Wireless Lighting Control
Home automation can provide immense benefits in terms of efficiency, time and cost savings. If you're contemplating adding a new automation scheme or improving an existing one, you'll want to consider one of the more technologically advanced features of automation: wireless lighting control. By adding this feature to your system, you should be able to conveniently and cost-effectively control your home's lighting and energy usage from anywhere on the planet with an internet connection.
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Backyard Movie Night
This huge outdoor Stewart AllRise screen, installed by Engineered Environments, pops out of a custom weatherproof enclosure for a beautiful, larger-than-life image that is rivaled only by the Maui landscape.
An outdoor TV and multiple zones of audio give this alfresco entertainment space a casual elegance. The TV is recessed into the stone fireplace for a clean look. Photo courtesy of Osbee Industries, Inc.
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One of the chief benefits of wireless technology for home lighting control is that it removes the need for dedicated wiring to deliver controls for the system, and instead sends signals through the air. Dedicated wired networks are often susceptible to failure because of signal quality, distance and physical or mechanical issues like shorts, while wireless networks are much more reliable and easily maintained.
If you're planning a wireless lighting scheme, you'll first need to determine which wireless system is best for your home. There are several to choose from, and each type offers varying levels of complexity, ease of use and reliability.
At the most basic level, you may want to implement a wireless lighting control system for a single room. This implementation may only require a hub that plugs into a wall outlet, custom dimmer or light switches, and a connection to your wireless router. With this setup, you'll be able to remotely control the lighting in one room or area of your home, often for a small number of lights.
The next level of wireless lighting control will allow you to control your home's lighting directly from your smartphone or other wireless device. To utilize this feature, it's usually necessary to connect a light control hub to your wireless router, which will then relay lighting control information to your smart device. This way, you should be able to send information to your lighting automation system from anywhere with internet access.
Finally, a wireless lighting scheme that connects to a whole-home automation system is the deepest and potentially most complex level of control. It offers the same convenience of automated control from any smartphone or wireless device, but it adds far greater depth, as you'll potentially also be able to control your home's other systems from the same automation dashboard.
Implementing a wireless lighting control system in your home may provide great advantages both in terms of efficiency—it can eliminate the need to patrol your home's lighting and move from room to room turning lights on and off, for example—and cost. By allowing homeowners to control their lighting from anywhere on the planet with an internet connection, wireless lighting control often provides a tremendous cost savings, as lighting can be switched on and off or adjusted remotely via an automated timing calendar, reducing wasted energy as well as the risk of electric-bill sticker shock.
See Also: How to Plan a Home Control System
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