Lighting Control Systems Offer Benefits But Are Often Overlooked
by Dan Hoehnen
In today's homes, with multiple forms of accent lighting throughout the home, a lighting control system is often overlooked. Homeowners either aren't aware that such a system is available, or donít realize the benefits of having one. Our goal is to change this.
Conventional lighting control requires one switch or dimmer per set of lights. This can lead to a large number of switches on a wall, and also makes it difficult to set each set of lights to the desired brightness for various occasions.
A lighting control system uses a keypad with multiple engraved buttons that only takes the space of one light switch. The "wall clutter" is gone, and the engraved buttons make operation simple, even for guests. A single button press brings a single light, or group of lights, to the desired brightness settings. Since different amounts of light are required depending on the time of day, there could be an EVENING button and a DAY button that operate the same group of lights, but to different brightness settings. Or, the system could do this automatically by measuring the ambient light.
Lighting keypad buttons can also be programmed to operate other devices, such as a fireplace, motorized window treatments, or an audio system, further reducing the wall clutter.
Not only does a lighting control system add beauty and convenience, but it can also provide energy savings and security. Bulb life is extended by ramping lights to a 90 to 95% brightness, rather than turning on to 100% instantly.
The system is also capable of controlling lights in multiple rooms, or even the entire house, with one button. It then becomes very easy to press a button at the top of the basement steps to turn off all lights in the basement. Or, when the security is armed to away mode, all lights in the house can automatically be turned off (maybe leaving some on if it is after sunset).
For security, a single button next to the bed can flood the outside of the house with light. Another button could be used to light the inside of house. Lights, either inside or outside the house, can be made to flash in order to draw attention. If a smoke alarm goes off, the system can turn on lights to help visibility in smoke-filled rooms. While away, various lights can be turned on and off, giving the house a lived-in look.
Lighting control systems can be installed in both new construction and existing homes. Several lighting systems are specifically designed for the retrofit market and require no wiring.
The possibilities are endless. Since each system is programmed based on the homeowner's lifestyle, you are sure to get a system that is perfect for you.