Product Report: 3 Ways to Wireless Bliss

Product Report: 3 Ways to Wireless Bliss

Wireless products are the rage today—from wireless lighting to streaming music systems. But why should homebuilders bother with installing wireless products? Aren’t wireless products primarily for retrofit applications, and shouldn’t you just let homebuyers bring their own wireless?

Fair questions. But consumers today want to stream music from their smartphones and they’re looking for easy and affordable ways to have the convenience of systems like lighting control, previously a luxury just for the rich.

With wireless systems they can have that. They don’t cost a fortune, and they can be easily installed—especially if you include a wireless network.

Here are three wireless products that could make a difference in your homes and your models—and lead to happy customers who add onto these systems over time.





Imbue Your hue

What could be cooler than Philips’ hue wirelessly controlled LED lighting system, offered through Apple stores (both physical and on the web)?

Sure, there are other wireless and smartphone-controllable LED lamps out there, but many seem gimmicky and lack the overall cool factor of hue.

With hue, homeowners get three wirelessly controlled LEDs in a $199 Starter Pack, plus a little bridge that connects to your Wi-Fi network, download a control app, et voila! Instant and very cool lighting control, operable from an iPhone, and that enables you to change the color of the lights to virtually any hue you want. You can dial in your choice of more than 16 million colors to customize lighting in each room, set preprogrammed scenes to wake up to certain lighting settings and pick colors from your own photos to replicate in your colorful digs.

Preset Light Recipes let you change the lighting for specific needs – to relax, concentrate, energize and read.

You can manage up to 50 hue bulbs from one device and allow each bulb to be controlled individually. Additional bulbs cost $59.

The 8.5-watt bulbs that are 80 percent more energy-efficient than traditional light bulbs, and use the ZigBee LightLink standard to communicate with each other.

Philips LightStrips and tabletop Philips LivingColors Bloom LEDs can work with hue, and Savant control systems can integrate hue as well.






Savant SmartLighting

The nicest thing about Savant System’s wireless SmartLighting control? The Wi-Fi-connected keypads can be used as a standalone lighting control system or as a part of complete Savant home automation system. Although intended primarily for retrofit and remodels, this can be a great option for new homebuyers interested in lighting control but not wanting the investment of a broader system.

The keypads contain dimmers and replace light switches, connecting to lighting loads for easy, wireless control. Buttons on the keypads can be programmed by Savant electronics installers to control groups of lights in pre-ordained scenes. The system can be controlled by an Apple device such as an iPhone or iPad.

“The luxury and convenience of sophisticated and scalable lighting control can be achieved by leveraging an existing Wi-Fi network,” explains Jim Carroll, executive vice president of Corporate Strategy & Business Development at Savant.

Savant’s double gang keypad features its own internal processor, eliminating the additional installation expense associated with external hardware and related wiring. The Wi-Fi keypads even deliver real-time energy usage data, providing homeowners instant access to energy savings data based upon dimming or turning off lights. Savant says initial system setup is fast and easy as well, which integrators can manage using an iOS device.

Two Wi-Fi connected Lamp Modules and two Plug-in Modules also work with the SmartLighting system. The Lamp and Plug-in Modules come in two versions: one for dimmable loads and another for simple on/off switching.

Up to 225 Savant Wi-Fi devices can be connected, and keypads come with custom engraved buttons and single-gang configurations of one, two of three buttons and double-gang button configurations of two, four or six buttons.

Thirteen field-adjustable LED colors for backlighting are available, and Savant says the system supports incandescent, LED, halogen, fluorescent, compact fluorescent, cold cathode and neon.

The one- and two-gang keypads and available for $215 and $430, respectively, including factory engraving.





Control4 Wireless Music Bridge Home control company Control4’s new Wireless Music Bridge enables homeowners to instantly and wirelessly connect smartphones, tablets, computers and all the music stored on those devices to a Control4 system, allowing everyone in the house to enjoy their personal music collection through the home’s audio system. If you can listen to it from your smartphone, tablet or computer, you can listen to it in any audio zone in your home.

In addition to stored music libraries, the new Control4 Wireless Music Bridge also provides a convenient path for Control4 customers to connect to streaming music services such as Pandora, Spotify, or Rdio from their personal smart devices, all while preserving full phone and smart device browsing and app capabilities.

Just walk in the door, pull out your phone or tablet, and fire up your favorite playlist via AirPlay, and enjoy your favorite music throughout the house. Combining Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity technologies into a single product, the Control4 Wireless Music Bridge allows nearly every smart device to bridge music, podcasts, news, sports and audiobooks into the Control4 system, while providing full support for streaming AirPlay, Bluetooth and DLNA. Additional Wireless Music Bridges allow every member of the household can have his or her own direct wireless portal to every zone of audio in the home.

The $300 Wireless Music Bridge is available with Control4 home control systems.

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