Once considered to be a fun gadget that no one really needed or something in the future is now mainstream for new home construction. Automated lighting systems are the "Present". Homeowners depend on and need automation to save energy and control their home remotely with smart phones or other devices. Automated systems can be as simple as replacing a standard bulb with a Phillips smart bulb and installing occupancy sensors in a particular room as in the image below. Smart bulbs work with apps or home control systems like Alexa that can turn the light on, off or dim.
Lighting systems can also be fully encompassing, incorporating integrated controlled lighting throughout the home or just in common spaces. Smart lighting gives you access to your lighting from anywhere you can carry your iphone. Forget to turn off the light when your already on the plane? No Problem, just connect to inflight wifi and turn off the light from your app anywhere anytime. Two of the most popular brands are Lutron and Control4. Both offer similar products and compete on price and inovation. Existing homes are wire retrofitted and New homes integrate the necessary wiring needed to control all lighting with a centralized panel.
You can set differnt lighting scenes depending on the time of day, your mood or the occasion without running around the house turning lights on and off and adjusting dimmers by hand. Control it all from touch pads that replace the old light switches or your smartphone. The Scenes are costum set by the Home Owner and most people only need about 3 or 4 settings such as; Daytime, Evening, All On "Cleaning Mode" or All off. The exterior lights can be linked to a world clock to turn on and off according to Sunset and Sunrise automatically.
Compound this lighting control technology with energy savings LED bulbs and the energy savings are astounding.
These smarts systems can also be connected to motorized sunshades and thermostates. The shades and thermostate can be set automatically depending on weather, time of day or season. Fully integrating the lighting, shading and HVAC controls in your home gives optimum energy savings and performance. Most systems will pay for themselves in 6-8 years. If you are considering building new or a remodel, it is highly reccomended to integrate smart technology into your design.