DIY Products Find A Home In Custom Installers’ Toolboxes
Electronics systems contractors who went to the CEDIA Expo found a variety of products that homeowners could install themselves, but the products also make sense for installation professionals, suppliers said.
For one thing, the products can be tied into installed home systems that incorporate wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, and ZigBee. For another, the products can be sold as add-ons to simple jobs such as mounting a TV on a wall.
Savant was among the companies showing a DIY product. Other included Fibaro and Nortek Security & Control.
Here’s what these and other home-control suppliers unveiled:
Fibaro: The company brought gesture control to the Expo along with its first Wi-Fi doorbell/intercom/security camera.
To enable gesture control of devices connected to Fibaro’s Home Center 2 Z-Wave hub, the company developed a battery-operated panel that can be placed behind picture frames, in walls or under countertops to sense the capacitance of a moving hand. The panel recognizes six gestures: up, down, left, right, circle left, and circle right. It also recognizes combinations of gestures. Consumers would program in the devices or scenes that a gesture would control.
The panel, called the Swipe, will be available at the end of November at a targeted $149.
The company’s first intercom/doorbell with integrated camera features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Power over Ethernet. The device, called the Fibaro Intercom, also gets power from an existing doorbell system. It uses motion and sound sensing to launch 4K video recording, sends doorbell video over Wi-Fi for in-house or remote viewing on a mobile device, and incorporates Bluetooth. With Bluetooth, the Intercom senses when an authorized user’s phone is within a set range, then automatically sends a 12-volt signal to unlock a connected electronic lock. Also to unlock a connected electronic lock, users rotate the device’s bezel to enter a numeric security code.
The device also incorporates cellular in case it is out of Wi-Fi-network reach on a remotely located gate on the user’s property.
The device can also be installed in rooms inside the house. It will be available in December at around $500.
iPort: The Dana Innovations brand, one of a trio of custom-install brands from Dana Innovations, is turning iPads into surface-mount on-wall controllers for home-automation and multiroom-audio systems that are being ripped out and replaced.
With two Surface Mount kits introduced at the CEDIA Expo, integrators turn the iPad Mini and iPad Air into on-wall controllers that replace legacy controllers mounted in a single- or dual-gang box. The iPads can be loaded with the control apps provided by the suppliers of the new systems to control the systems via Wi-Fi. The iPads also double as intercoms.
The Surface Mount system ships October for the iPad Mini 1, 2 and 3; in November for the iPad Air 1 and 2; and December for iPad Mini 4 models. Prices are a suggested $399 for iPad Minis and $449 for iPad Airs.
In early 2016, iPort will offer another Surface Mount with eight programmable hard buttons and up/down controls on the bezel. Drivers are being built to enable the IP-addressable buttons to control Crestron and Savant home-control systems. It’s for consumers who want quick access to often-used functions, said marketing director Jack Hill.
Nortek Security & Control: The company expanded its selection of GoControl-brand wireless home-automation products from a handful to almost 20 models.
The line of wireless Z-Wave home-automation products is targeted to security dealers, systems integrators, A/V specialists, and large retailers. The products do not require professional installation or managed services but will be available to installers for integration with professionally monitored home-security systems sold under Nortek Security’s 2GIG brand. Nortek sells GIG systems to security dealers.
GoControls’ Z-Wave products also integrate with many other professionally installed hubs and DIY hubs, including hubs from SmartThings, Lowe’s Iris, Honeywell, Clare Controls, GE, and Nexia Home Intelligence.
Nortek Security and Control, a subsidiary of Nortek, also offers the Linear brand of security, access control, video surveillance equipment, and intercoms.
The current lineup consists of a $139-suggested smart garage-door controller; a $49 window sensor; $54 LED light bulb; $54 LED floodlight; four wall dimmers and switches from $54 to $74;
A plug-in dimmer module for lamps at $54; a smart outlet at $54; an in-ceiling smart retrofit can for in-ceiling lights at $59; a $99 thermostat; a $54 plug-in appliance module; a $54 module to control such things as ceiling and ventilation fans; two security starter kits at $69 and $149; a $65 infrared sensor; and a $75 smart siren/strobe.
On Controls: The company launched a step-up series of gateways that convert Ethernet IP commands to IR and RS-232 commands. The three Onlink Pro Ethernet-to-IR/serial control gateways are intended for large control and automation projects and were designed to meet heavy commercial-use standards. They’re said to deliver a significantly higher IR range than competitive products. They communicate with up to 40 smartphones and tablets simultaneously.
White Rabbit Electronics: The company wants to replace the on-wall panels of professionally monitored security systems with a hub that delivers an easier-to-use interface to computers and mobile devices.
The smart hub ties into the central monitoring stations of security monitoring companies and replaces security panels from such companies as Honeywell, GE and 2GIG. The hub also features ZigBee, Z-Wave and Wi-Fi to connect to the sensors, lights, door locks and security cameras that had been connected to the replaced panel.