WHAT WE DO
Our company has 20 plus years of experience of working in the Audio Visual/Automation industry. We are able to offer a multitude of services which include design work, project management and installation work.
LIGHTING DESIGN AND LIGHTING CONTROL
Lighting is an extremely important part of your home. Ideally, your lighting should show off the features of your home, but should still work to provide a practical home. It is pointless to have a home that looks fantastic, but it is too dark to clean,read or cook or too bright to watch TV.
Good lighting design accents the features of your home but give you adequate light to do the practical things. Lighting design, combined with a Lighting Control System - such as Lutron Homeworks - allows the most flexible solution, allowing scenes to be set for different uses and also to automate function based on the time of day or due to an event occurring.
A lighting control system can add many features to your home as well as controlling lighting. We provide two main systems, KNX and Lutron Homeworks. We have chosen these systems due to their reliability and engineering pedigree. Both system will not only control lighting but will also control environmental systems such as Air conditioning, underfloor heating, blinds, boilers, towel heaters and pumps. This provides the homeowner with convenient access to the systems in their home, in one place. Allowing, if required, all systems to be 'integrated' to react to each other. This then becomes part of a real smart home - regulating heating/cooling based on occupancy, ensuring lighting is only on in rooms that are being used in rooms that are being used and that, even when you are not home, the lighting systems makes it look like you are.
Multiple light circuits can be programmed to be turned on/off from a single button, allowing 'scenes' to be set to suit the owner.
Lighting systems can be combined with popular Home Automation systems to expand the 'Smart home' to allow audio and video products to be in control of lighting in certain situations, or your Security alarm to tell the lighting system that you have left the house or should you have a fire alert - turn off the air conditioning and turn on all of the lights.
The choice of good quality systems for lighting is very important. We only supply KNX and Lutron with good reason. They are not the cheapest products but have excellent reliability and support. This benefits both us and you, throughout the lifetime of ownership.
Contemporary Villa, Night view
Villa with Lutron Lighting control, and Shading plus home automation - Quinta Do lago, Portugal
Villa with Lutron lighting control
The above photos show what good light products, lighting design and lighting control can produce. These are all projects in Quinta Do Lago.
Lutron systems can be controlled using apps for iPhone/iWatch, multi button keypads (which can have buttons engraved so that they are backlit) or standard switches. Lutron QS also allows the users to rework the scenes originally set by the programmer. This way, if the user is inclined to do so, they can manipulate their own settings for light levels.
Lutron Lighting systems are probably the most flexible lighting systems available today. They also have green credentials, so energy saving is at their heart. Simply changing to LED lighting is only part of saving energy. Lighting control systems can be linked, using Automation controllers, and work in conjunction with your Intruder alarm system and Audio Visual system to intelligently control what happens within your home. Different scenes can be set so that your home looks occupied when you are not home, but doesn't spend a fortune in doing so. When you are home, your system lights your home for full usage.
If you rent your property out and you charge fixed fees per month(including bills), Lutron Lighting systems (and automation systems in general) can help you save on your bills. Your renters generally won't care if lighting is left on when they leave the property or if the AC system is on full blast when doors are wide open. Automation can help reduce wasteful use of energy and your renters will not even realise as everything runs in the background.
Home Automation, or Domotica, is a very broad term and has various other names such as 'Smart Home', 'intelligent home', 'Home Controls'. However, allowing you to control your AC from an iPad does not make your home a Smart Home! Smart Home is used by a lot of companies as a 'Buzz word' rather than something that they can actually deliver.
In a true Smart home, the products interact - Lighting/Alarm/Security/Environment/ Audio Visual all work together to save money on Energy bills, make you aware of situations such as Burglary, fire, flood etc.. and interact to keep you as safe as possible. To do this the products that are used to create the 'Smart' environment must be capable of communicating with each and the software that is written must be capable of taking in the status from each product and making intelligent decisions.
All of our software is written in house and the products that we use for Home Automation/Domotica/Smart home all have the capability to interact with each other.
Home Automation can be has involved as you would like it to be. The systems that we use (AMX/Crestron) allow changes down to the most minute detail - interface buttons/ shapes/ colours/ backgrounds, what events trigger what actions etc.... Some control systems are restrictive of the equipment that can be used with them(just simply because of how they are programmed and what software has been pre-written to control devices) these tend to be the systems that are advertised as 'not needing programming skills'.
Your system will be designed around what the engineers can control with the software that they are given by the manufacturer - if you ask for functions that have not been made available to the installer, you either have to accept that you cannot have it or wait until the manufacturer has enough requests for the function, by other people, at which point they may see it worth their time to add it.
With AMX & Crestron this is not the case. Software drivers can be written from scratch by capable programmers, even on site if necessary. Our systems are built around the right products for your project, and we create software to make them interact.
The other important part of home automation is what is known as 'Feedback'. It is a very important part because it keeps you truly informed as to what is going on. This is similar to, say, when you burn your finger. Your nerves generate a response which makes your brain interpret it as pain and you pull your finger away to stop your skin from burning further. This is feedback from your finger to your brain, and your brain telling your finger to move away from the heat. Control systems work in a similar way. You press a button, the control system tells the devices to do an action and then asks for status. The button you pressed will then illuminate to show it has completed. Command(pressing the button)...action(what the button does, example: turn on lights)...feedback(lighting system tells control system light is on, control system turns button on touch screen on to reflect this).
The feedback is generated by the devices that you asked to do the action, so it is accurate.
Control systems can show their interface, that you use to control all of the system in your house, on an iPad or manufacturers touchscreen or your phone.
You can read more about Home Automation in our blog.
HOME CINEMA DESIGN
Home Cinema design is very subjective. We can design cinema packages based on a budget and give you the maximum impact for your money, As technology has moved on, costs have reduced and high quality cinemas are now 'in reach'. How your cinema looks is totally down to your imagination and budget. Whether you are an avid reader of What Hi Fi and want some high quality equipment to watch movies, or maybe just want a themed room for your family to watch movies in. We can help you achieve the best home cinema system for your money.
The costs of cinema equipment varies vastly. The equipment for someone who want to enjoy family movies and some big screen sports may be considerably different to someone who is a Movie lover who enjoys the detail of the image as much as the true to life sound. Whether you are considering a basic 5.1/7.1 surround system or a Dolby Atmos system that makes use of reflecting sound, we offer a host of options to allow us to deliver a solution for you in the cost band that you are looking to be in. We also offer options for acoustic treatments for rooms, motorised cinema seating, sofas and integrated control systems to allow you to use a single remote to control all of your cinema.
Becoming more popular are family rooms that can be converted into a cinema. A large TV is used for general use and when you require the cinema experience, automated blackout blinds are used to get the room to darkness, a projector drops from the ceiling and a motorised screen rolls down from the ceiling.
As part of our service, once we are appointed, we can provide 3D visualisations of what your cinema will look like when it is finished, allowing you to have input on any changes before it is built rather than having the cost of alterations after the build is complete. Our primary choices for Cinema equipment come from Sony, Artcoustic, Bowers and Wilkins, Cinematech, Denon, Yamaha, Screen Research and Kaleidescape. All global, well known brands.
Looking to have a cinema installed and need help? call us!
AUDIO AND VIDEO SYSTEMS
Most houses now have a requirement for some kind of media and sound systems. In more modern builds, the existing ITED system can be used to get High Definition TV to each TV from a central point, in older houses this is still possible but requires more work. We can supply and install TV's, Projectors and the equipment required to make them work. We have a lot of experience with display products and we know what works and what does not, and what is required to get the result you are looking for.
Not all systems need to be highly technical, we can provide you with simple to use but flexible systems that share products such as Apple TV or internet TV boxes between multiple TV's.
Most TV systems require a decent sound system to go with it. This can be simple, such as a Sonos Playbar or Yamaha Soundbar or it can be a Surround Sound system with ceiling or wall speakers. We have ranges of speakers depending on the budget that you have in mind for your project.
Sonos is a common choice, due to its easy to use interface on tablets/phones and its flexibility in connecting to services such as Tidal, Spotify, Deezer and a multitude of others. We can supply you with smaller wireless speakers for guest rooms or for bedrooms., allowing your guests access to music as long as they have a smart phone. The app is free to download and they can play music from their phone or from a music service that you subscribe to.
CCTV AND SECURITY
Security is a high priority in every household. Keeping you and your family safe is top of everyone's list. We provide a multitude of security products that we have chosen due to their functions and reliability. Our alarm systems can operate on their own and can be incorporated into Home Automation systems, and also can be controlled using a secure App on iOS or Android. The App uses an encrypted link and can be used inside and outside of the property.
We have a range of sensors that can be used to detect intrusions as well as adding smoke/flood/gas detection into the alarm system, giving you a system that covers many eventualities. Our alarm systems can be connected to any of the monitoring services that operate in the Golden Triangle (Prosegur/Quinta Security/IBC etc...) either by 3G and/or land phone line.
We have two levels of CCTV cameras. The first is like you would expect, where the CCTV cameras have night vision and sit and record everything that goes on. These are pretty cost effective.
The second level have intelligence built into them. This intelligence allows them to detect objects crossing virtual barriers which we create in the camera. We can set object sizes so that it prevents false activations and we can make the camera detect objects crossing barriers or objects being removed or added to areas. When the camera detects an activation it can be interfaced to the alarm so that it triggers like any other sensor.
These types of camera can be used to both record footage as well as acting as border detection, helping prevent intruders getting past the perimeter of your property. They can also detect if someone tries to put the camera out of action by covering it with a bag and if someone cuts the cable, the alarm will alert you. An Example is shown below:
NETWORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Most modern buildings are based around internet connections, whether it be so that the owner can view CCTV or access other systems remotely or for contractors to access systems for maintenance. We, also, do quite a lot of fault finding and updates remotely, rather than disturb the client in their home.
The network within the home is obviously quite important, but can also be a weakness. The fact that everything is connected together means that its is possible for people who are not authorised, to have access to all of the systems in your home.
Ensuring that you have good quality and secure networking equipment is extremely important. If you rent your property, you may not want the people renting it to have the ability to make changes to the systems in your home. We can provide you with secure networks and guest WIFI networks (with only access to the internet) with managed speeds for each network.
With 'video streaming' services becoming more prevalent, the home network has become extremely important. If you choose to share Satellite or cable boxes between rooms using a 'video over ip' system, again this is ideally segregated from the rest of your network - but equally, it is really important that you use good quality networking equipment otherwise nothing is going to operated correctly.
Good network design, high quality network switches and router and high quality CAT cabling and installation are essential.
ENERGY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
Whilst the economy is recovering, no one wants to pay too much for Electricity and Gas. Most residences may be energy efficient, in terms of insulation, but the way that heating/lighting and Air condition are used are generally not considered - they do, however, make a huge difference.
When people install Smart Home/Home Automation, bias is usually towards controlling audio visual equipment and maybe controlling air conditioning/underfloor heating as a feature. We consider the environmental aspect of your home to be part of your home automation system and our software has built in smart aspects that make use of your alarm sensors/status and lighting system sensors, to ensure that the lighting system, underfloor system and AC system. We can also control sockets to ensure that when you leave your home, everything that goes into standby actually gets turned off.....every little counts, Intelligent Energy Management systems should be part of every Smart Home.
Interested in saving money...and the planet? contact us!
Rent your property out? then this is definitely for you. Sensors will turn off the AC when doors are left open for too long, the the underfloor heating will turn off when the AC is in cool mode and is running, when the alarm is set the AC will turn off and the underfloor heating will set back by a couple of degrees, the heated towel rails will turn off and the Audio visual system will turn off and the correct lighting scene will be set for the time of day - this may be 'all off' or may be a low level scene at night whilst people are out of the house.
We can even do this by combining it with our Intruder alarm system , it is capable of running all of this on its own as well as being an intruder alarm.
Building houses to sell and would like to add some quality technology into your properties? We can offer advice on equipment, infrastructure, Drawings and routes for upgrades. We offer consultancy allowing you to introduce usable technology that the new owners of your property can upgrade if required, but if not - still provides systems which are usable and are useful. Want to give your properties an edge? CALL US!
Have a system installed and it doesn't work? has it ever worked? Company who installed it not in business any more or does not answer the phone? We may be able to help, call us and we can discuss it.
Most systems can be made to work to varying degrees, unless the design is really poor. It is all down to existing infrastructure, equipment and design. Our core business is system engineering, so we have plenty of experience with Automation/Audio visual equipment and we regularly have to re-engineer projects that we are working on, as the customer requirement changes along the way or due to issues with changes in building design. We also take on quite a number of failed or non completed systems to get up and running. Your project will not be our first!
Lighting simulator for jet fighter - AMX Home Automation control of DMX lighting and PLC to control turntable
M/Y Le Caprice IV - Audio Visual and AMX Home Automation Control system to control entertainments and environmental systems on board.
Villa with AMX smart Home system Lutron QS lighting/shading control in Quinta do lago
AMX home automation controlled Home Cinema with Bowers and Wilkins speakers, Sony 4K projector and Cinematech seating in Quinta Do Lago