Home lighting automation doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many ways to set up automated lighting. However, the gear used is typically very straight forward. The correct technology and understanding a few key elements can make the installation of these systems a total breeze.
Home Lighting Automation Control Options
It’s helpful if we do a quick review of the control options you have when creating a lighting scheme in your smart home. These options include the following.
Motion Sensors to Trigger Home Lighting Automation
Motion sensors are a great addition to any home lighting automation system. Most of us are familiar with the concept of motion sensor-controlled lighting. You walk into a room, the sensor in the room detects movement, and it turns on the lights. When you leave, the lights eventually shut off after so much time of no movement in the room.
Motion sensors are especially useful for reducing electricity consumption since they cut out the human error aspect of energy wastage. Motion sensors are great if you forget to turn off the lights, or if you have kids who race around turning lights. This type of lighting control will prevent that from resulting in the lights remaining all day with no one noticing.
They also act as a way to increase the convenience and safety of navigating your home after dark. This is particularly good for older adults. Simply getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom can trigger the lights, effortlessly lighting hallways with reduced risk of tripping and falling in the dark, and with this can be improved also improved the design of the bathroom adding furniture.
Remote and Smartphone Control
Another method of controlling home lighting automation is through a dedicated remote control or with a smartphone app. Rather than getting up to shut off the main lights in your living room for a movie or dimming dining room lights to set the right mood for the evening, you need only push a single button or make a few taps on your phone’s screen.
Entire lighting schemes can also be programmed into an app, making it easier than ever to set the right tone with just the press of a button.
Timers and Scheduling for Home Lighting Automation
Timed lighting solutions are excellent for a wide range of home automation needs, including home security, energy conservation, and home comfort. Certain technologies allow you to set a schedule to turn lighting on and off to conform to your daily routine.
When you’re away, this scheduled lighting can create the illusion that you’re home, deterring intrusion and theft. They also help reduce lighting usage if you keep a steady schedule. When you leave for the day, the lights shut off, right on schedule. Once the sun goes down at the end of the day, they come on again. Smart technologies will even ‘learn’ your schedule based on your usual usage patterns.
Implementation and Connectivity
In order to work properly, of course, the lights need to be connected to your control system, whether that’s a motion sensor or a central hub that’s accessed through your smartphone.
If your home is wired for home automation, installation is quite simple. Many home automation systems require special wiring, including many home lighting technologies. Without this special wiring, it may be difficult to install whole-home lighting automation, but not impossible.
There are many bulbs on the market that require no special wiring to be operated remotely, whether through your smartphone, a home network, or automated dimmer. In addition, many Lutron controls—such as their Caséta Wireless dimmers—are easy to install and are fully compatible with many home network hubs, including Samsung SmartThings and Google Assistant.
Some single-room systems can be quickly installed in minutes with minimal need for experience with home automation. Others, including whole home systems and complex automated controls, require more expertise. It is best to consult with a home automation expert prior to implementing complicated home lighting schemes.
Technology and controls aside, the aesthetics of your home lighting are key. An attractive automated lighting scene incorporates various layers of lighting, each one with its own purpose. These layers include the following.
This is the general lighting in the room. It fills the space and often comes from multiple sources in the area. Ambient lighting may emanate from flush lights or a chandelier mounted on the ceiling or from standing lamps set in the corners of the room.
This is focused light for specific task areas, such as a lamp on the nightstand for when you’re reading or a desk lamp for work. This light tends to be a bit brighter than ambient lighting, and it works best with its own dedicated controls rather than as part of an overall scheme.
Accent lighting highlights specific features in the space, such as artwork or interesting patterns on the walls.
Some light fixtures are purely decorative. Their function is less that of illuminating the space and more on standing out as interesting features themselves. Chandeliers or fanciful lanterns may fall under this category.
Get The Perfect Lighting For Your Home Automation System
By including the right placement of the above types of lighting, you can create a lighting scene that illuminates the space and makes it functional without creating glare or leaving odd areas obscured.
It should set the right mood for the space, and as such, it will often be combined with other elements in your home’s interior design to create an attractive aesthetic. Home design expertise is a must when it comes to achieving the right effect for your automated lighting scheme.