Jun 3, 2020
Artificial lighting has long been an integral part of our lives and as such, so has lighting control. However, as our understanding of light reproduction has evolved, so to have the number of options available. It is no longer only a case of On, Off or Dim. We now have the ability to fine tune and manipulate artificial light, creating specific environments in our homes to suit our mood or certain activities throughout the day. Whether it may be dramatic lighting for entertaining guests, or soft warm lighting to create a sense of calm before bed. All is possible at the touch of a button with Intelligent Lighting Control.
Read on to learn more about how lighting control can improve your wellbeing.
A traditional lighting setup is wired in a relatively simply way. The room will typically have a light switch or dimmer which is connected to all light fittings in that room.
The image above demonstrates a simple lighting setup; with all lights wired to a local switch.
Intelligent Lighting Systems are typically star-wired, meaning all cables run back to a central location instead of to local switches in each room.
In another article we talked about Smart Home Infrastructure where star-wiring is key. Explore it here.
The central location at which all lights are wired to is called a Lighting Control Panel or LCP. The LCP houses modules which power and control lights in connected rooms. All modules are then connected to a central processor.
In-room keypads are wired to the central processor which then allows for control over lights.
The image above shows lights connected to the LCP, meaning lights can be controlled in both rooms via one keypad.
There are several ways to control an Intelligent Lighting System. Smart Homes will typically have a central control system, taking control of all audio visual, security systems, HVAC and Building Management Systems (BMS). Intelligent lighting control is designed to seamlessly integrate into these other control systems.
Click here to learn more about the two main Smart Home operating systems and which is right for you.
By integrating lighting control with BMS, you expand the level of control available to you.
You have the ability to access lighting control via the following devices:
While these solutions are available, there are some which are perhaps easier to use; the simplest form of control, the Keypad.
A keypad is the same size as a light switch, however boasts a whole host of additional functionality as well as beautiful design. There are typically two types of keypad, both produced by Lutron, that we see specified in most smart homes. SeeTouch and Palladiom.
SeeTouch adopts large, easy to use, backlit buttons with custom engraved buttons. Palladiom meanwhile embody subtle elegance, with their flush mounted buttons and sleek design, they are favoured by interior designers. Both keypads have a variety of faceplates that can be matched to your interior. There are also options for custom faceplates if required.
Alisse is the latest offering from Lutron. It combines a simplistic layout with Lutron's exclusive metal finishes to create a classic, yet highly functional keypad. The Alisse also features custom engravings.
Unlike a switch, keypads offer a greater level of control. Any key can be programmed to respond to a light touch, a hard touch, or even a timed press. As well as this, keys can be programmed to operate shades, blinds and curtains. Meaning complete control of artificial as well as natural light.
Furthermore, each key can be custom engraved to represent a specific function. For example, as well as having basic Open and Close commands. With intelligent programming, we can incorporate scene control; utilising lights, shades and curtains to create beautiful scenes of mixed lighting.
In bedrooms, we typically include a keypad with a preset Night scene. This night scene can be programmed to turn off all lights, close all shades, and activate any relevant security protocol. This keypad can also be installed wirelessly at the bedside, allowing ease of use.
Intelligent lighting design and programming play an important role in the home, adding convenience and creating ease of use for homeowners.
One keypad can control many different light fittings all at once.
Conveniently located keypads can be programmed to control large areas of the home with a single key command. For example; each floor of an 8 storey townhouse can be controlled either on the landing of each floor, or at the main entrance. Allowing for a single 'All Off' command before exiting. Saving time and adding convenience.
The same principle can be applied upon entry to the home. A 'Welcome Home' scene can activate lighting in key locations, instead of having to go room by room switching on individual lights.
This level of lighting control provides ease of use for the homeowner, saving time and adding convenience. As well as providing the ability to access the system from anywhere in the world.
If you would like to explore Intelligent Lighting for your next project, contact us today to discuss your options.