It’s been a long haul for the custom integration business as it slowly rebounds from a major recession and the collapse of the U.S. real estate market. But, in what most would consider a bounce back year for the custom electronics installation business, manufacturers are more encouraged about their product development efforts and are actually happy to discuss their product success stories again. RS felt that this month was a great time to check in with our friends supplying products and technologies to the trade, and let them puff their chests a little bit about their 2014 top sellers. Forgive them if they’re prone to hyperbole. Usually, magazine editors detest the overuse of adjectives. This month, we’re letting the hype flag fly high in the hopes that the momentum from late 2014 will continue on into the New Year.
Control4’s CEDIA launch of Composer Express, an app-based utility that speeds up the installation process, was a huge hit for the company in 2014. Crestron, often a bellwether brand for both the resi and commercial channels economic health, successfully launched its Pyng brand during CEDIA EXPO in September. It has been called a “game-changer” and a “paradigm shift for Crestron” by industry professionals, for its ability to provide sophisticated home automation control right from the app that performs the configuration. Pyng allows for fast setup, an auto-generated user interface, and cloud back-ups to make life easier for the installer. Plus, provides highly adjustable controls for the homeowner, to make changes on the fly with confidence, knowing they can always revert back to a previous configuration.
According to the company, Pyng’s unit sales in September and October far exceeded other Crestron products (unit-wise) for 2014, which is the fastest take off of any new individual product the company has released. Hundreds of orders were received on the CEDIA show floor–something the company had never done before. Additionally, because Crestron Pyng requires accessories (environmental, etc.), those sales have taken off as well.
According to the Crestron, unit sales of Pyng in September and October far exceeded other Crestron products (unit-wise) for 2014, which is the fastest take off of any new individual product the company has released.
“Crestron dealers, and custom installers everywhere, have been asking for an easier, more intuitive way to program systems for years,” explained Delia Hansen, Crestron residential marketing manager. “We have made incremental steps over time to make programming a system easier and will continue to do so with advancements in Crestron Studio. But, as other technologies emerged, we saw an opportunity to leverage a mobile platform in a way no one else has.
And Crestron Pyng has been well received by the company’s dealers, according to Hansen. “They see the growth opportunities Pyng enables–growth in the number of jobs they can complete in a shorter amount of time, growth in the potential of existing staff, and growth in client bases. Because the system does not require sophisticated programming experience, more employees will be capable of going out into the field to configure systems, enabling installers to do a lot more jobs more quickly.”
Bill Ennis, director of sales, Americas, for OmniMount, said that the OC120FM wall mount (pictured here) and PJT40 projector mount share the title for top sellers this year.
According to Control4’s CEO Martin Plaehn, 2014 was the “year of software” for his company. The control system supplier deployed two major updates to improve the user experience and the improve the effectiveness of its 3,300 dealers around the world. The most recent OS 2.6 update made the company’s user interface more consistent and fluid across Control4’s touchpanels and on its IOS and Android apps. Helping to make this launch efficient, the update was pre-loaded in the operating systems of all products shipping since CEDIA EXPO.
Equally successful was the company’s CEDIA launch of Composer Express, another app-based utility that speeds up the installation process where hundreds of devices for a large home need to be registered in a system. Now an entry-level technician can take an online course and get certified to do that work, freeing up programmers for larger jobs. The success of both launches was easy to track by Control4.
“On September 10, we announced the immediate availability of these products to dealers and within 36 hours 2,000 homes were upgraded to OS 2.6,” Plaehn recalled. “I can assure you that none of those was a truck roll, because you couldn’t schedule them that fast. As of [October] the company had 17,000 homes upgraded. On Composer Express, we have 3,250 technicians registered and deploying it in projects, large and small. The feedback from both is very very positive.”
Peerless-AV executive VP, Nick Belcore, saw the most sales come from his company’s UV2 outdoor TV.
Digital Projection Inc.’s most anticipated product launch in 2014 has been the introduction of its 4K product line. “Although we have spoken for years about how the superior color of LED projectors trumps resolution where home entertainment is concerned, our dealers have needed a 4K projector solution with our support and service,” said Michael Bridwell, VP of marketing and home entertainment. “However, instead of developing ‘us too’ solutions, we wanted truly differentiated products that would deliver huge value to both our dealers and their clients. After years of development, we were finally able to launch the industry’s premier laser-hybrid illuminated Insight 4K laser and the LED-illuminated Insight 4K LED at CEDIA 2014.”
Bridwell called these projectors “the crown jewels of elite home entertainment,” with their full 4096 x 2160 resolution and no lamps to replace, plus ultra-bright laser illumination, or the “incomparable color gamut” of LED illumination, augmenting that extra resolution.
Bill Hensley, director of marketing at Core Brands, had a lot of new products to talk about at CEDIA EXPO, but he said that “without a doubt,” the launch of the next-generation Niles Auriel multi-room audio system was the most successful. Powered by the new Niles Auriel software and app, the MRC-6430 integrates multi-room audio and home theater control in a way that is both simple for the installer to set up and easy for the homeowner to enjoy.
URC’s Cat Toomey said that timing is everything, and that the company’s programming software, ccGEN2, is the right answer at the right time, as illustrated by this infographic.
“It has been a smash success with our dealers and their customers,” Hensley said. “Auriel is wizard-based to reduce installation and set-up time to a fraction of other multi-room systems. In every respect, this next generation multi-room audio system is a dream come true for our dealers and, most importantly, their consumers.”
It was the “year of the speaker” for Russound. Its Acclaim series has been the biggest seller of the year, with the entry-level RSF-61 selling more than any other speaker in the company's catalog. Colin Clark, Russound's product marketing manager, attributes its success to this model's performance, remarkably thin bezel, ultra-affordable price point.
Sony’s 4K panels, especially the X850b series, proved to be the perfect product for the CI channel due to their balance of performance, cosmetics, and margin to the dealers, according to the company’s VP of the custom installation channel, Frank Sterns. “Sales are up almost three times what they were at the same period last year and the trend is still accelerating,” he said. “Unlike 3D, 4K is here to stay as the benefits are quite obvious to consumers and we are at a point in the panel re-fresh purchase cycle where consumers are looking to replace their aging plasma sets. Moreover, we continue to get more content everyday and there are big plans for new content next year as well.”
Bay Audio CEO Ira Friedman pointed to his company’s PTM+ Theater Series as the biggest success of the year.
Orrin Charm, product manager for Gefen, said that his company shipped its Wireless for HDMI 60 GHz Extender, which was “a great addition to a growing repertoire” of wireless hi-def video extension solutions.
“This one provides uncompressed video extension with no latency, which definitely catches the eyes of integrators who may be a little wary of wireless solutions,” he noted. “The fact is, wireless extension is basically just as reliable as wired, and this product proves that with a very solid performance. It works in-room, but doesn't require line-of-sight, and supports 1080p full HD up to 10 meters. It passes through 3DTV, and supports all audio formats including lossless High Bit Rate (HBR) 7.1 channel Dolby True-HD as well as DTS-HD Master Audio.”
OSD Audio owner and president David Chai pointed to his company’s wireless Bluetooth speaker, when asked to name his most successful launch of 2014. “With the BTR-800, OSD Audio gave CI specialists the perfect solution for end-users who prefer to wirelessly stream music from their device of choice, as easily as they stream to any BT speaker on the market. The robust audio and all-weather design made it a hit out of the gate when it shipped in Q1.”
The most successful 2014 product at Celerity has been its Fiber Optic Gateway (“FOG”) extender system.
“Celerity FOG products are an answer to dealer needs, and since we began with our Fiber Optic HDMI cables, our customers have been telling us that the ability to combine multiple signals over one fiber would be very helpful to them,” noted Buzz Delano, director of business development for the company. “In this way, custom dealers could take advantage of the benefits of the bandwidth, resolution and distance of fiber while combining one or more control signals on the same connection between source and display.”
The DarkStar is Elite Screen’s flagship product in its line of ambient light-rejecting (ALR) projection screens, and it’s also the company’s top seller, according to marketing manager David Rodgers.
Jonathan Duran, sales manager for MSE Audio, pointed to the “newest refresh” of his company’s Phase Tech dARTS line, called the 660T system. “It is the most powerful dARTS system we’ve ever offered, providing tower speakers as the main left and right channels, a larger 1.125-inch soft dome and new woofers. dARTS is an all-digital active home theater speaker system. Each speaker is calibrated to 0.5dB of our reference response, making it the most precise system on the market. Once installed, the integrator uses a PC-based custom version of Audyssey MultEQ Pro to correct for the room anomalies’ effect on the sound.”
Duran said that the 660T was born directly out of dealer feedback; they had been requesting a tower dARTS configuration for years and the company was finally able to deliver on that need. “It strikes the perfect price/performance ratio while also providing some state-of-the-art technology that helps dealers stand out in the crowded home-theater installation world,” he said.
Parasound’s Richard Schram said that “without question” the company’s ZoneMaster Model 1250 12-channel, 24-speaker universal amplifier was most successful. “Installers who have been called back to an installation more than once to replace failed amps told us they have an immediate need for good sounding and reliable amps,” he stated. “They’re losing too much money on repeated call backs and their credibility is on the line with clients who wonder why they were sold sub-standard amps in the first place. The ZoneMaster 1250 has the high current delivery and sound quality and reliability that are Parasound hallmarks.”
Todd Cota, VP of sales, for Platinum Tools, said that the launch of the company’s Cat-6A 10 Gig termination kit (Model 90170) proved so positive as an OEM solution, that the company released it to it distribution network and quickly garnered very positive results in sales and product placement.
In 2014, ICE Cable delivered a new line of ICE HDMI cables, called Clear Series 2. It features 40-perecent smaller connector heads, full HD performance and Grip Lock technology. “These three features are really important to installers,” explained president Brian Rizzo. “The cables have to be easy to install, fit on crowded component back panels, be reliable, and have the perfect tension to retain their connection without risking damage the components. Installer ease is the lifeblood of the ICE experience and we didn’t forget that with HDMI Clear Series 2.”
Artison president and founder Cary Christie said that the second generation of the company’s RCC (reactive cancelling) in-wall subwoofers is highlighted by the RCC 320pc. The smaller of two models shipped this year.
Artison’s Reactive Cancelling design features two opposing sets of drivers to eliminate vibrations. Bass projects from a slot located between the two drivers, creating deep powerful bass from a small space. “Because of this, installers were able to satisfy clients who want exceptional bass performance that is typically associated with free-standing subs,” Christie said.
Triad’s most successful products of 2014 were the InRoom and an OnWall versions to its Bronze SlimSub lineup. Each is paired with a 350-watt outboard amplifier. Bruce Franklin, director of North American sales, believes that those two subwoofers were such successful sellers because of their extremely narrow depth. “[The subs] can be concealed underneath or behind a couch and other furniture, where before the integrator may not have been able to completely provide a solution that met the décor needs of the homeowner and/or interior designer,” he said.
Reid Cram, director of marketing at Vantage, said that the Equinox 41 touchpanel was his company’s more successful release.
According to Sonance VP of marketing, Jack Hill, his company’s Discreet Opening System has “by far” been its largest success of 2014. Hill noted that for many years custom installers have struggled with a common dilemma that can arise with traditional mid-sized speakers. While being great providers of audio, 6- to 8-inch speakers can be “a visual disturbance” in a cleanly designed lighting and ceiling plan. Additionally, the size of these speakers typically limit their location and quantity in a given room creating uneven sound coverage resulting in overly loud and quiet areas in a room.
The Discreet Opening System solves this dilemma by mirroring the characteristics of a good lighting design, providing clean continuous sight lines, and even distribution throughout a space. The system features four small, 2-Way satellite speakers and one or two in-ceiling subwoofers with the same round or square trim-less grilles to achieve continuous sight lines. This configuration delivers more even coverage and superior tonality throughout a space than traditional loudspeakers, Hill said.
Reid Cram, director of marketing at Vantage, said that the Equinox 41 touchpanel was his company’s more successful release.
“I think it struck a nerve with our dealers because Equinox provides a familiar navigation experience, consistency with our mobile apps, and a minimal on-wall profile for complete control of all of our 12 widgets,” Cram noted.
Display Development scored a hit with its In-Wall Systems, according to Scott Varner, sales manager with the company. Unlike typical displays, either flat-panel TVs hanging on a wall or conventional projectors hanging from a pole in the middle of the room, Display Development’s architectural solutions, including its In-Wall Systems, provide a truly custom solution that is fully integrated into the architecture of the home. “This provides a much higher value to the dealer and a significant increase to the client’s satisfaction level,” Varner said.
Luxul’s Clark Roundy gave the “best-seller” nod to his company’s XAP-1500 wireless access point, which he said was very well received and has proven to be a “fantastic product” for integrators.
“Initially, dealers bought the XAP-1500 because of its high performance along with the concurrent dual-band capability together in a great looking design and at a competitive price,” Roundy explained. “The installation simplicity and product reliability have kept dealers coming back for more. The product has proven to be a very reliable and great performing solution that simply makes it easy for dealers to deliver a solid, efficient and cost-effective wireless network.”
Todd Cota, VP of sales, for Platinum Tools, said that the launch of the company’s Cat-6A 10 Gig termination kit (Model 90170) proved so positive as an OEM solution, that the company released it to it distribution network and quickly garnered very positive results in sales and product placement. Why was it such a hit?
“We produced a practical and time-saving solution that is easy and affordable to install,” Cota said. “The 10 Gig kit solution is backwards compatible so also works with oversized Cat-5 and Cat-6 cables with zero performance or efficiency issues.”
Jason Palmer, marketing manager at Epson America, said that his company’s Pro Cinema 6030UB resonated well with its network of dealers and their customers.
“The Pro Cinema 6030UB combines impressive color brightness and white brightness performance with remarkable contrast ratio and black levels that make it ideally suited for both dedicated theater rooms and in ambient light environments,” he stated. “Its price, $3,499, opens up true elite cinema performance at a price that a larger segment of the market can afford and allows dealers to spend more of their budget on audio, accessories, and other system components.”
The Mirage Music Player MMS-2A was Autonomic’s most successful release of 2014. It delivers up to three independent streams of audio in up to 96 zones when paired with the Mirage Digital Amplifier line and all at the highest quality, supporting high-resolution playback at 24-bit/96kHz.
“The MMS-2A resonated with integrators because we implemented their feedback and suggestions into the design of this product,” CEO Michael de Nigris said. “The MMS-2A delivers a unique combination of performance and features that address the both needs of the whole-house audio customer and our base of integrators. The superb fidelity of high resolution playback, complete management of local content, access to all major streaming service providers, built in AirPlay receivers and all fully controllable by Apple or Android devices as well as all major control platforms.”
URC director of marketing Cat Toomey said that “without a doubt,” her company’s ccGEN2 line was most successful, but that “looking for bonus points,” she added that for the company’s Total Control line, the new SNP-2 streaming network player is hot too, having sold out of inventory on the opening day of CEDIA EXPO.
“Timing is everything, and ccGEN2 is the right answer at the right time,” Toomey reflected. “Dealers who’ve been great at AV, theater, and room-by-room control have been installing base stations with remotes for decades. ccGEN2 lets them do the same thing they’re used to. And now, they also have a controller in place that goes beyond IR and RF into Z-Wave and extensive third-party control of lights, HVAC, door locks, security–the works. And, with our Generator drag-and-drop programming software, they gain simplicity and shave off hours or days of programming time.”
Greg Rhoades, director of marketing for Leviton Security & Automation, said that the launch of BitWise Controls into Leviton generated the most excitement for his company in 2014. Leviton also launched Leviton LIVE, a 7,000-square-foot interactive showroom in New Orleans this year entirely controlled by Leviton’s smart products.
"The space includes a boardroom for meetings, high-tech classrooms for installer trainings, entertainment facility and more, and it is great to see Leviton and BitWise products in use," Rhoades said.
Dave Nauber, president of Classe Audio, noted the success of his company’s Sigma Series, which consists of a 7.1 channel preamp/processor, called the Sigma SSP; a 200W stereo amplifier, called AMP2; and a 5x200W model, called the AMP5.
“Our dealers want and need audio products they can use to step customers up,” Nauber said. “People will gladly pay more for things that they really want, and dealers need a way to show them that they have better things that are really worth the money. Sigma is specified and produced efficiently to bring great performance and value to that no-man's land between the mass market and other high-end offerings. It helps dealers step customers up.”
VMP’s president Keith Fulmer said that his company has enjoyed “great success” with its EREN-27 equipment rack enclosure, the 27U.
“From speaking with dealers and integrators, they seemed to enjoy the fact that once you take the wrapping off of the cabinet, it is already stuffed and ready to go,” he explained. “With a fully welded cabinet that includes five 2U shelves, five 2U blanks, casters, leveling feet, a two-fan kit for thermal management, removable side panels, double swing rear doors and a tempered glass front door, the guess work is done and the real work can begin.”
NuVo’s Desiree Webster said that the P3500 3-zone hybrid (wired/wireless) player component, which is part of NuVo’s Player Portfolio and was released early this year, has been her company’s best-selling new release.
“The market is moving so fast, and the growth in the hybrid wired/wireless multi-room audio systems category is dictating change in the marketplace,” she noted by way of explanation. “The P3500 has been an installer favorite because of its multi-zone capability with built-in streaming access for each zone, its simple, rack-mountable design, and its unbelievable power and clean sound.”
On Controls, a relative newcomer to the CEDIA channel, is already of Version 4 of its app-based control software. Released in September, Version 4 was designed specifically to give integrators the most easily scalable and user-friendly connected technology platform in the smart home and commercial control markets, according to CEO Itai Ben-Gal.
“We've really made an effort with this version release to look at the extensive feedback from both residential and commercial integrators as well as end-users,” he said. “By gathering this critical market data from the field, we eliminated the guesswork during the development process and really nailed the feature set and overall functionality for the release. The feedback from our installers and users has been overwhelmingly positive.”
Clare Controls marketing communication director Steve Roberts noted the industry’s “very positive reception” to his company’s extended line of CLIQ controllers. “We introduced the original member of the family, the CLIQ.host, as the next logical step in our ongoing mission to optimize integrators’ efficiency,” he said. “It incorporates a broad range of common interface elements into a single unit, lowering overall system cost, simplifying project configuration, and reducing the field tech’s time-to-install. An expansion module, the CLIQ.connect, was simultaneously released to accommodate easy upward scalability with near-zero configuration, via the integral ClareBus.”
Roberts said that until recently, integrators have been forced to “sit on the sidelines and watch helplessly” as telcos, cable companies, and DIY startups made well-publicized (but technologically reductive) overtures to the huge–and very eager to automate–mainstream market. With Clare’s new CLIQ controllers, however, these dealers can compete more effectively and profitably for business in mainstream homes, with full-featured automation solutions capable of delivering all of the standard applications (lighting, video surveillance, access control, security integration, etc.), plus services like multi-zone audio and distributed video entertainment – staples of the custom automation industry - that the managed systems cannot touch.
Peerless-AV executive VP, Nick Belcore saw the most sales come from his company’s UV2 outdoor TV, because, he said, “before the introduction of the UV2, outdoor displays for residential and light commercial were less robust in their construction and more susceptible to ingress of water, bugs, and particulate matter into the television.” Additionally, he noted, other brands required maintenance, such as filter replacement, and had to be installed far from heat sources, such as outdoor fire pits and barbeques.
“The UV2 provided a high quality, cost effective solution to each of these challenges,” Belcore stated.
Chris Lehnen noted that iRoom Inc. USA saw the most sales in 2014 from its iDock Air Touchcode product. “This is exciting to us, as this is the top-of-the-line product at iRoom,” he said. “Many integrators are outfitting conference rooms with technology. The iDock allows the iPad to be removed from the Dock for use around the space. When docked, the iPad is secure and charging for its next use.”
Bay Audio CEO Ira Friedman pointed to his company’s PTM+ Theater Series as the biggest success of the year. The series includes three front stage monitors, Bass Staging Modules, an Impact Sub, and two Rumble Sub models.
“The Bay Audio approach to home theater offers dealers a unique opportunity to deliver a refined solution with system design and implementation support from the manufacturer, bringing added value and credibility to the sales process,” Friedman noted.
For Atlona, the AT-PRO3HD66M 6x6 HDMI-to-HDBaseT matrix switcher led the way in 2014. CEO Ilya Khayn noted the product’s “robust and advanced combination of audio and video features,” and that it was well-suited to home theater and/or whole-home AV installations, giving installers “control freedom” to work with any control system or preferred technology (IP, IR, RS232), as reasons for its popularity.
Bowers & Wilkins’ president Doug Henderson said that his company’s re-launch of its CM Series loudspeakers, was most successful. “This was an opportunity to launch a complete refresh in one stroke, so [the CM Series 2] has had a huge market impact,” he noted. “We used some new technology (notably, the decoupled double dome tweeter) that was first developed for the flagship model, the CM-10, but now is featured in every model.
Numerous other refinements have made in our best performing mid-priced series in our long history. The appearance quality was also further refined with touches like fixing-free driver trim rings, and every model is available in white, in addition to gloss black and rosenut.”
JL Audio’s VP of sales Carl Kennedy pointed to the CR-1 Crossover as generating the most excitement with dealers. “It provides a dramatic and demonstrative improvement to total system performance in conjunction with our subwoofers,” he said.
Bill Ennis, director of sales, Americas, for OmniMount, said that the OC120FM wall mount and PJT40 projector mount share the title for top sellers this year.
“The OC120FM is an incredibly robust full-motion mount at a fantastic price point, great for dealers in every channel,” he shared. “The PJT40 is the most user friendly and versatile projector mount we have ever made and the trademarked features make it unique in the category.”
The DarkStar is Elite Screen’s flagship product in its line of ambient light-rejecting (ALR) projection screens, and it’s also the company’s top seller, according to marketing manager David Rodgers. The reason, he believes, is that very category of ALR represents a huge break from past options.
“Ambient Light Rejection implies that the material can effectively divert the majority for environmental light from washing out a projected image while allowing the direct light of the projector to create a crisp, clear image,” he stated. “In the past, darkness was always a key component to getting a reasonably good projected image. The main problem with attaining this is that there was typically an enormous cost associated with such specialized high performance materials. This deterred buyers from even thinking about this possibility. In the eyes of many industry professionals and installers, Elite Prime Vision managed to produce a retro-reflective material that actually out-performed other costlier brands. Because EPV now offers comparable to better quality at a significantly lower price, it has opened doors to new demographics that were previously unavailable for CI professionals to engage.”
Ken Forsythe, VP of Meridian America, pointed to his company’s successfully introduced Special Edition DSP Digital Active Loudspeakers,which include the DSP8000SE, DSP7200SE, DSP5200SE, and matching center channels DSP7200HC SE and DSP5200HC SE. He believes that the speakers’ performance and the company’s commitment to the channel were keys to their success. “The Special Edition Loudspeaker range is such a leap in performance toward live sound our dealers were blown away with them,” he said. “Incorporating our proven ‘human scale’ enclosure design, completely new electronics, new driver units, as well as groundbreaking DSP processing of Enhanced Bass Alignment (EBA), Special Edition Loudspeakers are a complete re-think of our DSP loudspeaker design. The fact that we were able to offer upgrades to existing owners was “icing on the cake” and shows Meridian’s commitment not only to our owners, but to our dedicated dealers as well.”
Alvin Hellemans, president and founder of CINEAK, said that his company’s CIC Automation Module (Cineak Intelligent Control), which allows automation of the chairs through RS485/IP control, was its biggest 2014 hit.
“[These are the] only chairs in the industry that can be direct controlled via IP/smart phones, etc. and have the capability to address individually,” he said.
Severtson’ most successful release of the year was the TAT-4K Titanium Acoustically-Transparent line of projection screens. Kjell, Larson, Severtson Screens national sales director, home cinema, said the contrast color of the TAT-4K screen allows dealers to give their clients a better overall picture as projector companies crank up the lumens in their projectors.
For Screen Innovations, the new Slate ambient light rejecting screen material has been a success, said director of sales, Blake Vackar. “With the addition of Slate, Screen Innovations can now offer the big screen experience in the family room for a moderate budget,” he said.
For Fortress Seating, the Kensington model was the most successful theater seating release of the year, because its unique design “didn’t look like all the other chairs out there,” according to Don Wolper.
Benson Chan, VP of business development at Pakedge, said that his company’s BakPak Cloud Management System 2.0, which provides remote network management capabilities, was his company’s most successful release this year. This upgraded version represented a significant feature and functionality upgrade based on dealer feedback, a completely overhauled user experience and the acceleration of our technology vision.
“With the continued convergence of AV with Internet and cloud-based technologies and the emergence of Internet of Things (IOT) devices into the network, the network has gotten more complex and mission critical,” he explained. “Our dealers understand that in this period of rapid technology transitions, they must adapt and evolve to remain relevant. Our dealers are looking for ways to incorporate a managed services offering into their current business model. They are asking for a single unified and scalable future-proof platform to build and enable their service offering.”
Jeremy J. Glowacki is editorial director of Residential Systems.