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Barrett’s Technology Solutions Wins ASID Illinois Design Excellence Award

Barrett’s Technology Solutions Wins ASID Illinois Design Excellence Award

An Expert Collaboration of Smart Home Technology and Smart Design Barrett’s Technology Solutions has always believed in form and function. As a smart home company in the Chicago area since 1966, we’ve seen a lot of forms and an equal amount of function come and go. But one thing remains constant: We believe great technology and design go together, and we strive to achieve the balance of each with every project. This year, we’re very proud to have been chosen by ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) Illinois chapter for a 2020 Design Excellence award. The home theater project was a collaboration between our company, CinemaTech (home theater design, seating, and acoustics), the client, the contractor, and some skilled local craftsmen. Often in any successful endeavor, the devil is in the details. Keep reading to learn more about this award-winning project; we hope it inspires you to embark on yours! SEE ALSO: 3 Powerful Smart Home Upgrades The Award ASID is a national organization that represents and advances the interests of interior design professionals across the country. In Illinois, membership includes over 1100 design firms, students, and industry partner members. The award is part of ASID Illinois’ Celebration of Design, where projects are submitted for consideration across 25 categories. The Project                                     The client wanted a custom home theater that evoked some of the design characters of classic movie houses, but also one that was clean and not “over the top.” The client had specific ideas about what they wanted, like a... read more
Now Is the Perfect Time to Build Your Own Home Theater System

Now Is the Perfect Time to Build Your Own Home Theater System

Recently, Regal Cinemas, one of the largest commercial movie theater companies in America, announced that they were temporarily closing over 500 theaters, including 9 in Illinois. This unprecedented move resulted from a decrease in business due to the ongoing concerns of the pandemic. Additionally, the health crisis also slowed down the production of new movies, resulting in fewer theatrical releases over the past several months.

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Meet Crestron HomeTime, the Home Video Teleconferencing Solution

Meet Crestron HomeTime, the Home Video Teleconferencing Solution

Stay Connected with Family and Friends with Pro-level Videoconferencing at Home The Coronavirus pandemic has yet to run its course, and right now, many of us are still doing the majority of our work and education from home. Chicago public schools reopened in September virtually, employing platforms like Google Classroom to facilitate remote learning. Major technology companies like Google, Facebook, and many others have announced plans to continue remote work for professionals well into 2021. In this environment, connectivity, communication, and collaboration from home have become essential. But communication is not merely for work and school; it’s important to keep up with family and friends and continue participating – however remotely – with your social groups. Crestron has long been a worldwide leader in home automation, as well as a staple in Fortune 500 conference rooms with commercial automation and audio-video solutions. They have brought their considerable expertise to bear on a new home video teleconferencing solution, one that can turn your Chicago living room into a comfortable boardroom for keeping touch with anyone and everyone without hunching over a laptop. Ready to learn more? Keep reading! SEE ALSO: 3 Ways a Stronger Network Improves Home Technology   Taking Home Conferencing to the Next Level Crestron’s unique capabilities with automation and AV make it the perfect company to take video teleconferencing into the living room. The company partnered with Logitech, which also has broad experience with both consumer and professional products, to use the Logitech MeetUp 4K camera for wide-angle videoconferencing. The MeetUp’s 120-degree field of view lets the whole family sit on the sofa and hold a conversation... read more
How Circadian Lighting Helps You Stay Healthy

How Circadian Lighting Helps You Stay Healthy

Natural light makes you feel better. Why do you think people like going outside to enjoy the sun? It’s not just to get a tan. There’s something biological that’s happening. Natural light helps to regulate our wake and sleep cycles, as well as provide energy for the synthesis of vitamin D. When you get the right amount and hue of light throughout the day, you’ll discover that your mood, sleep, and overall wellness improve.

Technologically based wellness companies, such as Delos, integrate “healthy” lighting that promotes a healthy home indoors. Circadian lighting, as it’s called, is accomplished through tunable fixtures from Ketra that change in color temperature and intensity throughout the day to mimic the sun’s natural progression across the sky. The result? You’ll wake refreshed, enjoy more energy throughout the day, and go to bed peacefully. Read more to learn how installing circadian lighting in your Chicago, IL, home can help improve your overall wellbeing.

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4 Ways to Get Ready for Fall with Home Automation

4 Ways to Get Ready for Fall with Home Automation

Needless to say, 2020 has been a challenging year. In so many ways, our lifestyles have been upended. But as always, Americans are resourceful and keep pressing forward.

Part of the challenge has been managing so much of our activities from home. Work, school, and entertainment are all happening at the same time from home, which tends to blur the lines between those activities. At this writing, Naperville and Chicago area schools are preparing to start the school year with remote learning – so more family time at home is a given.

However, that doesn’t mean we can’t adjust! We have some useful and fun ways to make the most of family time at home, using smart automation to get back into a routine, have fun, and stay safe. Check out the ideas below, and call your local home automation installer – Barrett’s Technology Solutions – for more ways to make your home comfortable and safe not only for this fall but for years to come.

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5 Ways to Simplify Your Life with Lighting Automation

5 Ways to Simplify Your Life with Lighting Automation

You may think home automation is all about convenience and luxury. While that is undeniably true, automation also has real benefits in energy efficiency and security. Perhaps the one area of home automation that delivers on every one of these benefits is smart lighting control.

It may come as no surprise that smart lighting is the catalyst that gets homeowners to invest in other smart home features. Once people experience the added convenience and comfort, they want more! And more smart control brings increased benefits, as features like climate control, motorized shades, and automated AV management bring added convenience, luxury, and efficiency when it all works together.

Let’s explore some ways you can use lighting automation to simplify and enhance your Chicago, IL lifestyle.

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How to Test the Mettle of Your High-End Audio Speakers

How to Test the Mettle of Your High-End Audio Speakers

Those of you with an audio obsession – often referred to as audiophiles – you are always on a quest for the perfect sound quality. Of course, you probably know it, but it’s more of a journey than a destination. There’s always some new amplifier, speaker, turntable, or piece of equipment that takes things up another notch, right?

There’s nothing wrong with your obsession. It’s what makes audiophilia a fun, if sometimes expensive, hobby. And isn’t it fun to hear your favorite music reproduced with the kind of impact and presence as if the artist or band is right there in the room playing just for you?

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Elevate the Listening Experience on Your High-End Audio System

Elevate the Listening Experience on Your High-End Audio System

New Lossless and High-Resolution Streaming Services Raise the Bar for Digital Music Sound Quality To some audiophiles, streaming music has had a bad connotation. In large part, it has to do with services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music all using compressed audio formats for streaming to devices like mobile phones. Some audio purists only want to listen to lossless music or the warm analog sound of vinyl records. You can’t blame audiophiles for eschewing compressed music. They spend many thousands of dollars on their high-end audio systems, and good equipment exposes all the warts in heavily compressed music. If you’re a high-end audio enthusiast in Lincoln Park, IL, you want your system to sound as good as possible. But there’s no denying the convenience of being able to call up most of the world’s recorded music with a few taps on your smartphone or tablet. Fortunately, after years of focusing on interfaces and easy access at the expense of audio quality, there is a return to the pursuit of better sound with digital music. Music services like Tidal, Amazon Music HD, and Qobuz are leading the way with lossless and high-resolution music, available for easy streaming. If you’re still digging through racks of CDs, you may want to keep reading! SEE ALSO: 3 Characteristics of a High-End Audio System Lossless Streaming Music streaming, like downloads, started with compression for a simple reason. When digital music on computers began in the mid-1990s, storage space and internet bandwidth were at a premium. Today, with fast internet that streams 4K video and seemingly unlimited cheap storage in many devices, lossless... read more
3 Features to Look For in Home Surveillance Systems

3 Features to Look For in Home Surveillance Systems

You don’t have to look hard these days for home security devices. A myriad of cameras, video doorbells, sensors, and other consumer electronic devices are available for do-it-yourself home security and surveillance.

So are these products effective home surveillance systems for your Chicago, IL home? The answer depends on your needs. The devil, as they say, is often in the details. We won’t tell you these consumer solutions are not effective; they are. On the other hand, we’d like to point out some of the advantages you get with a professional-level solution. And, when consumer solutions start offering the level of features that professional solutions have, their pricing starts looking much more expensive as well.

Let’s take a closer look and give you a better awareness of three critical features of home surveillance systems, which will help you make informed choices.

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Wow Your Clients with Luxurious and Stylish Motorized Window Treatments

Wow Your Clients with Luxurious and Stylish Motorized Window Treatments

As an architect or designer, chances are you have something that distinguishes your work from the rest. It may be a specific design flair that you include in every project, and your clients may even seek you out specifically for that signature design element.

We would humbly like to suggest another element that will be sure to capture your clients’ imagination – and continue to please them every time they use it. Motorized window treatments can be the epitome of luxury and convenience in your Chicago residential projects, whether for a high-rise condominium off the Magnificent Mile or a townhouse remodel in Lincoln Park.

One of the best names in powered shades and window treatments is Lutron, the same company that leads in lighting control solutions. Keep reading to explore the best features of two of Lutron’s high-end motorized windows treatment options.

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