House Lights control system
With home control systems and preprogrammed scenes, you can match your lighting to your mood.
Restaurants do it. So do nightclubs and some spas. At home you probably do it too. When you want to relax–really relax–the lights go down. Soft lights have a way of easing even the tightly wound out of the breakneck speed of everyday life, putting us in the right state of mind to enjoy a quiet dinner conversation or an occasional back massage. A lighting control system can make that as easy as automation. As the lights fade out, our minds and bodies take note that it’s time to slow down.
Achieving this state of tranquility isn’t difficult. If your home’s light fixtures have dimmer switches, you can manually dim the lights–but why do it the old-fashioned way? Installing rows upon rows of dimmer switches is an innefficient way to put your house into slow-mo. It takes time and energy to slide and twist each dimmer switch to the ideal setting. You can get to cloud nine much faster by putting a light control system in charge of the lights.
Lighting control systems can rid a home of conventional light switches, or at least simplify them. Many systems rely on small keypads with buttons (sometimes labeled, sometimes not) which can control an entire group of lights. These lights may be located in the same room or scattered throughout the entire house. Through the use of a keypad, the same soft lighting effect that once required the adjustment of a half-dozen dimmer switches to create now takes the press of a single button. This single-button action is the basic premise of a lighting control system that affords many advantages for every major room of the house. Most systems, especially newer ones that include wireless control, also let the users control all their lights and lighting scenes from a smartphone or tablet app.
The advantages of smart lighting control can be realized in a media room, where a control system fades out the lights in preparation for a movie. In a foyer, a control system might command lights throughout the house and backyard to illuminate a pathway from the front door to the bedroom upstairs. Some lighting control applications work really well in home theaters, while others make a bigger impact in great rooms and master suites. Bottom line: There’s a lighting control system for every space in your home. Here are a few of our suggestions, based on the systems we commonly see used in particular rooms. Of course, with the proper programming and installation from a professional home systems installer, any type or brand of lighting control system can add visual interest to any room.
Multipurpose Family Room
A multipurpose family room is probably the best candidate for a lighting control system. You may want the lights dimmed while watching a movie but like them a bit brighter for weekend football games and Saturday morning cartoons. A table lamp at its brightest is a necessity for reading the titles on Blu-ray cases and for fiddling around with audio/video components. You might also entertain friends, read books and host après-work happy hours in this room. A lighting control system for the family room could include multiple scene settings to accomidate all those uses. With a keypad or a smartphone app, the user just selects the desired scene, and then all the lights (and even the motorized window shades and electronically-controlled gas fireplace) automatically adjust to the proper level.
You may not spend the majority of your free time there, but a master bedroom still deserves some level of lighting control for what might be the most relaxing time of the day. A system that can arrange more than a dozen individual lighting scene might be a little over the top for the sleeping quarters, but you’ll still want a system that can adjust the lights appropriately for some of the activities that commonly take place in a bedroom, such as reading, sleeping, romance, clean up and possibly lighting a path to an adjoining master bath. You can even program your lights to automatically turn on slowly at a set time each morning, to help you greet the day.
The fact that the bedroom is usually the place you end and start your day makes it an ideal room from which to control all of the lights in the house. For this, you’ll need a system that can send commands from a master bedroom keypad or an app to any and all lights switches. By using a whole-house lighting control system you could turn off every light before going to bed and in the morning brighten the kitchen before you leave the bedroom. Strange bumps in the night seem to disappear when all it takes is one tap of a button to light up the backyard. And when you crave a midnight snack, the system can light a faint pathway from the bed to the refrigerator.
A lighting control system can recreate the ambiance of a commercial movie theater at the press of a button. Nearly every manufacturer of lighting control systems offers a solution that’s perfect for a dedicated home theater room.
An integrated home automation system with lighting control can not only dim the home theater lights but also control the audio and video components. Such a system may combines a standard-looking handheld remote controls or rely on smartphone and tablet apps. Advanced programming can even allow allow personalized touches such as turning up wall sconces when the pause button is pressed.