California Smart Home
As part of a remodel of their 6,000-square-foot, 15-room residence in Los Angeles, Calif., the homeowners wanted to incorporate a state-of-the-art control and automation system that would not only reduce their energy costs, but improve their standard of living. For the system, the family's top priorities were ease of use, a consistent design across multiple user interfaces, and high reliability. To provide it, Encino-based Dream Technologies, Inc. turned to RTI's control solutions.
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As part of a remodel of their 6,000-square-foot, 15-room residence in Los Feliz, Calif., the Dominguez family wanted to incorporate a state-of-the-art control and automation system that would not only reduce their energy costs, but improve their standard of living. For the system, the family's top priorities were ease of use, a consistent design across multiple user interfaces, and high reliability. To meet those needs, they turned to Encino-based Dream Technologies, Inc.
"There was an extensive range of components located throughout the Dominguez home that needed to be brought together into one seamless system — from numerous video sources and displays to multi-room audio, a security system, pool and gate controls, and much more," says Moshe Kirsch, CEO of Dream Technologies. "To tackle such a project, we evaluated a number of automation and control systems. In the end, RTI emerged as the clear choice to provide the family with simple control over such a complex array of technology."
The heart of the home's control system is a single RTI XP-8s processor, which is utilized in conjunction with the company's transceiver modules, RF receivers, port control modules, connecting blocks, and Ethernet-to-serial adaptors to spread control throughout the massive area. The XP-8s offers an abundance of advanced control options and utilizes powerful two-way drivers to facilitate integration of third-party devices.
The Dominguez home features drivers for a Lutron® RadioRA® 2 lighting system, Digital Logger systems, and Denon iPod® docks for control over IP, in addition to Denon AVR receivers, a Wyrestorm HDMI® matrix, Sirius XM tuners, a security panel, RTI's AD-8 and AD-4 distributed audio systems, and a Pentair IntelliTouch pool system for control via RS-232. The XP-8s also provides one-way control over a DVR, displays, cable boxes, an Apple® TV, and Blu-ray™ players via RS-232 and IR. For control over the home's phone systems, gates, and garage door, the processor features built-in relays and sense inputs.
The family can control the whole house from three T3-V+ wireless user interfaces or five iPads® running RTI's award-winning RTiPanel app, which offers unique features such as full two-way feedback, dynamic scrolling lists, a completely customizable user interface, and more.Twenty RKM-1+ multi-room audio keypads offer convenient control over distributed audio, while three T1-B+ wireless user interfaces provide single-zone control over the most commonly used areas of the home for the family's children.
"To provide the Dominguez family with the ease of use they were looking for, RTI's Integration Designer software made it simple to completely customize the wireless and wired interfaces based on direct input from the client, while ensuring that all control devices offered as consistent a design as possible across the system," adds Kirsch. "The result is a very smart home that couldn't be simpler to operate. A single button press allows the family to turn off all the home's lights, watch a movie, pull down the shades for privacy, and much more."
One aspect of the Dominguez home that truly showcases the tight integration RTI provides is its advanced security features. For example, a ring of the doorbell triggers a ring of the phone. At the same time, all active televisions and distributed audio is muted, while remote screens automatically change to display the feed from the appropriate security camera. From the remote, the user has the option to open the door. After a few seconds, the remotes return to their previous screens and all audio and video continues from where it was paused. Similarly, when the home's gates open unexpectedly between certain hours, a magnetic contact sensor connected to the sense input triggers a macro, which in turn triggers a relay that makes the phone ring a particular chime. This alerts everyone in the house that someone has entered the property. All remotes are again changed to display the security camera feed.
“I love the simplicity of the interface; it's extremely easy to use,” says homeowner Juan Dominguez. “When my mother-in-law comes to visit from overseas, she can use the remotes to watch TV, stream movies, set the thermostat, or play music — despite not speaking English. We also appreciate the peace of mind that the system provides. Our young kids are very active and love to open doors, and we are immediately alerted when they do. I feel so in control of my home and have much more safety and security than ever before; plus it’s technology I find simple to use, which is exactly what I wanted.”
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