Complete with the ELAN g! Entertainment and Control System, a now-converted stable barn, built in 1892, has turned a historic piece of Americana into a modern marvel.
According to integrator Larry Scott of Artistic Video & Sound, bringing this historic barn up to date was both a challenge and a delight, because the homeowner happened to know a bit about home automation himself. He spent two years researching home control systems, and Scott recommended the ELAN g! system, so the homeowner asked him to present g! and compare it against the other systems out there — including Crestron, AMX, Savant and Control4.
According to Larry Scott, “This job was kind of unique because the homeowner was so involved in choosing the system, and he had learned all about home control before he even came to talk to me. After hearing what he wanted to be able to do, I knew the new ELAN g! system was the perfect solution and would give him all the functionality he could ever need as well as the ability to expand the system later, all at a price that was reasonable. One of the most important things was that it needed to be simple enough for the kids’ nanny and visiting relatives to use, with no training. So people don’t walk into the house and say ‘how do we do this, how do we do that?’, they just do it. In my mind, the g! system was the only option, and luckily for the homeowner, I was able to make him agree.”
Rather than jumping right into home automation and being stuck with a less-than-ideal system, the homeowner took his time learning about the newest trends and technologies and evaluating the industry’s top brands, which helped him determine the ELAN g! system was his ideal solution.
“I started to research home automation five years ago when I was living abroad, and I made sure to learn as much as I could about the capabilities of today’s systems and hear what both the users and the installers were saying about each system,” said the homeowner. “I subscribed to consumer-facing and trade magazines about custom installation and home technology, and I realized that today’s systems can do a whole lot more than I thought.
“When it came time to upgrade my new home I contacted Larry Scott from Artistic Video & Sound because he had done some AV work for the home’s previous owners, and he really convinced me that the ELAN g! system would give me everything I wanted in a home entertainment and control system. Basically, the most important things to me were consolidating control of the HVAC so I didn’t have to keep walking around and checking the house’s 11 thermostats, and having one-touch access to all of my media, especially all my movies.
“I have a huge DVD and Blu-Ray collection, as well as a bunch of digital movie files, and with the ELAN g! system and their awesome HR2 remote, it’s super simple to pull up my favorite movie from the Sony Blu-Ray Changer, or any of my three cable boxes or three Apple TVs. I don’t have to leave the room, and I think maybe the best thing is that there are no wires lying around. Everything is done in the wall, and the only thing anyone sees is the remote and the TV. All the discs, boxes, and wires are behind the scenes.
“Every piece of the ELAN g! system looks sleek and subtle, and it’s easy for everyone to use because it’s intuitive and all of the control interfaces work the same. Some of the other brands had different layouts for different devices, and who wants that? I love that I can take out my iPhone and check the thermostats when I’m away, and it’s exactly the same as using the system at home. The bottom line is this system delivers everything I could ask for, makes it easy to use, and was a lot more affordable than some of the other brands.”
In addition to controlling the home’s irrigation and 12-zone audio system with 15 pairs of speakers, the g! system also consolidates control for the home’s six HVAC zones, the security system, and the Lutron Radio RA-2 lighting system with 102 dimmers, 15 keypads and 6 energy-saving occupancy sensors that turn the lights on and off automatically when people enter or leave a room. And the family can control the system from anywhere thanks to the four ELAN TS7 in-wall touch screens, four ELAN HR2 remote controls, and a dedicated wall-mounted iPad running the g! mobile app.
The HVAC and lighting systems have been programmed to perform optimally to save energy and provide the most comfortable living environment. The outdoor lighting is synced with the astronomical clock so all the lights turn on just after dusk and turn off right before dawn.
According to the homeowner, “One of the things that put me over the top for the g! system was the HR2 remote. I tried out the iPhone and iPad interfaces for controlling my TVs and all my movies, but every time I wanted to do anything there were several steps to get to the controls I needed. With the HR2, all my media controls require only a single button push, just like the remotes I grew up with. There’s no lag, no screens to sift through, and it has a touch screen right on the remote that also lets me change the temperature or lighting scene from the couch without even taking out my iPhone.”
The home’s HVAC changes automatically throughout the day based on the pre-programmed schedule. The house has eight flat screen HDTVs, including a media center with a 60-inch Samsung LED LCD TV and 7.1 surround sound system including a Sunfire HRS-12 subwoofer.