Illuminations on Smart Lighting

When you think of smart home automation, do you include Smart Lighting? Most new luxury homes are sold with this technology installed. The benefits are improved aesthetics, security, convenience and reduced energy costs. Smart lighting can even go beyond lighting – it can act as a gateway to other systems within the home.

Smart Lighting on a touch screen. Add convenience, safety and energy savings to your home.

Smart Lighting on a touch screen. Add convenience, safety and energy savings to your home.
Smart lighting – an energy saving solution and a home automation enhancement.

A centralized smart lighting system is ideal for adjusting all indoor and outdoor lights automatically for any occasion. The technology also plays a role in reducing energy use, which can save on your utility bills. Almost 20% of all energy use in the average home is for lighting.  Think of all the times you leave lights on when not needed, or forgot to shut lights off before leaving. This adds up, especially in larger homes with hundreds of lights.

Smart lighting systems help save power:

  • An “All Off” or “Good Night” button on your tablet, keypad or phone can allow you to shut off unnecessary lights at night.
  • Dimmers save electricity. Reduce lighting by half and you use half the electricity. Over time, this can really add up, and you probably won’t notice much difference. When lights are set at a dimmed level, they look softer and more pleasing to the eye. You can dim the lights right at the switch. Or have the switch alter the intensity of the lights automatically based on the time of day, occupancy, when the shades open and close, and other variables.
  • Add sensors to detect when someone enters a room or leaves so lights turn off when the room is empty. Other sensors can be used to detect sunlight and shut off lights as needed or according to a set schedule.
Set the right mood

Smart lighting can set a mood within your home for any occasion, from cooking and dinner parties to movie night. Lighting control systems allow you to program ‘Scenes’. These are your lighting preferences for each room; some on, some off, others dimmed. Great for varying common areas, entertaining rooms, and personal spaces.

Smart lighting enhances your home, both from the front and the backyard. Illuminate water features, beautiful landscaping, enhance curb appeal and add prominence to your exterior architecture.

It’s not just about lights.

Smart lighting controls can integrate other smart devices into your scenes such as music, door locks, climate, motorized shades, and more.  Your “Dinner Party” scene can adjust the lights in the kitchen, dining room, draw the shades halfway and play your favorite Pandora station in your living room. Your “Bedtime” or “Away” command could also lock the doors, set the security system, close the shades, and lower the thermostat.

Implementation guidelines.

Valley Home Theater installs Control4 systems as our preferred solution for home automation. Control4 also makes some of the most reliable and feature-rich smart lighting systems available.

A customized smart lighting switch engraved with personalized functions.

The basis of a smart lighting implementation is the installation of smart dimmers, on/off switches, and keypads throughout your home.  These devices communicate via a wireless mesh network which allows each switch or keypad to communicate with the other devices in the house without additional wiring. Once programmed, this architecture gives you access to any light or combination of lights that are controlled from your keypads, touchscreens, remotes, or your cell phone. Smart switches are very streamlined and available in a variety of styles and colors. It’s a big aesthetic improvement over traditional switches.

A customized smart lighting switch engraved with personalized functions.

If you’re looking to install LED lights throughout the home as part of your lighting upgrade, check compatibility with your current fixtures. To dim LED lights you’ll need adaptive phase dimmers installed. If you are upgrading to smart lighting anyway, the investment can be further justified because your new smart dimmers will support LED lights.

Panelized lighting is another consideration when installing smart lighting.  These are wired systems that are perfect for homes that are undergoing construction or remodeling. The lighting wires are run to a centralized location such as a utility closet. Panelized lighting systems do not require a switch gang per light load, thus you won’t need unsightly 4-gang, 5-gang or larger switch ‘banks’. Eliminating the need for banks of switches avoids the cluttered look of too many switches, also known as “wall acne,” and allows you to control multiple lights from a few stylish keypads.

How to get the most out of your smart lighting system.

What is the best process to set up smart lighting controls and keypads? Try a suggested setup from a professional integrator like Valley Home Theater. The Control4 systems we install allow us to create settings for different parts of your house based on your intended uses of the system. As you use the system, you’ll find what works best for your lifestyle.  Maybe you want more lighting when watching sports on TV or  less light for movies. Once you’ve determined your ideal settings or “scenes,” we’ll have your keypad buttons engraved, installed and make any final programming adjustments.

If you’re looking to set up smart lighting for your home or integrate it into your existing home automation system, Valley Home Theater is here to help.  Contact us today to learn more about how we can create the perfect system for your home!

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