Working together is critical to bringing value and profit to both the residential design/build company and the residential electronic systems contractor. So allow me to enlighten you about some of the more compelling and current technologies and how they can be managed using a central control system. The availability of these technologies is driving our customers — the consumer end user — to consider using technology in their new homes.
Technology changes as often as the weather so a tutorial is a good idea. The following list of technologies that can be provided by a residential ESC partner should be considered as a part of your technology portfolio.
Audio/Video. With the monumental popularity of flat-panel televisions and high-definition programming coupled with surround sound, many consumers have an interest in incorporating these technologies into their new residences. All family members enjoy the experience of the big screen and big sound, and they may even wish to enjoy the experience in more than one location. This is why distributed audio throughout the home is popular. With millions of people using MP3 devices, the concept of reproducing their personal play lists of favorite music throughout the house is extremely compelling.
Another strong trend is the control of musical and video content using a central server. This makes it easier to manage CD and DVD collections by using a central hard-drive-based component.
Lighting control. Having the ability to manage lighting throughout the home from a single point of control is a growing trend. Security, convenience and aesthetics have driven the demand for integration of lighting control to a new level in both new and existing homes. Lighting control systems also can give a sense of security by creating the perception of the home being occupied by recording two weeks of real lighting usage and replaying it while away. The number of wall switches can be minimized, too.
Heating and air conditioning. Control of multiple heating and air-conditioning zones from a single location has become a common request from many consumers. It has become very simple to set up control of multiple zones through a central control system. The benefits of convenience, comfort and better air quality are surprisingly simple and affordable and work with many existing heating and air-conditioning systems through smart thermostats.
Window treatments. It is possible to seamlessly control window shades, draperies, blinds and other treatments from a single location. All functions, including varying degrees of raise and lower, and the ability to program the time of day and the season can automatically be controlled if desired. It is even possible to control all or any number of windows at any time from one location.
Other technologies to consider for integration include: broadband and Internet access; telephone systems; security systems; closed-circuit cameras; elevator access; pool, spa and fountains; fireplaces; kitchen appliances; door and electric gate access; and irrigation systems.
It is entirely possible to integrate all of the preceding technologies with one easy-to-use central control system. The synergies made possible by integration can lead to the ultimate in convenience, security, entertainment and a high level of customer satisfaction. The key to success is to align your design/build company with a qualified and experienced residential ESC company that has a proven track record in designing, installing and configuring all of these technologies. The best way to find a qualified residential ESC partner in your area is to check online at www.cedia.org and click on the dealer locator service.