Blog

To The Trade Only Market Day Event

On Thursday, May 4th Innerspace Electronics took part in the To The Trade Only Market Day at the Wakefield Design Center in Stamford, CT. The day featured presentations, networking and delicious refreshments.     The day started with a presentation entitled The Enduring Legacy of Midcentury Design by Michael Berman. Mr. Berman discussed the history of design in California and the mid-century influences that inspired architecture and furniture trends that remain today. He discussed how his own designs were influenced by the car industry after spending his childhood in Detroit, MI. The next presentation It’s all in the Mix by Meg Braff discussed using different elements of design to create unique spaces that showcase how traditional and modern design can truly complement one another. A book signing followed her presentation. The last presentation was by the Editor-in-Chief of Veranda, Clinton Smith, who presented Veranda Entertaining, an A-Z guide on the art and allure of elegant entertaining. A book signing followed his presentation as well. As a sponsor, Andrea Reiner presented on who Innerspace Electronics is, what we do and how we hope to help the design world incorporate our technology into their designs. We had our motorized window treatment fabrics on display along with some high-end light fixtures for all attendees to see.... read more

Innerspace Electronics, Inc. Named to CE Pro Top 100

Each year CE Pro puts together a list of the nation’s top 100 custom installation companies. Innerspace Electronics, Inc. is once again proud to be included on that list. This year the company ranks number 31, a 9 spot jump from last year’s 40th position. The article points out that the custom installation market is seeing increased revenues across the board. Consumer confidence just hit a plateau not seen in 16 years. New home construction is at its highest level since 2007. The “Trump Bump” in the stock market and his proposed tax reform has the market salivating over the potential for even more expendable income in consumers’ pockets, along with potential tax breaks for businesses. Home remodeling spending is moving along at 6.7% growth and Millennials are now purchasing homes and one in three homeowners plans to install home automation in the next 12 months. All of these factors have created an overall growth in the industry of 24%. For more on the trends in the industry and other factors that have led to the immense growth over the past year, check out the full article at CE Pro Top... read more

HTSA Spring Conference Closes With Even More Enthusiasm Than It Opens

Barry & Andrea represented Innerspace Electronics, Inc. at the annual HTSA Spring Conference. This year it was held in beautiful San Diego, CA. Vendors and integrators from all over the country came to share ideas and learn more about new products, technologies and industry happenings. Below is the link to the full recap of the three day conference. HTSA Spring Conference... read more

HTSA Elects First Woman Ever to Board of Directors

CE Pro Editors · December 1, 2016 Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA), which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016, has elected two new members to its Board of Directors, including the first woman ever to sit on the board. The new directors, Andrea Reiner of Innerspace Electronics and Terence Murray of Audiovisions, will assume their new role on the HTSA Board beginning January 2017. They will replace outgoing directors Jim Richards, of Future Home Systems and Design, and Navot Shoresh, of Spire Integrated Systems. In addition to her duties in managing the financial and administration departments of Innerspace Electronics, Reiner brings an extensive background in sales and marketing to the HTSA Board. Keep... read more

Innerspace Electronics, Inc. Owners Featured on the Cover of CEPro Magazine

It’s been a dream of Barry and Andrea Reiner to be featured on the cover of CEPro Magazine. That dream just became a reality! The business and life partners graced the cover of the September issue of CEPro Magazine and had a beautiful 7 page spread written up about them and their company. The article discusses how they got started, how they have grown their business and forecasts what the future holds for them. The feature also mentions that Innerspace Electronics has just completed their new Experience Room. Click below for the full article.... read more

Lessons Learned: Industry Best Practices

For some custom integrators, the road to business improvement has involved applying lessons learned about setting employee performance standards at CEDIA Business Xchange. For others it has meant joining a buying group and streamlining the number of product lines carried. Similarly, some product lines or technology categories are more effective in one market than another, whether it’s adding more network and remote management services or utilizing Crestron Digital Media and Control on large projects.

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Innerspace Electronics Honored in 2015 CEDIA Home Technology Professional Awards

Award-winning project named a finalist in the Best Integrated Home Category   Westchester, Fairfield County & NYC, New York – November 3, 2015 – InnerSpace Electronics, Inc., New York’s leading resource for premium home technology solutions, is proud to announce that their award-winning Orange County, NY project has been recognized again this year, this time as a winner in the Best Integrated Home category of the 2015 CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles® Home Technology Professional Awards.   The CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Awards Program recognizes the best home technology projects designed and installed by CEDIA member home technology professionals across seven categories. For the first time in the awards’ history, CEDIA announced a list of finalists a few weeks before CEDIA Expo to increase awareness and showcase the innovative work done by CEDIA members.   This InnerSpace Electronics’ Orange County, NY whole-home project also earned them Gold honors in the 2015 Electronic House Home of the Year Awards this past June for the array of custom smart home technology solutions installed throughout the entire property.   The InnerSpace team sets themselves apart from other custom integrators with their willingness to create truly custom programming solutions for each customer’s needs. To help these owners keep an eye on the massive property, InnerSpace installed 29 IC Realtime Cameras to monitor the 14,000 square-foot home itself, as well as the 142 acres of property surrounding it. The cameras’ motion sensors automatically signal the Savant automation system, which activates TVs inside the residence to display footage of the wildlife that roams the property, creating a “wildlife channel” for owners to view and playback later.   “We... read more

InnerSpace Electronics Wins Coveted 10th Annual Electronic House Home of the Year Award

Leading NY custom electronics pros snag gold for one-of-a-kind smart home installation. Innerspace Electronics, Inc., New York’s leading resource for premium home technology solutions, is proud to announce the company’s latest award win, the CI industry-driven Electronic House Home of the Year Award. The Electronic House Home of the Year Awards showcase technologies and systems for the whole home and each year honor the best installed spaces, submitted for judging by professional home automation and home theater integrators. Showcasing Innerspace Electronics’ creativity and meticulous system engineering, the firm was honored with the Gold Award in the category of Whole Home, Over $50k. The award-winning Orange County, NY home boasts an array of custom smart home technology solutions including: twenty-nine surveillance cameras that capture images of wildlife around the property (and also provide class-leading security); elegant colored lighting which accentuates the architecture of the home; and commercial-grade systems that pair with residential nuances and control to deliver uber-smart home automation effects. “At Innerspace Electronics, we don’t believe there is any singular template or cookie-cutter layout when it comes to designing, installing and maintaining a smart home,” said co-founder and president Barry Reiner. “We pride ourselves on thinking outside of the box to deliver an experience that not only ‘wows’ but adds real value, convenience and innovation to our clients’ projects.” Upon completion, the impressive 14,000 square-foot home now features a Savant home automation system, which allows the homeowners to actively monitor and manage every aspect of the home environment including commercial-grade lighting, heating and cooling and networking which unite with residential electronic door locks, audio/video components, motorized shading, surveillance cameras... read more

InnerSpace Electronics Wins Houzz Awards!

InnerSpace Electronics, Inc. of Port Chester, NY Receives Best Of Houzz 2015 Award. Over 25 Million Monthly Unique Users Rated Top-Rated Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in the United States and Around the World Port Chester, NY, January 28, 2015 – Innerspace Electronics, Inc. of Port Chester, NY has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” for Design & Customer Satisfaction by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The 26 year-old home automation company was chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals. The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Design and Customer Satisfaction. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers.” Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014. Winners will receive a “Best Of Houzz 2015” badge on their profiles, helping Houzz users around the world who discover and love a professional’s work to learn even more about that business’ popularity and satisfaction rating among their peers in the Houzz community. “We are thrilled to have been selected for both the Design and the Custom Satisfaction awards. While winning in both categories is an honor, we are especially excited about winning in the Custom Satisfaction category since we pride ourselves on our customer service,” said Gina Romanello, sales and marketing manager at InnerSpace Electronics. “We love that we’re able to showcase some of our... read more

Andrea Reiner is Named a Leading Woman in Technology

We are thrilled to announce that Andrea Reiner, Vice President and co-owner of InnerSpace Electronics, Inc., has been featured as a Leading Woman in Technology by Consumer Electronics. Below is the link to the published article. Congratulations Andrea! December 03, 2014 on www.ce.org It’s not easy writing a story about women as a subset of an industry, as the women in this story prove. These women are not unique because of their gender, they are innovators, leaders and creators who are changing the tech landscape for the better, whether honing complex worlds of smart home technology and distribution for efficiency, for profit and for style or developing apps that allow smartphones to deliver vital medical data. These leaders have important stories to tell about how they rose in the ranks at their own companies, inspiring not just other women, but a new generation of innovators who are building on their ideas. Andrea Reiner Vice President of Innerspace Electronics Inc. Port Chester, NY What inspired you to found Innerspace? I was on vacation with the man I knew would be my life partner, and we were discussing how we both wanted to create our own business and not work for someone else. What were your main goals for creating a company focused on smart home technology? Life passion and vocation. What was the install industry like when you first got started? In its infancy. Scott Struthers was just introducing in-wall speakers, and manufacturers were just starting to “think” about creating audio control systems. Mostly we were soldering and creating our own products. What was your first experience with technology? I... read more

Savant Releases their Brand New App

On Thursday, November 6th, Savant officially re-opened their “loft” space in their NYC showroom to showcase their new app. A week later, we held our annual Continuing Education event for architects, designers, builders and other industry partners. We were thrilled to be one of the first integrators to not only learn about and see the app hands on but to tell everyone else too! The event was a great success and we received lots of positive feedback from attendees on both the new app and the AIA accredited continuing education class entitled “From Vision to Reality; Where Technology Meets Design.” Click here for the article Residential Systems wrote about us and the event... read more

Savant’s New Personalized Home Control App is Unlike Anything You’ve Ever Seen

This year at CEDIA, Savant debuted their new App which has the whole audio/video industry talking! Read the article below from HD Living for more details about Savant’s products and the App in particular. We feel privileged to be one of the integrators that Savant has chosen to Beta test the new software. Stay tuned for our feedback! Published Sep 17, 2014 by Dennis Burger, Editor in Chief Continuing our roundup of home automation innovations on display at this year’s CEDIA Expo, next up on my tour of the show was the booth of Savant Systems, whose presence in the home control space has positively exploded in the past few years. Savant had a lot to announce at the Expo—including new WiFi and Ethernet controllers; new pricing, with the one-room Savant Host controller starting at $799; a new Pro line of controllers that enables access to adaptive phase dimmers and more advanced lighting control; and a new premium subscription service dubbed Savant Plus, which gives the homeowners complete remote access to their Savant systems for $150 per year (after a 90-day free trial). But the biggest news by far was the new Savant App, which delivers unified, personalized control of lighting, entertainment, security, and comfort all from one slick, intuitive, completely personalized interface that boils down the control interface to its barest essentials without losing a bit of functionality. And I do mean personalized. The first thing you see when you fire up the new Savant App is a screen containing every room in your house. And not merely a simple list; I mean you’re literally looking at an... read more

Celebrating 25 Years in Business

InnerSpace Electronics, Inc. recently celebrated a milestone anniversary, 25 years in business, with a celebration at the Savant Experience Center in NYC. The event was attended by architects, designers and builders from the Metro NY area and they had the chance to receive Continuing Education Credits as well. We received great press on the event and below are links to two articles written about us. The Port Chester Patch Residential... read more

CEDIA 2013 Award Notification

InnerSpace Electronics, Inc. is proud to announce that we are the winners of a Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) bronze award for Best Technical Design in the $100K & Under category. We are so thankful to our clients for their willingness to let us photograph and showcase their home. A formal press release to come... read more

InnerSpace Electronics Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary with a National Award-Winning Home Theater Unlike Any Other

In the quarter-century since InnerSpace Electronics, Inc. opened its doors in Port Chester, New York, co-founders Andrea and Barry Reiner have designed and installed hundreds of home automation and entertainment systems, from dedicated home theaters that replicate the big-screen cinema experience, to cozy living room media systems. But for the husband-and-wife team of the premier custom electronics systems integration company, one recent award-winning room stands out, showcasing the company’s ability to combine impeccable design and innovative technology integration solutions to create a unique automated entertainment environment perfectly suited for the home and family. The room recently won Electronic House magazine’s Gold Award for Best Home Theater Up to $25,000, not only for its stunning big screen projection system, invisible surround sound system, and advanced, touch-of-a-button control system, but also for the challenges involved in transforming an unusually shaped, oblong bonus space into an absolute technical marvel that serves as a gathering place for the entire family. “A trend we’ve noticed among many of our clients is that when their kids start reaching those adolescent years, they want them home more,” says InnerSpace Electronics co-founder and vice president Andrea Reiner. “It’s almost as if the parents are competing with each other to see who can have the best toys, so the neighborhood kids all come to their house instead of going out.” Granted, it may be a stretch to call a $25,000 home theater system a “toy,” but for Andrea and Barry Reiner, redesigning the room from scratch—including not only the electronics, but also the décor, from furnishings and finishes to lighting fixtures and carpeting—was certainly a lot of fun.... read more

INFOGRAPHIC: What Homeowners Want

In 2012 the National Association of Home Builders conducted a consumer study titled “What Home Buyers Really Want’. The ‘in-the-know’ consumers were asked which home technology features were on their wish-list and these were the top 10... read more

InnerSpace Electronics Joins the Fight Against Cancer

American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Greenwich, CT was held this past weekend, June 14, 2013, at Brunswick High School in Greenwich, CT. Innerspace Electronics participated as the “AV Royals” and helped to raise over $2,000 with company matching from Andrea and Barry Reiner. The event began at 6:00pm on June 14th with a survivor reception. Opening ceremonies started at 7:00pm with welcoming remarks and a survivor lap to kick off the Relay. The event continued until 7:00am the next morning with teams walking throughout the night. Fifty-five teams were present and with just over five hundred people participating, $139,000 was raised in total. Innerspace Electronics, Inc. was honored to be a participant and sponsor. “Cancer is a disease that, unfortunately, has touched too many people. We decided as a group that this was something we wanted to get involved in and then it was just a matter of picking which Relay to sponsor. Innerspace Electronics has worked closely with the Greenwich community over the years. We wanted to give back and chose to support their Relay. We are grateful to those that participated in our fundraising efforts, especially Leon Speakers, ProAct Sales, Thea & Shoen and DSB,” expresses Gina Romanello, Relay for Life Coordinator at Innerspace... read more

Help the AV Royals Fight the Fight Against Cancer!

Almost all of us have been touched by cancer in some way, so we’ve decided to make a difference by walking and raising money in the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life event at the Brunswick School in Greenwich, CT. At the event, our team, the AV Royals, will camp out overnight and take turns walking around the track to raise money and awareness to help the American Cancer Society in the world’s largest fight for more birthdays. Our team is doing our part to make sure that cancer never steals another year of anyone’s life. Please join our team or make a donation, because saving lives from cancer starts one team, one participant, and one dollar at a time. Click the link below to donate to our cause! AV Royals Donation... read more

Disappearing Act: A NYC Penthouse Gets a Stealth Entertainment Upgrade

To its part-time NYC residents, this stunning penthouse offers a haven above the business and bustle of the streets of New York City. The pad boasts floor-to-ceiling windows with breathtaking views of Central Park West and the Manhattan skyline while flooding the apartment with natural light. This real estate left little to be desired—except for a reference-quality media room. The lucky new homeowners sought a modern entertainment environment that would blend seamlessly into the contemporary décor of the apartment while performing to a reference-level standard at all times of day. While the homeowners’ objective was clear, the large room (21’ x 15.5’ LxW) presented unique design and construction challenges for the custom integration team. Enter Innerspace Electronics. Innerspace Electronics is a premier custom electronics systems integrator that services elite clientele from New York City, to Westchester and Fairfield County and Long Island. Their reputation for creating and installing the highest-level of smart home automation, home theater and A/V system solutions has also brought them to Miami, Palm Beach and beyond for multi-abode clients. For this penthouse project, the Innerspace team was tasked with the design and build of the full-scale media room that would disappear at the press of a button. And so, they did. To deliver a media room that performed to the highest audio and video standards of the discerning owner and complemented the aesthetics and existing conditions within the apartment, various concessions had to be made. First, an integrated automated lighting and shading system was installed to overcome the light that floods the room from the large windows by day and lights of the city by... read more

So What is This Home Automation Thingy Anyway?

By Grant Clauser, January 18, 2013 My editorial colleagues and I always chuckle (OK, we cringe) when we read an article from the mainstream media (i.e., not a consumer electronics writer) that refers to a Jetson’s lifestyle or the home of the future whenever the subject of home automation or home control comes up. Even now, in 2013, people are impressed by such simple things as universal remotes, and they believe that home automation refers to things from a SyFy TV show. This week a writer for CNN wrote an article on home automation products seen at last week’s CES 2013 and called the world of automation “young and exciting.” Yes, it is exciting, but young? Electronic House has been covering home automation for 25 years. The author also claims that because of “conflicting standards… the real dream of a fully connected home is still a ways off.” I have to wonder if the author has an idea of what the “fully connected home” actually is. As we’ve shown over the years, there’s very little in the way of electronic systems that can’t be integrated by a professional in home automation. There’s nothing rare, unusual or Jetson-like about it. However, a truly integrated home control system is not a DIY project, and perhaps that’s what the authors of articles like that expect. Fixing a roof is not, for most people, a DIY job either. Recently a heavy storm blew some siding and shingles off my house so I called a professional to give me an estimate for the repairs and do the work, but that won’t lead me to... read more

What Screen Size is Right for You?

Enter an electronics store or peruse the ads in the Sunday newspaper and the variety of new HDTVs and other electronic screens is overwhelming. If you’re in the market for a new video screen, you know exactly how confusing the different choices can be. Below are just a few things to know before you go shopping for that new screen or television set: HDTV and Smart TVs Not all video screens are created alike. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the screen, the better the quality; but there are a lot of other things to consider when shopping for a video screen. For instance, is high-definition TV (HDTV) right for you? HDTV sets have about five times as many pixels per inch than standard sets, giving their pictures a higher degree of clarity. Such sets are well-suited for viewing things with a lot of detail, such as sporting events and nature programs. Smart TVs blur the lines between television sets and computers. These sets allow you to perform some computer and Internet functions as well as search for media among all entertainment choices. Smart TVs also have a save function that allows users to store programming. Such sets are ideal for those who like to share content with social media friends. Factors to Consider when Choosing a Video Screen Video screens are measured on the diagonal. Commonly found sizes range from 19″ to 70″. Which size should you pick? That can depend on whether you’re looking to create a home theater, or just for everyday entertainment. Here are a few points that may help you make that decision:... read more

Home Theater: Buy an Experience, Not a Box

CEDIA Home Technology Blog | December 4, 2012 | Sure, you can go out and buy a home-heater-in-a-box (HTiB) system for a couple hundred bucks and it will provide “everything you need for a home theater experience.” Most HTiBs include five small speakers and a bass module (or subwoofer) with built-in amplification that powers the whole shebang. Or you could opt for a sound bar – a long, slender enclosure with multiple speakers that sits under the TV and sometimes includes a separate bass module. Digital processing is used to create a virtual surround-sound effect. Either of these budget solutions can provide decent sound when dollars and space are limited. You’ll get some semblance of surround sound (if you’re sitting in the right spot) and bass that goes boom without the shake, rattle and roll. (Sound bars and HTiBs aren’t capable of producing the sort of gut-wrenching bass you experience in a top-flight theater.) Bottom line: You get what you pay for, and when it comes to modestly priced all-in-one home theater systems, modest performance is all you can reasonably expect. So the question becomes: What kind of home theater experience are you looking for? Will mediocrity suffice or would you like to “go out to the movies” without leaving home? Who You Gonna Call? With the help of an electronic systems contractor who specializes in audio/video entertainment and home theater installation, it is possible to rival the experience of watching The Bourne Legacy at New York’s Ziegfeld Theatre: Apocalyptic bass, surround sound that pulls you into the action and a stunning, larger-than-life image. If you want to go... read more

iPad 4 Review Roundup: The New Real iPad

By Casey Chan So the iPad 4 is the new iPad, or rather the new new iPad because the new iPad was first the iPad 3, which has now become the old and discontinued new iPad half a year later. Yeah, it’s awkward. But anyway. This new iPad is just the same as the old iPad except it’s a little bit faster. CNET: Place the new fourth-gen iPad on a table anywhere and no one will be able to know it’s the latest and greatest unless he happens to see that telltale, teeny-tiny Lightning connector. This isn’t a product you can easily show off. Just like the iPhone 4S, it has the same weight, size, and overall design as its predecessor. Even the back panel doesn’t give any hint that this is a newer iPad than before.   The Verge: In practice, the most noticeable difference between third and fourth generation of iPad is how quickly apps launch. It’s not so much that the older iPad is slow to launch apps, but the A6X-powered model is consistently and noticeably faster to do so. Light apps (like Notes or Mail) launch only a beat faster, but games and movies were often several seconds faster to open on the new model. It makes for a much smoother experience — Instapaper used to show an empty shelf for a second or two before populating, and now pops to fully stocked life almost instantly.   TechCrunch: For now, one primary way you’ll notice that this iPad is better than the last version is in the front-facing camera. Previously, it was a VGA-quality lens... read more

The Most Critical (and Overlooked) Component of Your Home Entertainment System

Published Oct 12, 2012 By HD Living Staff What’s the most crucial electronic component in your home? Depending on how you use your entertainment system, you may think it’s the receiver or AV processor—the box that routes and switches all of your audio and video, sending sound to your speakers and video to your display. Or, if your home is automated, perhaps the control processor comes to mind—the box that routes and switches all of your remote control signals, fires up the home theater at the touch of a button, dims your lights, and fills the house with music when guests are on the way over. Maybe you’re a gamer, and wouldn’t trade your Xbox 360 for a kidney, or perhaps you’re among the new breed of entertainment consumers whose consumption consists mostly of streamed movies and music, making your Roku or Apple TV the one little black box you think you absolutely cannot live without. There’s one thing you’re forgetting, though—the one little black box that allows all of those black boxes to do their thing: your router. Of course, there are other components to your home network, the nebulous system of wires and wireless signals that carry information between your computers, smart phones, and entertainment devices, and connects them all to the internet at large. But the router is the essential component—the brain that directs all of those bits of information, telling which bits of information when to go where. It hasn’t been that long ago that the router was responsible for communicating between two or three computers in the home, and nothing more. Then smart phones... read more

Today’s Housing Market: Home Technology Trends

A recent study conducted by CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) confirmed that home technology is making a positive contribution to the housing market’s recovery. This is due to the home buyer’s desire for more technical integration and a heightened awareness of energy efficiency factoring into their purchasing decisions. Consumers have embraced connected devices and a variety of technologies that have significantly changed their personal and professional lives just in the last few years. The complete integration of all their devices into a single ecosystem that goes wherever they do—home, car and office—is in greater demand than ever. As a certified systems integrator, we can tie together a home theater, multi-room audio/video, complete home lighting and climate control into one easy to use interface. In fact, you may have multiple interfaces such as wall pads throughout the home and most systems now have control apps for smart phones and tablets. It’s this ability to control complex technologies from devices we’ve come to trust and depend on that seems to be partially responsible for the homeowner’s willingness to invest in connected homes. Despite the housing recession, home builders are seeing significant increases in projects (both new construction and retrofits) relating to energy consumption solutions, multi-room audio and home theater installations. Providing home automation and energy management solutions increases the home’s value, ensuring new buyers that their purchase contains the latest smart-home technologies. At the least, structured wiring has become a standard practice among builders making it easier for home owners to retro fit and upgrade smart home technologies at a later date.... read more

The Features & Benefits of Automated Window Coverings

You’re in the kitchen; you hear a gentle swoosh. It must be around sunset, you think, that time of day where the evening sun bursts through your living room windows, hitting the light sensors and prompting your blinds to close so you and your family can easily watch TV without the glare of the sun. Often part of a total home automation system, automated drapes and blinds offer numerous features and benefits. For example, open draperies and blinds let bright sunlight in which can fade furniture, artwork and carpeting. Automatically closing window coverings during the times of the day when the sunlight is streaming in can save the expensive furnishings in your home. The movement of your window coverings can be programmed to be triggered by time of day or by light sensors, making this one less chore you have to worry about. GREAT FOR HEIGHTS. While adding motorizing window coverings adds convenience to any window, it is even more beneficial with high windows, where it is often difficult to manually open and close coverings. There are even motorized products for skylights. So if you have high windows or skylights in your home, automated window coverings are almost a “must.” CHANGE THE MOOD. Aesthetically, drapes and blinds can totally change the look of a room. With motorized coverings you can have one covering retract and another lowered to cover the same window. The second one can be a different color and fabric. Almost instantly the room has morphed into a different style, allowing you to create a variety of moods and ambiances to best suit your needs, whether it’s... read more

iPad control for home automation

Using the ipad to control home automation was probably the highlight of my decade. Suddenly we were relieved from the shackles of custom interfaces for each of the devices we installed. Instead we could write an application (app) for a single device (the ipad) that was rapidly becoming ubiquitous in the everyday lives of our customers. The travelling business person is running a bit late in London with a weekend birthday party for her kids coming up fast in Greenwich. With her ipad she can start heating the pool, manage the music playlist so that “Happy Birthday” comes on strong at exactly the planned moment. The shades will open at the right time and close when the sun is in the west. The modern home is truly automated and controllable from afar. I became an immediate advocate and probably a bit of a terror to our employees who were expected to drop their wiring harnesses and circuit boards and focus on software solutions. No longer did each device have it’s own custom interface (and configuration). Now what we needed was a little bit of code and and understanding of how to apply it. It was interesting to see how our vendor’s reacted. Some embraced the revolution right away. Others delayed. Guess which prospered over the past few years? Crestron was particularly enthusiastic. Virtually everything in their home automation line has an app or will soon. They are constantly improved and updated and I’ll be reporting enthusiastically on them in future... read more