Personalised Smart Lighting Solution for Luxury Exeter Penthouse

Smart Automation Solutions

Lighting Control Systems: Lutron
Automated Blinds: Lutron
Audio Visual Control: Bowers & Wilkins speakers
Visual solution:: Wyrestorm with LG TVs and JVC cinema projection
Home Control System: Control 4
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning: Coolmaster

The clients seized an unusual opportunity to have a brand new penthouse built on the top of a commercial building that was being renovated on a leafy avenue in the centre of Exeter. We had a great opportunity of a blank canvas internally to provide a personalised smart lighting solution, but externally the rooftop garden had to be designed sympathetically in keeping with the historic location in a well-established part of the city.

Hall lighting under construction
Finished gallery lighting

The Design Phase

We were fortunate to be involved prior to the build phase, so we were able to design and develop schematics that reflected the synergy of the client’s wishes with the solutions offered by ConnectedAbodes Ltd. The clients were looking for a complete home automated solution – lighting, blinds, audio-visual, networking, HVAC and security; consequently, it was imperative that the lighting and blind solution integrated well with other elements including the Coolmaster HVAC system and the smart home control solution, Control 4.

Smart control system integration by Tim Chugg

Intuitive Lighting

The clients wanted a personalised smart lighting solution that met their expectations of desirable light, responded intuitively to their changing needs as they moved from room to room and effectively managed the outside light, heat and glare. We recognised instantly that Lutron was the ideal solution as it offered all the required lighting scenarios with high-performance LED lighting fixtures and it responded well to the client’s desire to have a solution that offered ‘best in class’ quality and performance.

smart concealed ceiling and floor lighting in double bedroom

Lutron Lighting

The lighting, incorporated mains dimmable, 0-10 volt dimming and switched only light fittings. The main rooms incorporated many circuits to give the clients maximum choice on scene sets and create the desired ambience. For example, there are 19 circuits in the master bedroom & ensuite, 14 circuits in the open-plan living space and 7 in the hallway. The switching of all these circuits would have been quite a challenge to coordinate with a conventional system. The clients wanted a contemporary space and to avoid a bank of switches on the walls, so Lutron lighting control was the perfect solution to accurately manage all the lighting from one convenient keypad, with the flexibility to change settings easily through the App. The penthouse had limited space, so the flexibility of the system to support module panels being housed in several locations was essential for a discreet solution.

The clients had recessed, dimmable LED strips, for reduced energy consumption throughout the penthouse and due to the long lengths, strips in the same area had to be placed on separate circuits; the programming capability of Lutron ensured continuity and that there was no delay on all the adjacent strips functioning at the same time. There were many very low-watt LED fittings colour washing walls, highlighting artwork and low-level fittings. The Lutron system enabled the clients to select the low-level LEDs at night time to provide safe passage and provide the exact level of dimming to highlight paintings and other artwork.

White smart keypad control for lighting

Keypad Control

The clients wanted an easy to use solution and embraced the International seeTouch keypads as they could be engraved and set up so they could have the desired lighting at the touch of a button. They wanted elegant and stylish keypads to match their white electrical accessories, so they selected the clear glass faceplates, which they particular liked as ‘fingerprints’ were not apparent even with regular use. On completion, they were delighted how easy the Lutron application was to use to change scene settings and keypad functionality.

In the hallway, they created a walkway of art and when they come home, we installed a motion sensor, so that the ‘welcome’ mode is instantly initiated to reveal the stunning hallway.

Tim working on system integration with laptop

System Integration

It was vital that the system allowed for integration, from extractor fans in bathrooms, the Coolmaster heating and cooling system installed, alarm system, future automation TV lifts, and audio system through to management of all the systems with Control 4. Convenience and simplicity of use were essential to the clients, so the fewer steps to achieve the goal the better, from the simplest solution of extractor fans being initiated when the lights were turned on, to be able to control the Nuvo audio and the TV lift on the Lutron keypad to provide an instantaneous response.

Guest bedroom with smart wall lighting

Garden Lighting and Water Feature Control

Externally the clients wanted to create an easy-to-manage haven to enjoy the view, but the lighting was a challenge due to the excessive lighting from the streets and building within the city. We worked closely with the garden designer to create a solution that would respond to changing light and needs without excessive lighting, integrating water features & pumps to provide one-step solutions to create the desired atmosphere. The clients wanted a complete and comprehensive solution to not only manage the light but also heat and glare, so Lutron shading solutions were the ideal choice and avoided the need for another switching system. All the roller blinds were discreetly housed in Lutron pockets, housed in recessed decorative coving preserving the clean modern appearance of their living space.

Smart lighting and integrated TV in large bedroom

Automated Blind Control with Lutron

The clients selected the same material for the open-plan living space, creating uniformity and supporting consistent decor throughout the space. The flexibility of the automated Lutron blind system was essential as we were able to use the same size roller throughout, despite the varying window sizes, so we could ensure the same speed of functioning and of course, hembar alignment. We were able to use a combination of blackout material to support privacy and TV functioning in the living areas, sheer in the office and a double roller system in the bedroom with sheer during the day and blackout during the night. The bedroom was a particular challenge as it was a 5m blind and the clients did not want to have a separate roller blind. All the blinds had material from the performance range to support heat and glare management, allowing the clients to effectively use their window-rich home, regardless of the weather and protect their valuables, furniture and flooring.

Yellow bedroom with lutron automated blinds and smart lighting
Smart bathroom with integrated TV under construction
Modern sunken white bath with cream walls