Home Network

Today, most automation and lighting systems, appliances, and communication devices (smart phones, tablets, laptop computers, for example) require high-speed internet access to operate properly. In order for all of this to work together through a hard wired and wireless connection, a home network must be created. Most homes have some kind of “home network”, but they aren’t all as intricate or as functional, which is where we can help. We sat down with sales and project manager, Lynn Hopffgarten, and our network engineer, Adam Swaney to get more insight on a home network.

Why can’t I just get the network gear I need from my Internet Service Provider?

You can; Internet Service Providers (ISPs) do provide a basic modem, router, and wireless communications device when they install service. For a small home and small household, this can be adequate. For larger homes, however, this single device does not have the switching, bandwidth, or data-management capabilities required in contemporary homes and lifestyles. Bethesda Systems work with the Client’s ISP to provide the additional components and labor to set-up networks for today’s homes.

What does “Enterprise Grade Network” mean and why do I need that in my Home?

“Enterprise Grade Network” is software, and management tools designed to provide robust, stable, and long-term network solutions required by businesses, today. These components cost slightly more than standard residential grade gear, longer warranties, and fundamentally better customer support. These components make it possible to have a consistent, stable, and seamless experience. For example, downloading a movie from Netflix in the Media Room while someone else is loading a movie or playing video games online.

So … What is a “Bethesda Systems’” network? 

A Bethesda Systems network is an enterprise grade hardware, software, and long-term support solution designed and commissioned by our Network Engineer, Adam Swaney. He designs the networks to provide, stable, robust, secure, and long-term service for high-speed internet throughout your home.  Managed by our service team, the Bethesda Systems Network makes it possible to diagnose, repair, and upgrade network, remotely. This means “one call” to Bethesda Systems for service versus a run-around with various levels “technical support” from the service provider.



Call or email us today to hear about our New Years home network special!

Improvement Upon Improvement

Bethesda Sytems is changing…for the better of course. With over 10 years of providing services in the area, we have grown and expanded to offer more than just audio/video and lighting control systems for our clients. Our services now include, security cameras with web access, wired and wireless network solutions, residential and commercial LED lighting installation in both new and existing homes and businesses, Nest thermostats and smoke detectors. 


To help us be more responsive and better equipped to provide solutions, we have created and filled the following positions:

·        Customer Care Coordinator

·        Sales Coordinator

·        Internal Salesperson

·        Financial Controller

Our general manager, Mark Pettis sat down to discuss all of the new positions and how we are improving to serve you better.

How are we improving our service and sales departments? 

These new positions along with our Network Engineer, System Designer, Master Electrician, LED lighting specialist, audio video technicians, and programmers allow us to be experts in the always changing world of electronics integration.

Karen Booker is our Client Care Coordinator and is responsible for all scheduling of services,project installations and LED lighting visits. She is also the coordinator for all of the Nest product installations and service visits.
Laura Cromer is our Sales Coordinator and is responsible for communicating with new clients. She is also the point of contact and source of status updates for ongoing work. This gives our clients a dedicated point of contact if they should have any questions about their ongoing installations.
Jim O’Brien is our Internal Salesperson and is responsible, along with Laura, for contacting all of our clients and potential clients quickly and asking about the new projects. He also travels to our client’s residence, and performs assessments prior to submitting proposal to make sure our proposal are good faith estimates and not guesses.
Christina McGrath is our Financial Controller and is responsible for keeping our financial house in order by coordinating the entire accounting process, which includes accounts receivable, payable and vendor relationships.

What can customers expect from us with these new changes?/How is our service team ready to assist? 

New customers will find the process of engaging Bethesda Systems simple and straight forward. Their inquiries will be answered quickly and professionally.  Service requests are being analyzed and scheduled as quickly as possible. Follow up for service visits are being done daily and billing for service work is being completed accurately and quickly. Our existing customers will find our new process, refreshing, easy to use, and more responsive. 

We are excited about being able to provide the quality of products and service our clients expect along with meeting the new and ever changing needs of our existing and new customers. Whether a client needs a system for their entire home or just one room, Bethesda Systems is the one and only call they need to make.

Tesla Meet & Greet

The day consisted of 22 Teslas, friendly people, fresh sushi, Baked By Melissa cupcakes, wine, coffee, car washes, Meridian Audio and donuts. Our electric vehicle event was quite a successful event and we can’t wait to host another meet and greet! 

A special thanks to our sponsors for helping make this event possible!


Kaledescape’s Cinema One

The Kaleidescape Cinema One is the ultimate movie player! I for one get so tired of trying to figure out where I put a specific DVD or who I loaned it to. But, with the Cinema One you don’t have to worry about such issues. The device allows you to store up to 1,200 DVDs. This eliminates the problem of having to get up, find the DVD, worry about it being scratch, etc. The best part about this piece of technology is just how user friendly it is. There is one remote…yes, our team gets you all set up with just ONE remote. It is extremely easy to browse through your collection and there are so many search options you can explore with. The device allows you to sort through your movies based on length, year, cast, director rating and title. Just wait, it gets better, you can also bookmark epic scenes from movies and the device is so advanced that you can see the soundtrack from the movie and it will play just that scene that you select. Uploading and downloading movies is easy too. If you decide to purchase a movie then you can go to the Kaleidescape store and download movies directly to your system, all while you remain in your seat. The films also include all of the features that a regular DVD disc might include.

This device is one of a kind and it does not disappoint. It makes the perfect holiday gift and it even comes with a special bonus until December 26th. If you buy the Cinema One then you get 50 FREE movies. This is the first time that Kaledescape has done a promotion like this. It is without a doubt an item and a deal that you do not want to miss out on.

Bethesda Systems Helps Client See the Light

Two men walk into your home with A black duffle bag. You have never met them before.

They’re preparing to take things from your home: inefficient light bulbs. This summer, homeowners Tim and Shawn Shaw went on a diet—the LED Diet. The two men who showed up at their door with the big black duffle bag are LED Dietitians. Their bag isn’t empty though; it’s fully loaded and heavy.

Fully loaded and heavy with a variety of 30 different LED bulbs, that is. At least one of these bulbs is guaranteed to be the perfect solution to an inefficient or poor quality light source. The Shaws were not well-versed in LEDs at first. Placing such seemingly modern and new technology into their home was foreign to them.

“When Jon and Gino arrived, we did not know what to expect,” said Tim Shaw, homeowner, husband, and father of three. “We never really considered our lighting as more than a necessity, so replacing our incandescents with an efficient alternative didn’t really cross our minds.”

Jon Stovall, creator of the LED Diet, and Gino Hefner, the first ever LED Dietitian, offered high quality, energy efficient LED alternatives to almost every light throughout the home: kitchen, living room, bedroom—you name it, they replaced it.

Going through their whole home, Stovall and Hefner helped the Shaws realize how much better their light could be, but they did not stop there. Stovall and Hefner offered to also replace the Shaw’s thermostat with a new Nest Thermostat.

The home’s Nest lives by the main entrance in the front hallway. The front of the home is clad with windows, letting plenty of natural light in—including onto the wall where the thermostat is located. During the summer, if it’s sunny out, the sunlight hits the thermostat directly by about 10:00AM, and is under the sun all day.

Casting an intervention, the dietitians held the Shaw home to a challenge: how much less energy would they consume by only replacing bulbs and a thermostat with more efficient alternatives and not changing anything about their lifestyle?

The Shaws promised to not change a thing about their living habits. And, approximately two months later in August, the Shaws saw a drop in their utility bills. As for a change in lighting and comfort: there have been only improvements according to the Shaw family.

“Our kids noticed the difference right away in the quality of light,” said Shawn Shaw, homeowner, wife, and mother of three. In each of their rooms, they use only one lamp, and changing that one lamp to LED has given them the ability to see brighter, and better.

The same goes for the laundry room, a small space connecting the main house to the garage.

“Now I’ll be able to actually see what I’m doing in here!” Shawn said upon the single bulb being upgraded.

The bill for August 2013 was about $80 cheaper than it was for the previous month, and they will save 25% on their entire electric bill every year.

The Shaw household will probably never change another light bulb—their home uses more than 80 lamps—for at least another 15 years.

“It baffles me,” said Tim. Based on their current energy usage, their new energy savings alone will create a return on investment for their home in under three years.

Within 10 years, the family will have already cumulated an extra $16,000 just by not having to replace old, burnt out, inefficient bulbs.

In regards to their new Nest Thermostat, they barely touch it. The Shaw family noticed: the Sunblock feature must actually work.The Sunblock feature allows the Nest to automatically adjust to direct sunlight, enabling it to avoid offsetting or misleading temperature changes.

“We installed a smart meter to help monitor changes in energy consumption at the start of this challenge,” Tim Shaw said. “Now that we’ve really seen how much our house can reap the benefits of our efficient technology, we’re going to start employing more efficient practices to really change our impact on the grid.”


Lighting Upgrade Cooked Just Right


Yamas, a Bethesda, Md. Mediterranean restaurant, utilizes spot lighting throughout restaurant to light up the bar, wall seating, booths, and menu. The restaurant is small, but unfortunately, even with all the lighting they had, it was still too dark.

The lighting was all over the place, literally and figuratively. Different bulbs were used in one track lighting scheme. Some of the halogens gave off blue light, and others gave off white or yellow light.

Yamas owner, Tony Alexis, said he received recommendations for his lighting, and light bulbs, from his meat guy.

The lighting was intended to be more efficient, however, the lack of a lighting specialist left the restaurant looking unorganized and dim, until Bethesda Systems came along.


After an LED retrofit by Bethesda Systems, the owner and employees of the Mediterranean restaurant were astonished, and pleased.

Restaurant manager Diana Ziscovici was caught by surprise.

“I never realized the lighting was so off!”

The lighting before the retrofit was inconsistent. Some bulbs, even when on, did not even light anything up. Half of the restaurant was lit, the other half was dark.

Now, the lighting was even, bright, and the color it was intended to be.

“When our staff came walking in the day after the installation, they told me the restaurant looked much cleaner,” Ziscovici said.

The difference in the bar area, menu by the entrance, and dining area left the restaurant actually shining, and, more over, the restaurant is now saving an immense amount of energy. By going LED, the restaurant now saves over 80% on energy that is expended through lighting. This equals over $1,500 in annual energy savings.

“We’re very pleased with how Bethesda Systems helped us get such a great deal, and better look,” said Ziscovici.

Urban Designs: Dynamic Light, Lively Showroom


Urban Country, a downtown Bethesda urban furniture store utilizes track lighting throughout their industrial showroom. Packed with different mini rooms to showcase their furniture pieces, paintings, sculptures, lamps, and various home accessories, the store suffered from uneven lighting. Little did they know how dark it really was, and how much lighting from the outdoors affected the glamour of the space.

The store owners had several employees who were known as the “bulb-changers”. They were the ones who had to climb up over 6-foot ladders to change each bulb when it burnt out—and that happened several times a month at least.

The showroom, although located in an industrial space, features contemporary designs for the home. With pieces to fill virtually any room in a residence, the store has much to offer its clients, including expert designers and multitudes of fabrics to choose from.

However, with mini-rooms throughout the showroom, and big armoires and lofty beds, shadows appeared, leaving the showroom to look like an abandoned warehouse. The showroom lost its glitz at night due to insufficient lighting to highlight every piece.


After an LED retrofit by Bethesda Systems, the owners of the Bethesda furniture store realized they used their ladders a lot less.

Since the install, the staff still has not needed to swap a bulb. The store remains alive when the weather outdoors is gloomy.

Instead of light bleeding in from the outdoors through lofty windows, the lighting inside the home store remained unaffected.

The result? Authenticity, effective spot lighting, and a showroom that leaves you wanting more.

“Our designers were hesitant about the lighting change at first,” said Sascha Roth, co-owner of the store. “After the install, they were happily surprised. They were pleased that the integrity of the store wasn’t jeopardized.”

The store originally was consuming approximately 50,000 kWh of energy throughout a given year. With the LED retrofit, the furniture store’s projected energy usage is set to drop by over 80%, all the way down to under 10,000 kWh.

The difference in lighting quality was clear to the owners.

“We didn’t realize it was that much of a difference. The store looks great. We’re glad Bethesda Systems was able to help, and that we won’t be bothered with extra maintenance anymore,” Roth said.

Lighting Improves Quality at Renowned Tobacconist


A fine tobacco shop located in Downtown Bethesda is popular among many in the area, supplying the best tobaccos, but having difficulty with proper lighting for their products, and lounge.

The tobacconist features its own humidor, where various sorts of tobacca, like cigars, cigarettes, and pipe tobacco are stored at a constant humidity, helping to keep the tobacco fresh.

With energy-wasting, heat producing halogen lamps lining the lounge and lighting the humidor, comfort of the well-renowned tobacconist was compromised. Uneven lighting also took away from the ambience of the lounge.


Thankfully, Bethesda Systems was able to help recomend better lighting. LED retrofit lamps for halogen lamps improved the lighting of the lounge, and humidor.

“It’s much better, now,” said Jeannie Breedlove Martinson of the tobacconist. “Not only does the air-conditioning work much better now, but it’s also much easier to read everything throughout the humidor—a huge help for our staff, and, more importantly, our clients.”

Throughout the lounge, the lighting is even, and the true colors of the walls, floor, and furniture are visible. Before, halogens lining the walls left patchy and scalloped light marks. This left awkward shadows leaving lines in all sorts of directions. Now, the light is focused, casting better quality light, all with better design.

“We’ve also noticed a difference in the video of our security cameras,” added Breedlove Martinson. “We can actually see what’s in the videos much clearer now with the new lights.”

Case Grand Opening Debuts with Bethesda Systems Integration

Bethesda Systems celebrated yet another stellar integration project with the Case Design/Remodeling group.

Bethesda Systems project manager Lynn Hopffgarten and the Case team celebrated the grand opening of their newly remodeled and upgraded design showroom, located in Bethesda this past weekend on Saturday afternoon.

Case is the largest and most respected full-service home improvement company in the nation. With a strong demand from other industry professionals, Case began franchising in 1997 and today is the only franchisor of remodeling services in the US. Serving 120 territories through their network of locally owned and operated franchisees and with over 100,000 clients nationwide.

The grand opening featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony in which Bill Millholland, Case Director of Sales, and an attendee snipped the ribbon, kicking off the event. Before the ceremony, Case held a consumer seminar that highlighted various kitchen and bathroom remodeling ideas and projects.

“It was a big hit, people just kept coming!” said Millholland. “Thanks to the added technology Bethesda Systems integrated, I held a second seminar for an additional group utilizing our new Apple TV to stream the presentation wirelessly from my Macbook.”

The showroom now features three new Apple TV and PC compatible screens to display product and project application information for customer review, Control4 lighting control that allows customers to demo custom lighting scenarios, and a Sonos ZP-120 along with six additional speakers allowing background music to be played throughout the studio.

In the two adjoining conference rooms connected to the main design center are Lutron RadioRA2 lighting controls. For lighting, several Juno WarmDim fixtures were installed as well as LED replacements for both conference rooms.

In addition, Bethesda Systems also locked down an efficient wireless network in order to make streaming to design studio devices seamless, and letting sales people work with clients remotely.

Both the seminar and the grand opening brought in over 60 attendees, not including Case members and Bethesda Systems.

“There was a great turnout. The event went great. Their new design center now reflects everything the Case team is capable of doing—whether it is A/V and energy efficient lighting, or new kitchen remodeling,” said Hopffgarten. “They’ve really got it all now, and the Bethesda Systems team is happy to be a part of that.”