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If you’re going to start anywhere with home automation, then a good place is lighting control.

Let’s start with what it is:

What is lighting control?

Lighting control allows you to program your light switches to recall preset light levels for any light fitting in the whole house.

Your light switches are normally buttons on a keypad that represent ‘scenes’. The idea being that you can push one button and multiple light circuits react to illuminate your room or area just the way you want it.

It essentially takes out the manual tweaking process of getting the lights ‘just right’ for your mood or time of day.

Pretty cool huh?

Now you know a bit about what it is, let’s give you the basics of how it works.

How does lighting control work?

Normally your mechanical switch or dimmer on the wall is wired directly to your lights. With lighting control each light circuit is wired instead to an electronic switch or dimmer that are all grouped together in a discreet place in the house, out of sight.

Then the super smart keypads on the wall can tell those hidden dimmers and switches to switch on and off as desired. How does it do that? Well, that’s where the programming comes in. You can either get one of JFK’s brain-boxes to do it for you (Lutron Homeworks QS) or you can do it yourself with a great, user-friendly App (Lutron Radio Ra2).

What else can you control?

For added convenience, your lighting control system can also control these additional services:

  • Motorised blinds and curtains
  • Ceiling fans
  • Extractor fans
  • Air conditioning
  • Floor heating
  • Heated towel rails

And don’t forget, you will always have the option of using an App on your iPhone to close your blinds or trigger a lighting scene – or even switch on your air-con when you’re on the way back home on a hot summer’s day.

What system do I go with?

This is where the choice can get challenging because all products will claim to do the same thing. You may have heard of C-Bus and Dynalite, but then there’s Lutron and Crestron, Control4 and KNX… the list is endless! But which one is the best?

Most people are driven by the look of the keypads (it’s important; that’s what you’re going to be using every day) but aside from that, you want good reliability (or warranty) and functionality. And it helps if the brand has a strong history of innovation in the lighting industry:

Lutron: A History of Innovation

We can help you navigate the pros and cons of the various systems so that you have a full understanding of what you can and can’t do, and how each one fits with your needs.

Where you’ll need automated lighting and climate control in your home

  • Living areas — Whether you’re having guests over for dinner, watching television with the family or reading your book on the lounge late at night, lighting sets the mood and tone for the evening. If you’re hosting a lavish evening event, keep your lights dimmed, so you can create a high-end restaurant feel. Avoid harsh, bright lights beaming down on the table and use the dimmer feature to create an inviting atmosphere where your guests feel comfortable. If you’re hosting a lunch, you may wish for brighter lights, but you may want to dim them slightly and add LED candles to the table — this will create a more intimate feel. Automated climate control will also help set the mood, as you can warm your space during the peak of winter or keep your area cool and breezy when the hot summer months roll in.
  • Movie room — There’s nothing worse than watching a movie and seeing your reflection on the television. This is where lighting is crucial. Position your lights behind your couch or opt for bias lighting behind your theatre, tv or computer screen — this will reduce the strain on your eyes. Ensure you install lighting with a built-in dimmer feature so you can adjust the intensity depending on the time of day. A home automation climate control system is certainly recommended in this type of space, especially during chilly winters and sweltering summers, as it helps keep your area ventilated.
  • Home office — Working under the direct glare of overhead fluorescent lights can strain your eyes, especially if you’re working at your computer. If there’s no natural light flowing through your office, you may wish to add an LED strip behind your monitor or mount it underneath your desk. Along with automated climate control, select a lighting system that includes a built-in dimmer, so you can adjust the brightness as the sun goes up or down.

JFK Automation — the go-to for lighting and home automation climate control systems

Lighting always sets the mood — as does the temperature in your home. If you’re looking to invest in a bespoke, all-in-one system that controls lighting and climate, our experienced team are the experts in the home automation universe. Regardless of the size of your space or your interior style, we will work with you to create a lighting and home automation climate control system that keeps you toasty during winter and cool in the peak of summer.

With project managers, designers, technicians and installers on staff, get in contact with our team today to elevate your home interiors with practical systems that will help you through the seasons. Alternatively, fill out our online project inquiry form and browse our online catalogue to see the reputable brands we’ve worked with.

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