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CE Pro’s 2022 Home of the Year Gold Award

CE Pro’s 2022 Home of the Year Gold Award

Rich AV Takes Prize for Best Combo Design + Tech Project

October, 2022– Rich AV Design was awarded CE Pro’s 2022 Home of the Year Gold Award in the “Best Combo Design + Tech Project” category. 

The title was granted to Rich AV Design’s Taconic Lodge project, a 20,000 square foot estate completed in 2021. CE Pro Home of the Year recognizes the best of AV and automation projects in 20 categories, all judged by a panel led by the team at Bluesalve Partners. Out of 72 entries, 20 winners were chosen in their respective categories and announced at the CEDIA Expo 2022 in Dallas. 

Rich AV Design’s winning project, The Taconic Lodge, consisted of a main house, guest house, car garage, apple orchard, tennis court and pool. The estate was built entirely of indigenous materials and embraced a naturalist aesthetic that blends into its beautiful nature surroundings. The lodge included six indoor and outdoor living rooms, two kitchens, a dining hall, a wine cellar, spa, and an underground garage known as ‘The Bat Cave’. 

Rich AV Design provided a tailor-made technology portfolio that married the rustic with the luxurious. The technology merged with the avant-garde architecture to create an environment that allows the inhabitants to relax and recharge. 

Among the hidden technological perks were an Access Networks Wi-Fi system, Coastal Source landscape speakers and lighting, Tru-Audio custom speakers, Axis surveillance cameras, 2N intercoms, and Sonos sound system. But the star of the project was the Lutron HomeWorks QSX system which Rich AV Design installed to marry Lutron’s shades, Ketra smart lighting, and the above manufacturers via Lutron’s 3rd party integration. 


Since this client had a very set style they were adhering too, Rich AV Design worked with them to keep their existing Roman shades in place. They customized Lutron Triathlon motors to the shades and integrated them with the overall Lutron control system. 

Rich AV Design also ensured that Lutron was compatible with the other technology in the home. For example, Lutron integrates with the two 2N door stations and driveway gates on the property via the Lutron app which is not only available via the customer’s phone and tablet, but also through the 2N touch panel located inside the house. 

The Coastal Source landscape lighting system is also tied to Lutron. Schedules turn lights on and off while custom programming allows the homeowners to press a button on their keypad to extend the time they stay on if they’re hosting a party. However, the lights will still turn off automatically later in the night to avoid wasted energy. 


“The Bat Cave” is only accessible through a secret driveway or a hidden door in the main level of the house. When turning onto the secret driveway, the Lutron system turns on the lights using a Cartel sensor that detects disturbances in the Earth’s magnetic field. The lights will only turn on for a car, not an animal or anyone approaching on foot. The Bat Cave is a compound in of itself with a bar/game area built to resemble a speakeasy, wine cellar, gym, and a car garage.

The garage showcases the homeowner’s antique car collection through a motorized platter that rotates the cars. The team at Rich AV Design had a lot of fun using Lutron’s Ketra lighting control system here. The integrators emphasized each car based on the color of the vehicle to generate a high-end feel to the entire garage. As cars are added or exchanged in the collection, they can easily adjust the Ketra system to match. In addition, Rich AV Design integrated DMX-controlled WAC LED strips in the Bat Cave tunnel to help the architect create the cinematic effect she wanted.


The bedroom also presented Rich AV design with some unique challenges that they were able to resolve with Lutron’s help. The bathroom shades were stacked, so they created a sequence to get the shades to rise and lower simultaneously and remain level with each other. This was only possible using Lutron’s precise motors and hembar alignment technology. There was also a window in the master bathroom that required a custom cut that Rich AV Design were able to connect to Lutron drivers to keep it integrated with the entire home.


It was crucial that the client would be able to control everything just the way they wanted. So Rich AV Design integrated multiple control options for the client. For the primary Lutron system, they used seeTouch keypads, Pico remotes and the Lutron app. Additional integrations included the aforementioned 2N intercom panels, visor controller remotes and the Cartel driveway sensor. There were also automated scenes–like the ones for the Coastal Source landscape lighting–that provided hands-off control.

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