During a question and answer session at a recent industry conference, a home builder asked Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi for his thoughts about the labor
Products Featured in September 2006 Custom Builder
Home security and elecronic products are featured this month.
Swann Communications released a suite of security solutions, including three new cameras: the Maxi Day/Night, Mega Flood and Super Night Owl. Designed to operate under extreme heat and freezing conditions, the Maxi is an infrared camera that provides a high-resolution image up to 420 TV lines. Powered by 24 LEDs, the camera can capture images in total darkness up to 70 feet. Accessories include additional stands and an aluminum hood for protection against the elements.
European-style wall-mounted ColorTouch screens by Square D/Clipsal monitor and control the home lighting network. They measure 5.11 inches by 3.81 inches and have familiar icons such as bar graphs, sliders, gauges and other indicators to set lighting conditions. Pre-set lighting scenes can activate automatically. Passive Infrared Detector Indoor/Outdoor sensors that detect body heat can be incorporated into the network. Other components will be available at the end of the year.
The VIDOS Video Management system from Bosch has management and control capabilities for medium and large closed-caption TV home security schemes. It handles multiple high-quality video, audio and alarm streams along with motion control and relay activation. It is run by the IP-based VIDOS Pro Software suite, which is hacker-resistant and includes full automation and duplicate controls. The system can also be controlled remotely and works within LAN and ISDN infrastructures.
The Starlite wireless home automation system from CentraLite is capable of handling up to 96 devices, 288 buttons, 100 lighting scenes and 512 dimming levels and can automatically control the ambiance with up to 50 timed events. The system features voice commands that can be set via a wireless headset. Each load control keypad in the system reports internal temperature, power consumption, RF signal strength and light level to constantly monitor efficiency and detect and report burned-out bulbs throughout the home. The system has blue LEDs, and keypads are available in white, almond, light almond and ivory.
The On-Q Audio System from Legrand uses the company's universal remote to combine multi-room audio controls into one interface. Volume controls installed in the wall are made to match traditional-looking light and dimmer controls. Amplifiers are built right into the keypads, adding more power and better fidelity to the speakers. The system has single-source, four-zone resources. The system transmits audio, power and infrared data on one CAT5e wire.
The LiteTouch keypad is capable of integrating with other automation systems to perform standard integration tasks, such as controlling the system from an AV remote control, or custom integration tasks, such as dimming the interior lights while simultaneously lowering the shades and arming the security system. The optional universal remote "learns" the system via software updates from the company's Web site. The system can connect to a home network to control automation features at the user's home.
The latest dimmer control switch from Lutron Electronics Co. features bright LED level indicators and buttons to adjust light. The Maestro IR remote control dimmer is an infra-red device that can be used up to 30 feet away and has a memory function to recall favorite light levels. During installation, lead wire leads are replaced with screw terminals for simple swap-outs with existing lighting schemes.
The M4 Audio Controller from Proficient Audio Systems is a multi-zone system with cool-running digital amplifiers to deliver high output. Each of the system's eight channels receive 30 watts and can deliver the power to four zones from up to six sources. The system is expandable to include up to 16 zones. It is housed in a black chassis and includes four single-gang keypads with built-in infrared receivers.