Home Technology : Smart Home
Lighting Control Offers More Than Convenience
Want to freshen up the appearance of your house, enjoy greater convenience and save some energy to boot? Then you should look into a lighting control system.
A lighting control system can automatically dim your lights, enact preset “scenes” so only the fixtures you need come on, automatically turn on and off lights so you don’t have to run around the house to do so- and interact with other home systems such as motorized window shades, security systems, thermostats and whole-house control and automation systems.
There are many types of systems available, in a variety of configurations and price points. You can have a fully wired system if you’re building a home or addition. If not, no worries: Opt for a wireless system that transmits commands over radio frequency signals instead of wires. A combination of the two works for many homeowners.
Many lighting control systems today incorporate motion and occupancy sensors to turn on and off lights automatically. And some lighting systems are starting to work hand-in-hand with shading and thermostats. Lutron, for example, is rolling out this seamless integration in its wired HomeWorks QS and wireless RadioRA 2 systems. If a sensor detects too much sunlight coming into a room, or if the temperature exceeds a certain point, the shades can automatically descend. Conversely, the shades can open to harvest daylight and warmth from the
winter sun, while triggering lights to turn off.
Whole-house lighting control systems are available from companies including Lutron, LiteTouch, Vantage Legrand, CentraLite and Leviton- as well as home control companies Crestron and Control4. Also available are a variety of lighting control products that employ wireless Z-Wave and ZigBee technologies.
The diagram to the right illustrates possible locations for the various components that make up a lighting control system.