Lights, Lights and more lights…

Smart lighting control makes a room come alive, sets the mood or simply helps you perform specific tasks in comfort. From cooking & entertaining to watching a movie the “right” light is important.  With the growing number & types of LED, getting it right has become a minefield.

A little thought coupled with #SmartHome technology can pack wow into a room without limiting its future design. All to often sockets, TV points & lights dictate the layout of a room…. not any more.

We tend to look for 3 main styles of lighting, working/task, background and feature.

  • Working and task lighting is usually bright and in specific areas. Choosing the correct colour can help illuminate a space correctly. Cool white normally has a higher lumen output for the same wattage lamp
  • Background lighting provides the visual warmth and can consist of many smaller fittings. This lighting can also fall into the feature section.
  • Feature lighting is simply that, it illuminates a specific feature. From book shelves to drop ceilings, uplights on stone  walls or hanging artwork. When planned into the overall room illumination it can greatly enhance the overall ambiance of the room.

Each one has its own specific requirement and when you have multiple lighting circuits in a room, control can quickly get out of hand. That once clean wall now has a bank of switches which even with some of the elegant solutions on the market can still look unsightly. The solution is to introduce 1 touch scene control. This allows for quick recall of saved scenes by direct selection or scrolling through with a simple switch. Fine control of levels and light combinations is now realised within a simple app. 

Lighting PlanningThis type of control provides simple & consistent operation of both single and multiple circuit lighting. No more messing with dimmers to get back to the brightness you love, just press to recall time after time.

Having separated the lights from direct switch control, you can now do some very interesting things. Some of the features include:

  • motion detectors to switch on/off at defined times and brightness levels
  • automatically turn off when not in use
  • instigate presence simulation (no more plug in timers)
  • adjust lighting automatically with daylight conditions (Daylight Harvesting)
  • colour shift with time of day – circadian rhythm 
  • operate via external triggers e.g. burglar alarm, panic buttons, geo-fencing etc
  • central all off/on function – this is our most requested feature.

The benefits of smart lighting more than outweigh the additional cost and if not designed in at the time of building, can in 99% of cases be retrofitted.

Scene Control – is the ability to control multiple light circuits in a predefined manner for example:

  • Scene 0 – All off
    • Scene 1 – Ceiling off, table lamp on, corner lamp off, shelf LED 25%
    • Scene 2 – Ceiling 50%, table lamp off, corner lamp on, shelf LED 50%
    • Scene 3 – Ceiling 70%, Table lamp off, corner lamp off, shelf LED 80%
  • Scene 4 – All on or 100%

On most systems you either scroll through the set scenes in sequence, (0,1,2,3,4,0,1,2,…..) or you directly select the desired scene. Instead of numbered scenes, usually they are given a name based on the task e.g. Scene 1 above could be the scene for watching TV and scene 2 for when you are reading a book. In addition, many of the systems we install have the ability for voice control, so giving the scenes a meaningful name helps with this.

With the associated app based control, this opens up the ability to switch lights on/off remotely or aids those with mobility issues. For someone in a wheelchair or unsteady on their feet, light switches have to be clear from floor obstructions, which usually restricts furniture placement. With an app augmented system, this control is also located in a handheld smart tablet or phone. In addition, many of the systems we install have the ability for voice control

For more information on lighting control for homes and business, please get in touch for a consultation.

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