Lighting control systems do more than illuminate homes, hotels and offices. They can boost productivity, save money, lower carbon emissions, respond to occupants, complement design and enhance the usability of a building. With demand increasing for lighting control systems across both domestic and commercial properties, we thought it was high time we took a look at some of the benefits implementing a system can have for private and commercial building owners.
It goes without saying a building that is more environmentally efficient doesn’t just better the planet, it saves you money and, for commercial locations can improve CSR records to boot. Lighting uses 20% of the electricity generated in the United Kingdom. Non-domestic lighting is reported to be responsible for around 24 million tonnes of CO2 a year. Having a better control of your lighting can reduce costs by 30-50% and significantly reduce carbon emissions at the same time, while new lighting technologies can reduce energy bills by as much as 80%. All this makes for a compelling argument for better-managed lighting output. Lighting control systems enable more efficient monitoring of electrical output. Entire sections can be plotted in accordance to use, while management of consumption and billing is made far easier. Faults are automatically reported and rooms that are unoccupied no longer waste energy.
As technology and engineering has progressed significantly over the last few decades, many are surprised to find the kind of innovations lighting control systems now offer. Tablet and smartphone apps are a more frequent sight, but lesser known innovations, such as wireless switches, are equally as beneficial. Designed to control appliances and lights without the need for complex cabling systems, these signal-based controls are revolutionising how people light their homes and businesses. One of the many benefits of a wireless switch is of course the fact they can be installed with relatively low levels of disruption. This is particularly popular with heritage buildings that are bound by red tape, or for those for whom short maintenance periods are essential, such as hotels. Wireless switches are also ideal for establishments that require zero voltage equipment, such as prisons, police stations and courts. Mobile and tablet apps are also making managing one’s lighting control systems all the more flexible and efficient.
The days of clunky design and bulky tech are over. Today, lighting control system panels are crafted to blend in as seamlessly as possible with the design schemes and layout of a building. These developments, paired with an ongoing commitment to craftsmanship, offer even greater options to users. From antique brass to sleek modern finishes and even transparent panels, lighting control systems can enhance the design of a room in more ways than light alone.
Few people know that lighting control systems can be integrated into any existing domestic or commercial system, such as CCTV, security and even blinds. ‘Holiday modes’ allow lighting control systems to mimic the usual usage of light (and even blinds) in the home or office when it is unoccupied. Out of holiday mode, centralised systems also allow home-owners to activate lights on the ground floor or garden from the comfort and safety of their own beds. This leads to not only enhanced security but greater peace of mind.
One of the most popular benefits of lighting control systems is probably the most obvious – the improved use of light throughout a home, business or leisure establishment. Mood-appropriate lighting can be set depending on the time of day, or even year (ideal for those familiar with the lows of Seasonal Affective Disorder), social occasion or simply, the requirements of the occupant. In domestic settings for example, systems can be set to turn on at certain times, ideal for somebody who may work late and who needs to move through certain sections of the house without waking fellow occupants. Similarly, homes or businesses looking to host an event or social occasion may like to plan accordingly, with lighting control systems also able to focus on specific areas, such as dining tables, or even signal if certain areas are out of bounds.