When people look to create a smart home, one of the first features they often consider is automated lighting.
Allowing you to set the mood for your home, control it at the push of a button and have your home respond to changing natural light, automated lighting is a truly convenient feature that creates ambience and functionality in the home.
It also has a host of other benefits, so let’s look at why you would consider automating your lighting.
Of all the smart home features, automated lighting is one that allows you to create maximum effect for a minimum cost.
It allows you to set moods within your home, respond to the time of day, offer extra security and control your energy efficiency with just a couple of simple additions.
Automated lighting involves installing networking and a hub that can later have extra features added to it, and is a function that can also be retrofitted to a home using smart switches and sensors.
So how does it work?
At its most simple, automated lighting allows you to control multiple light switches in an integrated and intuitive way.
Say your household has 50 light switches and also additional tableside lamps and security lighting -automated lighting removes the need for you to get up and manually control each of these lights and switches. I.e you don’t need to physically get up and turn a light on or off or adjust the dimmer to create the look and feel you want or provide sufficient light.
Instead, all these lights, including tableside lamps, are connected to a hub that allows you to program what happens, when. So, for example when a sensor determines the house is getting dark, specific lights can be programmed to switch on.
Or alternatively when a sensor determines there’s someone in the garden, security lighting and outdoor lighting will switch on.
But automated lighting offers a host of benefits that extend far beyond that…
Automated lighting allows you to easily set scenes within your home that transform the atmosphere and ambience.
For example, you might program the lighting for an event, where the lights inside are dimmed to create ambience or might even change colour, if you have lightbulbs and lighting with this feature.
Lights in specific areas can also come on, so the kitchen lighting might be illuminated along with the outdoor entertaining area and living areas of the home.
This type of automation also allows you to establish routines. So, you might set a coming home or going to bed routine. The coming home routine might see exterior lights turn on, and specific internal lights illuminate so you enter a home that is lit.
The night time routine, could see you simple say “Good night” to your house, and lights in all areas turn off, or just a couple of lights remain on but dimmed for the children.
Both the routines and sensors involved in automated lighting can also improve security around your home, whether you are in attendance or away.
Automated security lighting would see lights illuminate when a sensor detects there is someone outside your home. This might also work in conjunction with additional features that see your mobile phone sent an SMS message to tell you a threat has been detected, while a camera might record the area in question and send the footage directly to your phone.
Meanwhile, routines allow your home to look as if someone is there, even if you’re on holidays halfway around the world.
So, lights would come on at the normal times, turn off progressively throughout the evening and make it look as if you’re there.
In addition to programming this lighting sequence, the connected nature of automation means you can also control it manually from your mobile phone, wherever you are.
As another security feature, this automated lighting can also indicate a threat within the home, such as fire. You can have your lights programmed to illuminate in a different colour if a fire alarm goes off, or flash and even direct people to the safest exit.
This is a particularly useful feature in homes where people might often use headphones or someone is hard of hearing as it creates a visual as well as audible warning that something is wrong.
Individual light bulbs may not cost much to run, but lighting a whole house can soon chew up a lot of power. In fact, lighting accounts for about 10 per cent of a household’s energy consumption, according to energyrating.gov.au.
One benefit of automated lighting in the smart home is that the app which controls your home can give you a detailed insight into what areas of the home are drawing power, when.
You can then switch off lights which are not required, or program your lighting to be more energy efficient.
That means lights can turn off when an area is not in use, might only turn on when a sensor detects someone is in the room, or you can program lighting so single-globe tableside lights switch on at certain times, rather than multiple downlights.
And of course, because a smart home can be controlled remotely from your mobile, should a light be left on when you’re not there, you can switch them off to stop them drawing power.
Lera Smart Home Solutions is a leading installer of smart home technology in the greater Sydney region. Our team boasts over 20 years’ experience in IT networking, programming and the electrical industry.
We have sourced the most reliable and cost efficient solutions from around the world to provide the very best in smart home solutions, and work with our clients to understand their needs.
You can learn more about transforming your house into a smart home here, access our smart home calculators here or contact us directly for further advice.