SEVEN

Why bespoke is better. Home technology.

The value of a company like Seven Integration is in their expertise, knowledge and experience. It’s the same reason a client approaches an architect to design a home for their family. So why are system integrators undervalued and regularly not even present at the start of the home design process?

I sat on the periphery of a conversation recently discussing the publishing of a guide for architects, interior designers and builders on integrating technology into homes. How high should a flat screen be mounted above finished floor (AFF)?  Where should touch screen control panels be mounted AFF?  What screen technology is best and what size screen should be used? The participants of this conversation were trying to agree, in vain, on a “one size fits all” specification.

Probably the most common question we hear is whether plasma or LCD/LED is better. Is plasma still the best  tec? Well, perhaps, but that does not mean every screen should be plasma because the figures for black levels and response times say so. In a high reflective area the glass front of a plasma screen may make reflective light a real issue. On the flip side LCD is less reflective and tends to work better in lighter areas of a home but black levels can suffer.

As for height of screens, in an ideal world, when seated the centre of the screen should be at eye level. Try getting the stakeholders in a new build project to understand the impact of a screen mounted too high! People naturally tend to expect to see a wall mounted screen at the same height as you might put a picture on the wall, but once you’re sat down you will get a stiff neck very quickly looking up at your screen.

Touch panels to control the various elements of your home open up even more debate. Here, there are defined regulations about where a light switch needs to be placed AFF to allow for wheelchair users and children to reach them. But, if your sexy colour touchscreen control panel which operates your lighting system contains text on the buttons, and also controls your music selection in that room , the average adult is going to be bending down to read the display. A touch panel should be at head height or there abouts to make reading the display easy. But then you still need a light switch no more than 1.2m AFF so do you put both at every room entrance?

These are some all-too-common problems that anyone building or designing a home will have to battle with. But it doesn’t have to be so. As CEDIA qualified system integrators Seven Integration  could write an encyclopaedia on installation techniques, and bury an architect or interior designer with cut sheets of mounting systems and touch panel displays, wiring techniques to hide the ugly stuff and specifications for new technologies, but is that what they really want or need? We can present them with more information and possibilities than they thought possible, but is that making their job easier?  Is an architect or interior designer going to be able to translate the information and, more importantly will the client understand?

Seven Integration’s job is to stay at the forefront of all these technologies and possibilities so we can assist the design team by understanding their vision and space, then finding ways to blend and integrate the technology into that space. Everyone is better off if we present our expertise and experience to the design team, to allow them to utilise our proposals in their designs, as opposed to trying to present a “one size fits all” blueprint. Just like a bespoke tailored suit fits the owner’s requirements exactly, when we try to compromise in order to achieve a unilateral standard, nobody will be excited by the end result.

Seven Integration offer complete system integration solutions for bespoke homes in London, Surrey and Sussex. Contact us today for a chat, if we can help you with your project.