Top 5 Reasons Why Every Home Should Have a Lighting Control System
One of the most misunderstood home technology systems is the lighting control system. Many homeowners who are building luxury homes purchase lighting control systems simply because they feel it is an expected feature for resale. What they fail to realize is that a lighting control system is one of the best amenities they can purchase for their home. After all, you use lights every single day, right? Why not make it easier and more functional?
Here are the five greatest features of a lighting control system that any homeowner can appreciate.
1 - Lighting Control Systems Are Easier!
The biggest myth about lighting control is that it is complicated. This could not be further from the truth. For example, a kitchen typically has 4 to 5 dimmers on the wall. This means one dimmer each to operate ceiling lights, under-counter lights, counter pendants, breakfast nook lights, cabinet lights… etc. So, when you walk into your kitchen it is always a process to figure out what each dimmer controls and then tweak them to whatever brightness you want depending on the time of day and task at hand. A lighting control system can simply give you a high, medium, and low option (labeled!) so that a single press puts on all the lights at the dimming level you desire.
A single press of the “off” button can turn off all lights in the room. If the system is programmed correctly by your integrator, your lights are the easiest thing in your home to operate.
2 - A Lighting Control System Will Make Your Home Look Prettier
Back to the scenario of the five dimmers on the wall. Most folks do not take the time to dim each light to the perfect setting to accentuate the architectural features of their home or make their furniture and art look its best. They typically barrel into a room, crank the dimmers to 100%, and their professionally designed dining room now has the ambience of a hospital cafeteria. A lighting control system will allow you to preset all your light levels to perfection so your home looks like an Architectural Digest cover story…with a single button press!
3 - No Constant Timer Adjusting
Most homes use mechanical timers for exterior lighting. These timers are great to turn your outside lights on every evening…if sunset was always at the same time. Most folks find it very frustrating to always adjust these timers as the sunset keeps getting later in the spring and summer and earlier in the fall and winter. A lighting control system uses an astronomical time clock. What is that you ask? An astronomical time clock tracks the time the sun sets and rises every day based on your zip or postal code. This allows you to set your lights to turn on based on the actual time it will get dark. So instead of setting your timer to 6:00 PM, you would set it to “15 minutes prior to sunset.” Conversely, you can set your lights to turn off “5 minutes prior to sunrise.” No adjusting for daylight savings time ever!
4 - Master of Your Domain
A huge benefit of a lighting control system is to control your entire house with a single button press. Do you hate running around every night before bed and turning off lights? How about a single button next to your bed that does that for you and is labeled “Goodnight”? Sounds nice, right? Wouldn’t it be nice if it also kept your bathroom light on at 10% so you could make a middle of night bathroom trip without having to flip on lights? It can do that too. Hear a bump in the night or smell smoke? A bedside button that is labeled “security” can turn all the lights on to 100% for a safe exit or scare away a potential intruder.
“Home” or “Away” buttons by the front door or garage are super convenient to light up multiple rooms or turn everything off as you enter and exit your home. An “Entertain” button is also a popular option. Light up your house perfectly for a party without having to run into each room before your guests arrive. This functionality is easy for a quality integrator to create for you, and even easier for you to use.
Note that all this functionality can also be triggered using your voice for easy handsfree control. Additionally, motion sensors can be placed in key areas of the home to automatically turn on certain lights as you enter hallways and rooms (and then turn them off automatically again when no motion is detected). Another convenience!
5 - Prettier Walls
A bank of plastic dimmers is not pretty. With a lighting control system, you can turn that big ugly bank of dimmers into a sleek and simple keypad. The look is cleaner and a lot more elegant. Many manufacturers like Lutron, Basalte, Savant, Crestron, and Black Nova offer beautiful keypads in designer colors or metal finishes that add to your home’s decor without sacrificing any functionality. It’s the 21st century, your home should not look like your last remodel was in 1985.
These are just our top five reasons, but there are plenty of other terrific benefits of a lighting control system that we don’t want to overload you with. For example, they will also operate motorized shades, they can change your lighting color temperature for wellness / circadian rhythm benefits, help with energy conservation, and more.
The key component to a great lighting control system is picking a terrific HTA Certified integrator to do the installation and most importantly… the lighting programming. The result is typically drastically better than having your electrical contractor perform this work. An HTA Certified integrator will tend to be hyper-focused on the user experience versus the nuts-and-bolts technology. This results in a more user-friendly and thoughtfully designed system. Click here to find an HTA Certified integrator near you.
- Top photo, installation by Silver Star Sound and Electric.
- Second photo, courtesy of lofingslighting.com
- Third photo by Crestron
- Fourth photo by Basalte
- Product Images in photo carousel: 3rd - Crestron, 4th - Lutron, 5th - Savant, 6th - Basalte