One of the most powerful components of a fully “automated” home is the lighting system. Automated lighting not only enhances the look of your home, it can also contribute to considerable energy savings over time. Let’s take a look at a few of the more practical applications of today’s automated lighting solutions.
Lighting typically makes up 10% of a homes overall energy expenditure. A home automation system with integrated lighting contributes to long-term energy cost-savings. This is done by automatically reducing or eliminating lighting loads in rooms that are no longer in use. Through the use of occupancy sensors, heat sensors, and light level sensors a system can instantly respond to it’s environment and adjust light levels accordingly.
What does this mean?
Perhaps your children often leave lights on when leaving a room. A lighting system will detect this and turn the lights off after a pre-programmed amount of time.
The average American household incurs 18% of their energy costs from air conditioning. A lighting system can also be integrated with motorized shades and blinds. This is one of the fastest ways to realize significant energy cost savings. Sensors in a room can detect sunlight and lower blinds to reduce the load on your cooling system. This is especially important in coastal areas where bright sunlight and lots of windows contributes to high energy consumption during the hotter months of the year.
Traditional lighting systems are either “all on” or “all off”. The use of dials or rheostats allows for some additional control, but require manual adjustment every time you turn on the lights.
A lighting system allows each button on a keypad to be pre-programmed for a specific function. All you do is press a button, but behind the scenes light levels are precisely controlled to best accent the features of the room. This might mean highlighting a specific piece of art, using up-lighting to create a dramatic effect, or lowering the lights for watching your favorite movie.
In addition to the enhanced control, lighting keypads reduce wall clutter. Multiple switches are consolidated into one keypad that is clearly labeled and backlit for easy use. No more searching for the right switch each time you enter a room. Simply press the “on” button and walk away.
Integrating your lighting system with your home’s alarm system can significantly enhance it’s effectiveness in several ways.
When an alarm is triggered the lights in your home can be programmed to flash on and off. This attracts attention and reduces the odds that an intruder will enter your home. Since most of us have grown accustomed to loud alarm sirens, anything you can do to draw additional attention to your home makes for a powerful deterrent.
This same solution can also increase your family’s safety in case of a fire. When smoke or fire is detected the system can automatically turn on specific lights creating a path to the fastest escape route for you and your children.
You can also use a key fob to turn on lights before you even enter the home. No more entering in complete darkness.