Great lighting design involves using layers of light to deliver the desired result, and that layering typically results in a large number of fixtures. To dial in the ideal lighting levels, most homes depend on banks of switches and dimmers, particularly in rooms like the great room, kitchen, and master suite. Those banks of switches are unsightly, complex, and inelegant solutions to a problem that didn’t exist when the light switch was invented. In the past, a room was most likely lit by a single light source, or worse, a few fixtures controlled together by one switch.
Lighting control allows precise, repeatable control of the light in a space and allows us to do so while replacing that bank of controls with a single, customizable keypad. That keypad can be programmed to control a room, or even entire home, with a single button press.
Beyond removing the clutter and confusion from the wall, we also gain the ability to “design” the light in the space, taking full advantage of the lighting design we spoke about earlier. With a single button press, dozens of individual lights can be automatically adjusted to provide the perfect light for any situation. Imagine your kitchen having a button called “Cooking,” in which every light is used to provide a safe and productive workspace, while another button labeled “Dining” dims the lights, creating a perfect space at the table for conversation over the dinner you just prepared.
By controlling the light, we also can impact the health of the home automatically. Creating a consistent lighting schedule can help reduce some common sleeping issues, like difficulty falling asleep or morning fatigue. Lights that are too bright or dim can also cause headaches and irritability, and in the winter months, a lack of sunshine can bring our spirits down. Luckily, smart lighting solutions are changing the way we light our homes.
Since our modern schedules don’t synchronize with the sun, home lighting automation can help us maintain a consistent illumination pattern and regulate our natural circadian rhythm. Motion sensors can also be used to light up dark hallways or staircases to keep occupants safe. A lighting control system can even turn lights on automatically in the event of an emergency like a fire or break-in.
In an ideal lighting control system, the installer, the interior designer, the lighting designer, and the homeowner all provide input into how the system is designed and programmed, allowing the experience of each party to inform the final product. This creates a lighting system that accounts for the needs of the homeowner, while also maximizing the health and beauty of the space, day in and day out.