On hearing the term custom home electronics, most people don’t think of lighting control systems. This is unfortunate, because lighting control can add tremendous wow factor to a home, provide added safety, offer energy savings and increase a property’s value.
The thing homeowners like most about lighting control is the convenience it offers. Lighting control puts an end to those “turn off the lights” battles families have. Lights can be turned on and off or dimmed by the usual wall switches, and with smart phones, tablets or occupancy sensors. This means never walking around the house turning off lights other people left on, or never approaching or entering a dark home.
Lighting scenes and events can also be programmed with lighting control. Lighting scenes are pre-set lighting levels that can help set the mood for different situations, like entertaining, watching television or family dinner time. With the push of a button, lighting scenes are activated.
Lighting events mean that lights automatically turn on, off or dim at certain times of the day, or when something triggers them. For example, if your alarm goes off, it could trigger all interior lights to turn on and exterior lights to flash.
Lighting control also helps save energy and extends bulb life. According to Lutron, on average, dimming an incandescent or halogen light will reduce energy use by about 20%. Incandescent and halogen bulbs last up to 20 times longer when used with a dimmer, and LED bulbs run cooler when dimmed, which can extend bulb life. If you add shade control to the mix, you can save 10% on heating and cooling costs by blocking the sun’s rays in summer or letting them in during colder months.
Another thing homeowners love about lighting control is that it’s much more cost effective than people think. At ACT, we most often use a wireless lighting control system — Lutron’s Radio Ra 2 — that can be installed without the need to open walls or add any new wiring. It can be used for just a few rooms or throughout an entire home, allows scheduled events, can also operate shades, appliances and temperature, and can be controlled remotely (i.e. when you’re away from home) using mobile devices.
If you’d like to explore the possibilities that lighting control could add to your home, please get in touch with us. We think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised.