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Control Systems Turn House into Hands-Free Home

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Control Systems Turn House into Hands-Free Home
By Steven Castle
Savant and Vantage combine to make this energy-saving home a breeze to operate.

Picture a home that turns on and off lights automatically as you walk through it, delivers music everywhere through high-end speakers and is controlled by iPads and sleek and simple in-wall touchpads.

Cost a fortune?
It often does, but not here. A home systems package with an Apple-based Savant home control system, high-end Vantage lighting controls, whole-house audio and some very nifty tech tricks came to about $48,000still a hefty price for many but well short of the Wall Street bonuses often required to enjoy this level of home automation.

Perhaps even better, this high-tech home is green. An energy-efficient design, sustainable materials, lots of insulation, energy-saving LED lamps, and the Savant and Vantage systems combine to make this home comfortable and environmentally friendly.

Hands-Free Lighting
Start with the hands-free lighting. Door contacts and motion sensors used by the security system identify when a room or hallway is occupied and turn on the appropriate lights to preset levels. After someone leaves the space, the lights switch off.

Click here to continue.

Click here to view photos.
post #2 of 3
One of the great things about AV is the constant 'want' for bigger, better, etc.. Although more often than not my 'want' rarely reflects my 'need' much less my budget.

These whole home automation systems still completely baffle me. I'm yet to see one that has a justifiable ROI. I mention ROI because nearly every article on these systems touts energy savings. $48k to save, what?, a few dollars a year on electric/natural gas/oil costs? Buying bonds (a typical low return item) would be a better investment. Then there is what I think would be absolutely annoying, having shades open and close by themselves.

Google is awesome at finding what I want. But even it can't accurately predict when and which lights I want turned on/off entering/leaving a room. Hell most of the time I don't even know.
post #3 of 3
$15,000 for just the lighting system and that is cheap!?! I guess that must include labor costs.

I do the same thing in my home for much much less using Leviton's ViziaRF+ Z-Wave lighting controls, an Elk security system for the door/motion sensors and a free home automation program called Premise. Premise won home of the year a few years ago when it used to cost money, but now it's free and a great choice for DIY'ers.
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