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LEDs Light Up Pool, Waterfall and Firepits in Luxury Backyard Space

Crestron control and Lutron HomeWorks combine to create a multicolor, multilayer lighting system in this dreamy backyard installation that won four CTA Mark of Excellence Awards in 2016.


This eye-popping project was well represented in this year’s Consumer Technology Association (CTA) TechHome Mark of Excellence Awards, earning runner-up status in the Lighting Control Project of the Year, Innovation Award, Specialty Project and Ultimate Home of the Year Above $300,000 categories.

It’s easy to see why, with the extensive and creatively customized Crestron automation system and intuitive user interface running operations from the inside to the outside.

Case in point: the custom doorbell ForTech Solutions designed, with four different sounds that can be changed by the client any time and scenes that allow the doorbell music to “ring” from specified speakers and at preprogrammed volumes.

LEDs Light Up Landscaping

The client wanted to have a multilayer lighting system insight and outside (which is commanded by Lutron HomeWorks), with multicolor illumination for various landscaping features.

One major challenge according to the integrator was to come up with a sustainable color lighting system for the humid environment of the pool and waterfall area. ForTech says that to meet fire code, it installed side glow fiber-optic with a fiber-optic RGB player, which supports the DMX protocol. Waterproof RGB strip lights were used in other locations.


Check Out This Spectacular Backyard Space

Overall, six color zones were implemented, with each uniquely identified so it could be set to a specific color. The outdoor fire pits have covers, so ForTech came up with an idea of programming a start button with a 3-second hold-start, to prevent the accidental starting of the fire.

Another practical detail is that sensors were implemented for the outdoor Crestron shades so if it gets too windy they would automatically close.

Specialized Multizone Sound System

All in-ground, under-water and landscape lighting systems were combined to create more than 20 lighting scenes for different occasions including holidays.

While tackling outdoor music, ForTech created specific party scenes; because the backyard featured five sound zones, it might have been hard to adjust all zones every time. So, the ForTech team walked with the client through all the zones, tested all the music and sound levels with him and came up with three ideal settings — high, mid and low — that would set all the zones to specific levels with the press of a button.

Four custom-made outdoor speakers from stainless steel, which are also plant pots, were installed. The audio system incorporates StereoStone, NAC Kayak and Sonance Mariner speakers. Weatherproof Séura Storm displays offer up outdoor viewing.

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