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Crestron Electronics, Inc.

Crestron offers the only complete end-to-end solution with a complete line of hardware and software. Crestron not only connects and controls devices; we integrate and automate all the building systems to provide a connected experience. We deliver integrated solutions for audio, video, IP, lighting and climate control making wiring and installations easier and promoting system integrity.
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Finding the Perfect Form and Function: The New Horizon Keypads and Dimmers from Crestron
Posted on Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Finding the Perfect Form and Function: The New Horizon Keypads and Dimmers from Crestron

From better fit and finish to a more luxurious look and feel, the latest versions of Horizon® keypads and dimmers are some of our best products for the home

May 31, 2023 - What's in a keypad? As it turns out, a lot.

The amount of research, design, engineering, and real-world testing that's gone into the new Horizon® keypads and dimmers from Crestron is likely pretty eye-opening for the casual observer. The latest offerings in the Horizon line mark the next step in the progress of the notion of controls for the home: We've come quite a long way from the simple toggle switch that operated a single light circuit.

Crestron's Director of Business Development, JoAnn Arcenal, notes that a watchword common at Crestron is the phrase, "Constant evolution keeps us at the forefront of technology." She elaborates: "When we have something like a keypad, we're not just going to say, 'OK, this functions, we're done with it.' As we got our feedback from clients as well as dealers and installers, we learned about things that elevated the experience. We dedicated resources and time to making sure that we got it right."

The team at Crestron realized long ago that touch screens weren't necessarily right for every room in a residential technology integration. Although the Crestron Home® OS offers a world of control from fixed screens to mobile devices, in some spaces, all that functionality isn't necessary. Think about a young child's bedroom or a walk-in closet or any other space that just needs control for a few systems, and the need for a simple and intuitive — yet elegant — keypad becomes apparent.

This latest iteration of the devices gives the users and designers a wide array of button styles and configurations — and the line is packed with other improvements, including:

  • A better overall look and feel
  • Better backlight
  • Less "light leak"
  • Better color and finish matching
  • New and broader choices for engraving

A Better Overall Look and Feel

The first improvements the team took into consideration were the basics: How can we improve both the aesthetics and the tactile experience? "The buttons used to sit a little bit more flush on that keypad," says Arcenal. "Now, they protrude just a little bit more, making for a better 'touch.'" A small adjustment to the mounting structure also yielded big dividends. "The new keypads are mounted on four corners instead of two," says Arcenal. This means that the plate won't appear to lift away from any irregularities in the wall underneath the keypad."

Better Backlight

"We now offer color tuning in the backlights of these keypads," says Arcenal. This means that the keypads will fit the ambiance of a room's lighting at any given time. A bright, blue light won't blare from a wall plate in a room that's full of warm evening hues. The buttons can all be customized for different functions, too: "If you have your security system tied to one of these keypads, you can program a button to glow red when it's armed," she adds.

Less "Light Leak"

The new keypads are constructed so that there's much less potential for light bleed from the device's backlighting. "It seems minor, but it really makes a difference in a dimly lit environment," says Arcenal. Think about the attention to detail that's needed in a quality home cinema or media room, for example — these rooms often include features that mitigate anything that might distract someone from the movie or game they're watching.

Better Color and Finish Matching

"Colors and finishes are going to be more consistent throughout all of our manufacturing processes," says Arcenal. "That's a huge thing, especially when we're talking about the design community — their eyes are always on those details." That consistency of color and finish — not to mention maintaining an overall luxury aesthetic across everything Crestron makes for the home — are all aspects that have become top of mind for both the design and engineering teams.

New and Broader Choices for Engraving

"We now have a new standalone software called Impress that provides a lot more options for engravings," says Arcenal. In addition to new fonts and sizes, icons are available for younger users or those with limited vision. "We have international language options out there as well," says Arcenal.

What's on the Horizon for Horizon Keypads and Dimmers

"We're planning on rolling out more finishes later in 2023," says Arcenal. She further notes that the Crestron team is attuned to both user feedback and the latest design trends. "We are constantly asking, 'What is the finish of the year? Is it anodized metal? Is it this satin metal? What would you like to see?'"

Testing in the field continues as well, says Arcenal: "We do an unparalleled amount of research on our products' durability and ease of use, and we're constantly adjusting to meet the needs of the marketplace.

"It really is all about keeping a finger on the pulse of what our customers want."