A few weeks ago, we had a look at what AMX has been up to lately. This week, we want to have a look at some interesting new initiatives from the other top automation company, Crestron. Always wanting to stay ahead of the curve, Creston is now introducing exciting new products in lighting and sound.
In lighting, it began a few months ago when they introduced their own brand of LED drives, but at the ISE show in Amsterdam in February, they unveiled a line of complete Crestron lighting fixtures intended for the European market.
The Crestron Illutube, Illucube and recessed LED fixtures feature smooth dimming to 0 percent, “meaning you can dim it all the way down without powering the light off,” David Silberstein of Crestroin says. “This allows for the ‘smooth’ part of the dimming – there’s no flickering.”
This is a huge change. Up until now, automating lighting, especially LED, has been risky at best. Often, when the fixtures are chosen by the interior designer there is no concern about how they will work when they are actually installed. This has led to poor dimming, short lamp life and inconsistent colour.
That won’t be a problem with the Crestron lights. These fixtures produce a warm colour of light similar to the incandescent lights we are used to. They are even offering a light with red green and blue bulbs that will be tunable to any colour you want. Crestron guarantees that the colour will remain consistent from one fixture to the other, a real sore spot in previous LED’s.
A further advantage is the fact that as long as you are using Crestron gateways and controllers, they can assure you that these lights will function exactly as promised.
Now the bad news. At this point, the products have been introduced in Europe, but Crestron still hasn’t announced a date to introduce them in North America. That would require a voltage change, but it would also require a change in thinking on the part of the design community. They would have to start with the complete fixtures and design around then, instead of the current system of the designer choosing the fixture and integrator choosing the drive. Still, it’s a good start towards having truly seamless integration of perfectly controlled lighting.
Never a company to stand still, Crestron is also taking their game up a notch in the speaker business. In the past, Creston has been known for supplying reliable affordable speakers that were a popular choice for home automation, especially for background music. Now, Crestron is offering the audiophile new choices with the Essence and Aspire speakers.
The Aspire has woven poly-glass composite woofers and 1-inch synthetic polymer dome tweeters. Offset post-mounted tweeters are also there to reduce midrange frequency response anomalies. The Essense, on the other hand, adds in woven Kevlar woofers and 1.1-inch advanced synthetic polymer dome tweeters. It also has cast aluminum woofer baskets to crank out the bass.
Depending on the model, you can expect these speakers to handle between 100 and 175 watts of power, with a wide frequency response. Both of the new 2-way speakers also have paintable, zero-bezel grilles, making either one perfect for ceiling and wall installs. The easy installation of these speakers is a big advantage to the home owner, as it makes for decreased labour costs and less mess when they’re installed. It’s one more option for people who want the added sound quality of premium speaker, but want to stay completely within the Crestron line.
OneTouch Automation is proud to partner with Crestron and other industry leading manufacturers. We are constantly straying on top of advances in the industry, and continually upgrading our skills so that we can offer you the latest innovations and solutions. You don’t have to be an expert in home automation. Let us take care of finding you the right design, product and programming to make your home automation dreams a reality. Call us today to arrange a consultation.