I was in a client’s home the other day, making some control system programming adjustments. We had been working on site for quite a while earlier this summer during a remodel. I was used to just working with the lights off, wearing my head lamp, because the electrician was making some changes to the lighting and it took some time. Tracy, the homeowner, came down to where I was working and said, “Oh, let me turn some lights on for you”. Which opened the door for my sorry one-liner, “It’s no big deal. I can do this in the dark.” Of course, I appreciated her thoughtfulness. But again, it didn’t really matter to me. There was plenty of light coming in through the windows to do what I needed to do.
It didn’t occur to me until I had finished what I was doing, that we had failed this client by not offering a lighting control solution for their basement as part of the remodel. We had already installed a Savant control system that gave them control of four TVs and nine zones of audio, but no lighting control. As I packed up my laptop and went to head upstairs, I wanted to turn the basement lights out, of course. It turned out to be more work for what should have been an easy task.
I had to walk over to the back door to turn the media room lights out. I mean, not that big of a deal, really. The lights for the basement hearth area were on another wall 20 feet from there. OK. The bar area where I had been working had light switches a few feet away from other light switches and I managed to kill the last few lights…except for one. I was just about to head upstairs when I noticed it. As I looked around the fairly open basement, I wasn’t really sure where the switch was for the lights just above the French doors leading out to the newly added lenai. I saw probably 5 different switch locations from where I was standing. I wasn’t in a hurry but I did have another appointment to get to. I started flipping switches with no luck and had flashbacks to the escape room my wife signed us up for at the end of last year…I was running out of time.
I found the switch. Thinking back, I’m not really sure where it was. The next time I’m there, I might find myself in the same predicament. So, what? Right? I “escaped” unharmed. The fact is that you only have so much time in the day. How do you want to spend it?
What if we could have just put one programmable dimmer right at the bottom of the stairs with a button for “Basement Lights Off”? We already had a “Basement Off” button on their Savant Pro Remotes and Savant Pro App that simplified things. But that one button only turned off the TVs and sound system. We could have easily added lighting to that button. One press and all of the basement TVs turn off, the home audio turns off, and a few minutes later, the media room lights and the basement hearth lights, the bar lights, and that one pesky light above the lenai doors…all…fade…to off. We could the same thing to the upstairs. We could add lighting control to the outdoor lights. We could add thermostat, door locks, a few security cameras, the security system, the garage door, motorized shades, even motorized curtains.
The Jetsons lifestyle is available now. Well…maybe a portion of it. We can talk to, while we see, our friends and loved ones from our phones. We can lock our doors and watch who pulls in the driveway remotely. Our shades go up in the morning and our shades go down when the sun comes beating down through the windows on our Macassar ebony milled floor and our Fendi Casa chairs.
Our mission at Longwire is to educate our clients that your home IS a single system. You have a surround sound system in the basement. You might have a couple of speakers on the deck. Of course, you have a security system and an HVAC system and a WiFi network. You have a TV in the bedroom and speakers in the Master Bath. You have a door cam that you have an app for. You have a garage door that you have an app for. You can lock your doors with another app. You have a remote for a few of your shades and more remotes for each of your ceiling fans.
Having 5 apps and 5 remotes to control the individual systems in your home isn’t much different than having 7 remotes to shuffle through just to watch a movie. There are a lot of smart devices available for anyone to purchase everywhere, but unless they talk to each other, you don’t have a smart home.
Compared to a 4K custom home theater or streaming music through the in-ceiling speakers in every room of your home, basic lighting control isn’t very exciting. It is a great way, however, to start creating your smart home.
People have been turning their lights on and off the old-fashioned way for 100 years and very little has changed in that time. Lighting control is a definite step-up from, and has many benefits over the old-fashioned way. Dimming any light source results in less energy being used, saving money and increasing comfort. Which is more comfortable? Getting up to flip the switch or dimming the lights from your remote or using your voice?
Today, advanced lighting solutions can transform your home with a touch and are a great rival, or even compliment to the 4K Home Theater or whole-home audio system. Savant lighting systems can be tuned to Kelvin temperatures to synch natural light to your Circadian rhythm. Take a TrueImage photo of your light with your device. At a touch, see the color and brightness simultaneously change in your virtual light and in your real-world fixture.
THE SAVANT PRO APP
Automate your home beautifully with any device. Create scenes with music, climate and lighting. An Authorized Dealer can get you started.
Initially, I didn’t really “get” the concept of lighting control. But now that I’ve had Lutron’s RadioRA 2 lighting system in my home for the past couple of weeks, I not only get it, I totally dig it. Next up is replacing my other switches, adding some shading, and fully completing my transformation to living in an automated world.