Home Automation: Lighting Control

Collect all the info you'll need on home automation lighting control, and prepare to increase the energy efficiency and security of your home with an automated lighting scheme.
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By: Sean McEvoy

Home automation systems can offer great convenience and efficiency for homeowners, saving precious things like free time, energy and perhaps best of all, dollars and cents. One of the most popular control systems chosen by homeowners is lighting control, which offers all of the above benefits, plus the bonus of increased security for your home.

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If you're considering a home automation lighting control system, you'll first want to explore the varying levels of cost and complexity available, from simple, standalone products that operate on a manually operated timer to turn lights on and off, to extremely sophisticated lighting control that integrates with a state-of-the-art whole-house automation system.

For homeowners interested in a simple and efficient lighting control system, minus any complex bells and whistles, the option of a traditional manual timer-controlled lighting system will definitely be worth considering. Significantly cheaper than more advanced models that can be controlled and configured wirelessly or from anywhere on the planet via the internet, these basic systems plug directly into electrical outlets and feature simple clock timers that can be set to any desired duration, which will then repeat on a 24-hour basis.

The next level of complexity among automated home lighting systems is a more contemporary but still standalone system. This execution generally features the ability to control home lighting wirelessly or via the internet, but it does not connect to a fully networked, whole-house system, which might also feature controls for things like HVAC, security and outdoor sprinklers.

If your home requires a more integrated system, or if you're simply in the market for something truly state of the art, you may want to investigate a lighting automation system that's bundled with a whole house system. This way, you'll be able to control all of your home's systems—security, HVA, sprinklers, lighting, pet feeding and just about anything else you might need—via your wireless network or the internet. While a whole-house system is at the top of the pricing tiers for automated home control systems, you may find that the savings over time in terms of cost and time make the initial expenditure more palatable. Additionally, a whole-home control system may increase your home's resale value and attractiveness to prospective buyers.

Whichever home automation lighting control tier you choose to implement in your home, it's important to note one of the added benefits of automated lighting: security. Lighting systems--particularly for outdoor lighting—can be easily integrated with security systems and often feature motion detection as a deterrent for criminals. Even without sophisticated features, a basic lighting automation system that keeps your home consistently well-lit whether you're home or not can operate as a deterrent on its own.

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