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- La Scala
The Art of Technology
1385 Boundary Road, Vancouver BC
t: 604.606.1888 | f:604.606.1838
Tag Archives: lighting control
It seems we can’t turn on the television without witnessing an active shooter event, another major corporate hack or devasting natural disaster. We scan the audience at crowded concert halls and nervously put our children on the school bus. What measures can we take to make our families and community safe?
Personal awareness is your first line of defense. Pay attention to your surroundings, conscious of your vulnerabilities and take steps to ensure the personal safety of your family, employees, clients and community. A great, proactive first step is to install a surveillance camera system. Visible cameras are not only an excellent deterrent for would-be criminals but can also provide critical evidence should a crime be committed. A monitored system is invaluable, especially when tied in to a comprehensive life-safety and security system that includes smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, glass-break and motion detectors and panic button call capabilities to first responders.
Criminal’s Worst Enemy
Automated Lighting and motorized shades are an invaluable and effective deterrent. Both interior and exterior landscape lighting can be programmed to imitate home occupancy, whether you’re shopping at Pacific Centre or traveling abroad. Tied in to your camera system, lights can be triggered when motion is sensed with alerts and even video sent to your smart phone. And, regardless of whether it’s your home, house of worship or grocery store, light is crimes’ worst enemy.
Physical safety is not our only concern. We’re seeing more and more data breeches among major retailers and, with the holidays fast approaching and many of us shopping online, we need to be diligent to protect ourselves from cyber crimes as well. Again, be smart, be cautious and take steps to ensure the security of your networks, both at home and in your business. If your infrastructure is outdated, don’t put off that upgrade until the new year.
Be Proactive and Prepared
Finally, have a plan. What will you do in the event of a robbery or natural disaster? Does everyone know how to alert authorities, access fire extinguishers, engage smart door locks, etc.? Take the time to check your community’s resources and formulate a plan. If you are interested in having a complimentary assessment of your security or infrastructure systems, please contact us and we’ll get it scheduled.
Please share links to any resources you’ve found to be valuable from your school, our local law enforcement and fire departments, etc. Together, we can make our community a safer place.
Additional Reading from our blog: Tips to keep Your Home Safe for the Holidays
This stunning waterfront residence earned three of the custom electronic design industry’s most prestigious awards: Best Integrated Home, Technology Meets Design and Life Lived Best at Home.
The “Technology Meets Design” award celebrates the best integration of technology that complements the design scheme for the room or home. The judges, drawn from the architecture and interior design community, were looking for a project that showed a successful working partnership with the integrator and design and build industry partners and our relationship with Vancouver’s Aaron MacKenzie-Moore Design was nothing short of exemplary.
“La Scala’s ability to incorporate technology into the home’s aesthetics are in full evidence here, as the team says:
The homeowners love to entertain but made it clear that the interior look and quality of finish must not be compromised with the introduction of technology. Sound was expected in all rooms of the home but not seen. Invisible speakers were used in 16 zones which included all three guest suites, hallways, closets, laundry room, and invisible subwoofers rounding out the sound in the family room. The media room is a non-traditional room that is also used as a reading lounge that overlooks the beach.
Soft furniture, motorized roller shades, and heavy fabric curtains were included to soften the hard surfaces and increase the acoustic opportunities, as well as to block out the ambient light coming from the beach-front windows.
Life Lived Best at Home, a CEDIA Cornerstone
Having won in the “Best Integrated Home” and “Technology Meets Design” categories, the judges sought a winner for the “Life Lived Best at Home” designation. Beyond the technology and aesthetic design considerations, the judges now were looking for a “residence that used technology to maximize and enhance the client’s lifestyle, providing functionality, safety, entertainment, convenience, aesthetics, and efficiency.” Not only did this project incorporate the technology beautifully into the home’s design, but the judges agreed that it encompassed the homeowner’s desires, considerable enhancing their lifestyles.
A scene called “Movie Night” on the control system, which softens the media room by dimming the lights, rolling down the shades, and drawing the curtains while turning on the media room components.
A single button solution puts the home into “Entertain” mode. The system needed to be flexible, so the homeowner could make minor scene adjustments without the need of a programmer or site visit.
We offer a few control solutions, but the feature of using real pictures of the home to navigate the control system was very appealing for our clients. The Savant system provided this option.
The team at La Scala is extremely pleased with the project outcome and proud of the recognition received. Please contact us to learn more and visit the links below to view the project gallery and read about the additional accolades yet to be won for this gorgeous waterfront home.
Company’s Coming to Town!
The holidays are around the corner! Soon our homes will be filled with festive decorations, mouthwatering scents wafting from the kitchen and guests to entertain! Whether you’ve been thinking about sprucing things up before your guests arrive or simply want to make some comfortable home improvements that will add to your holiday merriment, here are some things you may wish to consider.
Home for the Holidays
Nothing says “Welcome” quite like lighting design. From the moment your guests turn the corner, they’ll see your beautifully lit landscape and inviting walkway. Highlighted artwork and the soft glow of a chandelier in your foyer make a stunning first impression. Programmed lighting scenes can transform the mood at the touch of a button (or a simple “ask” of your voice control). An “Entertain” setting may turn your kitchen into a bustling center of activity full of food prep and laughter while lowering the downlights, sconces and chandelier in the dining room, setting the stage for the elegant evening meal. Following dinner the lights come back up to your “Clean-up” setting and your favorite holiday playlist ques up, drawing everyone to gather around the fireplace (also integrated into your Crestron home automation system).
On milder evenings you may wish to entertain on your covered patio. Lighting scenes showcase architectural features, planters and fountains for added drama while highlighting uneven walking surfaces and stairs for comfort and safety. You and your guests can enjoy cozying up with your quilts around the firepit to watch your favorite holiday classics on a weatherproof TV or outdoor projection screen.
If the weather outside is Vancouver “frightful”, bring the party indoors into an updated media room or dedicated home theater. We’ll help you plan the perfect space with plenty of plush custom cinema seating for everyone!
Be the Envy of Your Neighbors
If you’re one who wants to share your joy and seek to become a “destination” (or the next viral video) by putting on an outdoor display that can be seen from space, you’ll need a sound system that’s worthy of the task. Those synchronized music and lighting displays are sophisticated but, if you have an integrated home automation system, we can get you in control and in “sync”!
While the neighbors are out gawking at the lights and enjoying the orchestration, unless you have an infamous Leg Lamp prominently displayed in your front window you may want to add some beautiful motorized window shades. Automated shades can be integrated with your lighting scenes and come in an elegant array of weaves, styles and colors. They are the perfect solution for hard to reach floor-to-ceiling windows in voluminous rooms and can be on separate settings. They’re also great for blacking out light in areas for TV viewing and are available for custom installations over skylights, stairway/foyer accent windows, etc. Check out this beautiful guide outlining the Top 10 Reasons to Add Crestron Lighting & Shades to Your Home for some great design ideas.
Like a Warm Cup of Cocoa
While preparing your guest rooms, imagine offering them the luxury of automation. Easy-to-read and use touch panels, keypads and hand-held remotes that control lighting, fans, fireplaces and more in their room add elegance and enjoyment to their stay.
All Snug in their Beds
While we’re off dreaming of sugar plums, others are up to Grinch-like behavior scheming to steal the joy from our celebration. Yes, sadly, according to the FBI, nearly 400,000 homes are burglarized during November and December each year. Burglars are opportunists and will move to an easier score when a few simple deterrents are in place. Strong, automated door locks will keep them out while allowing you the ability to “buzz” your family and friends in if you’re caught in holiday traffic. And nothing says “we’re home” like well-timed automated indoor and exterior lighting. And your lighting control can be integrated with your home security system for even greater peace of mind.
So give us a call and let us help you prepare for the holidays! We’ll put together the perfect system for you. All you need to do is create your holiday playlist, address your invitations and start shopping! Shopping? Oh yeah, we’ve got you covered there too! Stay tuned for our gift giving guide. We’ll help you find something for every tech-enthusiast on your list!
Need more Décor ideas? Visit Vancouver Christmas Market
Entertaining ideas outside of your home: Top Things to do in Vancouver at Christmas
Lutron Lighting Design – Inspirational Design Gallery
It’s time for the glow up
When coming home from a long day at work, the last thing you want to encounter when you walk in the door is a wall of various wall plates, switches and knobs – all of different sizes, shapes and functions. This “wall acne” is not only inconvenient and confusing, it’s often a serious design obstacle in many homes. Thankfully, recent technological advances in home automation have brought sleek, stylish and sophisticated back.
Imagine combining all of your many controls in your entry way, by the garage door, or in your bedroom using one seamless keypad, instead of a mash up of random buttons and switches. This new, design-forward approach to technology synthesizes your lighting and temperature control, security and entertainment systems, and even your garage door opener into one user-friendly interface – reflecting the current trend in minimalism and ease-of-use.
It doesn’t stop at just convenience and style. This new home automation can help you improve your energy usage by automatically adjusting the temperature or lighting and shade control, depending on the weather or the amount of people in the room.
Your home automation tech specialists can help you design the right system to clear up your acne and reveal clean, smooth walls.
Resist! It’s a sunny afternoon and you find yourself in your favorite home improvement store. You stroll down the electrical aisle in search of a replacement wall plate and, BAM, there it is, DIY lighting control. Dimmers, outdoor lighting…Oh, just imagine…”Honey, did you turn off the basement lights? No? Ok [picks up remote], I got it.” Bliss. Sigh. You round the corner and on the end-cap display, spotlighted as if the clouds have parted and sopranos are welcoming a new dawn….motorized window shades! With a remote! Simple, elegant…You’ve been dreaming about blackouts for the Master Bedroom and Home Theater…maybe a lighter weave for the family room to protect the furniture, ease glare on the TV and block the heat…sounds perfect but….not so fast!
While DIY has its place, we caution you when it comes to automated lighting control and motorized window shades. We’ve recently experienced many homeowners calling to ask us to re-program their lighting and window treatments, integrating their weekend project into their system, only to find out that what they’ve installed is a single-room solution. For us, the beauty of whole-home lighting and shade is just that – a whole-house integrated system. Pre-set configurations; all-on/all-off, entertain, away, Good Morning!, Goodnight! modes– Portrait lights on while the shades are down, can lights on with shades at 50%….elegance, control and options galore!
So, be tempted by that jaw-dropping display…be inspired…but before placing anything in your cart, please check with us to learn your options. We want to be sure you’re happy with your investment. Put the drill down and pick up the phone. We got this!
So, what is a SMART home or technology-enabled workplace? And what makes it so smart to have? It seems to be a lot of things, and for a variety of reasons. To some, it’s an all-in-one remote (and we mean the whole house) control. To others, it’s a mobile security system. It’s a convenience, it adds to your home’s resale value, it supports energy efficiency, and the list goes on. But what’s the common denominator? What makes the home automation market worth a projected 78.27 billion dollar industry by 2022? It’s simple; it simplifies your life. Granted, it’s elegant, it’s a solid investment, it enables you to be remote, it’s all those things, but what it really does is make life easier. And isn’t that nice to come home to?
So, if you were to design your SmartHome or automated workplace, what features would you want? Here’s some fuel for thought:
What’s important to you? What features would simplify your lifestyle or make your place of business more efficient and secure?
- Enhanced security solutions
- Access and control to lighting, motorized shades and security features from anywhere
- Update the look of your home or business
- Upgrade for resale purposes or to attract/retain today’s tech-savvy workforce
- Incorporate energy efficiency
- Improve the functionality
What would you want to control?
- Comfort (HVAC/heating and cooling)
- Home theater/entertainment or conference room control
- Lighting, window treatments
- Security and monitoring
- Distributed music with integrated intercom and doorbell
Now consider compatibility. Think about your favorite services such as Pandora, napster, Deezer …and your favorite tech- friendly products like Sonos, echo, Lutron – all can be integrated onto one platform.
So what’s the trick to get all these devices and services to work together? That part you leave to the professionals. No stress, remember? Technology is quickly evolving and today’s home automation integrators stay on top of these cutting-edge technologies. They have continuous training and proper certifications to get your disparate pieces to blend in unison. Music to your ears? We think so.
Now, don’t you feel smart?