With today’s advancement in technology, lighting control systems offer homeowners complete control over how their space looks, feels and functions. But for many still controlling their lights manually, shifting to a lighting control system can raise many questions.

As award-winning lighting designers with over 20 years experience and expertise in lighting control systems, we’re here to guide you through everything you’ll need to know when it comes to lighting controls for your home.

In this complete guide, topics we cover include:

  • What are lighting control systems?
  • The basics of lighting control: Wired vs Wireless
  • Benefits of home lighting control
  • Incorporating home automation with lighting control
  • How much does home lighting control cost?
  • Can I install a lighting control system myself?

What are lighting control systems?

Lighting control systems create the ability for all of a home’s lighting to be controlled together. For example, one press of a button can turn on 8 separate lights, illuminating an area with the ideal level of brightness for the task at hand. Whether that be watching tv, cooking, or reading a book, lighting control systems allow you to set the perfect mood for your occasion.

An important thing to note: Lighting control systems aren’t limited to controlling a single room or area. With an intelligent lighting control system, you can control the lights throughout your entire home with a single push of a button. For example, this allows you to set a ‘bedtime’ mode that could switch off all lights across your home. This eliminates the need to go from room to room manually switching them off.

kitchen lighting controls

The basics of lighting control: Wired or wireless?

When deciding to implement lighting control for your home, you need to explore both wired and wireless options.

Wired systems require cabling to link your fixtures and control switches together, costing you more due to the extra components and installation efforts involved. Once installed, you’ll have a reliable lighting control system for your home.

Wireless lighting control systems are both cheaper and easier to install. Why? There's no need for wiring, meaning the complexity and time it takes to install is reduced. However, this come with the drawback of a limit to the number of devices you can include in your system. For the perfect home lighting control solution, you should way up the pros and cons with a lighting design expert and choose the system that best suits your needs.

Benefits of home lighting control

1. Energy saving

The less time your lights are on, the more electricity you’ll save, thus the lower your electricity bill will be. Lighting control systems make it easy to know your lights are only on when they’re needed.

With intelligent lighting, you can use your mobile phone or tablet to switch off the lights in your home. Perfect for when you’ve left the house without switching off your lights. On top of this, timers and sensors can be programmed in sync with your schedule to ensure optimal energy savings. Say you leave for work at 7:30am on weekdays, with intelligent lighting controls, you can ensure all lights are switched off as soon as you leave.

Also, be sure to take advantage of dimmers. Having the ability to control the intensity of your lights goes a long way when limiting energy usage.

2. Scene setting

With lighting control systems, you can programme certain lights to create your ideal settings for daily activities. With a single push of a button you could activate ‘TV’ mode, which could be set to dim the lamps and illuminate the space behind your TV. There are several scenarios you can programme your lighting controls for, which may include:

  • Watching TV
  • Cooking
  • Dining
  • Reading a book
  • Working
  • Relaxing

Here's an example of a recent lighting control system designed by us at Hampshire Light. We worked alongside our client closely to distinguish their requirements and designed 5 scenes tailored to their kitchen activities.

3. Increase light life

This benefit goes hand-in-hand with energy saving. Because you can dim and turn off your home’s lights from a single control panel, you’ll be limiting the overall usage. This increases the life in your lights and means you won’t be replacing them as often.

4. Enhanced convenience

Smart lighting control systems give you the ease of managing your lights from either a wall-mounted control centre, remote control, mobile phone, tablet, laptop and even desktop computer. This gives you the ability to set your desired mood from the comfort of your sofa or turn your lights on/off when outside of your home.

5. Improved safety

With the use of sensors, or from your mobile phone, you can safely make your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. No more fumbling around in the dark for your light switch.

Another way lighting controls can be used to increase safety is by setting your lights to turn on while away on holiday. By scheduling your lights to turn on for even an hour, you can help deter thieves from targeting your home.

gym lighting controls

Incorporate home automation with lighting control

As mentioned above, lighting control systems give you the ability to set your lights for common activities like dinning. But what if we told you there’s more that can be done?

Technology has advanced significantly. This gives you the ability to combine other systems with your lighting for greater control and convenience. For example, your ‘Dinner’ scene could illuminate the task lighting over your dinning table, lower your automated shades, turn on your favourite playlist from your speakers, and activate your artificial fireplace. There are infinite possibilities.

How much does home lighting control cost?

Every home is unique and requires a tailored lighting control solution to meets the needs if its users. In short, There’s no one-size-fits all approach when it comes to lighting controls. From the controls, to the interfaces, lighting used, and the size of your home, there are several components that need to be considered, all affecting the efforts of your project and therefore cost.

As a guide price, wireless lighting control systems such as Lutron RA2 can be integrated for around £1,500 up to £8,000 depending on the size of house and number rooms that require pre-set scenes. This system gives you the ability to control both your lights and blinds using your smart phone from anywhere in the world. With the Lutron RA2 system, you're also given the option of a Pico keypad for scene control, or a remote for individual light and blind control.

If you're looking for a full house system that gives you complete control over your home, Lutron Homeworks is for you. This intelligent lighting control system gives you the ability to control your lights, shades and music using your voice or smart phone, and requires the collaboration of lighting designers and audio visual specialist to ensure seamless control of your home. For a complete home system like Lutron Homeworks, pricing starts at around £12,000 for a house and can reach up to £150,000 - £200,000 for larger residences located in affluent areas. 

There are a number of lighting control manufacturers offering a range of systems to help improve your home. From Lutron, to Rako, Control4, Loxone, and Savant, your ideal system should be selected based on what you'd like to achieve with lighting control.

Overall, pricing for home lighting control depends on the size of your project and the level of control you're aiming for. To get a better understanding of how much home lighting control may cost, contact us at Hampshire Light today.

Can I install a lighting control system myself?

Yes, you can. But we wouldn’t recommend it. The safest, easiest and most reliable route is to work with a specialist. They have the knowledge, experience and expertise to ensure a proper installation that will work as expected.

At Hampshire Light, we specialise in the design and supply of lighting control systems using global lighting brands such as Lutron. We work closely with you to establish your requirements and collaborate with professional installers to ensure your new lighting system is fitted flawlessly. If you’re looking to speak with an expert about implementing an intelligent lighting control system in your home, contact us today, we’d be happy to help.

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