It may be difficult for you to choose the best lighting control system for your house. There are many factors involved including the surface area, the features you are looking for in a system, and more. Here are some things you may want to consider if you are in the market for the best lighting control system for your home or office.
Features of a Lighting Control System
Before deciding what the best lighting control system for your house may be, its important to become familiar with the different features the control systems offer. They can offer you the convenience of being able to operate your entire lighting system on a single switch, they can provide money and energy saving benefits and can also work as a security system for your home. Read on to find out how your lighting control systems can offer these options.
Convenience: When you think about the time and effort it takes to turn on and off all the light switches and electrical appliances in your home, it can become overwhelming. A lighting control system can turn on a number of lights with one switch. In the case of dimmers, it can turn each on to the ideal brightness to suit the required mood of the room or the task at hand. Lighting control systems can control the lighting in one area of the house, or the entire house as a whole. You can also opt for automated lighting which will change lights on its own, anywhere in the house, quickly and simply.
Security: Lighting control panels can also work as a security measure. For instance, if there is suspicious activity going on outside of your house, it may deter criminals if you have the ability to turn on the lights in you house, full blast, all at once. An automated lighting system can also ensure that lighting will go on at night or when the house is not occupied, to further deter crime.
Energy Savings: Lighting control systems can also work to save you energy. By having all the lights in your house turn off automatically, you don’t run the risk of leaving lights on accidentally. There are also a number of features that lighting control systems can have that can increase energy savings.
Occupancy sensors: These will automatically turn lights on when someone enters a room and shut them back off when the room has been unoccupied for a certain amount of time.
Dimmers: Lowering lights can help save money. With dimmers, you only need to use the amount of light that is needed.
Daylight Dimming: These lighting controls adjust automatically according the amount of daylight that is being let into a building, giving you only the amount you need.
Time Scheduling: You can put lighting on a time schedule to be sure lights will go on and off as needed and provide only the amount of light necessary.
How to Choose the Best Lighting Control Systems
There are many factors that might be specific to your home or business that come into play when choosing the best lighting control system. Here are some things you should think about:
Size: If you are using lighting control for a large facility or total building management, you may want to opt for a central lighting control. A smaller facility or home may be better off with a simple timer control. If you are lighting an office that has a number of cubicles, an occupancy sensor may be effective, dimming or switching off when certain sections aren’t in use.
Daylight: If you have a lot of daylight coming into your building, consider lighting options that adjust accordingly, like daylight dimming.
Scheduling: In a business atmosphere, you may want to time lights to go on and off or dim according to when everyone comes in and goes home, if that is done on a set schedule. At home, schedules might not be as rigid, but this could still be a handy lighting control feature.
Flexibility: In a work situation, you should also consider how much control you want individuals to have over their own lighting. Although it may be ideal for you to have settings that dictate when lights turn on and off as well as their brightness, keep in mind that studies have shown that productivity can increase when occupants have more control over their lighting.
Floor Plans: Floor plans can play a major role in the type of lighting control you choose. In some businesses, different lighting can be needed for different areas. This can especially be true on factory floors, in convention centers and corner offices. Floor plans can also affect the operation of your motion sensors due to blind spots that may be created due to the location of corners and walls. High ceilings, large windows and specialized lab areas must also be considered as well.
Building Code Requirements: New rules and regulations have gone into effect requiring the use of lighting control systems in new construction. This is due to their effectiveness in energy conservation. Businesses should familiarize themselves with the latest laws to ensure all lighting is up to code.
Types of Lighting Control Systems
When trying to find the best lighting control systems, not all are created equal. Here is a list of some of the recommended models and brands. All products listed below are sold by electric wholesalers, USESI. Those interested can purchase these products on their online electrical supply store or in any one of their retail outlets.
Lutron QSGRJ-6P WH Wall Box Mount 6-Zone Phase Control Triac Wireless Control Unit 120/220 – 240 Volt AC Grafik Eye: This controller is white in color and has a voltage rating of 120V Ac/220 – 240V AC and a power rating of 7 watts at 50/60 Hz. It measures 9 3/8” x 4 11/16” x 2”. It has a load rating of 3000 watts at 220 – 240V AC. It is suitable for commercial and residential applications. It comes equipped with RTISS Equipped technology which compensates for real time incoming line voltage variations. The buttons are programmable to select scene or room preset levels or positions. It is configurable for wired, QS link, wireless and RF link communication. It withstands a temperature of 0 to 40 degrees Celsius. It is UL listed, CSA certified, FCC complaint and NOM approved.
Leviton RCD20-102 IRC Dimming Room Control Kit 120/277 Volt AC: This controller contains low voltage devices, two zone room controllers with two 0-10 volt outputs and two 120/277V relays, OSC20-MOW M/T occupancy sensor, RLVSW-4LW 4 button switch and ODC0P-00W photocell. It offers a stand-alone simplified daylight harvesting with full range dimming. It provides AutoCal automatic photocell target level calibration and ladderless commissioning that offers install and forget convenience. It accepts external time clock input providing an OFF sweep function. It is suitable for any commercial room application. It controls maximum lighting output for extra energy saving potential and task tuning. It is UL/cUL listed and ASHRAE compliant.
Wattstopper LMRC-213 Box Mount 3 Relay On/Off Digital Dimming Room Controller 120 – 277 Volt AC 800: This is a white controller that measures 6.5” x 6.5” x 2.625”. It has a voltage rating of 120 – 277V AC and current rating of 800 Milli-Amps. It supports Cat 5e cable with RJ45 connector connection, it’s box mountable which makes for easy installation. It features a Plug n’ Go automatic configuration for easy installation and maximum energy savings. It has zero crossing circuitry for each relay which ensures reliability and increased product life. The LED indicates the status of each connected load. It is ideal for use in private offices, open offices, conference rooms and classrooms. It withstands and temperature of 32 to 158 degrees F. It is UL/cUl listed and RoHS complaint.
Cooper Industries SPRC-R-20-120 Junction Box Mount Receptacle Rated Switchpack Room Controller 120 Volt AC Greengate: This controller has a voltage rating of 120V AC at 50/60 Hz. It measures 4.75” x 4.75” x 2 “. It has a general use load rating of 20 amps and resistive load rating of 20 amps. It is ideal or plenum installation. It is suitable for ballast, tungsten and motor loads. It is directly mountable to a junction box. It withstands temperatures ranging from 0-40 degrees C. It is UL listed.
Armed with this information, you should be able to make an educated decision as to finding the best lighting control system for your home or office. You must consider what features you are looking for in a controller as well as what your needs and requirements are. Good luck in finding a system that is best suited to your needs.