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Thursday, August 23, 2012

image One of the fastest growing categories within the custom electronics market is shade control. Hunter Douglas is a diverse manufacturer that is famous for among other things, ceiling fans, but the company also manufactures a large selection of motorized shade products.

Recently the company announced the launch of its new Apple iOS Platinum App for the control of its PowerRise 2.1 and PowerGlide 2.1 motorized shade products. Hunter Douglas says the app allows homeowners to to set multiple window coverings for on-schedule repositioning by scene, by the time of day or by day for matters of privacy, energy efficiency or to simply brighten or darken a room. The app is said to use Hunter Douglas' proprietary technology which is incorporated into its optional Platinum Bridge product.

Hunter Douglas adds the Platinum Bridge carries a retail price of $275 and repeater kits retail for $80. The company says to set up a control solution a system will require at least one Platinum Bridge and one repeater kit. Hunter Douglas says that app will be available starting on Sept. 18.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

image Slowly over the course of the past few years consumers have started to learn about the benefits of lighting control which include energy efficiency, cost savings and the ability to create customized lighting scenes.

The newly introduced CB1 Control Bridge from 3vNET is a simple-to-implement device that can help homeowners tap into the advantages of lighting control. 3vNET says the CB1 is a lighting and control module that serves as gateway for lighting control within a home automation system. Internally the device incorporates a 1.2GHz processor and 512MB of flash memory to support its use as a device that enables timer schedules, monitoring and system access for third-party solutions. In addition, 3vNET says the CB1 also works in tandem with its system design software to make future design upgrades easy.

Other features bundled into the CB1 Control Bridge include a SDIO card slot for storage expansion, and iPad control provisions.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

image Crestron is one of the most widely used manufacturers in the world of specialty electronics. Through the years the company has diversified its product line by entering the home theater, whole-house A/V and lighting control markets to serve electronics professionals as a convenient one-stop shop manufacturer of high-technology solutions.

Crestron's latest product release puts the company in another new market: shade control. Crestron's new line of quiet motorized shade control products includes Roman shades, skylight shades and drapery track systems, and the N.J.-based manufacturer says the line of products utilize its new Quiet Motor Technology (QMT) that enable the shades to operate quietly, efficiently and concisely.

With the new line of shade products Crestron says that its authorized dealers can offer their clients the ability to maximize the use of natural sunlight to produce a comfortable interior environment and a home that is energy efficient. The shades can be controlled through the use of the company's vast array of touchpanels, keypads and remote controls, and the company adds, users can also use their favorite Apple iOS devices, as well as Android products to control their shading products.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

image With the public continually learning more about the home control and automation market, control and automation manufacturers have responded to this increased interest by developing a growing array of products that suit a variety consumer needs.

The Orem, Utah-based manufacturer Vantage Controls is providing the retrofit electronics market with a solution that facilitates the installation of its upcoming 7-inch TPT2 touchscreen. The newly announced TPT2 Retrofit Kit is designed to allow installers to install the TPT2 7-inch touchscreen in a variety of home environments, and the company says the kit includes a retrofit bracket that resembles a mud ring; two connector clips and screws to secure the kit.

Vantage says the kit allows the TPT2 7-inch touchscreen to mount onto standard drywall or it can be utilized with the company's TPT650 install box. Once installed, the TPT2 7-inch touchscreen will need a Cat-5e cable and power over Ethernet (PoE) for power and communication.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

image Honeywell is one of the most popular security equipment manufacturers in the world of residential electronics and recently the Melville, N.Y.-based company introduced its latest home security product the LYNX Touch 5100 control interface.

The LYNX Touch 5100 is an interface solution that incorporates Wi-Fi and an alarm radio that communicates with 2G, 3G and 4G networks to ensure reliability. With the 5100 interface as part of a complete LYNX Touch security system homeowners will have at their disposal an array of convenience and security features that provide energy efficiency and safety to their lives. Honeywell builds in compatibility with Z-Wave thermostats, door locks and lighting systems to enable homeowners to own a complete home automation/security system at a reasonable cost.

Honeywell adds the LYNX Touch 5100 also includes the company's Total Connect technologies that allows homeowners to access options such as remote camera viewing, weather, news and traffic information from their smart phones.


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

image The category of lighting control has been gaining momentum for the past several years for reasons that include convenience, energy efficiency and most importantly for consumers: cost savings.

Vantage Controls is a Orem, Utah-based company that has been a leading manufacturer of lighting control systems and recently it announced its new line of InFusion enclosure panels that are designed to provide electronics professionals with a choice of flexible solutions that facilitate the installation of a lighting control system and the future growth and change of a lighting control system. Vantage says the line of enclosures includes main and secondary two- and four-module enclosures, as well as auxiliary enclosures.

The line of enclosures also feature custom-hinged doors for recessed or surfaced installations to enable installers to get easier access to the panels. In addition, the products are UL and CE rated to ensure homeowner safety.

Monday, February 20, 2012

image For several years electronics professionals have offered homeowners lighting control systems as a convenient way to manage their homes' energy consumption.

About the same time installers started to offer lighting control solutions the lighting industry began to push compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL), and to a lesser extent LED lighting solutions. The only problem with CFL and LED lighting products however during this period was that they generally weren't compatible with the advanced lighting control systems installers were offering. Home Automation, Inc.'s (HAI) new Omni-Bus Lighting Control Network series of products enable electronics professionals to combine a state-of-the-art HAI lighting control system with energy efficient CFL and LED lighting products to provide their clients with the best of both worlds.

The HAI products incorporate the DIN-Rail standard for mounting equipment, and the products are CE, FCC, UL (ETL) certified to meet the latest safety standards. HAI says the line includes a choice of dimmers, control modules, switch interfaces and support accessories.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

For many years the T-2C remote has been a staple of the RTI product line and recently to ensure its compatibility with the latest generation of home electronics the company updated the unit to reflect the market's latest technologies.

The newly introduced T2-Cs+ from RTI is the latest generation T2-C handheld remote from the popular custom electronics manufacturer and it says some of the freshly added revisions to the remote include a 2.4-inch LCD touchscreen that offers users better image quality and an increased viewing angle, and 128MBs of flash memory along with a 532MHz CPU to bolster the unit's speed and performance.

In addition, RTI utilizes its dual-RF platform to enable the remote to work with traditional 433MHz one-way communication RF signals and the 2.4GHz ZigBee protocol for two-way communication with RTI control processors and third-party products such as music servers, lighting dimmers, HVAC thermostats and RSS feeds to provide users with weather updates, sports transactions and other news items.

Friday, September 30, 2011

image Crestron has always been one of the most proactive manufacturers in the entire custom electronics industry and its new Cameo keypads takes the company's familiar keypad product and adds more versatility to this popular product line.

Recently the New Jersey-based company upgraded the Cameo line with new options that include wired and wireless connectivity through the use of its InfiNET EX wireless technologies; new button configurations, a choice of colors and new contemporary industrial designs. Crestron says with the newly added options custom electronics professionals will have more ways to meet their clients design and user interface requirements all through a line of products that are more affordable.

Highlighting the updates the company made to the Cameo products is its implementation of a split-button design that provides two additional buttons per keypad. Crestron says that dealers can utilize the extra buttons for functions such as multiroom audio system volume up/down or the up/down dimming of their lighting control systems. The keypads mount flush and they incorporate built-in Versiport control ports to support the connection of local devices, including Crestron's GLS Occupancy Sensors and Photocells; contact closures and other products that support the monitoring of lighting levels and other conditions.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

image There are many people that under estimate the impact of how their homes' shades can be used to help manage energy, while adding natural light to a room during key points in the day.

Manufacturers such as Lutron however have devoted a lot of time, money and other resources to the topic. Lutron's newly released battery powered Sivoia QS cellular shades fill a need for a small, but growing amount of homeowners that are learning about the benefits of shade management. The shades took the company years to develop and they enter the shade market at price points that will enable a broader group of consumers to purchase the products than what was previously available.

The shades incorporate Lutron's Triathlon battery life technology, which it says helps the batteries to last up to three years. Lutron offers the shades in stand alone and automated versions, and they are available in a variety of sizes. In addition, the company offers the shades in a choice of fabrics and colors. With the shades homeowners can control the amount of light that enters their home at specific times and they can add a convenient means of privacy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

image Home Automation, Inc. (HAI) is one of the most aggressive companies in the entire custom installation market. With a vast product line that covers many categories and a research and development (R&D) staff that consistently updates those products the company positions itself to dealers as a state-of-the-art company with affordable products.

Reinforcing its reputation in the market are product releases like its new Snap-Link USB for Windows with Access Control, Audio, Humidity and User Settings update. The solution (product number 1120) is a USB key that plugs into a PC to allow users to access their Hi-Fi 2 whole-house audio systems, as well as their access control systems, dehumidifier/humidifiers, and user settings that include irrigation and wake-up times.

The New Orleans-based company adds that homeowners can also control their lighting control systems, their security systems, their HVAC systems and IP surveillance cameras.

Friday, July 08, 2011

image Anyone that doubts the impact that Apple has had on the custom electronics market is probably in denial about Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen's influence on rock-and-roll guitar playing.

New York-based VidaBox is one company that has fully embraced Apple's iPad and iPhone and the company's new LiivController and vAutomation 2.0 take advantage of the powerful Apple products to provide VidaBox consumers with a choice of easy-to-use solutions that control their home electronics systems.

The LiivController is a 4U-high unit that runs the company's vAutomation 2.0 software. The hardware and software allow homeowners to control everything from their TV cable and satellite boxes, to their multiroom audio and lighting control systems, and it has provisions to utilize IR, RS-232 and TCP/IP. The system is also designed to use Apple's iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch products to enable consumers to use their familiar Apple products to control their favorite home electronics.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

image Not resting on its laurels, Lutron has recently updated its brand new RadioRA 2 line of lighting and home control solutions.

The RadioRA 2 system can be setup by professional installers to wirelessly control and automate up to 200 devices, and homeowners can control their systems with their Apple iPads. Following the long Memorial Day weekend the Penn.-based manufacturer released several updates for the Radio RA 2 system that are headlined by the introduction of the system's new v4.2.10 programming software that now enables installers to activate functions in Lutron's seeTemp Thermostat to allow homeowners to set temperatures from their keypads and create temperature schedules. Lutron has also added support for its Sivoia QS wireless Venetian Blinds with Intelligent Tilt Alignment, as well as an expanded selection of non-system accessories and the ability to program phantom buttons to activate security full/flash mode, which eliminates the need for a VCRX interface.

Lutron has also updated its Home Control+ app with the release of version 3.1, which adds full functionality for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad devices, seeTemp Thermostat support, Venetian Blind support, Pico wireless control support, RadioRA 2, HomeWorks QS and HomeWorks system support.

Friday, May 20, 2011

image Between the price of gas and the rising costs of electricity, natural gas and heating oil both homeowners and commercial property managers are literally under siege in these unstable economic times.

WattStopper has introduced two new daylighting sensors that provide installers a choice of two products they can offer their property management and owner clients. The LMLS-400 and LMLS-500 sensors can be used for switching or dimming and both products incorporate two-way IR transceivers for communications. The LMLS-400 features automatic commissioning for either switching or dimming, and it's designed for single-zone applications. The LMLS-500 is a multizone open-loop photosensor that can be mounted on a ceiling or in a light well of a skylight.

The products also include menu-based handheld wireless interfaces to support installers during the configuration process and WattStoppers says that installers can swap devices in the event of a system change or upgrade.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

image Since the initial debut of its g system a couple of years ago, Elan has been steadily bolstering the line with subsequent product releases to ensure its viability within the custom installation market.

The latest additions to the product line address the management side of control and automation, and Elan says the new products--the HC4 and HC8--can be used by installers for residential and light commercial installations. Elan says the two new controllers are built to facilitate easy installations, and they are designed to combine control, automation over a variety of electronics systems. The HC4 incorporates four ports, streaming audio capabilities, an on-screen display, IR, relays and sensing inputs. The HC8 offers eight serial ports, two audio streams, IR, relays and sense inputs. The HC8 also includes a 500GB hard drive that allows homeowners to store security video, photos, music and video.

With the introduction of these controllers, the g line of solutions now includes a choice of four, six, eight and 12 port models and control options that range from keypads and touchscreens, to Apple iPhones and iPads.


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