Architects Embrace $300 Outlets from TRUFIG
Integrators say new aesthetic flush-mount design helps differentiate them with architects and interior designers. More than 75 integrators using the system so far.
Editor’s Note: The pricing has since been changed to $200.
There are only a few brand names in the technology field that have become so ingrained in our lexicon that they transitioned from a brand name to a verb. “Googled” and “TiVo’ed” come to mind. “TRUFIG’ed” might soon join that short list, according to a handful of integrators who are gushing about the product.
TRUFIG, a spinoff company from Sonance and part of Dana Innovations based in San Clemente, Calif., has created a sleek array of product designs that has does something that most integrators would have thought impossible… it has architects and interior designers wanting to specify electronics in their designs.
In some ways, TRUFIG is hard to describe. How do you describe something that makes electronics unobtrusive and almost invisible? In essence, TRUFIG flush mounts electrical outlets, switches, touchpanels, in-wall and in-ceiling loudspeakers, and low-voltage wiring jacks. The system eliminates bezels rendering the “wall clutter” less obtrusive.
For dealers working with the products, TRUFIG is reaping several benefits. First, it means no more fighting with the designer and architect who claims their ugly electronic wall clutter is ruining the aesthetics of the home or business.
“My favorite thing about TRUFIG is that it’s not a piece of technology,” says Jeff Mitchell of RS Audio Video Design in Carolina, R.I. “Our biggest challenge with the design community is that we are geeks and our products and services don’t help the interior designer or architect. We might think a touchpanel looks cool but they are turned off by ‘electronica.’ It’s unattractive to them. TRUFIG has no ‘geek appeal.’ It’s not a piece of technology. It opens up the door for an entirely new conversation about aesthetics, which is previously a discussion I would never be able to have with an architect or designer. There is not a product on the market that shows our value add as an integrator better than TRUFIG.”
RS Audio Video Design has shown the product at several architectural events but hasn’t done an installation yet.
Because of the way TRUFIG’ed products must be installed, they are better suited to be specified from the outset of the home design. The gangboxes are actually pre-attached to 11x21-inch composite mounting boards that are affixed directly on the wall studs. The drywaller cuts in the entire mounting board vs. having to cut zip-cut the individual gangbox. The TRUFIG gangboxes are designed with a tiny lip to accommodate the finish layer of plastercoat.
Coverplate protects the wallbox
A coverplate protects the wiring in the wallbox during the plastering process. The final screwless wallplate adheres with magnets to the wallbox, rendering it almost invisible. Also, the mounting boards allow the boxes to “float” in the middle of wall studs if desired vs. having to be adjacent to a stud. The system cuts installation time for the integrator, and has the same cut-in time for the drywall contractor. It does add some extra taping time for the drywaller, however.
Easy as 1-2-3
This unique installation procedure means TRUFIG’ed products are more likely to be specified early in the planning process. In turn, that means dealers are involved much earlier in the project timeline than they previously would have been. Thus, the home technology is less likely to feel the budget squeez that inevitably occurs later in the construction process, and dealers are more likely to be paid earlier because the mounting system must be purchased upfront.
“It’s not just a product, it’s a new way to do business,” says Robert Saglio of RS Audio Video Design in Carolina, R.I. “It requires a commitment in time and training, and some follow-through on the job. It’s only for dealers who are willing to commit to the education.”
Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at [email protected]
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