The objective was to create a home theater room with a “masculine. golf club vibe” for a client’s luxury custom home in Lake Oconee, GA. Mike Stram of Easy Living in Clearwater, FL, was hired to design all of the electronics, audio/video, and smart systems in the home, including a premium 18-seat theater.
The crew at Easy Living addressed the many unique architectural design requests that the client, teaming up with Cinema Design Group International (CDGi) out of Boca Raton, FL, to help execute the large-scale build.
“I have worked with Carey Schafer and CDGi for many years – the synergy between our organizations is superb,” Stram said.
Easy Living designed an audio/video system with integrated control by Savant and a lighting system by LumaStream.
“The LumaStream low-voltage, high-efficiency lighting system, which uses remote drivers and top-of-the-line internal components, is dead silent within the theater and can be dimmed to below two percent with absolutely no flicker, outstanding reliability, and precise color uniformity,” Stram stated.
Lost in Space
Stram explained that one of the key advantages to using the LumaStream low-voltage LED lighting system with remote drivers is the shallow nature of the “pancake” downlight fixtures – resulting in the best lighting solution along with the smallest possible ceiling-drop dimension.
“We were able to raise the ceiling roughly 10 inches above where it would have been had we used conventional lighting cans, which really helped to give the theater a spacious feel,” Stram explained.
The practical advantage of a higher ceiling enabled Easy Living to fit the desired Stewart Filmscreen 215-inch screen with motorized masking mated to a Sony 4K projector. “No way would that big screen have fit with conventional lighting in there…”
CDGi created an astonishing star field (a signature CDGi design element) in the ceiling using 1 1/8-thick acoustic panels covered in jet black cloth permeated by many fiber optic “stars” for that Lost in Space visual effect.
Stram deployed four-inch LumaStream 404 Downlight fixtures in the ceiling, the 410 Downlight eyeball fixtures in the soffits as well as the compact Step Light S3AR to illuminate the walkways, giving the theater a uniform, efficient, and easily controllable lighting scheme. This combination of LumaStream fixtures gave the theater a modern lighting scheme that could be perfectly tailored to each desired scene, yet always operate with a high degree of efficiency.
To make the Savant control platform operate seamlessly with the LumaStream lighting, Stram inserted a Vantage DMX module to bridge the language barrier (Savant’s DMX modules are due out later in 2018). This enabled Easy Living to use Vantage wall plates (their signature methodology) for localized control, including full dimming capability along with the Savant Pro Remote and Savant Pro App, which control all of the systems throughout the home. The Savant solution gave his client the most intuitive user experience possible in the theater and from room to room.
There were 12 Savant Pro Remotes deployed throughout the house and numerous portable devices with the Savant Pro App used to control the systems remotely.
What the Buttons Mean
The Vantage wall plates enable Stram to give his client intuitive button names for easy operation by the entire family. The MOVIE, SPORTS, and INTERMISSION buttons activate Savant Scenes programmed for the client by Stram and his team. These instantly preset the LumaStream lighting to prescribed levels to create the desired effect for each scene without the client having to locate a remote or portable device. The result is one-touch access to precise, elegant lighting levels.
Easy Living likes to use BRIGHT, MID, and DIM buttons as easily understood preset names for lighting levels in each area of the home. This way, any guest in the home would understand which button activates the lighting level that is called for at any moment.
The STARS button controls on/off/dim for the ceiling fiber optic stars created by CDGi. The SCREEN button activates the colored LED trim lighting around the perimeter of the movie screen, and the CLEANING button throws all of the theater lighting to full-on for when it is time to tidy up.
With Easy Living’s installs, the left side Vantage controls are for lighting and the right controls are for audio/ video. The TV button sets up the theater to watch TV and reverts to the last channel viewed. AV OFF extinguishes the audio/video system, while ALL OFF, VOL UP, and VOL DN are self-explanatory.
The Easy Living Theater also features components from JBL Synthesis, Sony video, Altona, CinemaTech seating, Middle Atlantic, Kaleidescape, WattBox, Integra, Apple TV, Roku, and DirecTV. Wireworld audio cables were used throughout the system.