What is a Lighting Control System
A lighting control system gives residents the ability to control the home lighting in the entire home using one device. A single keypad can replace an entire bank of switches and dimmers while still providing the same functionality. For instance, one button may be able to turn on six dimmers to the ideal brightness needed. Read on to find out more about the benefits of a lighting control system as well as its functions and some recommended products if you are in the market for a lighting control system for your home.
Benefits of a Lighting Control System
When you think about the effort that is required to turn on and off all the lights in the house, it is apparent that a lighting control system can be a very convenient device. It can turn on and off the lights, not just in one room, but in an entire household with just one hit of a button.
Lighting control systems can also take away the inconvenience of adjusting lights to that perfect setting. Automated lighting can change on its own and the keypads can be used to adjust lighting anywhere in the home quickly and simply. This makes for elegant lighting easy to obtain.
But convenience is not the only benefit of a lighting control system; it can also add security. If you think there is suspicious activity occurring in the vicinity of your home, turning on lights all at once, full blast, can be a major deterrent. Built-in timeclock capabilities can also give the appearance that your home is occupied, even if no one is home. This can also work to deter criminals.
A lighting control system can also result in energy savings. With features like occupancy sensor, photosensors and time lock capabilities, your lights are controlled for you. This way, you don’t run the risk of leaving lights on accidentally. Light control systems can also automatically dim lights for you, a feature that can also result in saving energy.
Types of Lighting Control Systems
There are several different types of lighting control systems that you can choose from. Although they all work to control the lighting, they do so in different ways.
Lighting Control Systems: These enable lighting equipment within a home to communicate through a central control system which can be adjusted, automated and monitored. They are energy efficient and provide convenience.
Occupancy Sensors: These work as sound or motion control, automatically dimming or switching off lights when an area has not been occupied for a certain amount of time. They will reactivate when they detect sound or motion again. Although these do provide energy efficiency, they are not as efficient as the lighting control systems, providing only a 35-45 percent energy savings.
Dimmers: These adjust the level of lighting from bright to near dark. Because light sources use less energy when they are dimmed, users can save 4-9 percent in energy usage.
Daylighting: This is the act of working with a building’s design so that daylight can be used as an alternative to other sources of lighting. This is usually done in businesses to offset the cost of operating electrical equipment. If done properly, it can lower energy consumption and reduce operating and investment costs.
Daylight Dimming: This type of lighting uses a photosensor that allows lighting to adjust according to how much is needed, as opposed to the natural light that is coming in.
Time Scheduling: This system uses time clock controls to turn lights on and off, set lighting levels for different times of the day and can also provide an after hour mode. More sophisticated systems will also work to respond to signals sent from external control devices like switches and sensors.
Recommended Lighting Control Systems
If you are in the market for a lighting control system, there are various types, makes and models you can choose from. USESI sells a number of quality lighting control systems in both their online store as well as their brick and mortar locations. Here are a few premium choices.
Leviton ECD00-200 4-11/16 Inch Junction Box Mount Dimming Load Transfer Emergency Luminaire Control 12-277 Volt 20 Amp Ballast/Transformer: This lighting control system has a voltage rating of 120-277 volts at 60 Hz. It has an integral test switch that allows it to undergo convenient testing at any time. It has separate LEDs that indicate regular and emergency power while allowing the verification of correct wiring connections. Its internal emergency power supervision circuit prevents emergency luminaires from illuminating during normal time. It automatically switches designated emergency fixtures from a dimming control to emergency power during utility power interruption. Its body measures 4.25 inch x 1.5 inch x 4.25 inch. It has an incandescent load rating of 1500 watts. The control withstands temperature ratings that range from 0 to 60 degrees. It is UL/cUL/US listed.
Cooper Industries LK8 Surface Mount Lighting Control Panel 120/277 Volt AC Greengate LiteKeeper 8: This lighting control panel has a voltage rating of 120/277 Volt AC. It has a power rating of 40 watts. It is surface mountable and measures 9.5 inch x 5 or 7 inch x 14 inch. It withstands temperature ratings of 32 to 122 degrees F. It allows you to manually and programmably control each relay via a simple keypad and 2 line LCD display. It provides 8 relay and eight low voltage input connections. The control panel is UL listed.
Lutron QSN-4T16-S Surface Mount 4 Zone Wireless Control Panel 120-277 Volt AC 50 Amp Output Energi Savr Mode: This is suitable for a 1-10 volt fixture controller. It has a voltage rating of 120-277 Volt AC and current rating of 50 amps. It accommodates wires sized 20-12 AWG. It measures 9.25 inch x 13.25 inch x 3.16 inch. It has a load rating of 16 amps. Four occupancy sensor inputs offer automated control of lights in four zones. Four daylight sensor inputs automatically adjust light levels based on the amount of light entering the room. It withstands temperatures of 32 to 104 degrees F. It is UL listed, CSA certified and meets NOM/NEC standards.
Adorne APCB4TM1 Plastic 1-Gang Control Box: This features plastic construction and a titanium finish. It measures 7.88 inch x 3.88 inch x 4.5 inch. It is great for ensuring kitchen countertops are free of hazardous wires and outlets are uncluttered. It connects easily to existing in wall wiring and can customize with switch, outlet or dimmer devices to power under-cabinet LED lighting seamlessly. It is cETus listed.
Cooper Industries RC3D Room Controller 120/277 Volt AC 3 Amp Ballast or Incandescent Load/ 20 Amp Maximum Combined Load Greengate: This lighting control system is suitable for quick and easy daylighting controls, occupancy/vacancy sensing and manual switching. It has a voltage rating of 120/277 Volt AC and current rating of 3 amps at ballast or incandescent load and 20 amp at maximum combined load. It measures 7 ½” x 2 ¼” x 11 ½”. It has a load rating of 20 amps at 120/277 volt AC for ballast load, 15 amps at 120 volt AC for incandescent load and 1 hp at 120 Volt Ac for motor load. It has integral demand response input with four levels of preconfigured energy reduction. It withstands a temperature range of 32 to 104 degrees F. It is UL/cULus listed.
Wattstopper LMRC-211 Box Mount Single Relay On/Off Digital Dimming Room Controller 120- 277 Volt Ac 800: This controller is white in color and measures 6.5” x 6.5” x 2.62”. It has a voltage rating of 120-277 and current rating of 800 milliampere. It supports Cat 5e cable with RJ45 connector connection, is box mountable making for easy installation and features a Plug n’ Go automatic configuration for quick installation and maximum energy savings. It has zero crossing circuitry for each relay ensuring reliability and increased product life. Its LED indicated the status of each connected load. It is ideal for use in private offices, conference rooms and classrooms. It withstands temperatures of 32 to 158 degrees F. It is UL/cUL listed and RoHS compliant.
Synergy SPAL-8S 120/277 Surface Mount (8) 1-Pole Relay Lighting Control Panel 120/277 Volt AC SwitchPak: This lighting control system has a voltage rating of 12//277 Volt AC at 50/60Hz. It has astronomic and automatic DST functions. It has 32 holiday schedules and 99 daily schedules. It has a NEMA 1 enclosure with a locking door for added safety. It features separate low voltage/line voltage compartments with barrier. It measures 16” x 14 ½ “ x 4”. It has a load rating of 20 amps. It has an integral 7 day time clock. It withstands a temperature range of 0 to 4o degrees C. It is UL/cUL listed and CEC certified.
Lighting control system is not just convenient, it can be a great investment for energy savings and also work as a security feature to keep your home safe. Understanding the various functions of the panels and the recommended types are advisable for those who wish to purchase one for their home or business. Good luck becoming familiar with these handy devices.