In the palm of your hand: Home systems delight

A new day dawns for the residential systems market

Simmons said the perception of what the market wants has changed. “Before, security was the lead-in to home installations,” he said. “Now, rather than just security, it’s about low-voltage, structured cabling and not just audio either. It’s about fully integrating and automating the home and that applies to both production homes as well as the custom-luxury market.”

Simmons said the retrofit market has seen increased activity in the Las Vegas area. “The customer wants to have lighting control, HVAC management and a lot of the demand is tied to, of course, ways to help the customer control energy costs. So security is only one part of the big picture.” Founded in 1986 as a security installation and monitoring company, Eagle Sentry capitalized on the building boom and became a full service low voltage contractor, forging relationships with builders and general contractors.
Casey Wood, marketing director for Paragon Technology Group in Glenwood Springs, Colo., said their clients want high-end integrated systems with remote accessibility and control.

“More and more we are talking to customers about energy efficient products,” explained Wood. “The lighting systems we offer (many from Lutron) decrease electricity usage by setting the lights to lower levels depending on the time of day. The solar shades we install reduce solar gain in any room, allowing the climate control system to maintain a more consistent temperature. We are also able to integrate occupancy information from the security system to cue the Energy Management System to make lighting or climate adjustments.”

Even though new construction hasn’t been at its best and witnessed a decrease, homeowners looking to do some technological and cost-saving revamping still have possibilities. Residential systems have moved into convenience form factors with energy efficiency and lighting leading the way. Security is important, but it’s part of a package, a full-service one, that integrators will find most success in implementing.