5 Benefits of Low-Voltage, Smarter LED Lighting
Environmental Lights explains why low-voltage LED lighting systems are gaining momentum as the new standard in residential lighting.
120 volt systems have traditionally been the go-to solution for residential lighting applications. It’s a well-established model embraced by many, though lighting systems available today have become much smarter and more sophisticated than those of yesteryear. 120 volt AC line voltage is no longer the only game in town for lighting. Low voltage LED lighting enables technology integrators to design, program, and install with less pain while providing more flexibility. Low voltage lighting provides flexibility for brightness and color-tuning while operating in concert with security, motorized shading, AV components, and other smart home devices. Modern LED light fixtures have had a profound impact on the way we employ lighting—from that of a basic illumination solution to a vital technological facet of a home’s function and design. They can transform rooms to create a completely different feel for different uses. It’s a shift that requires the expertise of a home technology integrator—and low-voltage lighting systems—to optimize LED lighting’s full potential.
“Historically, technology integrators have managed all aspects of a home project, though have been excluded from the lighting implementation. It is a missed opportunity because A/V integrators have the expertise to install low voltage lighting and to fully leverage the capability of the home control system with the most applicable lighting fixtures,” says Jordan Brooks, president of Environmental Lights. “We developed a product line that empowers technology integrators to provide a single point of accountability to customers while improving the overall aesthetics of the lighting system.”
These technological advances have inspired the development of a new generation of LED lighting systems that employ low-voltage as an alternative to traditional line-voltage solutions. The shift in topology enables home technology integrators to handle the lion’s share of the project—from lighting design to installation of cabling to the integration of the lights with other home automation / smart home devices. Certainly, this simplifies matters for home technology integrators, though what are the compelling benefits to homeowners? We talked with Brooks, as well as Environmental Lights VP of Marketing Michael Krupinsky to find out:
1. Reveals the Full Potential of Lighting
A home systems integrator has the experience and potential to create a lighting plan that conveys mood, simplifies operation, and accentuates a home’s architectural elements. Because low-voltage LED lights utilize the same cabling that powers audio speakers, they can be more easily integrated into a unified ecosystem of electronic components that work together to enhance the ambiance of homes.
2. Introduces a Range of Decorative Lighting Styles
The popularity of LED lighting is driven not only by their efficient power consumption though also their decorative appeal. Compact and discrete, they mesh with a home’s architecture, designed to be tucked alongside the lip of a cabinet, recessed within the cove of a ceiling, or suspended above a kitchen island, for example. Many of these fixtures are able to emit dynamic color-changing lighting or feature tunable white light to emulate the natural color of light from the sun throughout the day, a proven contributor to better health and wellness.
“In order to properly illuminate a home, a combination of decorative accent and general illumination is required, which is why Environmental Lights has expanded its product offerings to include a line of low-voltage, recessed LED downlights,” says Brooks.
“Part of the REVI (Remote Voltage Illumination) solution, the configurable three-inch downlights look right at home in a ceiling, with multiple trim options and adjustable baffles to orient the light where you need it,” Krupinsky notes.
3. Affords Flexibility of Design
It’s a common situation: Families move into a home to soon discover that the lighting isn’t quite right. Maybe there are a few dark corners that need attention or areas where the lighting overpowers the relaxed vibe of the room. Adjustments are easy with a low-voltage lighting system like REVI. The REVI power supplies, which feed an assigned amount of current to downlight fixtures, are located in an easily accessible equipment rack in a utility room or closet. Here, a technology integrator can reconfigure the settings without having to fuss with the internal components of the light fixtures themselves. In addition, the components of the REVI downlights are modular and interchangeable, so integrators can switch out a baffle or lens to create a different lighting effect if desired.
“If you want to retrofit a new lighting fixture into the ceiling post-installation, it’s a fairly simple process,” Krupinsky says. “The vertical height of our downlights is less than standard 120 AC line-voltage fixtures, so they can fit into tight spaces above the ceiling. An integrator then runs low-voltage wire from the fixture to the remote power supply. It’s similar to how an in-ceiling speaker is wired to an amplifier, something all integrators are comfortable with and experienced doing.”
To simplify the process further, Environmental Lights offers lighting design services that provide homeowners with a glimpse of how their lights will look in the home through 3D renderings. From these realistic illustrations, they can decide if they’d like more or less coverage or would prefer the illumination be angled differently or set at a brighter intensity level, for example. “This is a key differentiator for us, giving integrators and homeowners peace of mind by seeing the system come to life before it’s installed and to make well-informed decisions regarding the lighting design,” said Krupinsky.
4. Welcomes Teamwork with Other Systems
When lights are coordinated in concert with other audiovisual systems including speakers, shading, and security devices, homeowners experience a whole new level of convenience, comfort, and enjoyment. Environmental Lights REVI utilizes DMX, which is the predominant lighting control standard. Because of that, the REVI product line is control system agnostic and can adapt to any interface in a residential home automation system. “There are many great home control systems available to homeowners and it was important that we enable our technology to integrate seamlessly in all applications,” explained Brooks.
5. Embodiment of Style and Smarts
Low-voltage LED lighting is a one-two punch of form and function. They blend into the home design, and when color or brightness is adjusted, they transform and enhance the look of any room. LED fixtures are remotely powered and “driverless” which eliminates unnecessary failure points and makes them more dependable while using less power. The utilization of low-voltage infrastructure strengthens their appeal, making them a natural addition to a smart home environment. Lighting solutions from Environmental Lights follow this philosophy, offering homeowners a way to enhance their living spaces, whether they are focused mainly on the convenience of control, aesthetic value, or both. Modern low-voltage LED lighting systems represent the next generation of home illumination—something that has been a long time coming.
Are you ready to improve the way the lighting in your home operates and looks? An HTA Certified integrator can assess your needs and customize a solution that suits your lifestyle and the style of your home. Find an integrator here to explore the amazing capabilities afforded by a low-voltage LED lighting system.