instead, the
owner—and all penthouse visitors—
wear high-tech wristbands. The
wristbands are tied to a custom-built
RF identification tagging system,
which triggers the space-age doors
as a person approaches. That is,
if you have clearance. Some areas
of the house are only accessible
by the owner. But, because there
aren’t any traditional doors, visitors
may not even know those off-limits
areas exist. For the owner, however,
coming home is one seamless,
effortless breeze. When he steps
off the elevator, the front doors
automatically open. His music of
choice fires up. As he walks through
the house, his music follows him
from audio zone to audio zone.
Imagine Jean-Luc Picard walking
gallantly through the halls of the
Enterprise, but with better music. It
all makes for one pretty impressive
system—and the best part is, it’s
basically invisible.
“The biggest challenge was in
meeting the client's very strict, no
compromise approach to aesthetic
perfection,” notes installer Nathan
Williams. “The technology shouldn’t
be on show.” Instead of countless
user panels and interfaces, Nathan
and his team hid 110 motion sensors
and other hardware in the walls.
“Although highly sophisticated and
The Roman spa features vaulted ceilings, Italian
travertine columns, and a steam room adorned
with an automated waterfall.
ICS-ONE™ - the most sophisticated weather-based irrigation system ever
designed for residential and small commercial applications.
Visit us at www.BIT-USA.com to found out more, or call (866) 803-3443.
Every room adheres to the owner's strict aesthetic direction: sleek, futuristic, and modern, right.
Aside from a few touch screens, the automation system works entirely behind the scenes, left.
Invisible sensors
detect when someone
approaches any room,
and automatically turn
on lights in anticipation,
above. The living room,
transformed into full
cinema mode, right.
complex processes are running in
the background, this was always
intended to be a project that “simply
works, simply,” he notes. “Without
the owner even considering it, the
technology lives in parallel with
him and his guests. Every scenario
is anticipated and reactive so the
only real interaction needed is
when absolutely necessary, such as
selecting a playlist, movie or even
‘I'm going to sleep now.’
In almost every aspect, this system
goes above and beyond the usual.
For instance, while many systems
feature motion-triggered lighting,
this penthouse goes one step further.
“We don’t want lights to turn on
when entering a room; lights should
be on before opening the door,”
says Nathan. “Simply occupying
an adjacent space predicts the
movement and reacts accordingly. If
that room doesn’t become occupied,
the lights simply shut off again. Don’t
worry about sleeping guests; each
room has a ‘sleep’ mode to prevent
occupancy triggers.”
Nathan and his team chose
Control4 as the brains and heart of
the automation system, primarily
because of two factors: Robustness,
and ease of use. “We can't
escape the thousands of hours of
programming of course,” Nathan
notes with a laugh, “But Control4
handles the rest very easily, and
provides the simplicity necessary
to operate the system when those
interactions are required.” That
means while Control4 does the
heavy lifting Nathan and his crew
can focus on the hidden beauty of
the system, and the homeowner is
able to simply and easily access the
system’s power and issue commands.
Unlike some installations, this
homeowner was intimately involved
in the project from conception until
completion. “My reactions were a
mix of astonishment and pleasure
as each component came online,”
says Philip Gamett, the owner. "It’s
difficult to choose one favorite
feature," Philip notes, but he is most
impressed with how the technology
is all but invisible throughout the
penthouse, except for the control
tablets themselves. “It all adds a
modern, even futuristic touch to the
And so it seems, we must admit it:
Dubai, you win again. We can only
hope that granting you the Crown of
Cool gets us on the invite list to the
next party at this spectacular pad. ■
Holidays & automation go together like red & hot, stars & stripes, cake & ice cream. The previous issue of Home Smart Home featured 10
great ideas from Control4 dealers, customers and employees on how to make your smart home even smarter for a few end-of-the-year
holidays. To help you fill out the rest of your calendar year, here are a few more suggestions:
Control 4
1. For many countries,
ski season alone is
reason enough to
celebrate for a few
months! Chalet owners
of One Happo in
Hakuba, Japan use
sensors to trigger the
heated roof and
driveway to melt snow
on impact. That way,
their best winter
hours are spent skiing,
not shoveling.
2. The same clever
couple enlists a
strategic Control4
wakeup scene to get
them on the slopes as
soon as possible:
Starting at 5:00 am,
the shades silently rise,
the lights gradually
come up and then...Boom! Every speaker in
the house pulses with
just the music to move
them out of bed and
get them first in line on
the Happone mountain.
3. A bachelor in
Massachusetts had his
Control4 installer
program a “Barry
White” button to set
the mood—or is it
“intention”?—of his
high-rise condo in one
touch: Lights, fireplace,
and the music of
everyone’s favorite R&B
baritone all work in
harmony to help fan
the flames of romance
for him and his lucky
guest. How’s that for a
first, a last, an
“everything” button?
4. Yes, your Control4
smart home is so
smart, it can also
remember birthdays,
year after year,
automatically. Make
sure that certain
someone feel special
from the moment they
rise with a birthday
wakeup scene: Use the
Wireless Music Bridge
to rouse the
sleepyhead with the
“Birthday” by the
Beatles and have the
TV turn on to a photo
collage featuring the
birthday boy or girl.
5. If you’ve got smart
door locks integrated
with your Control4
system, you can keep
the surprises going all
day long: Program the
lock to trigger a special
song (how about They
Might Be Giants’
anti-anthem “Older”)
approximately 30
seconds after the
honoree keys in his or
her unique passcode.
You could also record a
custom greeting to be
triggered upon arrival.
6. Invest in a few good
wireless Speaker Points
and a Wireless Music
Bridge so that your
soundtrack to summer
doesn’t just follow you
everywhere in the
house, but out by the
pool, too. Even friends
can contribute to the
waves of the party
mood by streaming
music straight from
their phone to
whatever audio zone
may flow.
7. If you have a
vacation rental
property, this one’s for
you: In addition to
appreciating 24/7
access to your cameras
thanks to 4Sight with
Anywhere Access, your
Control4 system also
makes it possible to
receive instant alerts
on your mobile phone
when certain events
take place, like a water
leak, or every time
someone enters the
property. “It’s great to
feel so connected,”
says one customer. “I’m
never left wondering.”
8.If you celebrate a
nationalistic holiday,
queue up some pride,
fully automated, with
your smart home: Try a
patriotic playlist, or
humor visitors with a
doorbell chime that
plays the opening
notes of your
country’s anthem.
9. If both mom and dad
work in a office vs. a
home office, invest in a
few good smart locks
so you’ll always be the
first to know the
second your child gets
home from school. With
unique codes to
identify users, smart
locks can trigger
automatic and
immediate messages to
let you know who got
home and when.
Getting kids to do their
homework, however,
remains manual labor...
10. Falling into shorter
days also means
returning home to a
darker house. A garage
door sensor can add
equal parts comfort
and security. As you
pull into the garage at
the end of a hectic day,
the Control4 system
can trigger certain
events–from turning on
the house lights to
automatically queuing
up your favorite
relaxing playlist in your
den, or tuning the
television to ESPN.
Built by Irontown
Homes and located in
Healdsburg, Calif., this
4 bedroom, 2,500
sq. ft. modular home
features impressive
modern design and
sustainable features
throughout the home.
odular homes—prebuilt
homes that are fabricated
off-site and then delivered
to the home site—have been
an attractive alternative to
building on-site for decades.
But the pre-fab world has a bit of a stigma…
when people think of modular homes, they often
think of ugly trailer homes—low-quality design
and poor aesthetics. But that’s changing, and it’s
companies like Irontown Homes that are driving
the change. They’re making modern, hip, ecofriendly modular homes, and, to sweeten the deal,
they’re making these modular homes smart, too.
Walk into a contemporary creation from
Irontown Homes and you realize immediately,
these are not your grandfather’s modular homes.
Flat roofs, big windows, clean lines. Gone are
the tacky materials, replaced with contemporary
flourishes like barn wood and granite countertops.
“We’ve learned over the years what the trends
are, and where they’re going,” notes Kam
Valgardson, Irontown Homes vice president.
These homes are gorgeous—and they’re green,
too. The models feature renewable bamboo
flooring, eco-baths, formaldehyde-free fiberglass
insulation, eco-conscious sealants and coating,
and fluorescent lighting throughout the home.
Gone are the days, it seems, of the “shoe
box” modular home. Companies like Irontown
Homes use designers and architects to truly
customize a homebuyer’s plan. “As long as it can
be broken down into pieces and moved down
the road, we can put it together,” promises Kam.
Kam’s father Richard started the company in
1984, after having worked moving homes with
his dad after World War II. Richard realized there
was plenty of room for improvement in the construction
of those early modular homes, so he started building
them himself. After building more than 1,500 homes
in 10 years, Richard changed the company focus, from
quantity to quality. They started working on custom builds,
incorporating higher-quality products into their projects.
That enticed a new audience of customers—younger, hipper
homebuyers—to consider going modular. “If you’re going
to build a custom home it’s going to take you a year and a
half, two years,” Kam says. “We can do it in about half the
time and at a lower budget, usually 20 to 30 percent less.
Today, Irontown Homes builds modular homes in
a 60 thousand square-foot facility in Spanish Fork,
Utah. The facility is two stories tall, so they can build
two-story sections of homes there before shipping
them out to the home sites. “Irontown fills that niche
of modular high-end custom construction,” Kam
remarks. Modernizing the modulars has certainly paid
off for Irontown…and now, they’re adding another
tantalizing feature to their pre-fabs—automation.
The newest Irontown Homes builds homes that feature
Control4 systems—security cameras, rolling shades,
home theater, multiple audio zones inside and outside the
home. Like all smart homes, owners don’t have to walk
around turning everything on and off: They can control
everything from a touch panel, or their phone. Control4
switches and hardware match the contemporary style
of these modern modulars. And, like traditionally-built
homes, automation assists with various aspects of home
life—energy use, lighting, heating and air conditioning.
If it’s got a switch, Control4 can probably control it.
It may seem odd to think of automating a modular home,
especially if it’s on the smaller side. What’s the point of
automating a 500 square-foot studio, for instance? Kam
has an answer. “If your goal is to have a space that is easy
to control and comfortable to be in, it doesn’t matter how
big it is, it can be 10,000, 2,000, or 500 square feet.” Also,
many modular homes are guest homes, and automation
makes remote monitoring easy. “If the owner’s in the
main home and he doesn’t want to go out in his pajamas
to check the guest home, he’s just going to pop on his
phone and turn things off, and he’s saving energy.”
Modular homes and modern automation? Sounds like
a match made in home-building heaven. “In order to
be on the cutting-edge, you need partners that are on
the cutting-edge, and Control4 is definitely ahead of
the curve,” says Kam. “It’s very easy to control, and we
feel it’s a big part of our business going forward.” ■
Homeowners of this modular
home can take in the expansive
views from the almost floor to
ceiling windows, enjoy every
meal in their custom kitchen
and spend time relaxing
on their deck. By building
modular homes with open
floor plans, custom designs,
advanced technology
and luxurious finishes and
features, Irontown Homes
is changing the way people
think about modular homes.
The front entrance to
the Meyers residence.
Automation keeps the
home comfortably
cool in Florida's sultry
climate all year long.
ulling into David Meyer’s
vacation property in
Sarasota, Florida, is an
experience. The electric
gates open and a winding road leads
you past moss-covered trees. Exotic
birds walk across huge meadows.
Cows graze in the distance. And
then you arrive at the sunny, sizeable
house. It’s a nice spot for a vacation
house—so nice, in fact, David is
thinking about moving the family
here full-time from New York. What
exactly is tempting the Meyers to
become full-time snowbirds? Yes,
David grew up in Sarasota, and sure,
the Northeast winters can be brutal.
But we think the Florida home’s
fully loaded, all-inclusive Control4
automation system is the real lure.
When David and his family
bought the house, it already
had a rudimentary automation
system. David hired Mike Thoma at
BrightSky to do a little upgrading—
at first, just the audio. But before
very long, David asked Mike to
go ahead and switch everything
over to the Control4 platform .
“I’ve always been a gadget guy,”
notes David, “and the Control4
system has really changed how we
live our life.” Mike and his team went
all-out on the house, incorporating
everything into the system they
could—HVAC, audio/video, property
gates and garage doors, for starters.
“This is a full-blown Control4
automated project,” Mike says. His
favorite feature? The new lighting
and keypad system. “Every light
in the house is controlled by
Control4,” he adds. That includes
12 outdoor circuits and seven relay
circuits devoted to the grounds
alone. Mike has been particularly
impressed with the engravings
and back-lit features, making it
easier than ever to read what each
switch does before you press it.
You could easily sprain a finger,
flicking so many switches on and off
in a house this size. Thankfully, Mike
incorporated a variety of scenes
that control multiple elements into
one simple button. Lights and music
spring to life with a touch of the
“WELCOME HOME” button by the
front door. In the theater, pushing
one button lowers the shades, turns
on the projector, and sets the correct
input for the movie, so by the time
Project installation by BrightSky
David is sitting in his chair, the room
is ready for showtime. Many rooms
feature “DAVID” and “KERRI” music
buttons, which activate his music
(pop) or hers (country) with one
touch—no more searching through
station lists or playlists. A “Good
Night” scene prepares the kids’ rooms
for bed, and the parents can hit the
“KIDS OFF” button to darken the
kids’ rooms on their way downstairs.
It doesn’t take long to get used
to the convenience that automation
delivers, but David still appreciates it,
a year and a half later. “I come home
and not only do the lights come on,
but the TV turns on to my favorite
channel,” he notes. “When I go into
the bedroom at night, the house can
shut down behind me, the TV in the
master bedroom is already on, and
the lights are on. We get to just live
our life without constantly turning
things on
and off.”
loves one
feature in
the “ALL
button. At
the end
of the day,
she can
lean over in bed and press it, and
the entire house shuts down. No
need to wander through the house,
making sure everything is off.
The new breed of engraved
switches makes it easier than ever to
control anything from anywhere. “We
have light switches that turn on TVs
and music and firepits and pool lights
and everything else,” says David.
“It’s great not having to deal with a
different interface on each thing.”
Another perk of the new system?
Being able to customize and
configure the switches. When the
system was new, David and his family
made some initial decisions, choosing
which switches controlled what. After
living with the switches a while, they
made changes and improvements
based on how they were actually
using them. “A lot of switches started
as 3-button, but when we finished
they ended up being 6-button,
because we thought of all the things
we needed it to do,” says David.
Although the systems behind
the scenes are complex, the user
interface has remained simple. “I
tell people all the time, the reason
I went with Control4 is because it’s
easy,” David notes. “The interface
that people use is very consistent
from room to room, from house to
house.” He likes the fact that the
layout on the remote is the same as
the onscreen display, which mirrors
the touchscreens. That’s a relief to
those the Meyers family who are
not self-admitted techies like David.
“Everyone can use the system,” David
says, “because it makes sense.”
Even David’s three kids—ages five
and under—are automation-savvy.
“They like to customize their switches,”
David laughs. His oldest daughter
recently requested a dedicated
“Frozen” button for her room, which
now plays music from the hit Disney
movie at the touch of a button.
So...will the Meyers family be
moving in for good? It’s certainly a
sunny proposition. “I’m definitely
happy with the product,” David
says. “It’s my fourth house or building
with Control4. If I ever end up with
another building, or moving to a
new house, it’ll have Control4 in it
too. It’s just an easier way to live.” ■
Upstairs, family members can
control lighting with the touch
of a button. Televisions, touch
panels, and light switches all offer
access to the automation system.
unta Gorda, Florida: here, the living is easy.
Throughout the neighborhoods near Charlotte
Harbor, a network of canals ensures that
everybody can park their boat behind their
house, and have access to the Gulf. It’s the kind
of place retired folks come to live the good life…perhaps
none as much as one couple—the owners of a smart home
decked out with one serious panelized lighting system.
These owners removed three houses from adjacent
properties to build their home at the end of a cul-de-sac,
so they would be nearly surrounded by water. The owners
(who wish to remain anonymous) had one vision when
designing their house: “the concept was light, bright, and
fun,” notes the husband. In 2010 they started building, and
from the very beginning, home automation was a part of
the plan. “We knew, in a house of this size—ten thousand
square feet—we were going to have a lot of lighting,” he
continues. Both the husband and wife had noticed that at
the homes of many of their friends, the electrical system
and lighting panels were overly complicated. With a
background in electrical engineering, the husband knew
that panelized lighting was the only way to incorporate
complex lighting options, while maintaining the clean and
sleek décor he and his wife wanted in their interior design.
“I’ve always tried to stay up with the latest gadgets
out there,” the owner notes. “I liked the Control4 system
Extra-large windows and an open-air design allow copious amounts of natural light into the home.
Project installation by
Armor Systems
because of its simplicity, and the
user interface that I could have
in controlling the lights myself.”
The homeowners chose Barry
Dorsey with Armor Systems to
install the automation system. “This
gentleman wanted to have the home
of his dreams,” Barry says. Initially,
the homeowner tested Barry on his
technical knowledge, without letting
on that he had a background in
electrical engineering. “Barry and his
people were very technical though,”
the owner remarks. “They did a great
job, we communicated very well
together. He really knew his stuff.”
Barry helped design a complete
Control4 panelized lighting system
that packed enough power and
versatility to respond to the techsavvy owner’s desires. “He wanted
state of the art, and wanted to be
able to have fun with it too,” Barry
continues. Barry and his team worked
together with the builders and the
interior designer to transform the
vision into a reality. “Everybody
worked together, everybody was
a team,” he notes. And while the
husband is a self-admitted tech
geek, the wife definitely is not.
“When she pushes a button, she
just wants it to work,” says Barry.
24 months of hard work later, the
house was ready. Wires, speakers,
and plugs are hidden behind crown
molding. There are no vents in the
ceilings. The speakers are invisible.
Each room sports a television,
through which anyone can access
the media library and live television
options. There’s a theater with a
185-inch movie screen (the wife’s
favorite room in the house.) It’s a
beautiful home—spacious, sunny,
and modern. It’s super-smart too,
but you may not notice that, even
if you walk through it. There are
no touch panels, no remotes lying
around, no long and complicated
light switches. Instead, each room
sports a clean and elegant 6-button
light panel. “There’s a term in our
industry called wall acne,” Barry
The home theater features a 185-inch movie screen, three rows of
extra-large theater seats, and countless video sources.
notes. “This owner didn’t want that.
He’s after a very clean look, but also
a functional house—the only way to
do that is through panelized lighting.”
The Control4 light switches work
on many levels. The top button
(featuring a blue light) always turns
on the main lights in whatever room
you’re in. When a light is on, a green
light next to that button lets you
know it’s on. When you leave a room,
the bottom button is always the
“ALL OFF.” Beyond that, the options
are limitless. Several rooms feature
scenes that control not just the lights,
but music, televisions, and more. And
then there’s the customized scenes.
“At nighttime when I come home, I
push “HOME,” it lights up a path for
me from one end of the house to
the other,” the owner notes. “That’s
probably my favorite feature. You
could never do that without a smart
home system.” He and his wife also
love the “WELCOME” feature—at
night when the doorbell rings,
they can hit “Welcome,” and the
front area of the house (inside and
outside) light up to greet visitors.
The owner’s wife has her own
favorite features. “It’s a party house,”
she explains. “The best part is, we
can have every light in the house
on, and when the party ends, I can
hit one switch and all the lights in
the house go off. I don’t have to run
around to every room.” Ever social,
this couple can host a pre-party,
stop at the back door on their way
out, hit “HOUSE OFF” and they’re
on their way to the next soiree.
Security is a big part of this system
as well. The owner can access the
house from anywhere in the world
through his phone or computer to
check on the security cameras, or
adjust the lights or temperature.
“When I’m away from the house,”
he notes, “I can still control what’s
going on, inside and outside.”
After experiencing less than
stellar results with other systems,
this owner is pleased to have
found Control4. “It’s a difference
between night and day,” he
notes. “I’m 100 percent happy
with Control4, and if I ever built
another house, I’d use it again.” ■
All of the technology is hidden behind the scenes, allowing the home's
maritime theme and luxurious lighting to take center stage.
Enjoy HD Video
No Remodeling
Live HDMI video
Streaming audio
IR, RS232, CEC
Over existing coax!
Netplay , only from Video Storm
Simple Powerful Affordable, the future of AV distribution
Control4 certified integration partner
The guys from Storage Wars would lose their
marbles if they had a peek into this Rocky
Mountain garage. Beyond the usual—bikes, ATVs,
a motorboat—this storage space in Castle Rock,
Colorado also features a commercial kitchen, a
massive master bedroom, and a hot tub party
room. From its unassuming exterior, you’d never
know that it's been transformed into a fullyfunctioning residence. And what’s more, it’s loaded
with automation.
“In 30 years in the AV business, I’ve never seen
anything like this,” notes Duke Pitts of Envision
Enterprises, who installed the system. It features
four TVs, two DIRECTV receivers, five audio zones,
automated lighting, and security. The owner—an
unabashed tech and toy freak—can watch any of his
700 stored movies on the TV in the hot tub room
(next to the tractor, of course) or stream music while
cooking in the industrial kitchen.
It’s a truly bizarre combination of man cave,
mechanic’s garage, and luxury living… but it works.
“The owner and his wife both love the system,”
Duke says. In fact, the owners were so happy with
Control4, they hired Duke to automate their second
home—the monster RV parked out front.
Ask Your Dealer What’s New
From the minute you start designing the smart home of your dreams, expect nothing short of excellence from Control4
home automation solutions—and your authorized dealer. Not only is it easy to add more features and functionality to
your system as inspired, it’s practically impossible to pass on an opportunity to upgrade to a little more magic since you
qualify for special savings*, just for being an existing Control4 customer. Call your dealer today to learn more about the
latest and mind-blowing greatest Control4 solutions and software that will take your system to a whole new level.
Learn more at control4.com/promo
*For all details of this promotion see www.control4.com/owners/promotion.
©2014, Control4 Corporation. All rights reserved. Control4, the Control4 logo, and the 4-ball logo, are registered trademarks or trademarks of Control4 Corporation in the United States and/or other
countries. All other names and brands may be claimed as the property of their respective companies. Photos may not depict actual product. All specifications subject to change without notice.
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF