Kasita Packs Big Home-Automation Punch in Itty Bitty Tiny House at SXSW

Kasita combines the tiny house and smart home with RTI control, Lutron lighting, Sonos, Origin Acoustics, DoorBird, Amazon Dot and more at SXSW.

Kasita Packs Big Home-Automation Punch in Itty Bitty Tiny House at SXSW

RTI home automation, Lutron lighting controls, Origin Acoustics loudspeakers, DoorBird smart doorbell, sound by Sonos, voice control through Amazon Alexa … all of this smart-home technology and more is packed in a 352-square-foot living space from Austin, Texas start-up Kasita.

The company is ready to take orders on the pre-fab homes, demonstrated at SXSW this week in Austin. The base model will start to roll out of the Austin facility this year at $139,000 and Kasita hopes to offer upgrade paths for those interested in even more smart home technology.

Kasita CEO and co-founder Jeff Wilson started the company after experimenting with living in a dumpster — for a year.

Wilson was a professor of environmental science at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin when, in 2014, he attempted to renovate and live in a 33-square-foot dumpster on the university campus to see how much space people really need to live comfortably. Wilson’s students called him “Professor Dumpster.”

Wilson in his dumpster home

“It was absolutely insane,” says Wilson. “I just wanted to try it as an experiment. What happens when you push the absolute limits of small and base level?”

Wilson learned that while a dumpster-sized house might be too small, people could certainly downsize their living space and still live comfortably and perhaps even more conveniently if the house was designed well.

Inside Kasita’s Tiny Home

“This is a 12,000-pound piece of hardware filled with software,” says Wilson. “I don’t think the Internet of Things are really useful until it becomes the Internet of experience.”

Wilson isn’t messing around. At first glance, some technology in the Kasita home may a wee bit off-the-shelf consumer-y, but underneath it all is a robust RTI processor.

What’s inside:

  • DoorBird doorbell and camera
  • Lutron Radio RA lighting control
  • Nexus 21 TV lift
  • Sonos gear with custom driver
  • Amazon Dot
  • Anthem AV receiver for the “home theater”
  • Origin Acoustics speakers and subwoofer
  • Nebia water-efficient shower
  • RTI processor and iPanel app

Kasita wanted the technology to be so intuitive it’s second nature to the user, so a new homeowner could enter the home and immediately be able to use the system. The company created a customized app interface for the RTI system as well as several preprogrammed environmental settings to fit the “moods,” equivalent to other control system’s “scenes.”

The morning “wake up” mood is automatically initiated, turning on the lights and a favorite radio station. Another group of personalized settings can be used when the homeowner returns in the evening. Water and energy use can also be easily monitored and optimized by the user.

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What Are The Benefits Of Total Home Control?

What are the benefits of Total Home Control?

With total home control you can do the following:
1. Add Convenience to your daily life. With a total home control system, you can turn on your lights on and adjust your shades to whatever specific level you want, in your favorite room, or throughout your whole house-all of this at the touch of a button. Imagine this? Turning all your lights off, close your shades, and set back the temperature with just a single button! Now that’s total home control!

2. Create just the right mood or ambiance for any activity, and do this with stylish products that will look good in your home.

3. Add “wow” to your home. You have the ability to control lights, shades, and temperature from in your home or anywhere outside your home! You have the ability to create dramatic lighting scenes for any activity. Imagine having friends over your home watching a movie in your media room and having a lighting change(lighting scene) called movie night, and all your lights in that room adjust to a specific level.

4. Save energy. When you dim your light bulbs by 25% you can save up to 20% energy. If you dim more you’ll save even more! You will also extend the life of your light bulbs. Have you ever forgot to set your thermostat? You can easily lower it from work, to save energy during the day.

Our systems are ideal for existing homes because we use wireless communication.

At Premier Lighting Solutions……. We offer luxury controls so impressive you will be the envy of your neighbors!

What Is Total Home Control?

What is total home control?
Total home control is the ability to adjust lights, shades, and temperature in a single room or throughout your whole house, condo, townhome or even your apartment. With Premier Lighting Solutions, we provide total home control. You can adjust the amount of daylight with electronically controlled shades and drapes, electric lights with smart dimmers and switches, and temperature with Smart Thermostats. And you can conveniently control it all with keypads, sensors, smart phones, tablets, and laptops.
At Premier Lighting Solutions……. We offer luxury controls so impressive you will be the envy of your neighbors!

What is a Smart Home?



What is a Smart Home?

Smart homes merge you and your family’s lifestyle with the latest technology & energy management tools. What is the end result?  An easier life! Imagine Controlling your lighting, temperature, automated blinds & shades, security systems, indoor and outdoor cameras, TVs, and appliances from any location. Using your smartphone, tablet or laptop to access your home. Smart homes can be customized to any lifestyle and to meet virtually any need you might have.

Inside NFL Green Bay Packers Hall-of-Famer Nick Collins’ Smart Home

After sustaining a neck injury and retiring from the NFL’s Green Bay Packers at the age of 28, All-American Safety Nick Collins returned to his home state of Florida with his wife and children to begin the next stage of his career as a personal trainer.

When Nick and Andrea Collins began building their all-new 10,000-square foot ranch in Winter Garden, they knew wanted to be able to control their home’s lighting, security, climate, audio and video systems with the touch of a button and regardless of their physical location inside the sprawling new home.

To make this dream a reality, they turned to local technology integrator Mike Barry of Millennium Systems Design, who they had worked with in the past on a previous home.

“The Collins family needed total home control in the simplest way possible,” says Barry. “I knew that the ELAN Entertainment and Control System would offer secure and instant remote control that could be relied upon for years to come as they went about their busy schedule.”

Easy Control From Anywhere

With Nick and Andrea’s go-ahead on the game-plan, Millennium Systems Design installed an ELAN gSC10 System Controller, three ELAN g1 Systems Controllers, and two ELAN S1616A Multi-Room Audio Amplifiers to span the entire home.

To provide easy, convenient control of the system, Millennium Systems Design installed 10 ELAN in-wall touch panels and connected three ELAN remotes, and with the ELAN mobile app Nick and Andrea can control any technology within the home from anywhere in the world.

“We love having a touch panel in every room of the house,” says Collins. “Regardless of what room I am in, I can adjust anything I need to, whether it be the music playing or the lighting levels. Even when I am out training, I can check in on the security camera footage from the ELAN App on my phone.”

With five children living in the single-floored ranch, the Collins family also required simple face-to-face communications enabled by the system. ELAN’s Intercom feature, Andrea Collins adds, is an extremely useful tool that the family can use to communicate throughout the house.

“I can call the kids from the living room using the ELAN touchpanel and it’s so much easier than yelling!” she remarks.

Hidden Audio in 19 Zones

High-end audio was also a crucial component of the family’s new smart home. To build an extensive audio system that would allow Nick and Andrea to listen to whatever they wanted in any room of the house, Millennium Systems Design divided the extensive system into 19 different zones of audio.

“Every single room has its own audio zone, and each can be controlled through the home control system,” says Barry. “It’s one of the biggest audio systems I have ever built.”

To ensure that the audio was felt and heard, Millennium Systems Design installed SpeakerCraft Profile Cinema in-ceiling subwoofers to produce targeted sound in the large spaces, like the Grand Hall.

“The whole home audio system is hidden but heard,” says Barry. “For example, to fill the outside courtyard with quality sound, I installed multiple SpeakerCraft RUCUKUS 6 One rock speakers that blend right into the landscape. The speakers look subtle, but they don’t sound subtle.”


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Condo Gets Outfitted with Automated Cutting-Edge Electronic Systems

At a retrofit installation in Little Rock, Ark., residents were looking to implement a solution that would provide their 2,430-square-foot condo with a customized automation experience where scenes could automatically adjust systems such as lighting, security, shading, and a wide range of A/V components. To bring this vision to life, the home systems integration team at Little Rock-based FX Pros LLC went with RTI’s lineup of powerful control and automation products. By combining advanced processor technology with convenient and simple-to-master user interfaces, FX Pros designed a smart home setup that enabled the homeowners to more easily manage their new cutting-edge abode.

Sophisticated Yet Simple

living1_13“A complex integration project doesn’t have to mean difficult operation for the user,” says Jeff Jenkins, owner of FX Pros. “For these homeowners the main concern was keeping things as simple as possible while pulling out all the stops in terms of fluid automation of shades, lights, thermostats, security cameras, fans, and a full range of top-of-the-line A/V equipment. RTI’s automation solutions maintain simplicity while blending seamlessly within any environment, which is crucial during residential projects where clients actively participate in the design process. Thanks to the ability to program custom interfaces and integration with third-party devices the residents simply push a single button to set up scenes to match any mood, environment, or time of day.”

Setting the Scene

rk1By using RTI’s Integration Designer software, the Jenkins was able to program a selection of pre-determined scenes that with the push of a single button transform the entire living experience. Using presets such as “Morning,” “Welcome,” “Goodbye,” and “Condo Off,” the system automatically regulates smart home components such as the main room’s QMotion shades and lights in the kitchen or hallway, or instantly activates the TV while turning on the news. Facilitated by RTI’s extensive library of pre-written two-way drivers, the wide-range of systems also incorporates a Sonos wireless sound system, Lutron dimmers, Nest Learning Thermostats, a SnapAV Wirepath IP surveillance camera, and more.

Versatile Home Control

bed2To interact with the system in the condominium’s entrance and master bedroom, household members use RTI KX7 in-wall touchpanels. Featuring 7-inch LCD screens, they provide an intuitive touchscreen experience by letting users select unified scenes or functions such as shades, colored RGB lighting, a bedroom TV, or live security camera feeds.  From the kitchen or main room, RTI’s RK1+ four- and eight-button keypads provide the homeowners with instant command of a 60-inch TV, a Comcast X1 DVR, and the ability to engage scenes that impact the entire residence. For handheld control in the master bedroom and main bathroom, RTI’s T1-B+ remote control can transmit both IR (infrared) and RF (radio frequency) signals to a full range of A/V components, while a wall-mounted iPad mini running RTI’s RTiPanel mobile app provides access to any system across the entire home.


The Thoughtful Home

Your home keeps you safe, warm, comfortable, But what if it could do more? What if it knew you? And what you liked? Imagine if it could help you. If it could take care of things for you. Turn down the heat. Turn on the lights. Adjust your blinds and shades. View your home while you are away. That is the kind of home we can create for you! The thoughtful home. With Premier Lighting Solutions you get….Luxury controls so impressive that you’ll be the envy of your neighbors!!

How my new daughter totally justified blowing $1,000 on smart home tech

This is June Elise Hollister. She’s two months old, and she’s the love of my life.

She’s also the reason my home — my lights, thermostat, TV and video-streaming gadgets — now responds to my voice.

I don’t have to set June down and risk waking her up if I want to dim the lights, pause a movie or lower the volume. If the family’s in bed and we forgot to turn something off — or if it’s a little chilly — I can fix it all with some voice commands or a few taps on my phone.

Until about three months ago, the idea of a “smart home” was a novelty to me. An expensive one too — one that I couldn’t justify spending hard-earned dollars on. Even when I finally bought an inexpensive Amazon Echo Dot, it pretty much sat idle after the initial thrill of asking trivia questions wore off.

But when it got harder and harder for my pregnant wife to leave the couch (and when it finally sunk in that a baby was about to change my life) I wondered if a small investment in smart home tech might be worth my while.

Two different looks for the Amazon Echo Dot — the inexpensive, voice-activated hub that ties my simple smart home together.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

I started small, with a set of plain white Philips Hue connected bulbs to see whether a little bit of voice-activated light might help. I added our Nest thermostat — a device we’d only previously used to help save some money on our utility bill. Soon I realized that the black hockey-puck like device under my TV set — a Logitech Harmony Hub — would let me control my home entertainment system with Alexa voice commands as well.