know what you must be thinking…why on earth do I need to automate my lights? Have we become that lazy that we no longer want to get up and flick the light switch on? Do I really want to wake up at 2 am and realize that my automation system is not working correctly and I have to sit in the dark till the “Automation Guy” comes home to fix it? We’re here to clear up these urban legends of automation and take you into a brief introduction of what Automated Lighting really is and what it can actually do for you!
Let’s start with the easiest part, is it actually worth automating your lighting? Absolutely!! And here’s why. How many times have you come home to your house with every light on and realized someone forgot to turn all the lights off before leaving the house? Maybe only an hour has passed, but that’s still an unnecessary waste of electricity and also a hike in your electricity bill. With automated lighting, you can access your lighting control from anywhere in the world through your smart phone, tablet or even computer and turn on or off any lights you like. This frequently happens with bathrooms, garages, closets or passages and you may not always have the chance to check and see if lights are on. Not a problem, an motion sensor can be installed which works like an occupancy sensor. It senses if there is activity in the room, and shuts of lights after a designated period of inactivity. What about while you are on vacation? Maybe you want to put the house in away mode and activate the alarm. You can actually set your outside light or security lights to come on at a certain time and scare way intruders by not giving the impression the house is unoccupied. Come morning, the lights are on schedule to turn off.
So now that you know how useful Lighting Automation can be, let’s tackle the other big issue most consumers have with automating their lights. What happens if my system stops working?? This is actually a really good question and something I was myself concerned about when installing Automated Lights in my house. With Control4, you have two types of options when integrating lighting control. One is wireless lighting and enables you to integrate pre-existing wiring and lighting switches with Wireless Lighting modules. These are great for houses which have already been constructed and re-structuring of wiring is not an option. Another reason they are great is because they don’t require your automation system to be online at all in order to give you basic control of your lights such as on or off. Even if your automation controller goes offline or it’s power goes off, these switches still allow you to operate your lights and toggle your lights the same as you would have been able to with manual switches. The second option Control4 offers is called panelized lighting. This is great for houses which are currently under construction because it requires all of your lighting wires to be run to a central location or distribution board and connect to Control4 Lighting Modules there. Keypads or individual switches are placed around your home, office or commercial establishment so that you can operates lights physically in any room through them. Now these keypads may not work if your automation controller goes down, but Control4 does provide a manual failsafe which allows each module to connect to a single switch can be used to trigger a light or group of lights. This manual switch can be kept next to a bedside, in a closet or hidden in a trap door and will allow you to operate your lights even if your automation system is not functioning.
Automation of Lighting can be really simple and really effective, but it’s really important you find someone who knows what they are doing. Before purchasing a system which automates your lights, take an audition in a showroom demonstrating you the same. Play around with the lighting control there, change lighting scenes, and ensure each light does turn on and off as advertised. Take a layout or electrical wiring diagram of your residence, and show it to the sales associate or lighting automation specialist. Work out each circuit of lights and see exactly how that circuit would be operated, and most importantly what options you will have to be able to control them.
Hopefully you’ll come away from this article with a few basic ideas about how to integrate Automated Lighting in your home. It’s worth taking your time in Automated Lighting as an investment that you’ll enjoy for many years. One of the quickest ways to find the right solution for you is to give us a call. Our expert Advisors can answer all your Home-Automation-related questions.