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Lennar’s ‘Wi-Fi Certified’ Homes: Going All-Wireless is ‘Big Disservice’

Lennar's commitment to 'Wi-Fi Certified' homes is a 'great start', but tech industry criticizes #2 builder for nixing future-ready wiring in 25,000+ new homes per year.

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20 Comments
Posted by jhamill1 on July 7, 2017

The term “builder grade” is never a compliment. Many builders, especially the mass market types like this, are notoriously cheap. It’s hard to imagine any CE pro buying a house from someone like that. If they skimp on the low voltage wiring, aren’t they skimping on every aspect of the job just to line their pockets? In the end, the customers have high retrofit costs to makeup for these scam artists. Have they also put a big sticker listing how many grams of protein are in their homes? Or how these new designs are low fat and gluten free?

Posted by Adroit1 on July 7, 2017

Can anyone say Apple TV? Or most automation functions? It seems to me Lennar is trying to find a way to cut costs, not help consumers. Yeah, WiFi certified sounds good, but it means a lot less labor for the builder, and some major headaches for the buyer. As TV’s go from 4K to 8K, there is no way WiFi is going to keep up. And those Dolby Atmos ceiling speakers will not work with Sonos. The RF running through the house with wireless trying to keep up with the home systems as they continue to grow will become its own worst enemy. I can see the phone calls now, “I just turned on my new 8K TV and everything else in the house stopped working.” It is not going to be pleasant to inform the homeowner the astronomical amount they are going to have to spend to correct a problem that wouldn’t even exist of the builder had been honest in the beginning. While I applaud Lennar for the WiFI certification, they need to continue to run Cat 6 everywhere it is being run now.

Posted by captainrichard on July 7, 2017

Richard Holtz Totally off the wall. Our standard- InfiniSys Electronic Architects- if it plugs into the wall for power plug it into wired Ethernet. All of our backbones are either 10 Gog fiber or 1 gig Cat5e/6. Even when designing for an IPTV platform we still put in dark coax to all TV wallplates. We have designed tens of thousands of student housing and multi-family units. From our experience wireless even when deployed in an very well engineered scheme and fully managed environment had at best 75% of the capability of a wired / wireless solution. I am talking using latest 3x3 802.11 AC chipset 2 gear. Ugh!!!!

Posted by Bruno Napoli on July 8, 2017

Sorry, no offence here, but you all seems to think with your mind stuck in 2017.

I bet Lennar take a calculated risk.
(I used the word “risk” on purpose because yes, like you, I think there is a real risk)
While a house is build to last decades, every tech product have an expiration date, even router & WiFi access points. One day or another, and there is nothing we can do about this, Ruckus will not support the gears installed by Lennar in 2017.

And one day or another, a new WiFi radio system will be available, supporting 8K, 16K and ready against all new cyber attacks. So I think you should not be worry about this as Lennar will have to proceed every 5 years to an upgrade program of all the tech gears they installed. I just hope they put this on paper for their clients to know about it because it will be a cost.
I just hope also that they have program to upgrade the firmware of all Ruckus gears they install at least once a year, because not upgrading firmware is just not an option here. They can’t act like our actual “Custom Installers” channel, installing network stuff and abandon it like that until the end of time. The “maintenance” job have to be done, and Lennar is a HUGE company, so if they do not do it, a lot of people will take the opportunity to sue them to justice for “abandoning them with a tech system that is potentially open to all cyber attack and not providing any way to maintain it”

Now, wireless IS the future and you should get over it once for all.
There is absolutely NO way that any cabled stuff is the future here… NO WAY, and Lennar is sending here a great message of hope for all household -> We are getting rid of cables ! hallelujah !

 

 

Posted by Bruno Napoli on July 8, 2017

And remember, people don’t consume technology, they consume program, they don’t care about 8K… they car about “Game of Throne”... So even it it’s in black and white, they just want to see the latest episode. The only people that care about technology is our professional channel because we need to sell some stuff to live.

Posted by Adroit1 on July 8, 2017

Wireless is not he future, fiber optic cable is. while multimode fiber is the answer to today’s house issues, single mode fiber has virtually unlimited bandwidth, limited only by the light generating source. True, wireless will cover most of people’s homes, but the backbone and important information will still be on fiber optic, long after I am dead. The utopian idea that wireless will do everything in the future is just a dream. As long as an RF signal (WIFi) is present, it will be subject to interference, and, unless one lives miles from you neighbors, that is where it is going to come from. You can have the best WiFi system in the world, but, because WiFi is all on basically the same frequency, there will be more and more interference as WAP’s send out stronger and stronger signals to handle the bandwidth of the information being consumed. It happened in the HAM radio sphere, and it will happen in the WiFi world. To top it all off, hackers will be having a field day when WIFI signals reach to the streets and all a malicious person has to do is find your WIFI signal and jam it so you don’t have a usable signal in your home, while hacking your neighbor at the same time.

Posted by Bruno Napoli on July 8, 2017

Hey Adroit1 I think you still think with your mind stuck in 2017

We don’t know what are the exact model of Ruckus gears Lennar is going to install. Maybe it will be a special edition for residential with specific feature for remote management and neighbor interference handling.
What I want to say is: don’t think about the future with today gears…
If Lennar has partnership with the WiFi alliance, it’s certainly not for nothing. They should have good reasons to do that way. And even if I’m a little like you, I mean I can see all problems they are going to face, I say: Wait and see.
Peace
Bruno

Posted by dbendell on July 8, 2017

If I had a $1 for every time one of clients tells me how they had to reboot their wifi device, ie apple tv, stuck to behind their TV, I would be on a beach not trolling this site listening to this industry deciding what is best for the uneducated!

Posted by Bruno Napoli on July 8, 2017

dbendell… let’s meet on this beach!

Posted by Walt Zerbe on July 8, 2017

I will remain steadfast. Wire is inexpensive, why not run some in addition to this wireless option to key areas?

Posted by Julie Jacobson on July 8, 2017

Walt, about how much for a cat 6 run, including components and labor?

Posted by Walt Zerbe on July 8, 2017

I will remain steadfast. Why not run some wires to key locations?  Wire is cheap and very flexible.

Posted by Walt Zerbe on July 8, 2017

Hi Julie, it depends upon the markup. Let’s just say it should be far cheaper than high end hardware (marked up). I will let current installers comment on this one.  If a certified wireless installation will be standard, why not augment it with proper wiring to key locations and call it a technology ready home?

Posted by Adroit1 on July 9, 2017

dbendell, A Domotz or Ihiji monitoring system, combined with a Wattbox, would let you know what your customers’ issues are before they do, and be able to reboot all of their devices while sitting on that beach.
Bruno Napoli, Wireless may or may not be the entire future, but new home buyers want their things to work NOW. By making the buyers think all their networking is going to work with nothing more than WiFi, the builders are taking advantage of the ignorance of the general public. It is dishonest, and, worse, very expensive for the home buyers to remedy after all the walls are in. Coax and category cable are cheap. It is much better, in a situation where retrofit is almost impossible, to have the cables and not need them, than to need them and not have them. If wireless becomes the future, than just don’t use the existing cables, but at this time, cables are very necessary for a complete control system, speakers, Apple and Roku, and many more devices in the system.

Posted by Audioplus on July 9, 2017

All you need is my ‘home builder certification and my electrician and you’re future proofed!’ By the way, where was CEDIA, THX, NSCA, etc. when this Lennar came up with a brilliant idea?

Posted by antoniohardeman on July 10, 2017

For most home builders and most end users the future is wireless whether some like it or not.  It’s not fiscally prudent for a major home builder to enlist a low voltage contractor to run cat5/6 multiple locations throughout a home.  And most of the buyers of these homes will not care if there isn’t cat5/6 in every room or in certain areas. 


Bruno said it best.  The majority of consumers and home buyers don’t need cat5/6 to “key locations”.  They’re walking around their homes with a tablet or phone streaming music or a show on that device using wifi.  They’re on the laptop browsing or streaming with wifi.  They’re streaming on a blu-ray player.  There is no “key location” anymore.  The “key location” is wherever they are at the moment.  When you think of it in that way, what Lennar and other production home builders are doing in makes sense.  Services like Netflix are designed so that streams adjust based on the currently available bandwidth.  So not having a enough bandwidth to stream 4k Netflix just doesn’t seem like a big deal because as Bruno said, consumers just want the video to continue playing.


The folks responding to this article have a vested interested in ensuring that wires are ran everywhere or to “key locations” in a client’s home.  People live differently now and as such there is less of a reliance on connecting things to cat5/6.  Most of the folks buying a Lennar home aren’t going to mount touch panels that need PoE to a wall.  They’re use their tablet or phone or have multiple tablets or phones in various locations. 

I would venture a guess that in the majority of neighborhoods wifi interference isn’t that big of a problem.  Could it be in the future?  Sure.  But I would guess that routers and access points will get better at being able to handle interference.  As it stands now end users do have some remedy by going into the router’s admin setup and changing to a different channel.  That’s a basic function that is offered on most of the current routers that ISPs provide.

Posted by dbendell on July 10, 2017

Real simple, if you are in the AV business, share this article and say “Do not buy a home from this builder” The cost of a proper coax, CAT5e runs to basic TV areas and backfeed from a router to a switch in the structure panel is minimal compared to the repercussions of this WiFi idea.  Just like my client from 2002, he said “in a few years everything will be BlueTooth I don’t need any CAT5e cabling”, he worked on Wall Street, years later we did a retro for him. I billed out my services!

Posted by RhinoMan on July 10, 2017

Comparing what was available in terms of technology in 2002 to what is available in 2017 is ridiculous!

Wireless is the future and the future is now.  Anyone with any vision will easily see that.  Google and Amazon are embracing it with their home automation products as are all the major mobile device manufacturers. 

BTW…Last time I checked there are no RJ45 Connections available in any of the devices we use today for mobile connectivity…Oh, and if you are re-booting your WiFi device all the time then you are probably not using an enterprise grade Access Point.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on July 10, 2017

Thanks for your comments, Rhino. I included them in the follow-up piece, “In Defense of Lennar.” http://www.cepro.com/article/in_defense_of_lennars_wi_fi_smart_home_strategy_wireless_is_the_future

Posted by TheDarkKnight on July 10, 2017

I couldn’t agree more with Walt Zerbe…wireless is only considered the future because it’s convenient, not because it’s reliable. In this case (new home builds), it doesn’t have to be an ‘either/or’...why not use wired network connections when you can?

20 Comments
Posted by TheDarkKnight on July 10, 2017

I couldn’t agree more with Walt Zerbe…wireless is only considered the future because it’s convenient, not because it’s reliable. In this case (new home builds), it doesn’t have to be an ‘either/or’...why not use wired network connections when you can?

Posted by Julie Jacobson on July 10, 2017

Thanks for your comments, Rhino. I included them in the follow-up piece, “In Defense of Lennar.” http://www.cepro.com/article/in_defense_of_lennars_wi_fi_smart_home_strategy_wireless_is_the_future

Posted by RhinoMan on July 10, 2017

Comparing what was available in terms of technology in 2002 to what is available in 2017 is ridiculous!

Wireless is the future and the future is now.  Anyone with any vision will easily see that.  Google and Amazon are embracing it with their home automation products as are all the major mobile device manufacturers. 

BTW…Last time I checked there are no RJ45 Connections available in any of the devices we use today for mobile connectivity…Oh, and if you are re-booting your WiFi device all the time then you are probably not using an enterprise grade Access Point.

Posted by dbendell on July 10, 2017

Real simple, if you are in the AV business, share this article and say “Do not buy a home from this builder” The cost of a proper coax, CAT5e runs to basic TV areas and backfeed from a router to a switch in the structure panel is minimal compared to the repercussions of this WiFi idea.  Just like my client from 2002, he said “in a few years everything will be BlueTooth I don’t need any CAT5e cabling”, he worked on Wall Street, years later we did a retro for him. I billed out my services!

Posted by antoniohardeman on July 10, 2017

For most home builders and most end users the future is wireless whether some like it or not.  It’s not fiscally prudent for a major home builder to enlist a low voltage contractor to run cat5/6 multiple locations throughout a home.  And most of the buyers of these homes will not care if there isn’t cat5/6 in every room or in certain areas. 


Bruno said it best.  The majority of consumers and home buyers don’t need cat5/6 to “key locations”.  They’re walking around their homes with a tablet or phone streaming music or a show on that device using wifi.  They’re on the laptop browsing or streaming with wifi.  They’re streaming on a blu-ray player.  There is no “key location” anymore.  The “key location” is wherever they are at the moment.  When you think of it in that way, what Lennar and other production home builders are doing in makes sense.  Services like Netflix are designed so that streams adjust based on the currently available bandwidth.  So not having a enough bandwidth to stream 4k Netflix just doesn’t seem like a big deal because as Bruno said, consumers just want the video to continue playing.


The folks responding to this article have a vested interested in ensuring that wires are ran everywhere or to “key locations” in a client’s home.  People live differently now and as such there is less of a reliance on connecting things to cat5/6.  Most of the folks buying a Lennar home aren’t going to mount touch panels that need PoE to a wall.  They’re use their tablet or phone or have multiple tablets or phones in various locations. 

I would venture a guess that in the majority of neighborhoods wifi interference isn’t that big of a problem.  Could it be in the future?  Sure.  But I would guess that routers and access points will get better at being able to handle interference.  As it stands now end users do have some remedy by going into the router’s admin setup and changing to a different channel.  That’s a basic function that is offered on most of the current routers that ISPs provide.

Posted by Audioplus on July 9, 2017

All you need is my ‘home builder certification and my electrician and you’re future proofed!’ By the way, where was CEDIA, THX, NSCA, etc. when this Lennar came up with a brilliant idea?

Posted by Adroit1 on July 9, 2017

dbendell, A Domotz or Ihiji monitoring system, combined with a Wattbox, would let you know what your customers’ issues are before they do, and be able to reboot all of their devices while sitting on that beach.
Bruno Napoli, Wireless may or may not be the entire future, but new home buyers want their things to work NOW. By making the buyers think all their networking is going to work with nothing more than WiFi, the builders are taking advantage of the ignorance of the general public. It is dishonest, and, worse, very expensive for the home buyers to remedy after all the walls are in. Coax and category cable are cheap. It is much better, in a situation where retrofit is almost impossible, to have the cables and not need them, than to need them and not have them. If wireless becomes the future, than just don’t use the existing cables, but at this time, cables are very necessary for a complete control system, speakers, Apple and Roku, and many more devices in the system.

Posted by Walt Zerbe on July 8, 2017

Hi Julie, it depends upon the markup. Let’s just say it should be far cheaper than high end hardware (marked up). I will let current installers comment on this one.  If a certified wireless installation will be standard, why not augment it with proper wiring to key locations and call it a technology ready home?

Posted by Walt Zerbe on July 8, 2017

I will remain steadfast. Why not run some wires to key locations?  Wire is cheap and very flexible.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on July 8, 2017

Walt, about how much for a cat 6 run, including components and labor?

Posted by Walt Zerbe on July 8, 2017

I will remain steadfast. Wire is inexpensive, why not run some in addition to this wireless option to key areas?

Posted by Bruno Napoli on July 8, 2017

dbendell… let’s meet on this beach!

Posted by dbendell on July 8, 2017

If I had a $1 for every time one of clients tells me how they had to reboot their wifi device, ie apple tv, stuck to behind their TV, I would be on a beach not trolling this site listening to this industry deciding what is best for the uneducated!

Posted by Bruno Napoli on July 8, 2017

Hey Adroit1 I think you still think with your mind stuck in 2017

We don’t know what are the exact model of Ruckus gears Lennar is going to install. Maybe it will be a special edition for residential with specific feature for remote management and neighbor interference handling.
What I want to say is: don’t think about the future with today gears…
If Lennar has partnership with the WiFi alliance, it’s certainly not for nothing. They should have good reasons to do that way. And even if I’m a little like you, I mean I can see all problems they are going to face, I say: Wait and see.
Peace
Bruno

Posted by Adroit1 on July 8, 2017

Wireless is not he future, fiber optic cable is. while multimode fiber is the answer to today’s house issues, single mode fiber has virtually unlimited bandwidth, limited only by the light generating source. True, wireless will cover most of people’s homes, but the backbone and important information will still be on fiber optic, long after I am dead. The utopian idea that wireless will do everything in the future is just a dream. As long as an RF signal (WIFi) is present, it will be subject to interference, and, unless one lives miles from you neighbors, that is where it is going to come from. You can have the best WiFi system in the world, but, because WiFi is all on basically the same frequency, there will be more and more interference as WAP’s send out stronger and stronger signals to handle the bandwidth of the information being consumed. It happened in the HAM radio sphere, and it will happen in the WiFi world. To top it all off, hackers will be having a field day when WIFI signals reach to the streets and all a malicious person has to do is find your WIFI signal and jam it so you don’t have a usable signal in your home, while hacking your neighbor at the same time.

Posted by Bruno Napoli on July 8, 2017

And remember, people don’t consume technology, they consume program, they don’t care about 8K… they car about “Game of Throne”... So even it it’s in black and white, they just want to see the latest episode. The only people that care about technology is our professional channel because we need to sell some stuff to live.

Posted by Bruno Napoli on July 8, 2017

Sorry, no offence here, but you all seems to think with your mind stuck in 2017.

I bet Lennar take a calculated risk.
(I used the word “risk” on purpose because yes, like you, I think there is a real risk)
While a house is build to last decades, every tech product have an expiration date, even router & WiFi access points. One day or another, and there is nothing we can do about this, Ruckus will not support the gears installed by Lennar in 2017.

And one day or another, a new WiFi radio system will be available, supporting 8K, 16K and ready against all new cyber attacks. So I think you should not be worry about this as Lennar will have to proceed every 5 years to an upgrade program of all the tech gears they installed. I just hope they put this on paper for their clients to know about it because it will be a cost.
I just hope also that they have program to upgrade the firmware of all Ruckus gears they install at least once a year, because not upgrading firmware is just not an option here. They can’t act like our actual “Custom Installers” channel, installing network stuff and abandon it like that until the end of time. The “maintenance” job have to be done, and Lennar is a HUGE company, so if they do not do it, a lot of people will take the opportunity to sue them to justice for “abandoning them with a tech system that is potentially open to all cyber attack and not providing any way to maintain it”

Now, wireless IS the future and you should get over it once for all.
There is absolutely NO way that any cabled stuff is the future here… NO WAY, and Lennar is sending here a great message of hope for all household -> We are getting rid of cables ! hallelujah !

 

 

Posted by captainrichard on July 7, 2017

Richard Holtz Totally off the wall. Our standard- InfiniSys Electronic Architects- if it plugs into the wall for power plug it into wired Ethernet. All of our backbones are either 10 Gog fiber or 1 gig Cat5e/6. Even when designing for an IPTV platform we still put in dark coax to all TV wallplates. We have designed tens of thousands of student housing and multi-family units. From our experience wireless even when deployed in an very well engineered scheme and fully managed environment had at best 75% of the capability of a wired / wireless solution. I am talking using latest 3x3 802.11 AC chipset 2 gear. Ugh!!!!

Posted by Adroit1 on July 7, 2017

Can anyone say Apple TV? Or most automation functions? It seems to me Lennar is trying to find a way to cut costs, not help consumers. Yeah, WiFi certified sounds good, but it means a lot less labor for the builder, and some major headaches for the buyer. As TV’s go from 4K to 8K, there is no way WiFi is going to keep up. And those Dolby Atmos ceiling speakers will not work with Sonos. The RF running through the house with wireless trying to keep up with the home systems as they continue to grow will become its own worst enemy. I can see the phone calls now, “I just turned on my new 8K TV and everything else in the house stopped working.” It is not going to be pleasant to inform the homeowner the astronomical amount they are going to have to spend to correct a problem that wouldn’t even exist of the builder had been honest in the beginning. While I applaud Lennar for the WiFI certification, they need to continue to run Cat 6 everywhere it is being run now.

Posted by jhamill1 on July 7, 2017

The term “builder grade” is never a compliment. Many builders, especially the mass market types like this, are notoriously cheap. It’s hard to imagine any CE pro buying a house from someone like that. If they skimp on the low voltage wiring, aren’t they skimping on every aspect of the job just to line their pockets? In the end, the customers have high retrofit costs to makeup for these scam artists. Have they also put a big sticker listing how many grams of protein are in their homes? Or how these new designs are low fat and gluten free?