Case Study

Wi-Fi enables fast refits at smart home showroom

IndigoZest has opened its third showroom, allowing it to demonstrate the possibilities of home automation to the residents of Chelsea and surrounding London Boroughs. Its other showrooms, in Amersham and Northampton, have proven their worth by wowing many people and encouraging them to increase the value of their homes by adding a touch of technological wizardry.

IndigoZest is one of the UK’s most experienced home automation specialists and Systems Integrators. They understand that every client has their own unique requirements, so takes time to develop bespoke solutions for every installation. For one client this could be something as simple as putting timers on the heating and lighting, while another client might want a fully integrated solution encompassing air conditioning, security, home cinema, and AV, energy efficiency, and multi-media communications. 

Key to the success of every project is the choice of the most appropriate technology and the creation of a simple system architecture. IndigoZest often specifies Control4 as a central controller, and configures it so that it integrates control of all equipment and devices into one ‘rack’. This is wired internally so that each device is connected to a control module, powered by Control4, which “talks” to and orchestrates all the smart home devices, either via a high-speed data cable or wirelessly over the home’s Wi-Fi network.

Control4 is modular, so can adapt perfectly to each home’s bespoke system, while extensions and retrofits are straightforward one-step processes. IndigoZest is now finding that it is using wireless options more and more often. This is partly because owners of older homes are increasingly having automation retrofits. In other cases, it is to futureproof installations so that the almost-inevitable reconfigurations are as easy as possible.

With the new showroom, IndigoZest was aware that the system would need to be upgraded and altered on a frequent basis, so designed a system that was as wireless as possible using Intesis gateways. 

“Intesis sits on the Wi-Fi and is powered via the air conditioning unit, so there is no wiring, making installation easy and avoiding redecoration.” Nicolai Landschultz, IndigoZest

People tend to want the latest technology and integrators have to be flexible to meet these. Thus at its showroom, IndigoZest may need, for instance, to quickly swap out devices for new versions. They also have to be aware of associated developments, such as for instance indoor golf simulators that clients may want in their smart homes. And as many clients are high net worth individuals IndigoZest has to keep abreast of new home security options that can be integrated into the system.

Without proper systems design, this could all add up to a communications and integrations nightmare, trying to get new equipment to ‘speak’ to the existing control network only to find they use different languages or protocols. To facilitate this frequent change IndigoZest has relied on HMS Networks Intesis technology, mainly using Wi-Fi enabled Intesis products in preference to hardwired ones, so that rewiring and making-good are designed out.

Intesis is a leader in the design, manufacture, and integration of innovative protocol gateways for building automation. Its solutions are robust, reliable, easy to set up, and have the flexibility to meet different systems’ needs. Its wide portfolio of gateway products includes both open standard and proprietary protocols solutions. Protocol translators and AC (air conditioning) interfaces from Intesis offer plug-and-go solutions that reduce commissioning time and always work reliably.

In Chelsea, IndigoZest has used HMS Networks Intesis AC interfaces to integrate control of the showroom’s air conditioning system with other equipment on the network. One of the great advantages of the Intesis Wi-Fi-enabled interface for home automation is that there is no need to compromise the décor with a wall-mounted control panel; instead, they can interface with a tablet or mobile phone. Intesis has interfaces for all the leading AC brands including Mitsubishi Electric, Toshiba, Hitachi, and LG, as well a Universal AC Gateway which provides seamless compatibility with thousands of models of air conditioners and heat pumps.

The interfaces are powered by the indoor units directly and since they are developed with the collaboration of the major AC manufacturers, even the error codes and their descriptions can be managed from the Control4 side.


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