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Whole Home/Custom Install News

How to Select Your Installer Part 1

The custom installation industry was born out of real needs. The technologies and advancements show no sign of abating. Custom installers have seen periods akin to the Gold Rush as well as volatile times, which have reflected the economy's severe downturns. Stalwart, long-term integrators have disappeared while a plethora of new ones have emerged. Presuming you don't own a tool belt and have no real installation experience (programming your phone doesn't count), you will need the expertise of a good custom installer. See the Checklist below to help you make the best selection.

LALED Releases First LED Lamps Compatible With All Lighting Automation Systems

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Manufacturer LALED of Lafayette, LA, has introduced its built-in dimming circuitry allowing for simple integration into any lighting system. LALEDʼs dimming circuitry is built into each LED lamp allowing for simple screw-in installation without the inconvenience of blinking lights found in competitors' similar LED recessed lights. There is also no need to rewire the house for external LED drivers. LALEDʼs drivers are compatible with all digital dimmers and automation systems on the market and are among the first to function as a stand alone dimming light with digital dimmers such as Lutron Radio RA, Maestro, Crestron Lux, Crestron InfiNET, Vantage, Leviton, and many more. Most digital dimmers are unable to handle LED lighting and malfunction when LEDs are its only load.

LALED has 40% of its manufacturing in Houston and will continue to move up to 80% of its manufacturing to the United States over the next two years. Now, if the manufacturing plant was located in LA (Los Angeles, not Louisiana) we could ask the perennial question: "How many Californians does it take to change a light bulb?" Answer - First, they have to want to change....

To learn more, click here:

Special Event: Cash for TV Clunkers in Southern California - December 17th & 18th

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Diamond Case Designs, Inc. Offers Cash Trade-In for Clunker TVs When Purchasing New Eligible Engergystar TVs at the 2nd Annual TV Recycling Event


Following the success of last years popular Cash for Clunker TV program, home theater retailer Diamond Case Designs, Inc. of Anaheim, CA., has organized another e-waste recycling event just in time for the holidays. This environmentally friendly program provides cash discounts toward the purchase of new eligible model Energystar TVs.

As flat panel TVs come down in price, Diamond Case has seen an increase in the number of customers replacing in their old analog TVs for new digital TVs. Rather than discarding the old TVs, which contain hazardous materials such as lead and phosphorus, into local landfills, Diamond Case has partnered with All Green Electronics Recycling to recycle and re-purpose the old TVs.  All Green guarantees that all items to be recycled will be done in accordance with their ZERO landfill policy. According to Arman Sadeghi, CEO of All Green, "All types of e-waste (electronic waste), including cell phones, laptops, computer monitors, and televisions can be recycled responsibly so their hazardous products do not end up in landfills. 

Control4 Products Honored with Three Innovations 2011 Awards

Control4®, known for its affordable IP-based home control systems, today announced that it has been named an International CES Innovations 2011 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree for three of its products: OS 2.0, 7" InfinityEdgeTM Touch Screen, and Intelligent Home Energy Management (in conjunction with Eragy). Products entered in this prestigious program are judged by a panel of independent industrial designers, engineers and members of the media to honor outstanding design and engineering in cutting edge consumer electronics products.

New Media Center Unveiled Today

Today, Western Digital (WD) announced the debut of its new Live Hub media center. Actually, it was unveiled at a press bash at Siren Studios in Hollywood, last night. Awesome party. Live Hub's 1 TB hard drive will store music, videos, vacation slideshows, photos and other personal entertainment. For you non-techies, a terabyte is in excess of over one thousand gigabytes. That's big. Sporting 2 USB ports, Live Hub is also expandable. Live Hub supports a wide variety of video formats. It is also a media server - connection to your home network via Ethernet gives you access to video streaming, photos and music from any Mac, PC or material on the Internet. Video can also be streamed to a WD TV Live media player or any DLNA/UpnP compatible TV, Blu-ray player or game console. Users also can stream content from their WD TV Live Hub media center to iPadsTM, iPhones® or AndroidTMsmartphones using third-party applications. It is also compatible with Windows® 7, including the "Play To" feature.

Golf Simulators Share Space With Home Theaters

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Now that the cold, blustery season is upon us and with springtime a long way off, golfers around the country will be aching to swing their clubs. The newest generation of Golf Simulators offers a total immersion experience, including HD video and realistic computer graphics of the world's great courses. No matter how bad the weather is outside your home, in the Simulator, it's always sunny and clear at Pebble Beach, Princeville, Pinehurst, St. Andrews, Torrey Pines and dozens of others. And no one will be rushing you to "play through" except your friends or family who want their turn.


Sharing Home Theater Space
With clever AV design, simulators can share the space now occupied by a dedicated Home Theater in basements and bonus rooms. Both systems require a projector and a screen. There are a few caveats, however. Consider flush-mounting the theater speakers in the ceiling using angled baffle or pivoting tweeter speakers, to keep them out of the way of flying golf balls. Although the Simulator screen is sufficient for certain gaming activities, like Wii, we don't suggest any serious Home Theater aficionado will be satisfied by viewing a screen that's been plunked a thousand times by Callaways or Titleists. So use a separate screen for movies, please. Likewise, a dedicated theater projector will provide the high performance to which we've become accustomed.

Control4 and Holmes Homes Bring Affordable Automation to New Housing Development


Control4, known for its affordable IP-based home control systems, is collaborating with production home builder Holmes Homes and custom integrator Safe & Sound Systems, to bring whole-home automation as a standard feature to a new development of entry-level homes.

The Holmes Technology Standard provides comfort, safety and energy efficiency as a standard package for new housing development known as Daybreak, a sustainable community located near Salt Lake City, Utah. The package includes an IP-based security system, Control4® home controller, Control4® lighting, Control4® thermostats, Kwikset® ZigBee door locks and a 2-zone distributed music system with a Control4® iPod docking station. The Control4® system has also been pre-programmed with a "Good Night" feature. A simple touch of a button closes the garage door, locks all doors and adjusts lighting and thermostat to energy efficient levels and lets residents know that the house is secure before bedtime. An Apple iPadTM is also included with every Holmes Smart Home, allowing access to the control system from any room in the house or anywhere in the world.
 Holmes Smart Homes start at just $130,000.

Editorial comment: To answer our own question "What took you guys so long?", it clearly took a severe downturn in the construction industry for enlightened builders to begin to differentiate their housing, thereby becoming more competitive and at the same time preserving profitability. The payoff? Prospective home buyers are reportedly delighted with this automation package as a standard feature. For more information on Holmes Smart Homes visit:

Earthquake Granite-52

July 29, 2010 By HE Staff 16 comments
Earthquake Granite-52

Rocking outdoors with rocks

Earthquake has announced the Granite-52 outdoor speakers.

Get your rock on.

All the info, and probably more puns, after the jump.

New Marantz... everything

July 28, 2010 By HE Staff 45 comments
New Marantz... everything

Receivers, players, separates and more.

Marantz has announced a whole host of new products ranging from high-end separates, integrated amps, networked audio players, and receivers.

All the info after the jump.

Seagate GoFlex Home

July 21, 2010 By HE Staff 14 comments
Seagate GoFlex Home

Back Up Early. Back Up Often.

Seagate has unveiled the GoFlex Home network storage system.

With nearly all of everyone's music, photos, and soon movies existing almost solely in digital form, backing up the data is more vital than ever. Seagate promises the GoFlex Home is an easy way to do that.

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