Spire Employees Home Systems; Passion Beyond Work
Spire Employees Home Systems; Passion Beyond Work
Spire Integrated Systems specializes in the design and installation of innovative home technology. Their passion for what they do goes beyond work into their home life. Here is a glimpse inside some of the employee’s favorite home systems that they use everyday.
Navot Shoresh (Owner of Spire Integrated Systems)
Whole Home System; Vacation Condo
Navot’s condo system was based on his design philosophy; less is more and better is better. The main focus of the system was on the living room; since they use it all the time. He then added simple A/V, lighting and shades in other rooms of the condo.
Since the living room is open to the kitchen and dining area, Navot wanted a system that could fill the space with great sound. He started with a 65″ Sony 4K LED TV on a special mount that can be dropped to a viewing level when watching a movie. Then he added a Meridian DSP3200 Speaker & Sub, a 218 Single Room Processor with Apple TV for watching movies, TV, streaming and Sonos for Music. Finally, he installed Lutron motorized window treatments and lighting control and tied the whole system together with a Savant remote and app.
The room is great for entertaining; perfect for when Navot has guests over to watch concerts or to listen to music. He uses an app called Qello Concerts to access hundreds of concerts (mostly in HD) from many genres and periods. The app is available on Apple TV for $8 a month. One of his favorite concerts is The 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that features a wide array of performers from Crosby, Stills & Nash, U2, Stevie Wonder and Metallica. Navot suggest, “If you are a fan of the Opera, you will be able to find amazing performances from Europe and all over the world. Take advantage of their free trial month to experience it for yourself.”
Another service he uses for music is called Roon, which uses your iTune library, your stored music files and Tidal to create the most amazing music listening experience. Roon looks at your music and finds photos, bios, reviews, lyrics, concert dates and then makes connections between artists, composers, performers, conductors, and producers. It creates a searchable magazine about your music. Not only can you access a playlist by your favorite artist but you can learn about them, their influences and dig even more into the music. Navot says his wife loves the lyric feature where the words for the songs are revealed and she can correct him on his bad translation of the song.
Like Pandora, you can create your own radio station but Roon goes beyond that. You can create your own tags (happy, party, quiet and so on) and you can attach music to each tag and later play all the songs that make you happy which Navot thinks pairs great with a nice glass of wine.
The Roon service integrates directly to the Meridian system in his living room. The Meridian DSP 3200 bookshelf speakers are small but produce incredible in-depth sound and bass. Navot claims that combining the two makes it “a best in class music experience”.
Navot says, “One of the great things about creating a high-quality living room system is that I can get everyone to stop and listen. With today’s iPads and phones, it’s hard to get people together. Our living room draws people in and we get our family to watch a movie together or a great documentary. We loved the series called Cooked. It is an amazing view of food and how to reconnect to our origins of food, great visuals and amazing photography in 4K.”
Also featured in the condo is Sonos with Sonance speakers in the master bedroom and Sonos Play 1 in the kids and guest rooms, which is a very basic, easy to use system that still offers great audio. The entire home from audio, video, Lutron lighting and shades, garage door, cameras, alarm, Savant thermostats, fans and fire place are controlled by a Savant system. The system also allows Navot to remote monitor and control the home when he is not there.
Navot says the Savant system is a “great time saver” and with Savant Scenes, it makes getting out the door easier. The family can simply press the “Away” Scene on their phones and the home basically shuts down; the A/V and lighting turn off, the shades lower, the thermostat sets to their preferred temperature and the fans run at a low speed. They recently integrated the system with Amazon’s Alexa, making it even more convenient to activate any of their scenes. Navot said the set up was easy and there was no need for a programmer.
Mike Waligorski (Spire North Director)
Mike loves his Savant personalized home control app. His family can control the various settings of the home from their tablet or iPhone. Their favorite part of the app is the Savant Scenes. The Scenes allow multiple tasks to be performed at once with a push of a button. The Scenes were custom created for their home. Mike plans to add more but here are just some of their Scenes he uses:
Cleaning: The garage door and shades open, all the lights come on, and the music quietly plays an upbeat playlist. The cleaning lady will text Mike when she arrives and he simply hits the Cleaning Scene button. Mikes says, “I think she loves it because it saves her time going around the house turning lights on and opening the shades. I think she gets more done faster when listening to the music as well. I also turn the temperate down a little since she’s working hard.”
Away: Turns everything off, and makes sure the garage door is closed. This is done right after the cleaning lady leaves or anytime Mike leaves for the day. It also adjusts the thermostat so he’s not heating or cooling when nobody is home.
Bedtime: This is one of my Mike’s favorites, because it’s on a schedule. “I never have to touch it. Every night at 9:15PM my exterior doors lock. I’m usually staying in by then and I just don’t have to get back up from a movie or a good book to make sure things are secure.” Mike said. The lights outside also come on 30 minutes before sunset and stay on for 2 hours. This is convenient if friends come over, Mike doesn’t have to remember to turn the driveway lights on. It also ensures the outside lights are off most of the night so it doesn’t bother his boys at bedtime or use any unnecessary power.
Off to School: This Scene helps with the daily weekday routine as the family prepares for work or school. Monday through Friday at 8:15AM, all lights, music and video services turn off so they don’t run all day. This is great if a kid forgot to turn off a show as they rush out the door or if a light was overlooked as the sun came up.
Morning: Another favorite of Mike’s (he had a tough time deciding), the Morning Scene allows the family to ease into their day. Each morning at 6:00AM, the lights in the bedrooms start to raise, but only to a very low level. Not enough to wake them up but to allow them to see where they are going when the alarm goes off. “Otherwise I have to stumble across the room for the switch or find my phone.” Mike explains. In the kitchen lights come on very dim and his favorite radio station is on while he makes his coffee and reads. “It’s so nice to wake up this way.” Mike added.
Jason Mackie (Senior Integration Specialist)
With his many years of experience of installing and networking, Jason has configured his house to fit his needs through a variety of systems.
Audio / Video:
In his living room, he has a Media Center PC which allows him to virtually play all his ripped movies or TV shows. The data is stored on a Drobo 5n NAS. A program called Kodi gives him access to his movie library which displays all the metadata for the movies allowing to sort by genre, year, actor, etc.
A SQL Server tracks what has been watched, started and not finished (keeping track of where they left off), and what they still haven’t watched. This can be also accessed in his Media Center PC in the master bedroom. He can start to watch a movie in the living room, stop it and pick up where he left off in the master bedroom.
He also uses Comcast throughout the house to access on demand and recorded shows. He uses a Playstation 3 to stream Netflix in the living room and an AppleTV in the master bedroom. He uses Savant Music Server to stream music in the living room and Sonos for music in the master bedroom.
Jason’s system is controlled by Savant. He integrated the A/V, lighting, and HVAC systems together allowing him to control the house with one app while at home or remotely. Through the Savant system, he designed custom triggers that coordinate with time to set actions into motion. For example, in the master bedroom after 10:00PM, if a video source is turned on, the lights dim to 30% giving them just enough light to get into bed, and after 60 seconds, the lights turn off.
Like Navot and Mike, Jason enjoys the convenience of Savant Scenes and its integration with Amazon Alexa for voice command. He has a “Welcome Scene” that can be trigger from his phone remotely to have the HVAC system start cooling down or heating up when he is nearing the house. His “Dining Scene” creates the perfect ambiance for his family by dimming the lights and setting the music to the perfect volume that doesn’t distract from conversation.