Crestron connects two luxury homes at the flick of a switch
Sleek, stylish and charming homes may not be uncommon to West London’s Little Venice area, but few can boast the technology to bring the homeowner’s second home under their command at the flick of a switch.
The homes of Robert, long-term client of Ireland-based integrator ClearSphere may be 200 miles apart, yet both can now be completely under his control wherever he may be thanks to his extensive home automation system.
“Both houses underwent a complete ground-up renovation. The Devon Barn was a complete ruin and the Little Venice house was last done-up in the 1980s. The clients had lots of experience in renovating their homes and really got involved with the project,” commented Alistair Ingram, co-owner of Clearsphere.
Lighting, temperature, door entry, security and AV were already managed by the client via his TSW-750 touch-screens, TSR-302 remotes and iPads at his barn conversion located in the county of Devon, England, completed in 2010. Yet the recently completed second phase of the project has brought a new level of innovation to his home control only possible with a professionally installed system.
“There is no doubt having our two homes linked together makes for a system with benefits greater than their two parts.”
“I laid down a challenge in asking ClearSphere to link our two systems together and the results are fantastic,” commented the client. “There is no doubt having our two homes linked together makes for a system with benefits greater than their two parts.”
No expense was spared by at ClearSphere fulfilling the homeowner’s request for bringing the slick, easy-to-use technology the team had previously brought to the homeowner’s coastal retreat (with over £200,000 spent in total on both systems). A seamless user interface found at both properties allows the client to monitor and control everything from the under-floor heating to ultraviolet feature lights in a particular part of his home in his modern London sanctuary.
“The distance from London to Devon was always going to be a challenge. This meant we had to carefully plan for and maximise the work done on each visit,” said Ingram. “Although the ability to control one house from the other was a great feature it brought up a load of cyber security issues: network security was very important and we had to go to great lengths to ensure the entire system was secure, both physically and virtually.”
When entering either home, the client can easily manage lighting via the Crestron on a TSW touch screen or iPad. From either interface he can control his lights on a room-by-room basis or using its overview feature incorporating a floor plan of the home bringing complete control of technology across the entire property into his hands. The system additionally makes full use of the touch screen’s SIP-based intercom, and rooms can be paged by simply clicking on the desired room.
Both his Devon and London home incorporate centralised dimming that can be controlled at either location, providing the client with the option of activating outdoor security lighting for added safety, or turn on lights before they arrive home.
Lighting inside the client’s Little Venice retreat is particularly striking – no better exemplified by the homeowner’s unique ‘apothecary’ area by the main entrance. Here the colours of rows of Uranium-enriched glass rare antique medicine bottles, accentuated by UV feature lighting, create an intriguing centrepiece to the home.
Integration of the two access control systems also brings added protection to the client’s homes – both properties are alerted via touchscreen when either main doorbell is pressed, allowing him to identify and communicate with the caller and receive deliveries, as well as open vehicle gates and garage doors via CCTV cameras wherever he may be in the world. The homeowner can also monitor and set an alarm from any screen in the home, and when alerted deactivate it without having to release the relevant security code.
In addition to his double-home automation system, the homeowner also benefits from integration with the air conditioning system and a building management system (BMS). Crucially, this monitors the health of hardware in the home where possible (including boilers, pumps and water temperatures), as well as providing control of heating and air conditioning to ensure the client always returns home to their desired temperature. The homeowner is alerted to any potential faults with products whether they may be, allowing him to arrange any necessary repairs without even being in the relevant property.
Following the completion of the project, ClearSphere remained on hand to support the client’s interlinked system ensure it continues to bring added convenience, security and peace of mind to the homeowner’s life.
“The client loves his technology and regularly calls us to discuss tweaks to his system and upgrade opportunities,” said Ingram. “And the ability to create bespoke software solutions with Crestron to suit the client’s needs usually means we can deliver exactly what the client wants.”
Bowers & Wilkins speakers
Crestron control system
Future Automation TV accessories
Lutron window dressing
Mobotix access control