Home lighting is very important as this is a means of illuminating both the interior and the exterior of the home. What most people are not aware of is that home lighting is actually much more. Aside from the usual dimmers that you can have installed, there is also the aspect of lighting control system which is crucial if you are looking to or have plans in running a home automation system. Keep in mind that when it comes doing home automation as part of your home improvement project, it is the whole home’s lighting system is the best place to start.
When setting up a lighting system, integration of your lighting circuitries is very important. This is essentially your overall control system on your home’s lighting where you can turn on, off, dim, or even trigger them automatically or from a remote location.
Here is a list of components of a complete lighting control system you may need:
- Controller(s) – this component is often referred to as the brain of your lighting system that connects and integrates different appliances and devices together. Older systems have a handset where you can control many of the controller’s function. More modern systems have a controller unit that is hooked up to the home’s Wi-Fi connection along with a smartphone app that you can use to interact with the controller system.
- Wire-in Dimmers – connecting your lights to controllers come in different ways. Of course, one of the tried-and-tested ways is through wire-in dimmers which is essentially a small unit connected to your lighting fixture. The wire-in dimmer serves as both your light dimmer as well as connection between your controller and the lamp.
- Plug-in Dimmers – these are essentially dimmers and control switches that are installed between wall sockets and lamp plugs. Plug-in dimmers are mostly used for table lamps, lampshades, and other lighting component around the home that requires to be plugged into an outlet to get electricity. However, instead of being plugged directly into outlets, the lighting’s plug is plugged first into the plug-in dimmer and then the dimmer is then plugged into an outlet.
- Custom Bulbs – one of the easiest ways to connect a lighting system is to use these types of bulbs. Basically, what you do is replace your regular bulbs with these bulbs that are equipped wireless connectivity and can connect to your controller system. What makes this type of system very easy to setup is that you do not even need to use any screwdrivers as it is all a matter of replacing your old regular bulbs with fancy ones that have wireless connectivity. The problem with these though is that they are not flexible and can be costly when replacing worn-out bulbs.
- Wireless Switches – while this may look like a regular light switch fixture installed on the wall, it does not have any physical connections to the electrical system of the home. Unlike a normal switch that will be associated with a particular light fixture, a wireless switch connects to your lighting system’s main controller and can be used as a control fob to control to wirelessly connect and control some parts of your lighting system. More often, wireless switches are used and programmed to control and set ‘scenes’ within a room. Additionally, they can be used to switch off all lightings in one room.
- Light Level Sensors – instead of using timers to turn on and off lightings inside a room, light level sensors provide the ability to turn on and off the lights inside an area depending on the amount of ambient lighting available.
- Motion Sensors – these automated switches are not just for security systems as they can also be used effectively on home lighting automations systems. When you enter a room, the motion sensors will detect you and thus turn on the lights in that room. Whereas when you leave the room, the sensors will detect that no one is inside the room and thus turn off the lights. More advanced motion sensors have sensitivity adjustments and can be adjusted according to preference.