What Can Your Lights Do?
Forget about boring on and off, a light control system can make your lights part of your lifestyle Light control is not exactly a new technology (Lutron’s founder Joel Spira invented the solid state dimmer in 1959). It has become one of the most important features in a home automation system. If is properly designed and programmed, a light control system can be so much more than just the glow that allows you to read at night.
Here are a few of the options made possible by light control systems:
Notifications: Your lights can be programmed to convey things to you based on events (and other devices) they’re connected to. For example, if you spend a lot of time listening to loud music or movies and know you can’t hear the doorbell. You can have a light in your home theater room programmed to flash when someone rings the doorbell. If your programmer wants to be even craftier, they can make sure it flashes only when the home theater system is playing so the lights don’t flash needlessly.
Extra Sensory Perception: Lots of exciting things can be done using lights in combination with motion or contact sensors. For instance, your light control system can be programmed to turn your pathway lights up or down based on motion sensors outside. These lights can be used as a security measure—turning on bright flood lights when an unforeseen guest approaches, as well as a welcome light when a car pulls into your driveway at night. The sensor will relay a message to the light control system that tells it to turn on your entryway lights and any other lights you like as you walk in your home.
If your home theater room is in your basement you can program your light control system to have the stairway light connected to a contact sensor that will automatically turn it on when the door is opened. You can also add customization by having the stair light timed to go out after a reasonable time, such as one minute, while the main home theater lights stay on until you start a movie. Then those lights can automatically descend to movie level.
Warnings: Aside from criminal activity, you can use your light control system to provide warnings or notifications of other events. For example if you have little kids who like to get up in the middle of the night. You can use a motion sensor to turn on a hall light so your child can see, as well as turn on a small light in your bedroom to alert you that your child is up.
There is also a Wi-Fi based color-changing LED bulb lighting control system that is supposed to be able to sync with social media sites or text messages from your cell phone. Imagine if your desk lamp turned a certain color whenever you received a text message or another color when someone tagged you in an Instagram picture.
Ambiance and Décor: While your light control devices should look nice, the color and quality of the light they give off can be just as much a part of your home’s interior design as the artwork and furniture. The best part is that you can easily change the look.
Something as simple as the color of your walls can completely change based on the light ambiance in the room. If you want to alter the feel of the room, change the lights. You can do this yourself with various dimmer or control apps, or you can have your programmer design lighting control scenes that will run with the press of a button. Such flexibility is just as important and impressive for outdoor lights as well as indoor. Some of the most common light scenes are party, morning, dinner and goodnight. Many light control systems also allow you to use a sequence of lighting and music as part of your wake up routine. Who wants to start the day with the bedroom lights on full blast when you can have them slowly wake up along with you?
With new color changing light options, how your lights flatter your lifestyle can take on a new dimension. Adding color options to light control scenes can be done in several ways. Let’s say you want the living room lights to dim low, but not turn completely off, when watching TV. Having your programmer design a TV light scene that turns the lights to a dim blue or green can please your need for a dark room while still having it lit up enough so you can find the remote. It also looks great.
The creative ideas are countless if you stop thinking of lights as simply something to turn on and instead as part of a dynamic light control system that reacts to your needs.