In outfitting a brand-new luxury home with the latest smart home technologies, Finnish integration firm Digisähkö was hired to do two things. The first was to ensure that all the technology was able to blend seamlessly into the home’s design. And the other was to equip the home with a wellness-focused technology set-up that could help combat the long, dark Finnish winters.
“This client had a couple of unique desires, so the most important thing for us was designing their system with products and solutions that could fully support and smoothly integrate everything they wanted,” says Digisähkö founder Jani Hirvonen.
A Design-Forward Approach
One of the greatest boons for Digisähkö on the project, perhaps, was their early involvement. This way, they were able to provide input for the home’s design, ensuring a complication-free installation that was barely visible besides the chic Control4 touch panels that allowed the client to control everything from the home theater and indoor pool to lighting, shading and security.
“The home is quite beautiful, and our use of ‘hidden’ technologies such as a central equipment rack and in-wall and in-ceiling speakers provides every modern comfort and technological benefit without sacrificing the traditional coziness of a custom home,” adds Hirvonen. “In particular, the Big Skylight Window from The Light Cognitive, which is an enormous LED-based device in the ceiling over the full length of the indoor swimming pool, blends into the space perfectly while providing unmatched comfort through its wellness-focused, nature-mimicking lighting schemes.”
Enabling Wellness-Focused Amenities
A centerpiece to the design, the Big Skylight Window uses LED technology to deliver a variety of lighting scenes, such as a clear morning or sunset, with gradients that imbue a space with calming ‘natural’ light. Additionally, thanks to Control4, all lighting throughout the home is programmable, with several scenes that layer different areas or base brightness on time of day.
Then there’s the indoor pool, which features a swim jet that allows the owners to ‘swim laps’ in place, as the jet pushes water against them.
However, the main request the client had was to provide house-wide access to HD golf channels and music. This way, entertainment would not be relegated to one single area of the house.
“Finland is a northern country with dark, cold winters, so activities such as indoor golf or indoor swimming and technologies like the Big Skylight Window offer entertainment and comfort year-round, regardless of exterior conditions,” says Hirvonen. “The only major homeowner request that is not integrated with the home automation system is the golf simulator, which is located in the basement and provides the ideal late-life, year-round entertainment for the golf-loving homeowners.”
Overcoming Finland’s Dark Winters
To keep everything running smoothly and ensure constant connectivity, a 1-gigabit Pakedge fiber network covers the entire property. It also provides integrators with a way to troubleshoot common issues, as it is part of Snap One’s OvrC platform that enables Snap One Partners remote access to view equipment status and perform resets immediately, without requiring a site visit. The system includes a Pakedge router, switches, access points and wireless controller.
Components such as KNX-compatible lighting and shades were chosen for their performance and their compatibility with Control4 to guarantee reliable operation. Digisähkö also paired each TV and the home theater projection system with a Control4 handheld remote that offers all the familiar buttons and functions of a traditional TV remote control. The TVs are Sony BRAVIA models ranging from 49- to 65-inches, and the home cinema features a DreamVision 4K projector with an Elite Screens acoustically transparent projection screen.
In addition, Digisähkö continually monitors the home, conducting visits two to four times a year and upgrading components as needed or requested by the owners.