Top Manufacturers Set to Light Up CEDIA Expo 2021

CEDIA Expo 2021, the global trade event where residential technology integration, designers and construction professionals connect, learn, and engage, will play host to national and international lighting brands making their debut to the custom electronics industry, along with brands returning to the show.  

As the home technology market continues to grow beyond the enthusiast market, the next generation of lighting is forging its way to the top of many homeowners’ wishlists.

The annual trade event takes place September 1-3, 2021 at the Indiana Convention Center, and to showcase this rapidly growing market category, CEDIA Expo 2021 will provide the platform for residential lighting technology manufacturers to showcase their products and to educate residential market professionals.

Highlighting those educational opportunities the show will present is the Lutron sponsored, “Tune into Bright Business: The Spectrum of Key Lighting Topics and Challenges” presentation. During this seminar industry experts will share with attendees what they need to know about selling human-centric lighting, as well as next-level features and fixtures, and the most effective way to train their staff to have in-house expertise.

Other lighting-focused activities at the show include the Coastal Source Destination Backyard outdoor event on South Capitol Avenue & West Georgia Street.

New Lighting Companies at CEDIA Expo 2021

DMF Lighting:

DMF brings its own approach to lighting and offers technologies that set a high level of performance. The company’s in-house R&D team designs products that provide high levels of aesthetics and flexibility, which allows the company’s lights to adapt easily to future room redesign. DMF lights produce accurate color rendering and smooth dimming. They complement and enhance how a room looks and feels without sacrificing energy efficiency.   

Environmental Lights:

Environmental Lights transform environments with LED lighting technology by engineering its customers’ visions into innovative solutions. Environmental Lights partner with customers from project inception, through planning, specification, and installation of their LED lighting systems to ensure they create solutions that match their exact needs. Environmental Lights work transforms environments in an array of industries including retail display, entertainment, trade show/exhibit, hospitality, casino gaming, and audio-visual integration.

Garden Lighting: 

Think all lighting systems are the same … they’re not, according to Garden Lighting, which offers homeowners a range of unique products. Garden Lighting explains that while many low-voltage LED lighting fixtures are manufactured in foreign countries, Garden Light LED proudly builds all LED products in its Tampa, Florida factory. Garden Light emphasizes that its LED fixtures are engineered, designed, and assembled in the United States to allow it to maintain the purity of its performance and quality standards.

PoEWit Technologies Inc.

PoEWit Technologies was founded by custom electronic industry veterans with over 40 years of combined experience. PoEWit’s founders Victor Pak & Dusan Jankov also founded Pakedge Device and Software, a successful networking company that was later sold to Control4. PoEWit’s mission is to revolutionize how high-voltage products are powered and networked by using Power-Over-Ethernet (PoE). The company’s solutions includes PoE Smart-Cloud Outdoor Security Lighting, PoE Smart-Cloud Recessed Lighting, and PoE Smart-Cloud Networking Switches & UPS.  

Returning Lighting Manufacturers Exhibiting at CEDIA EXPO 2021

Colorbeam Lighting:

Colorbeam Lighting delivers low-voltage lighting systems that create immersive and controllable lighting experiences for residential, commercial, and hospitality spaces. With low-voltage lighting solutions and a patented GATEway Processor, Colorbeam is building new innovations in human-centric lighting, the tunability of light, and flicker-free dimming that gives users complete control over lighting their spaces. 

Coastal Source:

Coastal Source is a manufacturer of outdoor audio and lighting systems. Coastal Source coastal tough outdoor products and systems are engineered to improve the quality of outdoor life from coast to coast and all points in between.

Lutron:

Founded in 1961, Lutron Electronics is headquartered in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania. From dimmers for the home to systems for entire buildings, the company offers more than 17,000 energy-saving products, sold in more than 100 countries around the world. In the U.S. alone Lutron products are said to save an estimated 10 billion kWh of electricity or approximately $1 billion in utility costs per year. The company’s early inventions— including the first solid-state dimmer invented by Lutron’s founder, Joel Spira—are at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

Vantage:

Vantage, a brand of Legrand, is a manufacturer of intelligent, energy-efficient lighting control systems for luxury residential applications. For more than 35 years, Vantage has employed the latest technologies in its products to create fully integrated, easy-to-use automated lighting control solutions. Their systems are smart, reliable, simple to install and provide precise dimming and control with intuitive and sophisticated interfaces.

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Distributors Get Creative to Solve Supply Chain Woes

It’s no secret that manufacturers and distributors have been run through the wringer during the coronavirus pandemic, but many distributors have found creative and innovative ways to keep their businesses thriving. As a part of CE Pro‘s Distributor’s Guide for 2021, we sought out executives from some of the industry’s largest distributors to find out how exactly they managed to overcome the ongoing global supply chain issues.

CE Pro: What is the norm these days in terms of integrators getting their goods? Is it back to warehouse pickup mostly, curbside pickup, jobsite delivery, other accommodations? How has that shifted since before the pandemic? How are those methods impacted by geography at locations?

Dennis Holzer, Executive Director, PowerHouse Alliance:

“Delivery and curbside pickup continue to be popular methods for purchasing goods. All PowerHouse distribution locations across the United States have are open which gives integrators the ability to purchase product in person and experience demos. The PowerHouse members continue to be flexible with methods used to get products to integrators. All locations were impacted by COVID-19 equally. Members followed CDC guidelines to make sure no location was ever closed, giving dealers access to the products they needed to complete installations.”

John Yodiz, President & CEO, DOW Technologies:

“There was a period of time, at the start of COVID, where we saw a desire for contactless pickup and delivery. With dealers extremely busy and communities opening up, getting product is transitioning back to a matter of convenience. Our go-forward focus is on “ease” — we want to make pickup, shipping, or courier delivery to be as easy, efficient and as quick as possible. The majority of our customers are as busy as they have ever been and our goal is to be able to get product to them efficiently, so they can get back on the jobsite making money.”

Wally Whinna, Sr. VP, Local, SnapAV:

“We made accommodations for our integrators to be able to safely pick up their products and interact with our staff during the pandemic. We never closed will call, just managed safe distancing and COVID containment practices. The next phase has begun, and we have once again opened our popular self-shop format for our will call customers. We offer 24-hour pickup for those wanting after-hours access. Customers often pick up their product during the day for contactless delivery and the fastest turnaround time. Our freight program includes courier service for same day delivery to their office or job site. On request we are available for curbside or dock delivery. We provide same-day shipment on freight orders.”

Bob Appleby, General Manager North America, ADI:

“Since the start of the pandemic, we have been tracking conditions by country, state and county, and marking the necessary changes to keep employees safe while maintaining business operations and continued service to ADI’s customers. ADI quickly made modifications in all locations, like implementing curbside pick-up, to minimize interactions and ensure customers could safely continue to access essential goods.

“We implemented numerous safety measures and protocols across all our locations including the necessary PPE, plexiglass shields at sales counters, hand sanitizing stations, social distancing markers, employee daily assessments and cleaning protocols. All these changes have been well communicated to our customers, and in most locations our business has returned with customers shopping again in our branches.

“Additionally, we’re seeing more customers utilize the convenience of our Digital Branch and take advantage of our ability to service them online. Many customers like the ability to shop online and pick up at their local branch. For example, customers can order from the Digital Branch and select our Pick Up Anytime service, which allows them to pick up their orders from a secure, contactless locker at one of our locations. ADI is focused on delivering a consistent omnichannel experience to our customers.”

Helge Fischer, Executive Director, Catalyst AV:

“Yes to all of the above. Business has been very healthy; the biggest issue we had was getting merchandise such as AV receivers. So yes, the protocols have changed, the most important thing is the dealers need to feel safe when they pick up products, so a lot less personal contact, pickup after hours and ordering remotely. We secured the areas of pickup, sanitizing, social distancing, etc. Our members have provided jobsite delivery as well, anything to make sure our customers lives are easier during such a tough time.”

Kevin Luther, Owner, BlackWire Designs:

“We offer a limited local pickup, but most of our products are shipped nationally. Amazon set the standard for everyone, so we’ve worked extra hard to bring 2-day and overnight shipping to most of our customers who participate in our P3 Rewards Program. We work on keeping everything in stock so most orders ship out the same day.”

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Crestron Establishes the Fred Bargetzi Memorial Scholarship

Crestron recently announced the establishment of the Fred Bargetzi Memorial Scholarship at Crestron’s Chief Technology Officer Fred Bargetzi’s alma mater, the University at Buffalo. Following Bargetzi’s passing in January 2021, Crestron and members of the Bargetzi family founded the scholarship to honor his legacy and empower students at the University at Buffalo to succeed in their education by removing barriers from their progress.

The interest from the scholarship endowment will be used each year to provide four scholarships to undergraduate students from underrepresented communities to remove barriers of race, gender identification, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, or veteran status. One scholarship will be awarded to a student from each class, and at least two of the four student recipients will be Electrical Engineering majors, which was Bargetzi’s former major when he was a student at the University at Buffalo. Students can begin applying for scholarships at the beginning of the Fall semester.

“One of Fred’s greatest passions in life was empowering others to achieve their dreams and understand that anything is possible if you have the mindset and will to accomplish it,” says Dan Feldstein, chairman and chief operating officer at Crestron.

“We are pleased to establish the Fred Bargetzi Memorial Scholarship to provide new opportunities to students by giving them the resources they need to advance their education. Fred has inspired a countless number of people throughout his life, and we hope to honor his legacy through this scholarship.”

Bargetzi leaves behind a legacy of innovation, creativity, enthusiasm, and kindness that has helped shape the AV industry into what it is today. Under his leadership, he challenged the industry to not only push the boundaries of what’s possible, but to do so with an eye towards making the world a better place. The family at Crestron is eternally grateful for his dedication and inspiration, and the Fred Bargetzi Memorial Scholarship is one of the many ways the company is continuing to honor his remarkable life.

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American Lighting Spektrum+ Products Feature Bluetooth Mesh Technologies

American Lighting, a manufacturer of lighting solutions for residential, commercial and specialty projects, has launched its latest product line: Spektrum+.

According to the company, it’s new product line provides integrators with an innovative line of Bluetooth mesh technology to streamline lighting applications throughout the home. American Lighting boasts that its Spektrum+ product line was developed to make smart lighting easy through its user-friendly App and an open mesh network to optimize functionality across product types. 

American Lighting Spektrum+ Features and Options

The Spekrum+ has a wealth of features and options available to integrators. Here is a quick rundown of some of the more notable features:

Smart LED Lamps (A19 and BR30): Spektrum+ RGBTW Lamps are wirelessly controlled through the Spektrum+ Smart Lighting App and provide RGB + Tunable White color temperature ranging from 2700K to 6000K and 90+ color rendering index. The A19 lamp includes up to 800 lumen output, while the BR30 delivers up to 650 lumens. Both lamps are cULus, cETLus and damp location rated, respectively. 

Downlights (4-inch and 6-inch): The line’s downlights feature 90+ color rendering index and RGB + Tunable White, from 2700K to 6000K. The Spektrum+ downlights are engineered to deliver an array of vibrant colors for customization with wireless control. The 4-inch downlight offers an output of up to 800 lumens while consuming 10.5 watts per fixture and the 6-inch provides up to 1000 lumens and consumes 13 watts per fixture. Both are suitable for wet locations and are cETLus listed.

Puck Lights: Spektrum+ puck lights are available in black and white finishes; the products can be surface mounted or recessed for custom installations to add color to small spaces or accent lighting. The Puck Lights showcase RGB + Tunable White lighting control, ranging from 2700K–6000K, and 90+ color rendering index. Each puck has up to 105 lumen performance and consumes less than 3 watts. The puck lights are cETLus listed and suitable for dry locations. 

Landscape Lights: With easy to install low-voltage operation, the Spektrum+ RGBTW Landscape Lights create unique ambient lighting for outdoor applications. Available with a color temperature range of 2700K to 6000K, complete with full spectrum color changing capabilities, the lights are offered in a 3-kit starter pack, and single add-on fixtures, with surface and soil mount accessories, a SJOW 2C (18AWG) power cable and an adjustable fixture head for direct lighting. Up to 8 fixtures can be linked to one power supply. The lights are cETLus listed and rated for wet locations. 

Volta Wall Sconces: Available in a single or dual (up/down) fixture, Spektrum+ RGB + Tunable White Volta Wall Sconce’s modern cylindrical design allows for 2700K to 6000K with up to 400 lumen output performance per lens. The single wall sconce consumes 12 watts while the dual unit consumes 24 watts.  Both options are cETLus listed, suitable for outdoor wet locations. 

13.1-foot Tape Light Kit and 13.1-foot Tape Light Pro Kit: Each Spektrum+ Tape Light Kit offers RGB + Tunable White, an unlimited RGB color combination palette, plus the ability to adjust true white lighting from 2700K to 6000K. With up to 360 lumens per foot output, while consuming only 7 watts per foot, both units provide 90+ color rendering index and can sync to control multiple tape light kits and products. American Lighting note these kits offer everything integrators need to install lighting systems. The kits boast maximum run lengths up to 13.1 feet and are IP54 rated for dry and damp locations. 

More news from American Lighting: American Lighting TRULUX Series Spec Ultra Tape Light

Smart Receiver: American Lighting points out the Smart Receiver can be used in new construction and remodel environments. The 5-Channel Bluetooth Mesh Receiver allows users to integrate smart lighting device control to any low voltage lighting product. Featuring dedicated controls for multiple types of lighting, including Single Color, Tunable CCT, RGB, RGBW and RGB + Tunable White, the receiver has a wattage load of 96 watts maximum and is suitable for dry location applications.

Wireless Smart Switch: The Spektrum+ Smart Switch is a streamlined Bluetooth control that can be used instead of or with the Spektrum+ Smart Lighting App. It includes built-in RGB and tunable white control with dimming capabilities and a magnetic dock for easy installation to allow the switch to be used as a handheld remote for control or as a wall switch for convenience. With up to 25-meter signal range, the switch allows users to simultaneously control multiple Spektrum+ fixtures and save scenes or settings with the touch of a button. 

Smart Hub: To utilize voice control with Spektrum+ Smart Lighting products, the Smart Hub incorporates syncing capabilities with Amazon Alexa or Google Home devices. The small and compact hub comes with a 5-volt adapter and USB cable, requires 2.4 Gigahertz Wi-Fi, and is compatible with all Spektrum+ Smart Lighting devices. The Smart Hub also allows integrators to setup custom automations, such as schedules and trigger-based sequences, and control for homeowners’ lighting remotely.  

Smart Lighting App: The Spektrum+ Smart Lighting App offers a wide array of capabilities to customize and manage lighting applications. Users can create and schedule scenes to personalize lighting for any occasion with specific colors and effects. Automation allows for sequences to be programmed based on weather changes, including sunrise and sunset. The App also enables multiple lights to be synchronized and programmed to change when the status of another device changes.

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The World’s First Releasable Tie that Actually Works

RETYZ revolutionary patented design was developed for a specific need from an industry leader in the aerospace industry. This need was twofold. The tie had to be cinched tight around cable bundles while also being quickly released with no tools. Traditional releasable ties are nearly impossible to remove once cinched tight. Workers ended up cutting away these ties, which can damage the cable bundles, potentially causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage over time. Working closely with the client, RETYZ listened to their needs and developed a releasable tie that fit every requirement needed. Through the hard work of RETYZ Research & Development Team, the RETYZ Releasable Cable Tie was born.

The RETYZ patented releasable cable tie is like no other tie on the market today. It can be cinched tightly around an object and released with just two fingers. The RETYZ releasable tie is designed with repeated use in mind and features a comfortable and easy-to-use release mechanism. This mechanism allows a user to remove hundreds, if not thousands of ties, without discomfort or pain in their fingers. As a result, RETYZ can be used effortlessly when wearing gloves or if the user suffers from arthritis. Thanks to the unique head design, the excess strap can be tucked away for future use, or it can be trimmed away like a traditional cable tie. The RETYZ’s tough and easy-to-use design makes it a great option for almost any industry, not limited to aerospace. From resealing chip bags, mounting event signs, holding lumber together for even cutting, future-proofing cable runs in server rooms, to even wiring a whole plane, RETYZ will exceed your expectations and industry standards. Save time and money with the real releasable cable tie that can be reused time after time!

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How Unified Communication Platforms Can Help Integrators and Manufacturers Collaborate

For over a year, employees have grown used to presenting and collaborating directly from their devices. Videoconferencing when all employees are remote allows for quick and easy sharing of content and documents during a meeting.

As employees return to the office, the digital platforms they use will need to provide the same ease-of-use. Especially for the many organizations that are implementing hybrid work strategies.

Integrators, manufacturers, and end-users all must work together in tandem to lead to the best success. An integrator should be involved even before the project steps of development, delivery, and support even begin.

“Technology is changing so fast these days that what used to last for two to three years from kind of a design perspective now could change within the year,” says David Wolf, Unified Communications Engineer at Capital One. “For example, cameras, things go to end sale, people can’t get parts now, so it’s really having a good development interim process and having a really solid delivery process, where everyone knows their role and responsibility and then support, making sure once it’s in, it’s working well, and will continue to work well for years to come.”

Integrators need to be involved before the furniture is even put in, especially when it comes to installing speakers or microphones to provide a great video call experience.

“Ideally, the integrator is in on the framework, and then when a project happens, helps design it based on that framework,” says Joe Whitesides, Sr. Solutions Architect/SME, AVI-SPL.

“Everybody needs to have their role, the end-user needs to be there to define what they’re looking for and be there to aid the integrator whenever they’re installing, we need network support, we need interactions with the team on that end to make sure that we’re doing the right stuff.”

Zach Snook, Sr. Product Manager at Biamp

“An integrators place would be to help the client understand some of the things that are happening in industry, especially right now with shortages on chips and other technologies,” says Whitesides. “If someone was getting involved in a large-scale project, they would need information from the dealer about what’s possible across multiple dealers or multiple manufacturers…we look for approved software platforms and things, so that we don’t run into roadblocks midstream in the project.”

At Capitol One, possible solutions are often beta tested with users before the company deploys it large scale. “We really have a grounded experience that is good, people like, and works well…we kind of work out all of any defects or bugs or anything else so we have a really great support model making sure that when updates trigger things work right, and they recover right, so that we’re not having to run out to every room every time we make a change or an update, but that is truly remotely supported across the enterprise, so we’re very hands-on we do a lot of work ahead of time to ensure that once that gets put out in the environment, it’s just a great product,” adds Wolf.

Manufacturers should be brought on as partners in the very beginning as well to provide solutions to the business’s needs all the way through to the deployment process and even support it after. “You don’t just buy [a product] once and what it does at that point, that’s all it does,” says Wolf.

End users are looking for solutions that can evolve over time and be incorporated into their overall road map. If the communication between end-users, manufacturers, and integrators are not on the same page, once systems are installed it can cost the company time and money to go back in and re-install the system again.

“As we’re continuing to rethink and rebuild a lot of our rooms…make sure you avoid putting technology that maybe going away in a few years in the space,” says Wolf. Zach Snook, Sr. Product Manager at Biamp compared it to a three legged table, with the table as the project and the integrator, end-user, and manufacturer as a leg, if one falls short, you’re left with a lopsided table.

“Everybody needs to have their role, the end-user needs to be there to define what they’re looking for and be there to aid the integrator whenever they’re installing, we need network support, we need interactions with the team on that end to make sure that we’re doing the right stuff,” says Snook.

Integrators and their customers should seek manufacturers that don’t just sell products and services, but offer the support necessary to build their products and services into an overall system. Manufacturers can be the backbone of the working relationship between integrators and end-users.

This article originally appeared on our sister publication Commercial Integrator‘s website.

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Hands-On: K-array K1 System Discreetly Blends into Homes

Over the years the lines between the commercial electronics industry and the residential electronics industry have blurred. A good example of a company that’s crossed over from the commercial industry into residential is the Italian audio manufacturer K-array. 

K-array is a manufacturer of audio systems that include line arrays, which have been used by A-list touring acts such as Tom Petty, and the company is now taking its engineering concepts into the world of home audio. 

Based in Tuscany, K-array offers a complete product selection of audio components for residential applications that combine high-performance engineering and Italian industrial design. 

Sending me its baseline, introductory solution for residential use—the K1 system—I set up this three-piece satellite/subwoofer system in my dining room, listening to content from Apple Music via my iPhone.

K-array K1 System Features and Setup

I would consider the K1 speaker system to be a lifestyle solution. Some of the applications I see the K1 applicable to include as a really fun system for a home office to connect to a computer; the K1 system can also be used as a discreet audio solution for AV systems in environments such as apartments and condominiums, and as a system in rooms such as bedrooms. 

K-array designed the K1 system as a small-footprint solution that blends unobtrusively into a variety of home environments. As I noted earlier, the satellite/subwoofer system features a pair of the company’s 1.45-inch Lyzard-KZ1 loudspeakers that incorporate ½-inch transducers. Augmenting the Lyzard KZ1s is the system’s companion active subwoofer that also serves as the amplifier that drives the speakers. 

The amplifier section of the subwoofer module supplies the KZ1s with 20-watts per channel of power, and it delivers 40 watts to the module’s 4-inch woofer. 

Supporting a range of installation scenarios, the K1 system offers a choice of a 3.5mm stereo input; an optical digital SPDIF input, a USB 2.0, an HDMI input, and wireless 5.0 Bluetooth connectivity. 

Additionally, the system also comes with a 3.5mm stereo output, and an IR remote control. 

CE Pro Specs: 

The K1 system features a pair of Lyzard KZ1 speakers that incorporate ½-inch transducersK1 system subwoofer utilizes a 4-inch wooferK-array incorporates 3.5mm analog, HDMI Type A, optical Digital SPDIF inputsThe system also provides wireless Bluetooth connectivityPowering the system from the subwoofer module is a three-channel Class D amp that delivers 40 watts to the subwoofer and 20 watts per channel to the Lyzard KZ1 speakersK-array offers the system in a choice of black or white finishesK-array K1 list price is $735

Setting the system up could not have been any easier. 

After unpacking the system all I needed to do was to plug the pre-terminated speaker cables that are hardwired directly into the KZ1s into the subwoofer module’s left and right speaker outputs. From there I placed the speakers in their little speaker stands and “toe-ed” the speakers out slightly to help make sure I get the coverage I was looking for within my dining room. 

Finalizing the setup and the Bluetooth connectivity, it was simply a matter of initiating the Bluetooth for the K1 system and finding the Bluetooth in my iPhone’s settings. Lastly, I toggled through the preset equalization (EQ) curves and chose the EQ curve I thought sounded best for my location.

The entire system setup took a few minutes.

Performance and Final Thoughts

I will get more into this later, but I found the K1 system to not only be fun, but a nice talking point for guests when I would show them where the music is coming from. 

The first thing I’d like to point out is that the KZ1s’ speaker cables are really long, and because of the length of the cables positioning the speakers shouldn’t be an issue. Our normal dinner routine includes music. Almost nightly, after powering up the system, I pulled out my phone and connected to the system within a few seconds we would have music in the background as we ate. 

I think anyone that wants a good sounding, great looking audio system that’s reasonably priced and integrates seamlessly into their home spaces, should check out the [K-Array K1] system.

Listening to a variety of music from classic rock, metal and alternative rock, I thought the system, despite its size, cast a nice stereo image with a good-size soundstage that enveloped our dining room table and eating area.

Commenting on the system to me, my 16-year-old daughter told me she thought the system was cute, and she liked how clean the K1 performed. 

Later, having guests over my house for a July 4th dinner, family members also commented to me about the looks and unobtrusiveness of the K1 system. Additionally, fellow CE Pro staff member Arlen Schweiger visited and I showed him the system, and he was surprised at how small and how easily the K1 system fit into my dining room. 

Getting back to the K1 system’s performance: I would estimate the system gives solid playback down to 100Hz and the integration between the subwoofer module and the KZ1s is pretty seamless. I do hear a hint of “boxiness” in the upper bass, but the system’s overall midrange is smooth, and the top end is full to create a rich tonal palette. 

The K1 system will also play to good, solid volume levels (low to moderate levels of volume). With that said, I think the system is more of an application solution. What I mean by this is that if someone is looking for higher volume output—a high sound pressure level (SPL) system with a greater range of dynamics—K-array as I noted earlier, offers a broad range of products that will address the need for volume and dynamics much better than the K1.

Where the K1 system shines is its ability to provide turnkey, instant fun through the ability to play clean audio at reasonable sound pressure levels without looking out of place. The system’s sound is clear and full, and its small footprint allows it to integrate into just about any home décor. 

One other thing that I think is important with the K1 system is that its Bluetooth connectivity is reliable, it instantly connects and it has good range. The only thing I did not like about the Bluetooth connectivity option was that whenever my phone connected to the system a loud voice announces that Bluetooth is connected. 

There’s not much more that I can say about the K1 system. I think anyone that wants a good sounding, great looking audio system that’s reasonably priced and integrates seamlessly into their home spaces, should check out the system. It delivers a fun musical experience and complementary talking points, which most other systems cannot touch.

CE Pro Verdict:

Pros:

The K1 system delivers a nice level of performance for such a small footprint systemThe K1 system’s small size allows for its use in a range of applicationsIntegrators can offer the K1 system as a talking point and showcase the brand’s sound quality and discreet appearance

Cons:

The only issue that may bother some people is the high level of volume the system’s voice command announces that Bluetooth is connectedThis other point is simply a matter of education and physics. The K1 system will not rival K-array’s commercial line arrays’ ability to produce volume. So, with that said it is important to understand the small footprint system plays to medium levels of volume comfortably and cleanly

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Home Remodeling Spending Expected to Increase into 2022

There’s more good news for integrators in terms of potential projects coming from existing homes. According to the latest Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, annual gains in home remodeling and maintenance spending are set to accelerate in the second half of 2021 and remain elevated through mid-year 2022. The LIRA projects annual growth in home renovation and repair expenditures will reach 8.6% by the second quarter of next year. 

The Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) provides a short-term outlook of national home improvement and repair spending to owner-occupied homes. The indicator, measured as an annual rate-of-change of its components, is designed to project the annual rate of change in spending for the current quarter and subsequent four quarters, and is intended to help identify future turning points in the business cycle of the home improvement and repair industry. Originally developed in 2007, the LIRA was re-benchmarked in April 2016 to a broader market measure based on the biennial American Housing Survey.

“Home remodeling will likely grow at a faster pace given the ongoing strength of home sales, house price appreciation, and new residential construction activity,” says Chris Herbert, managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies. “A significant rise in permits for home improvements also indicates that owners are continuing to invest in bigger discretionary and replacement projects.”

“Larger gains in retail sales of building materials suggest the remodeling market continues to be lifted by DIY activity as well,” says Abbe Will, associate project director in the Remodeling Futures Program at the Center. “By the middle of next year, annual remodeling expenditures to owner-occupied homes are expected to surpass $380 billion.” 

A year after the unprecedented changes to the U.S. economy brought on by the pandemic, many economic indicators are showing extreme percent changes from pandemic-induced lows. To reduce the immense growth rate volatility generated by these year-over-year comparisons, the projection for 2022-Q2 utilizes smoothed data for two leading model inputs: residential remodeling permits and single-family housing starts. Using unsmoothed inputs in the LIRA model would have projected an unlikely annual growth rate roughly twice as large as reported. The Remodeling Futures Program will continue to monitor input volatility.

The LIRA is released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University in the third week after each quarter’s closing.

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OneVision Resources Launches Regional Rep Network

OneVision Resources, an exclusive business services platform for the custom installation channel, announces the launch of its rep program. This program is designed to identify and recruit successful integrators and their business leaders who share OneVision’s philosophy of making service a growth center and recurring monthly revenue (RMR) mechanism for the business.

Mark Cichowski of Clarity AV International, who serves as OneVision’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, designed and will lead the program. In the past five years OneVision Resources has developed a profile of the type of integrator who would be successful on the platform. Through an immersive onboarding process, sales reps are empowered to spark conversations about service and identify the teams that not only share the service vision but also have a demonstrated ability to execute.

A unique compensation structure centers around an uncapped recurring revenue stream rewarding reps for identifying new partners. Having recently raised $5 million in funding and unveiled new business services enhancements to complement its award-winning service offering, the company deems the time is now to invest in broadening the company’s geographic footprint to bring new integrators onboard.

“We’ve spent years developing the perfect combination of people, process and technology to enable Integrators to accelerate their growth by embracing a profitable service model,” says Joseph Kolchinsky, CEO and founder, OneVision Resources.

“The business impact of our platform across our partner base has been astounding, market reception to the OneVision Platform has been affirmed thanks to our Platinum recognition from CE Pro’s Quest for Quality Awards, and we’ve added new business services to assist integrators with recruiting and financial planning in order to prepare them for the next decade of growth. Next up is to broaden our reach and, by partnering with leading reps, we can leverage their local market knowledge and expertise to identify integrators who would be most successful in implementing a service model powered by OneVision.”

OneVision is proud to announce Atlantic Integrated from the New York / New Jersey Metro region, and Elite 3 Pro, covering the Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas markets, are the first sales groups to sign up to promote the OneVision Platform. The two renowned rep firms recognize that through this partnership they can add business services to their solutions offering, a valuable complement for the integrators they serve.

Michael Pawlowski, vice president of Atlantic Integrated, explains, “We are very excited to provide OneVision’s unique approach to service and support because it addresses the unique needs of the CI channel. The OneVision solution will enable integrators to enhance their service and support capabilities and drive meaningful revenue and profitability for these departments. Now more than ever, integrators need to think about how best to thrive and be market leaders.”

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CEDIA Expo 2021 Home Theater Exhibits Feature New and Returning Manufacturers

CEDIA Expo 2021, the global trade event where residential technology integration, designers and construction professionals connect, learn, and engage, will serve as the backdrop to a number of national and international brands making their debut at CEDIA Expo 2021, including a range of AV companies hosting their home theater exhibits.

In addition to these new brands making their CEDIA Expo debut, a number of prominent home theater manufacturers will also be returning to the annual event.  

Home theaters are becoming increasingly popular once again. As more people invest in their entertainment spaces, new trends are also arising. These new and returning home theater exhibits will showcase the latest trends in home theater surround sound technologies such as immersive audio, as well as the latest video technologies, including 4K and HDR, and accessories that tie together home theater in residential environments.

The way homeowners integrate home theater in their homes today is much different than the home theaters of the 1990s and early 2000s. Private cinema/dedicated theaters are back strong, along with multipurpose room home theaters, and these systems use a variety of products and technologies.

Supporting the variety of home theater exhibits, the CEDIA Expo is also offering events such as its hot ticket session on the Smart Stage, sponsored by Samsung. Through the exhibits and and educational sessions professional integrators will be able to learn how to position their businesses as a go-to resource for both projector and TV-based viewing, and they will be able to learn about the latest media servers, components, and peripherals ranging from acoustic treatments to seating to interfaces.

The show takes place on September 1-3 at the Indiana Convention Center.

New Home Theater Exhibits at CEDIA Expo 2021

Hangman Products: Booth #3336

Hangman Products is a U.S. manufacturer specializing in innovative hanging solutions since 1999. The company emphasizes that its focus is on making the products easy-to-use, as well as safe and secure. In 2016, the company introduced its first AV product: the “No Stud TV Mount.” In addition to the company’s line of TV mounts, Hangman Products now offers Smart Shelves, Floating Sound Bar Shelves, Sound Bar Hangers, Speaker Hangers, and Cord Management Racetrack solutions.

Perlisten Audio: Booth #3131

Perlisten Audio is a new audio brand focusing on high-end 2-channel, home theater, and immersive audio applications. The company’s speakers focus on in-room and architectural speakers that are held to the highest standards with many advanced features. Prelisten is in the United States with a worldwide footprint.

Severtson Screens: Booth #4416

Severtson Screens is a global manufacturer of projection screens. Having celebrated its 35th anniversary, the family’s extensive technology and experience continues to provide screens for amusement park dark rides, the largest cinemas, home theaters, and everything in between. With three Arizona-based production facilities and the company’s state-of-the-art robotic application system, Severtson has massive production capabilities that provide customers with screens of all kinds, shapes, and sizes.

Returning Brands at CEDIA Expo 2021

CINEAK: Booth #4204

CINEAK is a manufacturer of luxury entertainment seating. CINEAK designs and manufactures solutions for homeowners’ living rooms, theaters, media rooms, and it also offers lounge seating products, which are handcrafted in Belgium.

CinemaTech: Booth #3318

CinemaTech is known as the industry leader in theater design, acoustic treatments, theater seating, and sofa seating.  The company points out that someone cannot watch a major motion picture, attend a sporting event or read the wall street journal and not see a CinemaTech client. With showrooms in Dallas, Los Angeles, Denver, and Fort Lauderdale, CinemaTech”s seating is available across the country for clients to “test drive” at their convenience. CinemaTech designs theater/media/screening/multi-purpose rooms of all shapes and sizes and creates over 100 theater designs a year for the most discerning clientele.

MBL Akustikgeräte: Booth: #SR-13

MBL Akustikgeräte has been manufacturing high-performance audio systems since 1979 at its state-of-the-art factory in Germany. The company’s proprietary “Radialstrahler” omnidirectional loudspeakers are engineered to cast 3D sonic images, as if the sound were live, and captivate for multichannel theater or Stereo music. MBL also manufactures three lines of audio electronics. The company can be found in Sound Room 13 (SR13) conducting active demonstrations. 

Wisdom Audio: Rooms #401 and #402

Wisdom Audio designs, engineers, and manufactures high-performance loudspeaker systems that incorporate advanced thin-film planar magnetic technologies. The company’s product portfolio features a selection of home theater, music, and architectural audio solutions for in-wall, in-ceiling, on-wall, shelf, and floor applications. At the show as part of its home theater exhibit, Wisdom Audio will be introducing four new products that are engineered to demonstrate the superior performance of the Wisdom Series Line source speakers in an Immersive 13.7.8 dedicated Theater. Show attendees can visit Wisdom Audio in Rooms 401 and 402 of the High-Performance area and experience the company’s immersive audio technologies.

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