Control4 System Completes Luxury Penthouse


Mumbai-based Boom AV recently showed a homeowner how a home’s audio, video, networking, HVAC, surveillance and motorised blinds could be controlled through Control4’s home automation platform.

According to Zohir Ramodiya, owner of Boom AV, the Control4 system can convince even the most hesitant homeowner that automation is a must-have feature for their home.

That’s why, when Ramodiya was approached by a referral client renovating a fully-staffed, 4,500-sq-ft penthouse in Mumbai, the client’s concerns about ease-of-use and reliability were familiar – but the finished project proved that those concerns were unfounded when dealing with Control4.

“Besides having to prove that the technology would work, this renovation involved an award-winning Mumbai architect and interior designer, so it was clear from the start that aesthetics were going to be a core component of my system design and installation,” Ramodiya said.

“The other core request was a club-grade audio system that is simple to operate and performs reliably every day, as the client, like many others, had previous experience with poorly installed or designed automation products.”

For the project, every effort was made to use products that could either be installed discreetly in walls or ceilings, or could be placed in such a way that they don’t intrude on a room’s aesthetic design. The main living room, with its 20-ft vaulted ceiling, is a prime example. The room features a full wall of four floor-to-ceiling windows with thin black dividers between them, which were used to limit the visibility of two small satellite speakers on thin stands.

Nearby, two hidden subwoofers sit behind flush-mounted grilles under a decorative display case that also houses a Control4-automated waterfall that flows down the wall behind the display. In all the other rooms, which have 10- to 11-ft ceilings, in-ceiling speakers were used to completely remove them from sight.

“The ultra-high-end audio system is managed through the Control4 interface just like the TVs, window shades and lighting,” Ramodiya continued.

“This enabled the owners to easily create their own custom scenes, where a single button can activate actions in multiple subsystems to transform an entire space for a particular use, such as watching a movie on the balcony’s projector. In that case, the lights can be set to dim or shut off while the projector turns on, the video system automatically sets the pre-programmed source, and closes the window blinds to separate the space from inside lighting. That is exactly the type of functionality that can change minds.”

In addition to a wall-mounted 10-in Control4 touch screen in the living room, the owners and their two children use their mobile devices and Control4’s touch screen Neo TV remotes to manage the home’s various subsystems.

Connected systems include lighting, HVAC, surveillance cameras, multi-zone audio in every room, multi-zone video for one TV and two projectors, motorised window shades and the display case waterfall feature. While the adults have full access to the system, their children can only operate specific functions, including audio in each of their bedrooms and the TV in the living room.

“Seeing the final result of this project, and the delight it provides for the family, has proven that Control4’s ecosystem is delivering on the promises of home control in a way that most homeowners simply did not have access to in the past,” Ramodiya said.

That extends to his role as well, because Control4 provides integrators with remote access capabilities to diagnose problems and resolve minor troubleshooting issues without visiting the site in person. In India particularly, Ramodiya explains that satellite TV receivers are prone to freezing and often need to be manually cycled to regain functionality.

“Whether you are an integrator or a homeowner, having remote access is one of the biggest benefits of a home control system,” he noted. “These particular clients can use their Control4 app to view live camera footage inside their home to monitor their children’s activities while they are away, while I can respond immediately to any urgent concerns no matter where I am. The fact that every function is available to homeowners through a single app is pretty incredible as well, so they can change temperatures and lighting before they arrive home or after they leave, simplifying so many parts of daily life.”

For Ramodiya, the broad third-party compatibility and ease-of-use inherent in Control4’s solution has made it his go-to control system for projects of all sizes and needs.

As part of the SnapAV family, Control4 is natively compatible with a host of technology brands that include everything from speakers and outdoor TVs to power conditioners and professional networking equipment.

The Energy Management Side of Lighting Control Systems.

One of the benefits of a home lighting control system is the ability to better manage the energy consumed by your home lights when in use. This finer degree of control over just changing the bulb wattage saves $$ and makes your home a little greener.

An article published earlier this year in CEPro by Julie Jacobson states: “In energy management, virtually every lighting-control vendor is touting the green theme, boasting membership in the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and pumping out marketing materials that declare the energy-saving potential of dimming.

Crestron ( and Lutron (, among others, have established Web sites for the environmentally inclined.

Lutron’s site includes a virtual dimmer that tells visitors, in real-time, how much energy they save by dimming. Slide the dimmer to the 24-percent mark, and you’ll see that savings can amount to about 20 percent—or roughly $51.67 over five years for a single bulb”.

It helps to compare the Lutron estimate above to the actual electricity cost in your area. If you turned a 50 watt bulb on for an hour a day for 5 years and saved $51.67 with a 20% reduction in brightness (dimmer level at 80% brightness) to 40 watts consumption, the cost per kilowatt-hour (KWH) would have to be 0.11559 cents. Which is exactly the baseline cost per KWH in our local area.

However, the Lutron estimate is very conservative, as some home lights are on for longer than an hour a day. If your automation system turns lights on at sunset and turns them off at 11 PM every day, these lights are, on average, lit about 4 hrs per day throughout the year. The savings by dimming the same 50 watt light bulb 20% is now $206.68 over 5 years, and if you really use 100 watt bulbs for these lights the savings is $413.36. Mulitply these savings times the number of actual lights used in your home and the savings can blossom to well over a $1000 total or much more over 5 years depending on your home lighting needs.

This calculation of savings can be futher compounded by tiered pricing for electricity which includes a baseline rate and increased rates for tiers of usage above the baseline. If you always have a percentage of your electricity usage at the highest tier, then the top-tier rate would be more indicative of the savings you might expect in your area. For example, in our area the 201-300% of baseline rate is 0.31304 cents per KWH. If you’re not dimming your lights everyday now, your real savings for a single 100 watt bulb turned on for 4 hours a day at 80% brightness becomes $1,119.46 over 5 years!

If you trust your math skills you can easily make assumptions about the number of lights used per day and the average duration of use to calculate total KWH consumed per day by home lighting. Factor in the average brightness level, as some lights may be dimmable to 50%. You can then calculate the estmated savings due to dimming for your home based on your assumptions.

Depending on your choice for lighting controls, energy management will not be limited to just dimming your lights. The CEPro article also mentions: “Both Control4 ( and HAI ( are working with utilities on load-shedding solutions that let users cut back on energy automatically when rates rise or utilities reach capacity.

Control4’s system lets users set parameters through a TV interface (On-Screen Navigator), specifying which lights to adjust in the event of a utility crisis.

HAI’s forthcoming Load Control Modules will similarly facilitate communications between utilities and electronics in the home”.

Of course energy cost savings aren’t the only reason to invest in a lighting control solution. Coordinated lighting levels via lighting scenes contribute greatly to the “look and feel” of your home inside and outside. As do the design of the lighting devices themselves, with many suppliers offering European style components for switches and dimmers.

Also, the wireless technology behind today’s lighting control systems enables a simplified installation project without having to add or change your house wiring.

August 22, 2008 /

The Energy Savings Benefit of Lighting Control Systems.

According to the Energy Conservation Enhancement Project at Louisiana State University, “20% of all electricity produced in the U.S. is used for lighting, but 50% of that is wasted by inefficient lighting sources or careless consumers.” Lighting controls should be part of every home’s energy solution.
“Lighting controls provide benefits of mood and ambience setting as well as enhanced lifestyle, convenience and security,” says Seth R. Atkinson, head of corporate business development for LiteTouch, Inc. and chair of the Home Lighting Control Alliance’s Sustainability Committee. “But they also save energy. Lighting controls, in fact, are the only element of a home’s lighting—and the only home automation subsystem—that reduces instead of adds to the monthly electric bill.”
Here are five tips homeowners can use to save energy using lighting controls:

1. Dim the lights. Dimming is commonly associated with adjusting the output of light sources in a space to achieve a desired ambience, but every time a light bulb is dimmed, energy is saved and bulb life is extended. According to the Energy Conservation Enhancement Project at Louisiana State University (LSU):
Dimming the light this much
Saves this much energy And extends the life of the bulb by this much

Dimming the light this much Saves this much energy And extends the life of the bulb by this much
10% 10% 2x longer
25% 20% 4x longer
50% 40% 20x longer
75% 60% >20x longer

study conducted by Heschong Mahone Group found that dimming produces an average 20% reduction in input watts—an average 20% energy savings and 25% reduction in light output, with a bonus effect of extending the life of the light bulb by four times.

“Even for spaces where ambience and mood setting is not needed, dimming should be considered purely as a way to save energy,” says Atkinson. “By automatically limiting maximum light levels to 90%, a difference most people would barely notice, 10% energy savings can be achieved while doubling bulb life and thereby reducing the hassle cost of bulb replacement as well as landfill waste.”

2. Maximize use of daylight. Integrate automated window coverings such as blinds and shades into the lighting control system to maximize daylight while reducing solar heat gain.
“Some control systems even allow homeowners to harvest sunlight into energy savings,” Atkinson points out. “These systems monitor the amount of light in the space and maintain the level by dimming the lights. The higher the daylight contribution, the less electric light is needed and the bigger the energy savings can be realized.”

3. Turn off the lights when not needed. When lights are left on accidentally, the resulting energy waste adds up. Eliminate energy waste by using vacancy sensors and Master OFF controls. Vacancy sensors are devices that replace standard wall switches and monitor the space to see if people are absent or present. The monitoring method is unobtrusive; occupants are detected as heat sources moving against background radiation.
Lighting controls should be part of every home’s energy solution.
When the space is unoccupied, the lights turn off within 30 minutes thereby saving energy. According to Watt Stopper/Legrand, if 100 million households were to control just one 60W light bulb with one vacancy sensor, nearly 500 million kWh of energy savings would be realized, reducing nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year.
Click here to learn more about vacancy sensors.
“Another method is to make sure all the lights are off when leaving the house by using a Master OFF control,” say Atkinson.

4. Turn on the lights only when needed. Automatically activate outdoor lights precisely at sunset. “Some control systems include astronomical clock timers that can be set to turn lights on and off at sunrise and sunset each day even as the seasons change,” says Atkinson.

5. Control energy-efficient light sources. Lighting controls can enhance the energy savings delivered by efficient and dimming-compatible sources such as halogen bulbs. Currently, the Home Lighting Control Alliance does not recommend operating dimmable compact fluorescent lights on line-voltage dimmers due to poor performance. Instead, non-dimmable CFLs should be used wherever lighting and color quality is not important, such as utility spaces.
Similarly, homeowners should use LED bulbs on dimmers with caution. First, be sure to check to ensure the LED bulb is rated to produce comparable light output as the incandescent bulb it’s replacing; if the bulb boasts high energy savings but these savings come with an equal loss of light output, for example, then no efficiency is gained. Second, ensure the manufacturers of the LED bulb and control system rate their products as compatible.

“Homeowners can reduce their ongoing energy costs as well as their carbon footprint by taking advantage of the powerful and inherent energy savings benefits of lighting control technology,” concludes Atkinson.


Intellitech Systems in the Daily Tribune

A creative combination of a French bistro and nightclub is coming to Royal Oak in early 2014. Aaron F. Belen of AFB Hospitality Group purchased the 9,500-square-foot building at the corner of Lafayette and 4th Street and has his sights set on making it into one of the most exceptional restaurants to hit the metro Detroit area. The two-story restaurant is expected to employ about 75 people, and, when considering the current construction phase, it can be upward to 150 people will be employed. Aaron Belen is building a restaurant with two unique concepts: a French bistro on the first floor called Bistro 82 and an ultra-lounge on the second floor called Sabrage…..

“We are hiring local companies to do the construction — keeping our dollars in Michigan,” he said. “That’s important to me.” Though the construction phase is ongoing, Belen said he is excited about the group he has put together for the new concepts. “I have reached out to many vendors who I have done business with in the past,” he noted. “We wanted to go after the big vendors for cross marketing purposes — to help grow our brands through partnership.”

The group is working with IntelliTech Systems, a leader in audio/video entertainment systems in the Midwest, and Harman Co., a California-based conglomerate in audio and video. Both will provide Belen’s property with a unique audio/visual system not experienced before in a Michigan restaurant.
“Harman and Intellitech’s audio engineers designed our system,” Belen noted. There was lot of emphasis on the audio design simulation and integrating smart technology into the venue, and the intellitech team with their smart automation background brought a lot of experience and skill set in that area.
“My focus for sound was to create a system that was well-balanced and well-tuned,” he continued. “I feel many systems in other restaurants and clubs have either too much bass or are too loud and distorted.”…

IntelliTech Systems, a member of the USGBC, earns its LEED certification
Intellitech Systems is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and has earned certification for LEED projects. We are very proud of this achievement, for this certification will allow our company to engineer and demonstrate energy saving ideas that we can apply in green buildings. Being part of the LEED program means a lot to the Intellitech team; it implies leadership, innovation and environmental stewardship.

LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building project meets the highest green building and performance measures. Sustainable building strategies should be considered early in the development cycle. An integrated project team will include the major stakeholders of the project such as the developer/owner, architect, engineer, landscape architect, contractor, and asset and property management staff. Implementing an integrated, systems-oriented approach to green project design, development and operations can yield synergies and improve the overall performance of a building. Initial LEED assessment will bring the project team together to evaluate and articulate the project’s goals and the certification level sought.

There are both environmental and financial benefits to earning LEED certification.

LEED-certified buildings are designed to:

• Lower operating costs and increase asset value.
• Reduce waste sent to landfills.
• Conserve energy and water.
• Be healthier and safer for occupants.
• Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
• Qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in hundreds of cities.
• Demonstrate an owner’s commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

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