Here are a few questions to think about if you’re considering a Lighting Control System for your home.
Is your home a new construction or retrofit project?
If your starting from scratch with a new construction project than it would be best to go with a centralized lighting control system. The walls will be exposed for a quick and easy pre-wire of high and low voltage cable. If your home already exists and you don’t want to rip up the walls then I would recommend a wireless lighting control system. Controllable dimmers and switches are installed in place of your traditional light switches. The new dimmers and switches communicate wirelessly to the processor for all the added features and control.
What is your budget?
If you’re trying to work within a certain budget then a wireless system would be the most affordable solution. A centralized system is more expensive because it guarantees a more robust system. A wireless system relies on wireless communication so if your walls are too thick you may experience disruptions from time to time. For example some homes have thick concrete exterior walls with metal mesh that can make a signal become weak. A centralized system is hard wired so communication between the devices is hardly ever a problem.
Are you trying to save energy?
Almost all types of lighting control systems can save energy. It just all depends on how you use the system. The most effective method of saving energy would be incorporating motion sensors into the system that would automatically turn the lights off when a room is empty. Another great method would be dimming the lights. Lights can be programmed to never go above a certain percentage unless you manually raise the intensity from a keypad. I also recommend swapping out old incandescent bulbs for dimmable LED’s. LED bulbs would not only lower your energy bill but they would also save you money in bulb replacements because they have a longer life-span than CFL’s or incandescent bulbs.
How do you want to control the lights?
Control of the lights can be gained from many places. Lighting control keypads are placed at all entries and exits of a room for easy access. If your home has an existing automation system an option to consider is a larger touch panel for better visibility and navigation of all the systems in your home. My favorite method of control is with an iPhone, iPad or android. Having the ability to easily gain access of your lights from your phone or tablet is an awesome feature because most people already have these devices in their home.
Hopefully these questions have given you a few ideas on what to considered if you’re thinking about purchasing a lighting control system for your home. For more information on Lighting Control please contact our office.