Custom automation installers who are under pressure as consumers move to Wi Fi enabled home entertainment systems need to take over electrical work a leading industry figure has claimed.Nick Libertone, Managing Director of Convergent Technologies claims the custom installer needs to stop handing electrical work over to electricians, but instead get themselves certified to deliver both electrical and security work.
Libertone, who after losing Crestron and then Control 4 Convergent Technologies, is having another crack at selling a big brand automation system with their appointment as the Australian distributor for Lutron residential products and believes the automation landscape is changing.
The move will see Convergent Technologies go up against the Philips owned Dynalite and the Schneider owner Clipsal.
According to Libertone, the traditional automation specialist or “CEDIA member” is under pressure.
“The traditional automation installers are losing capability along with product categories and they have to change to survive” he said.
“Electrical is going to be far more important than distributed audio which is fast becoming a commoditised item that can now be purchased via a retail store. You don’t need an expert to install Wi Fi enabled audio anymore”.
“What CEDIA members need to do is take over the installation of electrical work which is where Lutron is a logical choice because we have a range of products that will allow them to grow their business. A lot of CEDIA member or specialist installers are still leaving the electrical work to an electrician. This is wrong. They need to look at electrical security and energy saving as key revenue drivers”.
He claims that Lutron installers in the US have already recognised this and have changed their business model. “Lutron has also recognised this and is now delivering systems that deliver wider electrical control along with new technology that allows for greater energy management in a home.”
Among the new Lutron products that he will sell in Australia is Sivoia QS, a next generation of shading technology from Lutron that is designed for total light control. According to Libertone Sivoia QS can control the entire window screening in a home, including roller shades, and traditional drapery tracks. Coupled with Lutron’ s Grafic Eye technology, a CEDIA installer can control both electric light and daylight, with the system adjusting lights and shades for any condition.
Another product being introduced by Libertone is Lutron’ s HomeWorks QS, which he claims goes beyond the scope of light and shade control by adding control of temperature and audio/visual components. This whole-home control solution includes expanded control functionality, wireless technology to operate window coverings using wireless Clear Connect Radio Frequency (RF), technology to automatically control devices when a user is away from the home and conditions change.
HomeWorks QS enables control and dimming of high-efficacy lights sources, such as LED and fluorescent lighting. It also turns lighting off if a room has been vacated for a period of time.
Lutron, a major player in the US market, was supplying lighting controls to Savant Systems, a developer of control systems on the Apple Mac platform; however this could change after Savant last week acquired LiteTouch, a residential and commercial lighting control company.
The acquisition of LiteTouch could impact Lutron sales claims local automation specialists.
Nick Libertone, Managing Director of Convergent Technologies, said “The Lutron range of products provides a large scope for creative lighting and window treatment automation. We can deliver for installers a proven range of products that have a lot more capability than what current suppliers are able to offer in Australia”.
“We will also be in a position to bring business to installers as we start working with architects, specifers and blind Companies who want to get access to the benefits that Lutron can deliver.
When asked whether there was a risk that Lutron could go the same way as Control 4 and Crestron Libertone said “This time it is different we have learnt a lot of lessons from the past and Lutron is a bigger Company who recognise that we are the right partner to grow their business in Australia”.