Lighting Your Smart Home with Home Lighting Control Systems
A smart home is one that is automated, at least partially, to perform specific tasks without the need for human intervention. While it is too early to have smart homes that can automatically cook for you, some of the more straightforward tasks, such as temperature, lighting, entertainment, and appliances, can be automatically controlled. The first that homeowners invest in is automated lighting, or wireless lighting control, to outfit a smart home. Controlling the lights with a button tap or a voice command can be convenient and beneficial, especially since you can control the lighting even when away from home. Did you forget to turn off a light or a bulb before going on a long trip? Use your automated system to turn it off, and enjoy your vacation stress-free. Here, we will discuss what you have to consider for a home lighting control system so you can choose the perfect one for your home.
A Few Considerations for your Wireless Lighting Control
It would be best if you considered a few things before going ahead with selecting the system, most of which consists of what you would prefer. Would your preference be a motion-sensing lighting system that detects individual movement or movement types to turn off and on? Would you like a gesture control system, where you can clap to turn on the lights? Would you prefer to control the lighting remotely through LAN or Wi-Fi? These small intricacies lead up to the next few considerations, but first, we have to get their types and features out of the way.
There are mostly three variants in smart lighting systems, all three with varying features and functionality. First is the standard smart bulb, a low-cost smart lighting solution that can be installed anywhere and is as simple as plugging in the bulb. With onboard Wi-Fi or a router connection, these smart bulbs still require their standard switches to be powered but controlled through the local network. The second most common variant is the regular bulb with a smart switch controlling the lights. The third variant is commonly a series of bulbs connected through a hub or a central processor that connects to every individual bulb and requires programming to be installed.
Advantages of Remote Control Lighting Systems
Smart home lighting control systems do not end at three variants, but they are the most common. There are other options in smart lighting systems, including built-in speakers or microphones on the switch or bulb. Typically, these smart lighting systems have a high initial investment cost but can deliver in the long term. The first advantage of smart lighting is that it saves on electricity. We often tend to forget turning off lights when leaving a room, but smart lighting mitigates that possibility. Moreover, if you are away from home, a fully set up lighting system will turn off the lights to save power, or you can do that remotely. The benefit of these systems is that forgetting to turn off the lights does not result in higher electricity costs.
Additional benefits include improvements to quality-of-life and convenience. Smart lighting systems can automatically turn off or on lights in certain rooms as soon as you walk in, improving the overall experience. They can also set a different atmosphere by changing their intensity, allowing you to customise the lighting as per your preference or requirements. Intense lights during the day can strain the eyes at night, or you can increase the intensity if you want to read a book and require better illumination.
Smart Lighting Systems
For any lighting system, the user has to determine certain factors, such as the number of automated lights being installed, connection protocols (Wi-Fi, switches, voice-recognition, etc.), parallel or serial connections, and more. Most users that have their homes outfitted with home lighting control systems will see TP-Link, Philips Hue, Eufy, LIFX, and other brands where complexity is not required. Moreover, if you only want a few rooms to be outfitted with smart lighting, then simplicity is the way to go, when turning the lights off and on, or changing the colour, are the only requirements. There are certain types of setups that require more complexity, such as having one room dedicated to an activity, such as a home theatre of displaying art pieces. They can range into hundreds of automated bulbs with a full-colour spectrum installed individually in a room, and companies such as Creston and Lutron provide installation for these systems.
A Modern Home Lighting Control System
As technology evolves, so does the standard to which the everyday user holds it. Every modern smart lighting system must have a range of functionalities and capabilities that the user can tweak and control. The first is to have a diverse selection in the interface. On and off toggle switches are not enough to justify installing automated lighting. Physical switches, sensors, voice recognition, etc., are all expected in smart lighting control systems. There should also be proper tracking systems that show the state of the lights, whether they are lit, dim, off, their colour, etc. Moreover, for voice recognition and motion sensors, if a lighting system fails to register certain actions, a response that communicates is necessary for at-home troubleshooting and testing. Additional quality-of-life features, such as conditional logic triggers or circadian lighting to simulate natural lights.
Potential Challenges in Home Lighting Control Systems
Depending on the provider and the quality of the interface, the user can inevitably experience challenges, at first. Specific ambiguous terms have not been standardised, and providers may end up using the same name for two completely different tasks. An example of this is using Lighting State to display current status (such as determining if the light is on or off) or the toggles themselves, which can have a similar-looking UI element. This ambiguity can create confusion from the user’s end. Moreover, the customisability can lead to others in your household having several names for one individual light, creating chaos where there should not be any.
Overall, Smart lighting systems can be simple, complex, or both. At their most basic level, they serve as automated toggles to turn your lights on or off, and at higher levels of complexity, can be programmed to have specified light levels during the day and night. To summarise, it all depends on what you want, and how much effort you are willing to put in this investment.