Control & Automation

Maui Villa Upgrades Security After Break-In, House Parties Destroy Home

A break-in at this Hawaii home destroyed an almost-finished lighting, shades, pool and climate installation. Integrator Eco High Fidelity had to start from scratch – this time including security too.

Maui Villa Upgrades Security After Break-In, House Parties Destroy Home
Doug Ruppenthal, the owner of Maui Joinery Building, went from wrapping up a successful project to having to overhaul the entire house from top to bottom.

Photos & Slideshow

Chelsea Cafiero · May 9, 2017

For the last two years, technology integration firm Eco High Fidelity and local partner Bailey & Sons Electric have been remodeling a luxury Southern Maui residence to include home automation, integrated lighting, and cutting-edge audio and video. In the beginning, security wasn't part of the project.

At first, the goal of the project was to build a sophisticated yet seamless system that integrated an Elan entertainment and control system with Lutron and other subsystems to control the home’s lighting, media, shades, pool and climate.

Then a group of teenagers broke in while the homeowner was away and hosted two parties that nearly destroyed the home.

“The residence was a wreck; the floors and carpets were destroyed, the interiors and exteriors required repainting, televisions were smashed, and the Lutron lighting keypads were quite literally ripped out of the walls.”
— Tommy Kissell, owner, Eco High Fidelity

“Doug Ruppenthal, the owner of Maui Joinery Building, went from wrapping up a successful project to having to overhaul the entire house from top to bottom,” says Tommy Kissell, owner, Eco High Fidelity. “The residence was a wreck; the floors and carpets were destroyed, the interiors and exteriors required repainting, televisions were smashed, and the Lutron lighting keypads were quite literally ripped out of the walls.”

The complete overhaul required Kissell and his team to remove all of the in-wall automation and reinstall it. This time, the Elan system expanded to control a new comprehensive security system that would provide 24-hour protection and surveillance of the home, in addition to the lighting, shades, pool, climate and audio/video in the original installation.

“It was a tough process, but the end result turned out to be an even better system than the original,” says Kissell. “Luckily, the system was entirely centered around the home control platform, so we had a single interface that made it very easy to add new control components.”

Photos: Inside the finished Maui villa project

Inside the Extensive Security System

Kissell’s enhanced security system included the addition of seven exterior cameras and three interior cameras, Kwikset automatic Door Locks, and an interior Panasonic phone system with an enhanced Luxul computer network, all of which is integrated into the Elan system, anchored on one Elan gSC10 system controller and is operated by multiple Elan gHR200 remotes, iPads, and smartphones equipped with the Elan Mobile app.

“Now, the homeowner can keep track of the home from anywhere on the island – or anywhere in the world – by accessing the camera feed directly on his phone,” says Kissell. “The expanded security system provides a new peace-of-mind that is essential given what had previously happened without it.”

In addition to its new surveillance capabilities, the upgraded A/V system also employs a large Lutron Homeworks Lighting Control System, with multiple dual processors and dual locations for power modules. The Lutron system is integrated into Elan for easy control of the lighting and newly added custom electronic shades.

“With one controller, it’s possible to seamlessly connect Lutron lighting and shades, security cameras and automatic door locks, pool climate control, and more,” says Kissell. “This gorgeous beachside home is now completely up-to-date with luxurious technology and is protected like never before.”

Although Kissell and his team have never experienced a setback quite like this before, their team has learned to adapt to the unique challenges that completing installations in remote Maui has posed.

“The complexities of high-level custom integration ultimately remain the same,” says Kissell. “With unpredictable client expectations and job site conditions, a plan can quickly be derailed.”

After completing the second A/V upgrade, the homeowner is thrilled with his new automation system that includes seamless control of all of the home’s subsystems, as well as a new cutting-edge security system that keeps him constantly in-the-know. 

See the photos here.

Initial reporting provided by Tommy Kissell, owner of  Eco High Fidelity.



  About the Author

Chelsea Cafiero is Senior Web Editor of CE Pro. She also manages the corresponding websites of sister publications Commercial Integrator, Security Sales & Integration, Campus Safety and Electronic House. Chelsea has previously covered politics, local news and consumer electronics. She joined the CE Pro family in 2012. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Chelsea at [email protected]

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  Article Topics


Control & Automation · Automation · Security · Cameras · Keypads & Control Devices · Surveillance Systems · News · Projects · Media · Slideshow · Elan · Kwikset · Lutron · Luxul · Panasonic · All Topics
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