Home Entertainment: Central Intelligence: It’s Easy Being Green

<< Back to Robb Report, April 2009
  • Brent Butterworth

One might assume that home-automation systems consume large amounts of energy. However, the systems themselves require relatively little power, and the energy-conservation benefits they offer are considerable.

Most touchpanel systems make it easy to see if lights have been left on and to shut them off. In homes that employ multizone climate-control systems, an automation system can shut down heating or air conditioning in areas of the house that are not being used, such as the children’s rooms when the kids are at school. Motor-driven shades can keep a house cool and reduce the need for air conditioning. The most advanced home-automation systems include astronomical clocks that automatically adjust the timing of these routines according to the length of day at any time of year.

Crestron Electronics’ Green Light technology takes energy saving even further. A touchpanel, for example, can show the energy use, energy cost per hour, and carbon output of a lighting system. If you use the touchpanel to dim or intensify a light, the energy-use meters will show the effect of that adjustment. The Green Light technology also monitors the energy use of heating and air-conditioning systems.

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