Residential Smart Dimming Strategies

Or maybe I should say... <i><b>smarter</b></i> dimming strategies. In 
fact, now smart technology can provide you with a home lighting strategy
 that can mimic your lifestyle better than you can!<br>Well, probably better than me anyway.<br><br>Being
 an electrician for over 30 years, and just a little of a tech-nerd 
(okay... a lot of a tech-nerd), I've been keeping an eye on the progress
 of lighting controls and options. Caséta by Lutron

Steve Maurer, IME

Or maybe I should say... smarter dimming strategies. In fact, now smart technology can provide you with a home lighting strategy that can mimic your lifestyle better than you can!
Well, probably better than me anyway.

Being an electrician for over 30 years, and just a little of a tech-nerd (okay... a lot of a tech-nerd), I've been keeping an eye on the progress of lighting controls and options.

I've got to say, I've been impressed with the growth of technology in this area. And while lighting control has become more intricate, actually implementing it has simplified immensely.

We all know that lighting is important to us for many reasons:

  • Productivity
  • Mood
  • Convenience
  • Security

Just to name a few, of course.

It's just plain smarter to have a lighting and dimming strategy for living a fuller, more productive, and comfortable life. And implementing a workable, usable strategy has become as easy as using your voice.

But, that's just the tip of the lighting iceberg, so to speak.

Show's over... lights out!
Often, my wife and I watch TV in bed before turning in for the night. When the program's over, it's time to shut off the lights and crash. In the past, that meant someone had to get out of bed and turn off the switch.

Honestly, it was a race to see who could turn over, pull up the sheets, and feign sleep faster. Most of the time, the vast majority of the time...

I lost.

Not these days! It's not that I've gotten quicker at rolling over. It's that we no longer have to drag our tired bodies out of bed to shut off the lights. A Google Assistant device sits on the night stand.
Making it dark is as simple as telling Google to shut off the lights.

Not quite traveling gypsies... but close
We're kind of homebodies, the wife and I. But we do go out to eat occasionally (really, more than ever since the kids have grown up). And we do take the occasional overnight or weekend trips.
Like I said, our lighting strategy is smarter than we are. At least me, anyway. When I hop in the car and head down the street, a notification on my smartphone lets me know I left the lights on.
No problem! I don't have to go back and shut them off. I simply tell my system to handle it for me.

Cool.

Not only that, but when we arrive back home, the lights automatically come back on, welcoming us with a well-lit pathway to the door. That's because my Caséta lighting system knows my location via my smartphone's location service.

The technology is called "geofencing," and it really works.

Speaking of location...
When Mary and I are away for an extended period (like our yearly trip to Florida), our system is able to mimic occupation even better than before.

Using something called Smart Away technology, it creates a random pattern of operation--turning lights on and off or dimming, based on the time of day. It actually looks like we're roaming through the house.

Very cool.

Easy upgrades possible
We have an older home, circa 1960. You know what that means when it comes to the electrical system.
Sure, I've been upgrading our wiring to make it more compatible with modern living... and bringing it up to code.

But that takes time. Our house was riddled with two-wire cabling and parts of it still are. That means that the switches are simply line in/load out, with no neutral in sight.

I can still upgrade the lights switches since my "smart" lighting dimmer switch replaces my old switch, no neutral wire required.

And talk about simple! I wanted my table lamps controlled as well. A wireless lamp dimmer simply plugs into my existing receptacle and allows two lamps to be controlled remotely with a Pico wireless remote.

Finally, understand that I'm a big fan of LEDs. Some of my friends still haven't made the switch. But that's OK... my Caséta system works with incandescents and dimmable CFLs as well.

With a smart dimming strategy, the future's as bright... or as perfectly lit... as you need.

View video: Let your Voice Get the Lights with Caséta by Lutron


Photo courtesy of Caséta by Lutron