Lighting control systems bring magic to a well designed home. You can accent pictures and building features throughout the house. Now with the new PYNG technology you also can adjust every scene and groups of lights throughout the house without any programing from the integrator which makes it so you can have it exactly like you want it when you want it.
Types of lighting control systems
Centralized Lighting control systems
This is the preferred method when designing lighting control systems. The lighting loads are ran back to dimming panels throughout the project. You then locate low voltage keypads in each room that can control multiple lighting loads. This reduces wall clutter since now you can control various lighting loads with one switch. This method does take more planning up front but you end up with a much better result.
Wired and wireless dimmers lighting control systems
Using wireless dimming allows you to be able to retrofit a lighting control system into existing residence. Unfortunately integrators who don’t want to go through the work of planning a panelized lighting control system fall back on this type of system to often because it’s easier. You will still have the availability to turn on and off each light but it still leaves you with excess wall clutter.
Lighting fixtures types
This is a reliable LED dimming control protocol. The control signal is DC voltage that ranges from 0 to 10 volts. This is wired like a normal light fixture except there are also two control wires. This makes it a great choice for new construction but not recommended for basic remodels since you would have to run two extra wires to each load.
DALI stands for Digital Addressable Lighting Interface. This is a great format to use if budget isn’t a concern. With this standard you can actually control each individual fixture. This is also wired with two extra control wires and the fixtures can either be wired in a star or bus topology.
2 wire phase control
This is the most common type of lighting fixture. They work great with incandescent lights and most LED. They don’t handle low level LED dimming very well sometimes you will get flickering.
Best practices when designing lighting control systems
I would use panel based lighting for every room in the house, but in some cases budget restraints lead us towards using a hybrid approach. We accomplish this by using panel based lighting control and low voltage switches in the larger common areas then using wireless or wired dimmers in small rooms with only one or two lighting loads.
When it comes to fixtures I would recomend 0-10 volt fixtures they seem to meet the perfect mix when it comes to price and functionality.
Here is a link to a case study done about a lighting control system. Case Study
If you would like to discuss your project just fill out the form on www.engineeredav.com.
I am so excited that the weather is finally warming up which means it’s time to install or upgrade your outdoor audio system. I really enjoy installing outdoor audio systems it’s great to integrate the outdoors with music both things I love. Here are a few types of speakers that are designed for outdoor use.
Outdoor Audio Speaker Types
We install patio speakers on the side of the patio or under the eve. These are fully waterproof and made to withstand the harsh elements, therefore giving you years of enjoyment in your outdoor living space.
Landscape speakers allow us to provide music throughout the outdoor living space this include pools, walkways, firepits while still being able to place the speakers discreetly.
We use rock speakers in areas where the client wants to match the surrounding landscape this gives them great sound quality and still lets us discreetly place the speakers.
Outdoor Audio Subwoofer Types
This might be my favorite part of a outdoor audio system. Using underground subwoofer we can bury the whole enclosure underground and still have earth pounding bass, which always puts a smile on my clients face.
We use patio subwoofers when the only placement options is concrete or rock and we need a subwoofer.
We are able to blend these subwoofers into the rocky terrain and still give our clients amazing bass.
We start by walking the property and discussing what the clients desires are. I then do an acoustical analysis of the space and put together a ballpark price. If this is acceptable then we move on to the design and engineering phase. During this phase I will provide full documentation along with a plan view and a elevation view of the project. We then start designing the interface that the client will be using to control the system. Finally we scheduling the installation of the project.
If you would like a free consultation please reach out to us at http://www.engineeredav.com.
I recently went to this great restaurant for breakfast. The food was amazing, unfortunately the sound wasn’t. The integrator did not use basic concepts in room acoustics when placing the speakers.
Walking to our seats the music was loud, but as we arrived at our seats the music almost disappeared. That’s when I looked up and couldn’t believe what I saw. They had installed ten pendant speakers in the middle of this small room. Even with all those speakers, I couldn’t hear the audio from my seat. How could this happen?
Looking over the layout the integrator lowered the pedant speakers to make them even with the beams in the room. This was a mistake, by doing this they created a bunch of hot spots throughout the room. The speakers were too close together and too close to the listener. They should have raised the speakers so they were against the ceiling which would have given them much better coverage. This would have also saved the restaurant owners thousands of dollars by allowing them to use only two speakers instead of ten.
If their goal was to sell them more speakers they should have spaced them correctly. The space between two speakers should always be twice as far apart as the space between the speaker and the wall. These are simple room acoustic concepts that everyone should understand when you are a professional integrator. Here is a link to JBL Pro’s system design software which will give you a good guideline for speaker placement.
Room Acoustics Basics
With very little time and effort the integrator could have saved the restaurant owner thousands of dollars in speakers and given them a far better result. Customers dining at this fine establishment will have music blaring in their face or won’t hear anything which is a shame since the owners of the restaurant paid top dollar for the equipment. Once again, I want to make a plea to our industry professionals please spend some time on room acoustics and give your clients what they are paying for.
Use this basic guide line when going through the Salt Lake City’s home theater design process to achieve the best experience. Give me a call if you have any questions or need any direction. Here is a link to my website.
Designing the correct room is the most important part of the Salt Lake City’s home theater process. There are many calculators out there that will help with the process here is a simple one that will give you a good starting point. I would then use more complicated processes to figure out the best seating positions and optimal size of screen.
I’ve always advise my clients to use bookshelf speakers and multiply subwoofers. I prefer to use bookshelf speakers over in-wall or floor standing speakers because of their flexibility to angle them in the room, which is important when calibrating a home theater. The front speakers will only be playing down to 80 hertz so there is no need for large floor standing speakers that are not flexible when it comes to placement.
Whenever possible use at a minimum two subwoofers and preferably four. This gives you the opportunity to activate some of the room modes which will give every seat in the theater a flat, smooth response. The process of blending four subwoofers into a theater room is a complicated process and takes the right testing equipment and knowledge. The results are amazing if done correctly!
Once you get everything else installed and sounding and looking good it’s time to fine tune the system. This is done using optical testing devices along with professional microphones. This process usually takes anywhere from eight to ten hours to dial in a Dolby Atmos theater. I have attended numerous hours of training over the years so I can accomplish this process efficiently. If you want the projector and speakers to disappear into a life like experience this step has to be done correctly.
If you’ll follow these basic Salt Lake City’s home theater design steps you will be able to get more enjoyment while watching a movie or your favorite sporting event if you want any help you can find me here.
The design and engineering phase of home automation systems is what separates the elite integrator’s from the rest. The goal is to design and install systems that will work for decades with no maintenance while make sure that every part of the system integrates seamlessly and is easy to use. This process takes a lot of knowledge and time but in the end it’s always the details that make the difference.
Home Automation Plan View
Is designed help all contractors (HVAC, Drywall, Electricians, Framers) get on the same page giving a full layout of where all components and wiring is going to be placed. We also call out the labeling for each wire on this page which help when connecting cabling later in the project.
Home Automation Schematic View
Provides exact cabling and connection specifications for every wire, insuring clients end up with high quality parts and connectors throughout the project. To often I have seen jobs where nothing is specified and client end up with low grade wiring and connections because nothing was specified from the start. We also call out each individual wire number ensuring nothing is missed and the home automation system works flawlessly.
Home Automation Rack View
Will give you a detailed specification on all products that will be in the home automation rack. We use this to plan for cooling and power considerations. This also will determine how much rack space is necessary for each project.
Home Theater Elevation View
Gives clients a visual representation of what the final home automation project will look like in their room. This will help when deciding what size of projector or television will be more visually pleasing. This is also where we call out the dimensions for speaker and screen placement so the other trades working on the project are all on the same page.
Here is the LINK to our website please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
Why you should alway have a ISF Calibration done.
People have asked why in the world would I spend over ten thousand dollars in test equipment and thousands of dollars in training to become ISF level 2 certified so I can do an ISF Calibration. The simple answer is to make your television or home theater projector look its best. With all the factory settings set to stand out against the other television at the big box retailer they push the blue tint to offset the neon lights.
Some things you can ask yourself when looking at your television are:
- How well can you see Detail in the Darkest and Brightest portions of your picture?
- Is the Level of Color, A Little Low, A Little High, or about Right?
- Do Skin Tones look correct?
- Does it look like the Right Color?
- Is the Surface of your Screen Quiet or Noisy?
- Do images appear Clearly?
These are all things that can be fixed with a calibration.
I recommend started with just a basic calibration just using the standard controls. If you like what you see then getting into a full calibration. Everyone I have done this for is amazed how much better their television or home theater projector looked.
These are the little details that give you that feeling of being there when watching a movie or game. Please make sure that you not only buy great equipment but also have it correctly installed.