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Cooper Mechanical Blog

Smart Lighting Systems and Home Automation

Posted by: Cooper MechanicalWednesday, October 26, 2016


Home Lighting Is Changing. Fast.

Home lighting systems have seen more growth and innovation in the past decade than Tom Edison could have ever imagined. The late 20th century brought lighting improvement, energy efficiency and increased lifespan to the old-school incandescent bulb with CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) and LEDs (light emitting diodes). 

The latest evolution of home lighting solutions are what many manufacturers call "Smart Lighting," intelligent lighting systems connected to a home network and controlled via a wireless device such as a smartphone. In fact, lighting is just one aspect of the movement toward home automation where homeowners can control many aspects of their home (shades, locks, appliances) over wifi or bluetooth from a connected device.

What's Driving the Smart Lighting Market?

Want to turn on your garage lights and turn up the heat from your smartphone? These features are readily available to consumers and quickly becoming industry standards. So why are these changes coming so quickly? Well, the evolution of home automation systems, and lighting systems particularly, is a result of the rapid technological advancements and uses for wireless networks. These changes have given rise to an era termed the Internet of Things--smart, connected devices able to share information. Consumers desire control, convenience, and customization, and smart lighting systems offer them just that.

Additionally, environmental concerns and conservation are driving the rapid growth of smart lighting. In Myrtle Beach, local grocery stores have frozen food sections where the freezer's lights only turn on for the time you are standing in front of them.  A shift to a smart system with a sensor can lead to big energy savings! Home and lighting automation systems allow for lighting to adjust to natural daylight or room occupancy. Smart lighting is cost-effective.

Finally, the production costs and consumer expense for lighting automation systems has fallen significantly in the last 5 years. Replacing standard switches and dimmers with those of a lighting control system is no longer a huge jump in price. 

What Are the Advantages of a Smart Lighting System?

Security: Being able to turn your home's lights on and off from anywhere you have cell service is perhaps the biggest reason people opt for a lighting system. Whether you program a specific schedule for lights to turn on and off, or choose to manually adjust them from wherever you are, smart lighting allows homeowners the ability to give the appearance that someone is home.

Cost-Effective and Energy Efficient: As we mentioned before, automated systems can be programmed so lights are used when they are needed and off when they aren't. Moreover, lighting systems can use a variety of dimmed settings to regulate the amount of light used in a room, saving you precious dollars at the end of the month.

Customization, Control and Convenience: Do you have a home theater? Or do you prefer different lighting moods at certain times of day? Easily adjust settings from a smartphone app to set your dining light mood, playroom light mood, or TV watching mood. Smart lighting let's you control the lighting around your home from a device in your hand.

What Are the Disadvantages of a Smart Lighting System?

Given the recent affordability of smart lighting systems, cost is no longer the disadvantage it once was. As it stands there are really only two real drawbacks to an automated lighting system.

Compatibility: Each smart lighting system with smart switches has requirements for bulb types and wattages. While most smart systems have apps for a variety of mobile platforms (iOS, Android), you may want to check before investing in a system that favors one mobile OS over another. Additionally, as new smart devices take hold of our lives (the new Amazon Alexa, for example), it may not be readily compatible with your smart lighting system, although some manufacturers are quicker than others in responding to new device interplay.

Set Up: If all of this sounds too complicated, it's best to leave it to the pros. Cooper Mechanical Services are on top of the most recent trends in home automation and lighting control and are glad to recommend and install smart lighting solutions in your home.

Let Cooper Turn the Smart Lights On

There are many automated lighting systems on the market for all price points. Let one of Cooper's professionals determine the best option for your needs and install a smart system in your home.