Every once in a while, a project comes along that tests your team’s full range of capabilities. From collaborating and communicating with clients and partners and adapting to the electrical limits and ecological rules of island living, this was a great project to fully showcase our abilities. What resulted is an eco-friendly smart home that exceeded the homeowners’ expectations. This happened while adhering to the island’s power restrictions and guidelines for lighting during sea turtle nesting season.
Island construction projects almost always bring unique complexities and complications, and this island retreat was no exception. The property’s remote location meant that collaboration and close communication with subcontractors was critical. Our local partners had also never worked on a Lutron system, which required our team to train and educate them on Lutron’s diverse systems. Unlike other integrators in the industry, we work in complete collaboration with local tradesmen to make smart systems a reality without displacing existing electricians and subcontractors.
The TSP Smart Spaces team worked hand-in-hand with on-site architects and electricians to create the electrical designs and guide the team through the installation process. We completed the electrical stage of the installation with minimal on-site work, falling back on design documents, our design-led process, and specification sheets. What resulted was a home that utilized smart home automation to the fullest of its capabilities.
Lutron has been around since the 1960s. While the electricians had never worked with Lutron or their Homeworks QS system, they were enthusiastic about the chance to learn and work with new technology from such a reputable company. Our collaborative approach paid off, and the local team’s work on the system came together flawlessly, cutting down on our back-and-forth to the island considerably while delivering an intuitive and efficient lighting system.
St. George Island is a favorite destination of those in search of warm waters and pristine shorelines. We don’t mean just for human visitors! From May through October every year, the island hosts Florida’s largest loggerhead turtle population for nesting season. With only roughly one in every 5,000 turtles reaching adulthood, avoiding the disruption of their nesting period is one of the island’s top priorities. Creating an eco-friendly smart home was a priority for the home owners.
To have your architectural drawings and plans approved on the island, you have to make specific considerations in your design process. The turtles have seasonal migration paths they take and are easily disoriented by artificial lighting. For the architect, this meant designing a path above the beachfront so not to disturb the migration path. For us, it meant installing smart shades that would close in the evening and adjusting the landscape lighting outside. The windows in this island retreat were two stories high. This posed a challenge for the homeowners to close each day at the correct time. Our solution came in the form of installing custom shades that integrated with Lutron’s Sivoia QS system. These shades are set on an automation schedule during nesting season to not disorient the wildlife’s natural patterns.
Beyond consideration for the sea turtles, having the home’s shades integrated into their smart home ecosystem saved the homeowners time and energy.
Island life may seem like a perfect paradise from afar, but as with any remote location, it comes with its own challenges. On St. George Island, one of these challenges is the inconsistent power grid. We were faced with the challenge of keeping our smart devices online and powered throughout the day. Finding a solution was crucial to ensuring our smart home support was effective and useful for the residents.
Working with local electricians, we set up a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) from BlueBOLT. This power supply connects to the cloud so that when short-term power interruptions occur, we can keep the home online and powered. BlueBOLT’s cloud monitoring also lets us know if the Internet or power has a prolonged outage. This allows us to monitor the situation and make sure that all systems are “Go” when power and internet come back online. We also added a weBoost signal booster. This ensures the residents have a strong cellular connection when prolonged internet outages occur.
Our clients were initially hesitant to bring what they perceived as “luxury” technology into their lives. By demonstrating to them the full capabilities home automation can provide and convince them to take a “leap of faith” when building their home. This leap of faith paid off, and they’re so pleased with the results that they now plan to enhance the system with additional shading features for the guest bedrooms.
In addition to Lutron shades, we installed Bose speakers, a Meraki network, and smart thermostats and remotes from Savant. With Savant whole home automation, a single button press shuts down the entire home. This turns off all of the lights, closes the shades, and powers down their AV Systems. When the homeowners arrive after an 8-hour drive from their main house, they bring the house alive with a single button.
The clients are now the proud owners of the smartest home on the most exclusive island destination on Florida’s gulf side. Their initial “leap of faith” with smart technology proved to be a great decision as they now can’t imagine their lives without home automation. The owners are now in the process of building a new home. They love the technology in their island home so much, they have deemed smart space automation essential in their new build.
We are always happy when clients realize the full benefits of smart home technology. Contact us to begin your smart home journey and speak to an integration expert today! Or learn more about what we do on our resources page.
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