A Guide to Lighting Control

Sep 9, 2020 | Control

This article will provide you a quick guide to lighting control.  These days, there has been a shift away from halogen lighting towards LEDs, and that means there’s a greater focus on ways of controlling both artificial and natural light. Unfortunately LED dimming is much more complicated than Halogen dimming. Luckily, with the help of the specialist Lightmaster team, it’s possible to specify then program the perfect control system for all projects.

There are several aspects that our technical team need to keep in mind when planning lighting control systems. Here, we’ll take a look at these elements and how they impact on your control choices.

What Is A Lighting Control System?

The first thing you need to know is what a lighting control system actually is. In this brief guide to lighting control, lighting control systems are designed to control either a single room’s lighting or lighting for an entire property. The most advanced systems can even control music, blinds and more, all from a single end-user interface. Control systems may range from a multiple or single circuit solution right up to a fully integrated whole house system depending on your needs and requirements.

So, what kind of requirements and needs may you need to keep in mind when designing the ideal lighting control system for your home or property?

1) Setting The Scene

Before considering anything else, the first requirement you need to bear in mind when designing a lighting control system is the atmosphere and ambience you’d like to create. A key element in lighting control is the ability to create a variety of scenes at a single touch. By utilising different circuits, it becomes possible to have several scene ‘Presets’. One of which will turn all the lights on or off, one of which may create intimate, low-level lighting, and another may operate bright, functional task lighting. Essentially, the possibilities are countless, but the expertise comes into play when keeping these options as simple and easy to use as possible. This allows you to perfectly set the scene for any eventuality. Whether you’re keen to create a romantic mood or need focused light for working, you can ensure that the ideal level of light can be achieved with just the press of a button.

2) Lower The Lighting

Once you have determined the kinds of moods that you’d like to create through your lighting control system, you also need to consider the dimming of the LEDs. Dimming is a complex element in any type of lighting system since it depends on the kind of dimming you need to achieve. Traditional Mains Phase-cut dimming (although more complicated with LEDs) is the simplest method of dimming although may not be compatible with your type of fittings and often is not as smooth as the superior signal dimming of 1-10V dimming. 1-10V is a little more complicated and involves 2 extra wires and the correct combination of drivers, fittings and dimmers. Once spec’ed correctly, this type of dimming provides smoother, super low-level dimming. Integrated into the right control system, you also have the benefit of DMX and DALI dimming protocols. These provide the fastest, most precise dimming and can be configured to exactly the right percentage or lux output to create the perfect mood setting instantly and consistently
The Lightmaster technical team have extensive experience with all of the above types of dimming control and can help you find the right control system to achieve the ideal lighting level in any space while smoothly transitioning from bright task lighting light to low-level cosiness, giving you the greatest versatility in the uses of your space.

3) Natural Light Control

A further consideration to keep in mind is how you are going to control natural light as well as that from artificial sources. At its most basic level, natural light control involves opening or closing the curtains or blinds. With an integrated control system window coverings can be linked into the room’s lighting control system. Thanks to this innovative technology, it’s possible to even program the blinds to move in alignment with the sun’s angle so the room remains in shade throughout the day with the help of daylight sensors. As a result, you can maximise the potential of your lighting system all through convenient and simple controls and automation.

4) Attractive Switches

Although it is largely cosmetic, the aesthetics of your switches is a viable consideration when it comes to planning your lighting control system. The old white rocker switch has become a thing of the past. Here at Lightmaster, we offer a range of attractive switches with a choice of appealing finishes including those made from unusual materials like crystal, marble and leather so you can get the perfect look for your space. It’s the little things that can make all the difference, yet this is the piece of Control equipment that you will see on a daily basis, you can be certain that selecting the right aesthetics will put the perfect finishing touch on your completed project.

Automating Your Home

One major benefit of fully integrated lighting control systems is the capability to have an entirely automated home and is proving to be a popular choice among all kinds of customers who value the ability to seamlessly control numerous elements of their lifestyle from a single point. A lighting control system can be effectively programmed so the lights switch off or on automatically at specified times. This enhances security, especially while away on holiday or working late away from the home. With the right system in place, it’s possible to control sound systems, security systems and heating controls alike and, as a result, it’s possible to achieve a modern and convenient home environment that requires as little input from the individual as possible. The addition of App Control even allows you to control your home while away and geo-fencing allows you to achieve the ideal lighting on your arrival, or ensures you haven’t left the upstairs bathroom lights on as you leave for a weekend away.

Lightmaster’s Technical Team – Creating Lighting Control System Designs For You

The Lightmaster team are specialists in looking at your project and discussing your unique lighting control needs in order to suggest the optimal system to suit you. The Lightmaster team primarily use three types of control system –Philips Dynalite, Rako and Lutron. All of these individual control systems come with their own benefits and features, so this is why we always arrange a meeting during which we can discuss the control level you require in order to advise on the best system for your needs. Thanks to their expertise in the industry, our team are able to work closely with you to determine and achieve your lighting control goals so that your property can be the atmospheric and beautiful space you desire.

The Lightmaster team of lighting technicians can give you all the information you need about controlling your lighting, so contact our office now and make an appointment today! We’re looking forward to getting started on your project and creating stunning lighting control solutions that enable you to make the most of your space.

We hope this guide to lighting control has informed you on the basics of lighting control and the importance it plays in the role within your home and place of work.  Feel free to get in touch with us regarding your specific project.

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