Make the Most of Your Outdoor Living — Take the Ordinary to Oasis

The northeast winters can be brutal. Even if you enjoy outdoor winter activities, there is nothing like that first sign of spring to build excitement around spending more time outside in the warmer weather.

Gone are the days of blasting the music from within the house so you can hear it out in the backyard. Today there are numerous options for creating the perfect backyard entertaining space that blends the indoors with the outdoors.Outdoor Living Pool Controls

Music

For any great party or gathering music is one of the most important ways you can ensure people are enjoying themselves. From mounted, all-weather speakers attached to the house, to a packaged landscape speaker system designed to look like flood lights and blend in with your landscaping, to speakers that look like rocks – the options are practically limitless. A properly designed speaker system should be heard and not seen in your backyard entertaining space.

Television

You have had your annual friends and family BBQ scheduled for weeks or maybe months in advance. You had no way of predicting your favorite sports team was going to be in the make-it or break-it game of the season at the exact time of your party. In the past, you would have to take off your ‘entertaining hat’ to run inside to check the score periodically. Now, you have the option of incorporating an outdoor television into your backyard space’s design, so you don’t have to miss the Grand Slam nor your cousin’s story about his recent trip abroad. Whether the television will be in a covered outdoor space or in direct sunlight, the televisions are manufactured to withstand the elements and provide a great picture without any sun glare.

Motorized insect screens

It’s a beautiful night; light breeze, warm weather, perfect for dining al fresco. Unfortunately, while you are enjoying your food outside, the pesky bugs are dining on you. That’s no longer a problem with motorized insect screens. At the push of a button, the outdoor lounge becomes an enclosed space, so you still get the enjoyment of dining outside and not have to pour on the bug spray in order to do so.

Pool Control

It’s a hot summer day and the pool water is cooking. Lower the temperature without having to visit the mechanical room. Integrate your pool jandy with your control system and control your pool and hot tub right from any of your smart devices.

Outdoor Family RoomLighting

Your afternoon BBQ is going strong. Everyone is enjoying themselves and then the sun sets. With just one spotlight off the back of the house, your guests feel like it’s last call at the bar and start to say their goodbyes. If the backyard space was properly lit, the party could easily continue into the night. Up lighting on trees & bushes, lighted walkways, and flood lights located within the landscape can help keep the fun going without skipping a beat. Lighting isn’t just for entertaining either. A properly lit home exterior can also help deter criminal behavior and keep your home safe.

Security

You’re laying in bed and you hear a noise outside. Is that an intruder or is it just an animal? Before the panic sets in, grab your iPad and check your surveillance cameras. You see it was just a racoon trying to get into your garbage. You make a mental note to double check the garbage cans are properly secured in the morning and you gently fall back to sleep. Surveillance cameras can provide peace of mind and give you an extra sense of security whether you’re home or traveling.

There are so many ways to take your outdoor spaces from ordinary to extraordinary with the proper planning and expertise. Are you ready to take your outdoor living to the next level? Contact us to learn more about how we can help you design the ultimate backyard oasis.

Spotlight on Lighting: Q&A with Rachel Calemmo from Christian Rae Studio

Take a moment to think about the space you are sitting in. How does it make you feel? Do you feel productive and energized, or are you feeling relaxed? Now, take a moment to look at the lighting in the space. How does the color of light appear? Is it an amber, warm glow or more of a white, bright light like daylight? How many fixtures are in the room? Is it a combination of fixtures such as in-ceiling downlights, wall sconces, table and/or floor lamps or is it one primary source of light? Would you consider the space to be adequately lit?

A well-lit space that enhances the environment and mood incorporates multiple layers of lighting. These layers include general lighting of a space, known as ambient lighting, task lighting providing ample lighting to achieve a task, focal lighting to draw attention to a specific feature or architectural element, and decorative lighting such as a beautifully crafted chandelier dangling in the grand foyer.

Additionally, energy output and dimming controls contributes greatly to the way a space is illuminated and how it can be manipulated. In today’s world of lighting, light emitting diodes (LED) light fixtures have made significant strides in supplying energy-efficient light sources. More and more projects are required by state and local codes to include a portion of LED fixtures within new construction projects.

Related: 3 REASONS WHY INNERSPACE ELECTRONICS SHOULD BE YOUR LIGHTING DESIGNER AND FIXTURE SUPPLIER ON RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS

A contracted lighting designer is trained to meet code requirements and design a well-crafted lighting design plan for residential construction. As Home Technology Professionals who specialize in sophisticated lighting control systems, we work closely with lighting designers to ensure interoperability between designated light fixtures and the lighting control system.

We recently connected with Rachel Calemmo, co-founder of Christian Rae Studio, and accredited LEED® and NCQLP Lighting Certified professional, and asked her a few questions about the importance of contracting a lighting designer and lighting control experts early on in a project. Here’s what we Rachel had to say:

Q [IEI]: To start, when a person is building or renovating their home, what would you consider to be the most important aspects of lighting to understand and be aware of in a lighting plan?

A [RC]: I came to the field of lighting design via interior design.  For me, one of the most critical factors is visual acuity. This means rendering the colors and finishes in the space in a way that makes them come to life.  I use light sources that have the highest color rendering index (CRI) possible and select a color temperature of the light that will complement the colors and textures in the space.

The lighting should also support the activities in the space at any given time. This means not only using the appropriate light sources, but also layering the light and varying the controls to suit the activities by time of day. Daylight provides bright, blue-rich light in the early morning to deliver an alerting signal as we wake up – but exposure to that same light at night can keep you up at night, and can make you feel groggy or irritable the next day. In the early evening, daylight provides a warm, low-level light to cue our bodies for a period of rest.

Circadian rhythms can be supported by using dynamic lighting features that LED lighting technology offers. It puts us in a position where we can now create personalized lighting to mitigate circadian disruption, optimize mood and visual experience, and improve our sense of wellbeing, in better ways than ever before.

Using these tools to design an overall lighting scheme makes our spaces feel more natural and comfortable places to live, dine, work and rest.

Q [IEI]: With so many manufacturers and light fixtures available in the marketplace, how does a lighting design help guide fixture specifications for a project and prove compatibility with a lighting control system?

A [RC]: Compatibility is the most critical factor in ensuring a successful lighting design. LED lighting requires more planning and coordination than any previous system of illumination. In order for LEDs to function properly, they need dimmers and drivers that speak their language so they do not create flicker, popping, strobing, early failure or dropping off. This level of specification is best done by partnering with lighting designers and integrators that can narrow down the wide range of fixture options and select the best possible fixtures that will not only complement the architecture and interior design, but will function smoothly.

Q [IEI]: What do you see as the core benefits of LED lighting over other technologies?

A [RC]: I am very excited about the benefits that LEDs offer us as designers and consumers because while they save us a tremendous about of energy and minimize maintenance, they also allow us to create more dynamic lighting environments.  LEDs provide us more control over the tone of our white light while also allowing us to supplement with color. Now, we are not only restricted to one wall color in a space, but can dial up any color of a room by a flip of a switch or a voice command, if we so choose. Technologies such as warm-dim LEDs can mimic incandescent sources, while tunable white allows us to set our lighting to a schedule that matches the tone of daylight to enhance the circadian rhythms I mentioned earlier. RGBW (Red, Green, Blue & White) LEDs lets us play with all the tones of white light along with vibrant and pastel colors all coming from one fixture. LEDs have opened up a world of possibilities.

Q [IEI]: Why is it important for lighting designers to partner with lighting control system integrators early in the design and planning phase of a project?

A [RC]: As mentioned earlier, LED lighting and its control goes hand-in-hand. The vision of a design can only be realized when the proper fixtures are selected and coordinated between the architecture and the controls system. The process works best when a team of designers and integrators are communicating throughout the design and specification to be sure the project goals are being met and the end user will have a space that is comfortable, intuitive and easy to maintain.

Q [IEI]: How does a lighting control system integrator complete a lighting designer’s vision?

A [RC]: In order to take full advantage of the benefits LED offer, controls integration is key. The ability of our lighting to be personalized and intuitive is controls-based. In order to have smooth dimming to a low level in intimate spaces or to follow daylight rhythms in our living spaces, requires complex scheduling and controls. These complex lighting scenes can be quite simple for the homeowner to use once the proper integration and planning is in place. This is why it is critical to not only have the proper fixtures selected by the designer for look and feel, but to have it controlled and programmed by the integrator to have it function to its full potential. We work as a team with the end user to create spaces that have benefits from well-being to visual acuity and enjoyment of our built environment.


About Racel Calemmo LC, LEED®, AP

Lighting Designer, Rachel Calemmo, orchestrates light, color, materials and space to create visually appealing environments which ease the demands of modern life and rejuvenate the soul. An Interior Design graduate of Philadelphia University, Rachel engages all aspects of project design, construction, and management.  Her commitment to the total design experience led her to specialize in lighting. She earned the Lighting Certified (LC) designation after successfully completing the NCQLP Lighting Certification Examination. Her technical skills enable her to complete each design challenge from conception to final installation; resulting in projects representing a broad range of scale, scope, and budget consideration.  Rachel is also a LEED® Accredited Professional who designs each project to a high standard balancing aesthetic expectations and energy efficiency due to the important role energy consumption and cost plays in an overall building life cycle.

About Christian Rae Studio

Christian Rae Studio, LLC was established in 2010 as collaboration between Rachel and Christian Calemmo. Christian is a licensed architect in Connecticut and New York. Rachel is an interior designer and certified lighting designer (LC).  She is also a LEED accredited professional.  Our firm is located in Southport, CT and we have worked on projects in Connecticut, Westchester County, New York City and beyond. Our combined technical and creative skills enable us to complete each design challenge from conception to final installation and our project types represent a broad range of type, scale and budget considerations. Each of our projects is unique.  Therefore, we focus our attentions on listening to our clients so that we can deliver a product that is not only beautiful and functional but also tailored to your specific needs and requests. We insist on providing detail and quality that is evident through our drawings and project management. The collaboration between multiple disciplines in our studio is an approach that results in a holistic and integrated project. Our goal is to make the design process a thoroughly enjoyable experience for our clients.

Calling all design-build professionals. Are you interested in being featured in one of InnerSpace Electronic Inc.’s Q&A Spotlight sessions? If so, please contact marketing@nullieiny.com to inquire.

3 reasons why InnerSpace Electronics should be your lighting designer and fixture supplier on residential projects

Light is an important part of our personal environment. It affects how we see and how we feel. We spend most of our lives under electric light – in our homes, schools, offices, stores, even outdoor spaces. But not all light is created equal.

The right light helps us live and work better. It can make visual tasks, such as reading, easier. It can set the mood for a space – vivid and energizing in a home office or gym, or warm and intimate for a dinner party. It can accentuate the colors and textures of fine furnishings. The right light may even help us sleep better.

 

LET THE OPPORTUNITY SHINE ON

 

For over 30 years we’ve been involved in controlling these environments through lighting control systems such as Lutron, working closely with architects, home builders, and interior designers to create programmable environments based on a client’s needs and desires. A residential project’s lighting control is directed through predetermined lighting plans and typically contains specified fixtures selected in earlier phases of construction that may present challenges when it’s time to program the control system. This can cause a great deal of strife for all parties involved and even delay a project while sorting out compatibility issues between fixtures and programming.

As A/V and Lighting Control Specialists, the lack of control we have on a project at this stage of the game opened up an opportunity for us. It was important to claim a majority stake in the lighting development stage to ensure the best possible lighting experience and control for our customers.

 

ADDING A LIGHTING DESIGN TEAM

 

In order to achieve this we invested in our tenured lighting control engineers and provided them the means to earn their certifications as ALA Lighting Specialists, and in Lutron HomeWorks Illumination and QS. Additionally, through our long-standing partnership with the nationally recognized Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA), we have access to an expert designer to support our team.

Our service benefits projects of any size that lack an appointed lighting designer or need a backup design team to review existing plans and provide recommendations that will further enhance the original design.

 

SELLING AND SPECIFYING LIGHT FIXTURES

 

Resources geared up, our next step was to expand our brand portfolio to include lighting fixtures giving us greater leverage to specify and sell high performance, energy efficient, state-of-the-art LED fixtures that are compatible with the most popular lighting control systems. We are pleased to announce our new offerings from Lutron Ivalo Finiré, USAI Lighting, Ketra, and DMF Lighting. Whether for new construction or retrofit renovation projects, we have an appropriate fixture that fits. With a range of color options, from classic, consistent white, to dimming cycles that stimulate the patterns of natural daylight, to a rainbow of saturated colored light, the possibilities are endless.

USAI Lighting, Lutron, Ketra, DMF, lighting design

Through direct relationships with these manufacturers, we are competitively priced to meet a variety of project scopes and budgets. Lead times tend to be reduced by cutting out multiple middle men commonly used in traditional purchasing channels.

Furthermore, coupling our design services at the beginning with specifying and purchasing the fixtures in the middle alleviates any compliance issues at the last stage when it’s time to program the lighting control system; therefore, miscommunications are prevented, delays are lessened, budgets are met, and longstanding relationships are developed.

 

 

Lutron Excellence Award Best Use of high-performance LED light fixtures, lighting designDELIVERING AWARD-WINNING RESULTS

The investment in developing our working knowledge of lighting from conception, to specification, to execution has captured gains in delivering award-winning environments. Most recently we were named the winners of the 2018 Lutron Excellence Award for Best Use of Lutron’s High-Performance LED Fixtures. The winning project conjoined all trades – architect, lighting designer, home builder, and InnerSpace; and resulted in a truly unforgettable classic, shingle style home overlooking the Long Island Sound.

The lighting plan was designed to illuminate the space while highlighting all the fine details and rich finishes. With a project scope of over 330 Lutron Ivalo Finiré fixtures and 144 circuits of lighting, the ability to partner up with the contracted lighting designer to assess the plans and supply the fixtures was helpful in meeting budgetary requirements, and allowed InnerSpace Electronics to provide a beautifully designed and functioning Lutron QS system to the homeowner.

 

 

LIGHT AND LEARN

To learn more about our lighting design services and our lighting brand portfolio click here. To schedule a demo please contact us.

Innerspace Electronics, Inc. Attends 2017 HOBI Awards

This past November, Innerspace Electronics, Inc. attended the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Connecticut, Inc. HOBI Awards Ceremony where a number of our builder partners were presented with awards for their outstanding work. We were honored to have designed and installed all the low voltage electronic systems in five of the award winning projects at the HOBI awards in 2017.

These projects feature low voltage electronics systems including full-scale home automation, lighting control, motorized window treatments, whole house audio & video control, broadband networks, HVAC control, pool systems control, security & camera systems control and many other system features, all provided and installed by Innerspace Electronics, Inc. for the following HOBI award winners:

  • Best Custom Home 8,000-9000 SF
  • Best Custom Home 10,000-12,000 SF
  • Best Custom Home 12,000-16,000 SF
  • Best Pool House
  • Best Accessory Building

“Integrated homes by Innerspace Electronics, Inc. provide homeowners with the ability to operate and monitor all systems while at home or remotely through internet enabled smart phones and tablets. We are in the business of providing convenience, assurance and peace of mind to our clients,” said Barry Reiner, CEO at Innerspace Electronics, Inc.

Innerspace Electronics has had the opportunity to work with many excellent builders and architects throughout Connecticut & New York, including Sound Beach Partners, Significant Homes, Hobbs, Charles Hilton Architects, Vanderhorn Architects, Shope Reno Wharton, and many more.