The term “smart lighting” is a lighting technology that is intended to maximize the efficiency of you power source. In other words, it uses a built-in technology to make sure that you get optimal lighting and save money at the same time.
Compare this to dumb lighting. Dumb lighting is basically just turning on the lights and call it a day. The problem is, when you turn on the lights, maybe you’re getting too much light or too many lights are on and it tends to be an overkill.
Let’s put it this way, if it’s technically nighttime in your area, who knows what kind of ambient light is available? If you are in the tropics, you tend to have bright days, and it tends to be regular. So, when the time 6:00 p.m. comes, the sun is going to set and everything is pretty much predictable.
However, if you are in the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere, summer light tends to drag. I remember when I went to London and it was still light out at 9:00 p.m. That just blew my mind because I spent a lot of my time in the tropics. And in the tropics, everything pretty much works like clockwork.
So, smart lighting enables you to avoid the common problem of turning on too many lights when you don’t need it. It also works in reverse. If it’s really dark outside and you just turn on the set of lights that you normally use, that may not be able to light up your space adequately.
So smart lighting uses technology that helps detect lights, modulate light emission, and also has a nice aesthetic effect. Many smart lighting fixtures can give out different lights. They can lower and dim lights using a controller. In short, smart lighting enables home owners and facility managers to exercise a lot more control over the overall lighting options available to them.
You’re no longer stuck with just basically flicking on a switch and leaving it at that. There’s a lot more you can do. This is a big deal because in many cases, people waste a lot of money on lighting.
Now, you may be thinking that, with the rise of LED, this is really not going to be that big of a deal.
Most people don’t understand that, back in the bad old days of incandescent light, you really are going to be looking at a very fat electricity bill at the end of the month because incandescent lighting as well as traditional lighting burn up quite a bit of energy.
Well, with LED lights, your lighting system is basically just taking sips of your overall electric supply. It’s not gulping it down wholesale. So, what’s to worry?
Well, the truth is, every dollar helps. Sure, you have an all LED system and it may seem like you’re not really burning all that much energy, but what about the money that you’re losing? Sure, it may seem like small potatoes, but it can all add up at the end.
Also, there’s another cost going on here. This is called an opportunity cost. What if you were managing your lighting appropriately from Day One? You could not only have saved money, but you could have taken that money and invested it somewhere else. You could have directed all that cash that you would normally spend on paying bills to something more rewarding.
Maybe you could grow that money. Maybe you can invest it in toys for your children. There are just so many things you’re missing out on. A lot of people just look at direct cost, but they’re completely blind to indirect costs like opportunity costs. These costs, believe it or not, are just as real.
So, do yourself a big favor. Look into indirect or intelligent or smart lighting. Now, please understand that there are many different types of smart lighting options available out there. Some are very complicated. They even use computers. Others are pretty direct with very simplified controls.
The key is to play close attention to how these controls work and their total energy consumption, as well as your overall needs. Focus on the outcome that you’re looking for. What exactly are you trying to achieve?
Once you are able to get a clear idea of that, then you can proceed to picking out the right product. Please note that you’re not just buying one piece of smart lighting here and there. You also have to invest in a coordination system. The last thing you want is a home full of wires and switches because you have so many gadgets to stay on top of and control.
Talk about confusing… and possibly dangerous. When you have so many wires and controls, you don’t know which goes with which and you end up wasting a lot of time. Also, should any kind of disaster happen, the last thing you want to do is to screw around with controls and wiring.
Accordingly, if you are serious about getting smart lighting and smart light sensors or motion detectors for your home, you need a system that is integrated. This means that everything ties into a central place. Less wires. Less confusion. That’s the name of the game.
To find the right system, you have to look at your overall security needs, your home’s layout, your budget and other key considerations. You can’t just go with brand because your buddy had a similar system installed at his place.
His system might look good but if you live in a different type of place, your needs might be different from his. His recommendations should not hold much water with you because your needs are different from each other.
Always focus on your needs as well as the resources you have. By grounding your decision on these factors, you end up making things easier on yourself. That’s how you do it. That’s how you avoid regretting your buying decision later on.