There’s a life-giving energy in sunlight. It’s
something we all can feel, and something the
designers of a beautiful contemporary home in
Westchester, NY, wanted to capture. With walls of
windows, they were able to bring the power of the
sun, as well as the home’s beautifully landscaped
grounds into its spacious interiors, providing an
ideal setting for the owners’ extensive art collection.
|The Osbee team wall-mounted seven
of these touchscreens (four are
wireless) and two audio keypads.
“The opulence of this stunning home was
dimmed by its old-school lighting control, its clutter
of switches, thermostats and video gear, and its lack
of cohesive controls,” said Dave Raines, president
of Harrison, NY-based Osbee Industries. “It was
time for a complete transformation to make the
home systems as exceptional as the art collection
and designer spaces.”
According to Raines, the problem with the
home was not a lack of technology, but rather a lack
of vision on the original integrator’s part. He and
the Osbee team met with the homeowners, then
focused their efforts in three areas.
1. Replacing the original lighting and shading
2. Removing all the local audio and video
components and replaced them with a
3. Giving the homeowners simplified, automated
operation of all of the home systems.
Replacing the Lighting Control System
In a house this large (8,000 square feet), it’s crucial
that all of the home systems be as easy to use and
as automated as possible. Yet the original lighting
control was a mixture of traditional on/off switches
and a dated centralized system that covered only
part of the house. That was a major problem. For
example, it takes 10 loads of lighting to showcase
just the areas of the living room and each piece
of artwork displayed there–with 178 total lighting
loads in the house. Before guests would arrive, the
owners would have to run from room to room,
flipping individual switches to set things up the way
they wanted. Even turning lights off at the end of
the night was a daunting task.
Osbee engineers redesigned the entire lighting
system using Crestron infiNET EX wireless
dimmers and a centralized Crestron control system.
Today the homeowners can choose from a number
of pre-programmed scenes to adjust the lights for a
given room, for multiple rooms, and for the house
as a whole.
Raines says the team chose infiNET technology
because its wireless control modules required no
new wiring in those areas where they would not
add lighting fixtures. This approach saved the
homeowners labor and material costs on installation
and will help minimize energy costs down the road. The home now includes 50 Crestron Cameo
lighting keypads, 24 dimming modules, and 48 inwall
wireless dimmers, as well as 11 new Crestron
touchscreens located in various rooms of the house.
The new system also integrates 30 new Crestron
motorized shades, controllable from the lighting
keypads, as well as the touchscreens. Raines says the
inconvenience of the old shading system was one of
the biggest annoyances cited by the homeowners.
After the team installed the new lights and shades,
an Osbee technician walked through the house
with the homeowners to make sure each light and
each shade was programmed to their exact wishes–
making sure the lighting, shading and lighting/shading presets would work for their lifestyle.
|The new system also integrates 30 new Crestron motorized shades, controllable from the lighting keypads, as well as the touchscreens.
“Our goal was to make this as simple as
possible,” Raines said. “They don’t have a lot of
extra controls to worry about. If they walk into the
living room they can press one button. The lights
are on, the scene is set, and it’s beautiful.” In the
same way, if they are waiting for guests to arrive,
they can access a “party” button from the touch
screens and know that the lighting and shading for
the entire house will be perfect.
Centralizing the Network
Raines says the homeowners were also annoyed
with their original AV systems. First, they felt
the video and audio gear and its remote controls
cluttered the house. Then too, it could be hard to
find audio or video media, and it was difficult or
impossible to play the music or video they wanted
in more than one room at a time.
To address these problems, the Osbee team
installed a Crestron DigitalMedia network that allows
any family member to access any movie, video, or
collection of music in any or all parts of the house.
DigitalMedia uses a high-bandwidth IP network to
carry high-definition audio and video throughout the
home, while meeting all digital TV requirements.
Today there are nine centralized HD video
sources, two centralized audio sources, plus five
Crestron docking stations for the iPod in various
rooms of the house. There are 19 indoor audio
zones and five outside, enabling the family to play
music in different areas of the property–or send any
combination of audio sources to any combination
DM distributes HD video to the dedicated home
theater, a projection-based golf simulator, a 65-
inch mirror TV in the living room, and flat-panel
televisions throughout the house.
In an additional effort to remove clutter and
improve the comfort and convenience of living
in the home, the Osbee team also replaced 14
unsightly wall-mounted thermostats with nine
invisible Crestron temperature/humidity sensors.
|The Osbee team installed a Crestron DigitalMedia network that allows any family member to access any movie, video, or collection of music
in any or all parts of the house.
The 11 touchscreens that the Osbee team installed
not only control lighting and shading but also the
audio and video, the heating and air conditioning,
and the security and surveillance systems. Each
screen is highly intuitive. Users work from a floor
plan of the house, touching the rooms they want
to send music or video to or adjust the lighting or
The team wall-mounted seven of these
touchscreens (four are wireless) and two audio
keypads. Six additional ML-600 remote controls,
which look and act much like a TV remote, control
temperature, lighting, and shading as well as the
video and audio systems.
The security system includes 10 CCTV cameras
connected to the DigitalMedia network. With the
touch of a button, family members can view images
from the cameras on any video display or Crestron
As they do with the lighting and shading, the
Crestron controls automate related functions in the
security, climate and entertainment systems. Press
‘play’ in the theater, for example, and the projector
turns on and the lights dim. Press an ‘all off’ button
at the end of the day and the system turns lights
off throughout the house, makes sure the doors are
locked, and activates the security system.
“The home is spectacular through and through,”
Raines said. “Its beauty is now more than skin
deep, as its automated systems simplify the use of
the house and help the homeowners thoroughly
enjoy its bright rooms and spectacular artwork.”