Many unlucky stiffs might as well call the office ‘home’, while others can do their work in their pajamas. But for some, socializing plays a huge part in career success, causing the lines between home and office to blur. For this self-made music manager located in Brooklyn, entertaining at home is simply part of the job. It’s here, in one of NYC’s trendiest boroughs, that he and his wife entertain the dozen or so top indie acts he manages. As such, he wanted his condo to impress not only with the eclectic interior design and amazing views, but in the way it functioned. Home automation was a huge part of accomplishing that goal. And at the dawn of the Internet of Everything, it’s easy to forget what it truly means to have a sentient home that wasn’t cobbled together app by app like some high-tech Frankenstein (fingers crossed that when the switch is flipped, it actually works).
Luckily, the electrician who wired the building, Britt Bischoff of Vast Metro Communications, also does home automation. To meet the owner’s goals of kicking it with the wife and partying with the band, while not breaking the $60K budget, Bischoff chose an ELAN g! system as the home automation backbone. The ELAN g! Mobile iPad app allows the couple to turn on music and TV in any room (including bathrooms), activate the appropriate lighting scene–like “Cooking” or “Movies”–adjust the air conditioning, and lower the window shades, all with a few taps on the iPad or iPhone.
However, as anyone with restless kids who like to get out of bed while you’re trying to watch Last Tango in Paris knows, iPads and iPhones are not the best remote controls. Just consider the stress of unlocking the device, finding the Remote app, and pressing pause before that toddler gets a serious eyeful. That’s why, for a truly smart home, multiple points of control are a must. This condo features not only iOS control, but ELAN g! remote control units for simplified and easy operation in several key spots. “In addition to the iPad, we like having the ELAN remotes for the TVs in each room so we can turn on the TV and sound, then turn off the lights and close the shades without getting off the couch, and without getting the iPad from our bedroom,” says the homeowner.
As is the case for most NYC apartments, lack of space and structure were problematic. “The apartment has a lot of very large windows and not square walls by design, so the challenge was to figure out placement of equipment for both aesthetics and performance,” says Bischoff. “We prewired our home as the building was being built. Not really knowing where everything was going to go, I had to make some commitments early as to where certain items would be placed, which was challenging,” the homeowner adds.
Music was an absolute must in every room, but with floor space at a premium, Bischoff chose Niles in-ceiling speakers, which blend into the interior and deliver audio quality that does the music justice. In the living room, a Focal Chorus 800 V surround system is paired with a new Samsung LED HDTV.
Whether he is listening to one of his client’s latest releases, watching TV with his wife, or controlling his home from the comfort of his bed, the ELAN g! automated solution met all of the manager’s needs: “I started my company in a dorm room back when mini component stereo systems were popular, and over the past decade I’ve seen consumer technology advance to the point where every person can have a multi-room audio system in their home for a reasonable price.”
The only question is: Can this high-tech system be considered a tax deducation?