Automatic controls for lighting, common in commercial buildings, are now available in a variety of options for residences ranging from a simple outdoor light fixture with a built-in photosensor to whole-house programmable controls that can activate lights for various scenarios (e.g., time of day, vacations, entertaining) from a central command center. Once a luxury for the wealthiest homeowners, centralized lighting controls are now affordable to the average homeowner.
Controls can switch lights on and off, or dim lights based on input from sensors which include simple timers, occupancy sensors to detect motion or infrared radiation from a person, or photosensors which operate lights or adjust light levels based on the amount of available daylight. There are also sensors, suitable for accessibility, that operate lighting by voice or sound. Many systems include the option of remote control via phone, computer, or a standard remote control.
Controls can be hard-wired or wireless. Most hard-wired controls rely on low-voltage CAT-5 wiring for signal transmission. However, there are a few products on the market that transmit signals over standard household wiring (and therefore require no additional wiring). Some systems are "plug and play" while other systems - typically ones that provide the most flexibility - require design and programming by the installer. All whole-house systems require some user programming, although programming can be as simple as programming a preset radio station in the car.
Central lighting control systems can be "zoned" to provide pre-programmed lighting levels (often called "scenes") for different situations. Examples of modes that may be preprogrammed include: vacation, dining, entertaining, and morning.
A manual-on occupancy sensor is a wall switch that will allow regular on and off switching of lights and can be used as an electronic occupancy sensor, as well. The occupancy sensor operates on low frequency sound waves that can sense movement in an area. After a prescribed time delay of six to fifteen minutes, dependent upon manufacturer, the sensor will turn off the light if movement has not been detected.
Dimmer switches can allow one fixture to serve several lighting functions, such as task lighting at full ballast and decorative or safety lighting on a lower setting. Dimming increases lamp life and saves energy - a light that is dimmed by 25% uses about 20% less energy while lamp life is increased fourfold.
One wireless controller, ideally suited for retrofit, works with a transmitter and receiver located in the same room. The transmitter is a push-button switch that generates its own electricity when pressed (and therefore does not require a separate power source such as batteries). The receiver is either an electrical outlet or a hard-wired device, and the light source (or any connected electrical device) can be toggled on or off via the transmitter switch. A single device or a group of electrical devices can be controlled via the toggle switch.
For more information please click on the link below.
Low Voltage Controls
TURN YOUR THERMOSTAT UP (OR DOWN) FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR BED
TURN YOUR THERMOSTAT UP (OR DOWN) FROM THE FRONT DOOR
Use a KeypadLinc near the entry way to turn your thermostat off as you leave or on when you come home.
ACCESS YOUR THERMOSTAT WHILE ON YOUR WAY HOME FROM WORK
Using your web-enabled phone or PC, access your home and set the thermostat to your favorite temperature setting. This way your house will be at the perfect temperature when you arrive.
PLUG-IN LIGHT CONTROL
This kit will get you up and controlling 2 plug-in lights in less than 10 minutes. It consists of a handheld remote (RemoteLinc) and 2 lamp controllers (LampLinc Dual-Band dimmers)
CONTROL LIGHTS USING A TV REMOTE
Use your universal remote control to turn lights on or off or to dim them when it's time to watch a movie. You can even setup scenes that control your lighting to preset levels just like they do in the movie theaters.
CONTROL LIGHTS WITH YOUR IPHONE OR IPOD TOUCH
Connect SmartLinc to your router and turn any iPhone or other web-enabled device into a home controller. Use it to control your lighting such as plug-in lamps & overhead lights.
GARAGE DOOR STATUS AND CONTROL FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE
Important: You should only remotely close a garage door when you can be sure it is safe, either by watching it directly or through a camera. Use of safety beam devices can further increase the safety of remote garage door control and are usually required by law.
REMOTE CONTROL FOR YOUR A/V EQUIPMENT
Use a remote to set a romantic mood by turning on your stereo, setting the radio station and dimming down the lights.
CONVERT AN EXISTING WALL SWITCH INTO A CUSTOM IR REMOTE
Replace an existing wall switch with a KeypadLinc and be able to turn the lights off in addition to the TV or other A/V gear. This works well for the master bedroom: when leaving your room, turn off the bedside lamp, ceiling light and TV or stereo all at the press of a button.
CONTROL YOUR HOME THEATER EQUIPMENT FROM YOUR iPHONE
Use a web-enabled portable device such as an iPhone or iPod touch to control your TV, Stereo and even lights and drapes.
LET MOTION CONTROL THE LIGHTS
Call Mike Counsil Electric, Inc. at 408-212-0230
Lighting Controls for Your Residential Wiring System