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Lighting control – Luxury or efficiency?

test 15 June 2009

Lighting control continues to be an important component of home automation projects, as David Davies discovers from manufacturers and integrators

To paraphrase the great writer George Orwell, all elements in a home automation system are equal, but some elements are more equal than others. Or, to put it another way, lighting, heating and security ñ extremely important; the ability to control your audio system from the downstairs loo ñ rather less so.

ìLighting control is obviously very important as you can live without audio and video, but not without lights,î affirms Crestron residential sales manager Phil Solomons, and it is hard to disagree. From straightforward ambience-setting to being an integral part of a cutting-edge security installation, lighting is fundamental to our notions of the automated house.

It does not take long to realise, therefore, that lighting control has been one of the key drivers behind the development of the residential automation business per se. For new builds and retrofits alike, it continues to be near the top of the installation priority list and, if anything, is actually increasing inutronís Simmonds pinpoints ìthe addition of motorised window systems and the environmental impact of using lighting controlsî as being among the factors now informing the debate, and there are plenty more besides. The need for more education would appear to be inevitable, and indeed a number of leading manufacturers already run training courses. Increasingly, lighting control is rarely just that, and it may be that a further industry-wide shift is required to accommodate this trend.

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