Wow, time flies when you’re stuck inside! As we now approach 5 months straight of shelter-in-place and work from home orders, we at CE Pro decided it might be time to recap some of the most popular stories from the first half of 2020, just in case our readers missed some major stories while dealing with coronavirus concerns.
While this year’s list has a few stories that are less relevant now (mostly coronavirus related stories), articles were selected based on social media engagement, total number of views, and industry impact. But don’t worry, there are still quite a few that are well worth revisiting!
Here’s our list:
Top 10 Stories of 2020 (so far):
We’ve covered bunkers before on CE Pro, but never before have we detailed an underground lair this forward-thinking and meticulous. Using nothing but the technology available to them over 40 years ago, this homeowner created what might be the world’s first underground wellness bunker.
Built in 1978, the going price for this 15,000-square foot subterranean mansion is around $18 million, so while it may not be in the tax brackets of most of our readers, it stands as an example of what homeowners and integrators can accomplish together when prompted.
However, it’s certainly not very advanced by modern standards. The wellness lighting is not programmed at all, so it does not change automatically with the time of day. In order to change from day to night to dawn to dusk, the user has to physically flip the lights switches on multiple banks of fixtures, each one containing four separate colored fluorescent tube bulbs.
Definitely check it out!
While this article was substantially more relevant when it was originally posted back in March, it still remains one of our most heavily trafficked stories of the year.
The story details everything integrators and business owners need to know in order to receive their federal CARES Act money, including going over qualifications, the amount of loans integrators can ask for, loan forgiveness, and more. Editor Jason Knott even included a few external resources for business owners to check out at their leisure.
As far as the homebuilding industry is concerned, it’s hard to find any category as exciting and social media friendly as the tiny house (or tiny home, if you prefer). The burgeoning category has seen a surge of interest from Millennials, the future lifeblood of the U.S economy, and both builders and integrators are starting to take note.
Case in point, by far one of our readers’ favorite articles from 2020 was this one on a tiny house absolutely brimming with smart home tech, including a suite of smart appliances from GE, Google Nest security cameras, an LG smart TV and more…all packed into just 370-square-feet!
Yet another example of a timely story that may not have as much of an impact in July as it did back in March, this story on the U.S government declaring integrators essential workers was extremely important for our readers this year. With so many unanswered questions heading into the nationwide coronavirus outbreak, it was nice for business owners and workers to know definitively how they stood.
An annual favorite, our 2020 Brand Analysis brought integrators from across the continent to our website, all searching for information on the highest rated brands according to the CE Pro 100.
This year, our data suggested categories such as Lighting Fixtures and Water Leak Detection soared in their uptick across the leaderboards from last year’s numbers, the first time CE Pro tracked those categories. The same goes for security-related areas that we began tracking a few years ago such as Access Control, Cybersecurity/Firewalls, IP Surveillance Cameras, Smart Locks/Deadbolts and Video Doorbells as that sector continues to innovate with products that play well with control systems. Take a look for yourself!
It’s not often that a news story related to new products cracks into our top 10 of the year, but Ring earned its spot on the list thanks to the company rolling out its Video Doorbell 3 and Video Doorbell 3 Plus just before everyone started working from home.
The announcement also included news introducing redesigned Chime and Chime Pro products too!
By far one of our most praised project stories this year, this Texas backyard is not your ordinary suburban paradise. Integration company Elite AV took over a year to get everything completed, adding features like Control4 keypads, Somfy solar screens, an Epson projector, and more!
The real trick to the install came from coordinating with contractors, the pool company, and the homeowners to make sure everything would be done simultaneously. It all worked out in the end, and now the homeowners are able to kick back in their new home without any added disturbances.
Another annual favorite, this year the Mark of Excellence Awards attracted industry professionals to CE Pro in order to check out some of the coolest projects of 2019 and honor the industry’s most popular manufacturers. Plus we also handed out the Integrator of the Year award to Logical Buildings!
After news broke saying that Savant was purchasing GE Lighting, our readers were clamoring for more information. So, editor Jason Knott reached out to JC Murphy, president of Savant, to discuss the acquisition and learn more about the company’s plans in 2020.
Within the interview, Murphy details the synergies the two companies have, its current sales channels, its relationship with USAI lighting, and more.
Integrators were elated to find out back in late April that the federal government was offering up an additional $370 billion worth of Paycheck Protection Program & Health Care Act loans.
Our story highlights most of the information integrators needed to know on PPP loans, and provides links to government resources so business owners could take advantage of these loans while they were available.