Luxury Berkshire Residence Gets Smart with ELAN Control

When a long-time commercial customer asked electronics integrator Steve Itoje of Link It Solutions Ltd to integrate control technologies in his new luxury home in Ascot, Berkshire, he had a specific idea of what he wanted: an automation system in which he can instantly and easily control the lights, heating, TV, music, security and more from his mobile device, while optimizing the home’s energy use.

With those core requests, Itoje knew that installing an ELAN®Control System was the best way to meet his client’s expectations and ensure years of trouble-free operation with future expansion options.

“My company introduced our clients to ELAN a few years ago, as we find it exceptionally reliable and easier to use than other home control systems,” Itoje said. “I know this client well, and he trusted me to provide the best solution available. After giving me his list of needs, it was clear that eliminating burdensome tasks and enabling better energy management were major concerns, and now the family’s ELAN system makes common daily tasks easy.”

Chief among the homeowner’s desires was the ability to see exactly what is powered on throughout the house at any time. With ELAN serving as the home’s brain, Itoje outfitted nearly every area with Rako lighting, ELAN 4K video distribution, a 13-zone in-ceiling audio system, surveillance cameras and a 22-zone Heatmiser HVAC system.

“When a customer really wants to monitor and manage their energy usage, the more systems we integrate, the more control they have,” Itoje said. “With so many individual climate zones in this home, the owners have precise control over each room’s temperature, and can easily make changes to any room, from any room, or to the whole house at once. It’s the same with lighting and media, which are all simple to view and turn on or off through ELAN remotes or the ELAN mobile app on any of their smartphones or tablets.”

The family travels frequently, so remote access, especially to the surveillance camera feeds, was another important feature the homeowners requested. Through ELAN, no matter where they are in the world, they can log in and within seconds see all 10 live camera feeds to ensure their property is safe and as they left it. With the feature available through the mobile app, the family can adjust heating or cooling after they depart or before they return home, and schedule the lights to turn on or off to give the home a lived-in appearance.

“At the end of the day, no matter how impressive a system is, the absolute most important thing it does is work reliably and simply, without complicated procedures or weeks of training required,” Itoje noted. “That’s where ELAN really shines. Whether my client wants to adjust his lighting while away, or the kids want to turn on a TV and play video games, all it takes is a few taps in any ELAN interface, which all feature an identical appearance and functions.”

Keeping wires and boxy pieces of technology out of the living spaces was important to the clients as well. Like most full home integration projects, Link It Solutions delivered an uncluttered appearance by centrally locating all the equipment in a single equipment rack placed in a utility room. This room contains all the control equipment, the ELAN® audio and video distribution components, the main units that receive and send security and HVAC signals, and the enterprise-grade networking and network security equipment that protects the home from outside interference and ensures every spot on the property has strong internet connection.

The main music source for the 13-zone audio system is an Autonomic™ media streamer that allows access to all the most popular streaming music services, in addition to two Apple® TVs that enable different rooms to play different music simultaneously. The video distribution system is similar, sending 4K signals from three Sky™ cable boxes to two Apple TVs to any of the eight TVs in the house. Seven of the TVs are paired with an ELAN handheld remote that offers familiar TV and music control in addition to touchscreen access to every connected light, heating zone and other peripheral in the home.

“This is a beautiful home, and it deserved to have a beautiful automation system that provides complete control without any intrusion on the home’s aesthetics,” Itoje added. “With ELAN, we are able to deliver fully automated homes that clients can use within five minutes of opening the app – there’s almost no learning curve because it’s so intuitive. That’s why it’s great for families, because people of all ages can jump right in.”

As for advanced automation features, Link It Solutions personalized several macro events that trigger a chain of system responses all from a single button, such as lighting scenes that automatically set multiple zones to specific brightness levels.

For instance, a button within the ELAN interface labeled “Away” turns off every light in the house at once, eliminating the need to walk around and flip dozens of light switches. Others include buttons like “Watch a Movie” that turn on a TV, turn on the connected soundbar or audio amplifier and choose the programmed video source. It’s not just about using only one remote, but using just a single button. It couldn’t be easier.

Itoje and the family expect to add more macro events and scheduled events for HVAC and lighting as they determine what timings and levels are best based on their behavior.

“The ELAN® control system, paired with all the other subsystems, gives this family exactly what they wanted in the easiest way possible,” Itoje said.

For hi-res images, click here.