Control systems are installed in residences/Boardrooms/Lecture Theatres, to take away the requirement for the user to have deep technical knowledge, whilst being able to operate multiple systems, usually, by the use of a touch screen.
The use of touch screens allows the user to have an interface that is simplified, containing only functions that they actually need and allowing a single button to do multiple actions. Systems such as this are described as 'Smart' systems. However, they are only 'Smart' if they actually reduce complication, remove repeated daily tasks that would normally be done manually, warn you of faults or faults that could be about to occur and allow systems to iteract with eachother (based on rules).
We have seen many systems that are effectively a set of 'Apps' giving individual control of devices but have no interaction. A True Smart system allows products to work together to provide combined functions or 'event triggers', this is where one event sets off multiple actions in multiple devices. However, simplicity is the key. If the user cannot use it, what is the point?
Ever tried using your heating thermostat? Usually you have to get the manual out just to change the setpoint temperature. What if you have twenty thermostats controlling multiple areas? Using touch screen control, you can adjust any zone or all together from one place. In a residence, when you set your alarm to AWAY or the system detects that the area has not been in use for a period of time, the heating is set to fall back automatically. Making everyday functions simple and quick is the whole essence of installing control systems.
An example interface for underfloor heating is shown below.
Changing The target temperature is simple. Just touch the temperature and a window pops up to allow you to to make the change. Press raise or lower to set the temperature you would like and press confirm. The change is done. No Manual required!
The system can be set up to set the same temperature to all zone or preset temperatures to specific areas. We can add many types of sensors and process data from them to improve the way that your home works(Heat, Humidity, Pool Temperatures, Movement, air quality etc..)
AMX whole house control can be applied to lots of technology. Lighting, Shades, CCTV, Air Conditioning, Underfloor Heating, Cinema Projector/Equipment, TV's, Satellite boxes, Intruder alarms, Intercoms and Gates, Gas fires, Sprinkler controllers, Music servers, Movie Servers, power controllers and many other devices.
The whole idea is to produce a user friendly interface that is usuable thorughout the property. It is extendable to using iPads or Android devices as well.
Alarm systems are another example of a system that is unnecessarily complicated. Our systems make it simple and allow you to see a map of your property and where each zone is and what state it is in
Using our interface, it is very easy to see if windows or doors are open or have issues simply by the colour coding. Again, simplicity is what this is all about. No scrolling through a small screen on an alarm keypad to find out what the problem is.
In times such as now, where energy prices have sky rocketed. Whole house automation can assist with energy saving in a few ways. Installation and control of blinds can reduce heat loss, combined with sensors in rooms that reduce the "setpoint" temperature in rooms that have not been used for a set period of time. We can also use thermostats that regulate the amount of heat pushed into an area when it is approaching the required temperature. This prevents overshoot(where the room goes over temperature, then under temperature and repeats), which wastes a surprising amount of energy, and helps to keep the room at the required temperature without having to pump large amounts of energy into the area. By use of sensors and a Lighting control system, again lighting can be turned off in areas that are not being used, Outside lighting can be controlled tightly so its only on when necessary and the status and control of everything done by the AMX Control system.
The control system can be infinitely updated to add features that you would like, tailored to how you would like them to work. This is a great thing because, as most people use their Automation system they start to understand what extra feature could make their lives easier.
Control System Example
As a simple example of what can be done. Say, for instance, you were leaving to go on Holiday. You could select "Vacation" on your alarm. After doing this, you control system would "set back" your underfloor heating thermostats by a few degrees, your lighting system wold be set to security mode(to make it look like you are still at home), you AC system would be set to come on once per day for a few minutes to keep air flowing and your water features would have minimised running times. Your blinds would automatically drop in the evening and raise in the morning and the "controlled sockets", controlled by the lighting system, that have hair straighteners and hair dryers plugged in would be turned off - no, wondering if you turned them off when you left and having to turn back to find out!
When you are ready to return home, use your phone app to take the house out of Vacation mode the day you set off home and it will be up to temperature by the time you arrive. Arriving home at night? your Lutron App will detect that you are within a mile of home and turn on your outside lights.
All of this happens by pressing two buttons. One at the start of your holiday and one on the way home.
So,Which to use?
There are several manufacturers of control systems about, some better than others. Some have a place for the level that they are at, where manufacturers write the software and the installer simply configures it. The issue with this, is that if there are any problems with the software, you have to wait for the manufacturer to fix it. An example of this is Control4.
Our choice is AMX, which is owned by Samsung & Harman. Our software is totally written by us, allowing us to totally customise it to suit what the customer requires and also fix any issues that arise.
Again, we have used multiple control systems over the years, and this is our choice based on reliability and flexibility. It allows us to design projects using the right equipment for the project rather than selecting equipment because that is all our control system will control. We design our projects, based on customer requirement, and author the software to suit. With other control systems, this may not be an option.
We have installed and programmed AMX control systems in boardrooms, lecture theatres, Museums, High end residences, Super Yachts, Government buildings, Virtual reality domes, Corporate demonstration centres, & High end car showrooms are amongst some of the applications.
AMX is one of the most flexible systems available.
Looking for a Programmer?
Do you need a programmer for a project and do not have a programmer in your company? We can act as an independent programing service on your behalf, off and on site. Your company can install your system and we will provide the programming for your system with your Logo's and panel design. We have a lot of experience with Residential, Commercial, Education and Super Yacht. We can write device drivers, if they are not already available, modify existing programs(as long as you have the source code) or do everything from scratch based on a specification.
At the end of the project, everything is handed over to you and it becomes yours to modify later or hand to others to modify.
Need the AMX equipment and a design? We can help with that too. Call us!
Simplify....Add value....Reduce costs...Take control!