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NASCAR Driver Seeks Central Home Control

ELAN provides Denny Hamlin with instant access to the residence’s extensive security, audio, video, and lighting systems.

Hamlin’s game room 

Denny Hamlin is an American stock car racing driver with a need for speed. When he’s not competing in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, he’s enjoying his new Lake Norman, NC, 30,0000-square-foot residence that features an indoor basketball court, bowling alley, race and golf simulator, home theater, and helicopter pad.

During the home’s building process in late 2016, Hamlin wanted to incorporate one central interface to control all his home’s sub-systems and sophisticated entertainment technology. After a recommendation from Thompson Custom Home Builder, he called on local technology integration firm Interactive Interiors to design a fast and reliable automation system to meet his many objectives.

“Denny Hamlin is familiar with control because he had used a different system in a past home, but wasn’t happy with the complexity of the interface and the issues that kept arising,” Brian Berg, president of Interactive Interiors said. “He asked me to install the most reliable and easiest to use system on the market, and I confidently suggested ELAN.”

The Interactive Interiors team built the residence’s entire smart home infrastructure on an ELAN Entertainment & Control System. The installed system includes two ELAN gSC10 controllers, four ELAN g1 controllers, two ELAN S1616A Multi-Zone Audio Controllers, and one ELAN gMV1616 UltraMatrix Switcher, accessible via 12 ELAN 7-inch touchpanels and 16 ELAN remotes. Hamlin also installed the ELAN app on his smartphone for remote use. He can now control the home’s lighting, 32 zones of audio, video, and security, from anywhere at any time.

Hamlin’s ELAN control panel 

“Interactive interiors did a phenomenal job to quickly and efficiently install ELAN into the home,” said Ted Thompson, president of Thompson Custom Home Builder. “Sometimes, programmers work for months on end when implementing a smart home infrastructure of this size and magnitude. But the installation process and the system configuration was totally seamless.” 

The Interactive Interiors team designed the home’s extensive entertainment system on a whole-home Ubiquiti wireless network. Throughout the spacious residence, they also installed 24 Samsung 60-inch televisions, both indoors and outdoors, as well as a Samsung 88-inch curved screen TV in the home’s central media room.

They also built and designed a central home theater, complete with a 110-inch matte white projection screen with a black velvet frame, and an accompanying Sony SXRD projector equipped with 4K Ultra HD resolution at a 16:9 ratio.

“We worked closely with the custom cabinet builder to create 55-inch panels surrounding the theater screen so that Hamlin can watch five independent channels at the same time, which is ideal for enjoying different races or games simultaneously,” Berg said. “Together, we also designed a custom wood frame around the screen with embedded Lutron lighting, all of which is automated through the ELAN system.”

The kitchen area of Hamlin’s home 

Incorporating custom design elements with the home’s technology was common throughout the installation process. Interactive Interiors worked closely with interior designer Scott Carpenter to integrate unique accents to shield or show technology on a case-by-case basis.

“Denny wanted the overall design aesthetic to be clean, simple, and contemporary,” Carpenter explained. “In addition to the unique architectural and design elements we incorporated, we also played with technology to achieve our goal. We installed custom-built LED lighting strips across many of the home’s moldings, especially for the home’s art gallery wall.”

According to Carpenter, technology impacts his designs, and it is therefore important to use it in a way that enhances — rather than inhibits — creativity. “All of the home’s components need to fit together like a puzzle,” he said. “We really were able to use the technology, and the instant and automatic control, to accentuate particular elements that we wanted to emphasize.”

The Hamlin’s living area Hamlin also wanted a reliable and extensive security system to protect his family and his property while on the road. Interactive Interiors integrated a Holovision doorbell, intercom, and camera at the front door into the ELAN system, enabling Hamlin to check in on the front door from anywhere in the home or the world. A whole-home indoor and outdoor GE security system was integrated into the system for maximum protection.

Thus far, Hamlin is thrilled with his new smart home and hasn’t experienced any of the previous problems he had with automation.

“ELAN ties all of my home’s components together and makes them accessible from anywhere in the world,” Hamlin said. “I couldn’t be happier with how the system turned out.”