Oct. 4, 2022 - The Crestron Home® platform's latest update is heavy on lighting features — and those features were driven, as always, by dealer feedback. "We're always glad to have dealers participate in our beta programs," says Jason Oster, Crestron's director of product management for residential solutions. "And if you'd like to be part of it, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org."
Here are the details on Crestron Home 3.16:
New Tunable LED Lighting Features
Automated lighting intensity that matched circadian rhythms was a feature of a previous update — 3.13 — but color temperature is now a part of the package. "Throughout the day, if you have your tunable LED set to circadian mode, your ambient lighting will cycle from warm, soft light to more intense blue light as midday approaches," says Oster.
All of this functionality applies to both Crestron-made fixtures and devices manufactured by the company's lighting partners when those products are released (stay tuned for launch dates — they're coming very soon).
"You can also augment that automation with specific color temperature points throughout the day," he adds. "Suppose you're an early riser — but the sun's not up yet. You can mimic the kind of light that would filter in through the windows at sunrise well before dawn." There's another level of automation at work in this update: the platform now includes SolarSync® sensors that "read" outdoor color temperature and tunes the interior lighting to match. "Those sensors come with a variety of features that ensure reliability," says Oster. One example: The devices include a small heater to melt any ice or snow that might build up on the lens in colder climates.
"Throughout all of these updates, we've prioritized developing the most intuitive sets of controls we could create — both for the client and the dealer handling configuration," says Oster.
Whole-Home Lighting Control
This update also offers homeowners a different — and much more intuitive — way to control the lighting in any part of the house. "Instead of drilling down into an individual room to see if something's on or off, this gives the user a much broader picture," says Oster.
The new presentation gives the client a grid of images that relate to various parts of the home — first floor, second floor, basement, for example. "The dealer can organize these however the house is laid out," Oster explains, "and at a group level, I can see that, say, at least one light is on upstairs. I can just press a button that turns off all the lights in that part of the home." The images that represent each zone are collapsible so that a user can see if something's on in a particular zone and shut down that area completely.
There's a reason this whole-home lighting control update is image-heavy — as Oster explains, UX solutions that lean on text are never as successful as those that are image reliant. (There's a reason that the apps on your phone, from email to Spotify, are easily recognizable icons with tiny text beneath.)
The look of the update is a direct result of dealer feedback, says Oster. "We worked with dealers for months on this thing," he says. "We thought we had the layout looking great with big, beautiful images — nope. Our dealers wanted smaller pictures, more rooms, a much more comprehensive control experience."
"One thing that I find very interesting: This is an example where Crestron Home gains more value overnight," Oster adds. "The end user gets the new app on the app store automatically. Their touch panels will actually update in the middle of the night, and poof, they will get this feature."
"That's great for homeowners, but I'd argue it's even better for dealers," he says. "To begin with, you don't need to roll a truck. Furthermore, we know from talking to dealers that 97% or so of their jobs come from referrals — and if a homeowner's delighted with the sudden appearance of a free new feature like this, it will certainly generate word-of-mouth buzz."