‘Smart Lighting’ – the collective term for lighting controlled by an intelligent network – has become increasingly popular with homes and businesses over the past decade. From smaller energy bills to multiple mood settings at a touch of a button, here’s five reasons why you should consider making the switch to a lighting control system.
Although there is a natural appeal to saving money on a monthly utility bill, the global need for ‘greener’ solutions to energy consumption is a driving force for many of our customers upgrading to smart lighting.
For the average home, lighting accounts for about a quarter of energy bills. Installing dimmers and sensors can instantly positively impact your electricity usage. Sophisticated sensors can detect occupancy to only activate a light when someone is in the room, or sense daylight to shut off any lights when they are not needed. Energy efficient light sources such as LED or fluorescent lamps and dimmable light fixtures help reduce electricity usage and generally last a longer than a traditional incandescent or halogen lamp. Additionally, easily activating ‘away mode’ or ‘green mode’ when the property is unoccupied prevents unnecessary electricity wastage.
A well-designed lighting control system is easy to operate and understand. Light years away from the basic ‘on/off’ wall switch, a smart network allows you to control the presence and levels of lighting for a single room or an entire house.
Each button is fully customizable to suit the needs of the homeowner, such as ‘movie’, ‘cooking’ or “property off”. Preset scenes can be added to each room, giving numerous options for different occasions. These commands can be instantly activated by a touch of a button on a wall mounted keypad, from an app on a smartphone or tablet, or integrated with a voice activated system, such as Alexa. It can also be executed automatically using a timeclock. For example, at sunset, the system will automatically turn on the path lights, the pool lights and set an attractive scene in the social areas. This is how most commercial resorts control their lighting in public spaces and is the reason why you do not see their staff running around turning on and off a combination of lights and adjusting dimmers. It all happens automatically, and it is tracking the position of the sun at any time of year, so it knows exactly when to activate a setting.
Lighting control can be programmed to provide additional home security and keep vigil over an unoccupied property. In “vacation mode”, the lights can be programmed to provide random lighting in specified areas to make it look like someone is at home.
Ambience and Aesthetics
Lighting can play an essential, and often understated, role in the ‘feel’ of any space, in both commercial and residential applications. Colour temperature and levels of lighting will all contribute to the size, atmosphere and ambience of a room. Each area will have different requirements and a lighting control system can easily adjust for each situation. Pre-settings can range from an endless range of choices, from dinner party to disco, and dimmable light fixtures provide further control to set the desired scene.
Installed interfaces can help customize the look to suit the aesthetics of the décor. Faceplates range in size, finish and texture to blend in or accentuate. Back lit buttons are easy to find and read in the dark, and personalized engraved labels clearly navigate the chosen settings. The benefit of a fully integrated lighting control system is that you do not need to have several gangs of switches and dimmers on the wall. You just need one keypad in a convenient location and the buttons can be programmed to control one or hundreds of lighting loads and other devices in the property.
There is no question that the need to be efficient is an essential pre-requisite in the design of new homes and buildings. When you add the convenience and aesthetics of a lighting control system to these intelligent features, it’s understandable why this option is being considered in so many mid to large scale homes and businesses. A lighting control network is easy to update and change up as your needs and requirements evolve over time. The latest technology can be applied as new updates become available, ensuring your system is working to its fullest potential.
AVL can assist in the design, supply, installation and support of LUTRON and CRESTRON lighting control systems. Please contact us for a free consultation.