Lighting Controls Create “Magic” in Rental Home
Harry Potter™ fans will feel as if they are living within a magical realm thanks to this uniquely themed vacation rental home a short drive from Universal Studios Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley in Orlando. Adding to authenticity is the latest in home technology.
The Wizards World of Champions Gate offers families elaborate wizard-themed décor with magical experiences including motion-sensing audio and video surprises throughout the eight-bedroom “magical getaway” vacation rental home.
According to Lance Faber, owner of custom integration firm Cyberhomes Systems LLC, the custom-built vacation rental leverages the power of the Control4 system and the latest home technologies to create uniquely exciting experiences for guests of all ages.
“Located 12 miles from a major magic-themed amusement park, this rental property offers families an all-encompassing vacation where they can delight in fantasy and magical fun that seems to leap right out of the walls,” Faber explained. “Normally that might sound like a gimmick, but I’m serious — this Control4-powered home has timed and motion-activated lighting, speakers, and TVs that surprise guests with magic events like simulated lightning and thunder when they open a door, having apparitions appear and disappear on screens as they walk by, or playing train sounds when someone enters the train station bedroom.”
The timed motion sensors placed throughout the fully interactive house keep the experience lighthearted. When people enter the movie theater, a projector automatically starts rolling on the screen and when they walk past a storefront, animations appear on the wall. Since these events are set on a timer, they aren’t always triggered by motion, keeping the experience whimsical for guests.
The Control4 system that manages the home’s lighting, TVs, Triad multi-room audio, ClareVision security cameras, and luxurious home theater is largely invisible to guests, making their stay all the more magical. The integration team specifically chose technologies that do not intrude into a room’s ambiance or design, such as Triad PDX in-ceiling speakers that blend in, Samsung Frame TVs with custom-designed frames, and engraved Control4 lighting keypads that make lighting control intuitive and easy. Cyberhomes combined proper pre-planning with the wireless capabilities and in-wall foundation of the Control4 system to deliver a futuristic smart home that has no visible wires, boxy equipment, or aesthetically intrusive speakers. This level of system coordination and focus on design would be virtually impossible to achieve with off-the-shelf products from big box stores.
Every room in the home is uniquely designed to bring to life important settings and events from the timeline of a globally popular Harry Potter™ series of children’s books and movies. For example, one of the five bathrooms resembles a classic British phone booth (but bigger), while one of the bedrooms has a life-size replica of a train car outfitted with a child-size bed.
“The programming and special features we developed for this home go above and beyond what’s offered by even high-end accommodations, making it an unforgettable destination all in itself,” Faber remarked. “They can easily and immediately play their favorite music in any room, right from their own devices, or relax by the pool and enjoy the outdoor audio and TV that ensure the party never stops. Control4 makes all of this powerful automation appear seamless to guests and enables us to have full insight into the system to detect and fix any issues.”
To keep things fun and simple for every family, the owners and integrator decided to limit guests’ use of the Control4 system to avoid complications. Control4 remotes provide instant control of the home theater and TVs, but no access to deeper system functions like security or lighting schedules. The home theater is fully activated with a single “home theater” button on the remote, allowing guests to enjoy movies from a variety of streaming services or play games with the connected Xbox and Playstation® consoles.
Cyberhomes also installed Snap One‘s WattBox power management products that provide full protection against power surges or voltage fluctuations, including for the robust Araknis network. This enterprise-grade wireless network features multiple wireless access points and switches to ensure reliable internet connections and functionality of special features in every room. The WattBox components include the advanced OvrC remote project management platform, which allows technicians to log in to the home’s system from anywhere in the world and quickly reset components or troubleshoot issues that need immediate attention. This is critical for the daily operations of this vacation rental home, as the integrator is located several states away and relies on local partners to perform in-person maintenance.
Cyberhomes also invested in an uninterrupted power supply to ensure the system will still run if the power goes out. This more robust technology gives both the owners and visitors greater peace of mind so they can enjoy their stay without experiencing any technology-related issues.
“This home is also part of a small network of a dozen rental properties operated by a single owner. We’ve simplified their operations by integrating similar systems in each property that allow us to monitor and troubleshoot small issues right from our office, without needing to send a technician while guests are trying to enjoy their vacation,” Faber noted. “With Control4 and OvrC we really deliver the best of both worlds — an incomparable, memorable experience for guest families and a simple, carefree way to manage the property’s sophisticated technologies.”