At Fine Lion Restaurant & Bar in Ashburton, New Zealand, guests are treated to a luxurious and upscale atmosphere featuring imported mosaic tiles, copper details, lush greenery and contrasting color schemes. However, what they don’t see is what sets the restaurant apart from its competition and makes day-to-day operations simpler for employees.
With the help of ElectraServe, a local electrical and smart technology integrator, the restaurant has installed a Control4 system that integrates control of lighting, security, heating and cooling, window shades, televisions and audio areas into a single interface that can be accessed through Control4 touch panels or the Control4 mobile app. According to James Reed, the automation installer at ElectraServe, adding a control system allowed the restaurant designer and architect to free the interior from technical clutter while still offering all the benefits of modern smart technologies.
“It was the desire for a premium look and feel and a premium guest experience that drove us to make every decision,” Reid explained. “Having first designed and installed the restaurant’s audio system, which includes custom-made and copper-clad speakers to match the aesthetic, we had the opportunity to show the owners and designer how Control4 can eliminate the need for light switches, cable boxes, TV remote controls, and other intrusive components. Visually. Once everyone understood the visual cleanliness you would provide, and the time you would save for daily operations, everyone was on board.”
The focus of The Fine Lion automation system is to simplify common tasks such as adjusting the volume of music, setting lighting levels, managing temperature, and simplifying daily opening and closing. All functions and more can now be accessed through the Control4 app or touch screens, including automation of multiple systems and lighting scenes.
When employees arrive in the morning, they first disarm the security system, which automatically turns on the lights. Then they use the “Open” button on the Control4 interface to turn on all three TVs, dozens of speakers, and all content delivery devices at once. At the time of closing, the ‘Close’ button in the interface closes the motorized blinds and vents while all AV devices and lights are turned off. The external lighting of the building is also connected, and it is scheduled to turn on automatically each evening.
Laura Hedwig, Creative Lead for RM Designs, designer and project architect, noted how Control4 helped them achieve the exact environment and ambiance they envisioned.
“The automation of lighting, audio, video, window treatments and external vents means we don’t need many wall-mounted switches or TV remote controls,” Hedwig said. “Not only does this allow us to keep the walls free from visual clutter, but it also simplifies the operation of the place for the employees working there. Furthermore, ElectraServe has gone to great lengths to finish the visual elements such as the speaker grilles. The speakers have either been wet sprayed or custom-made of brass to blend in with the architecture.”
Time and energy savings benefits were a major consideration. Without a control system, all the subsystems discussed here would require individual control and add more responsibilities to the employees. In addition to the time-saving nature of automation and scenes, the restaurant also saves energy by automating light-dimming schedules and ensuring that the climate system is turned off when employees leave each night.
All equipment that powers the restaurant’s AV and control functions is located in an equipment rack in a back room, allowing for a display of decor. In addition to the custom-made, copper-clad woofers, some woofers are also located under the seats to ensure excellent sound for each patron without interrupting the aesthetic. Red explained that while it’s not a sports bar and doesn’t play overly loud music, the system is designed with plenty of speakers so it can be heard everywhere even at low volume levels.
“We really took everything into consideration in this design and installation,” Reed added. The main bar TV, for example, blends in with the décor with a custom-made oak and brass frame. The outdoor terrace seating area is no exception, providing guests with excellent views of downtown Ashburton while enjoying the amenities of heating, music and an outdoor TV. We Very proud of the cleanliness the final bar looks like, and we wouldn’t have achieved that without Control4.”
The restaurant is located within a larger building, and Control4’s access extends to lighting in some hallways and public spaces. Read also mentioned that ElectraServe has been using Control4 in residential projects for about 10 years, and the recent expansion of Snap One’s presence in New Zealand has given access to more premium brands designed to fully integrate with Control4.