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Frequently Asked Questions - Lighting Control Systems

Answers From Z-Wave Experts

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Lighting Control Systems

Smart wireless lighting control systems allow you to shut off every light in the home with a few taps to your smartphone’s screen – or by simply entering a room. You can dim lights and set “scenes” from your smartphone or tablet – from anywhere. You can program your lighting control system to activate at random times in the night to dissuade prowlers. And though “wired” lighting systems cost tens of thousands of dollars to install, “smart” wireless lighting control systems can cost only a fraction.

It’s been proven that automated – “smart’ – homeowners pay less in heating, cooling, and electrical costs. With carefully monitored lighting, you’ll save energy and money while eliminating hassle and inconvenience. And peace of mind is a valuable thing: With, a smart lighting control system, you’re alerted when a smoke alarm battery is running low, a heat wave is about to hit town, or an intruder is detected on the property – even if you’re miles from home.

Today, it’s easier than ever to find what you’re looking for online – as long as you’re searching smart. Read product reviews before you invest in a lighting control system, and consider visiting an electronics retailer, like Best Buy, Home Depot, and Lowe’s. You’ll be able to browse and interact with a range of smart lighting systems, and you’ll be able to ask questions and solicit advice.

Online, shop for switches, controllers, and dimmers by Remotec, Jasco Products, Nexia, Leviton, and GoControl – to name a few. And wireless lightbulbs are now available by GE, Nyrius, and Elgato. Compatible with iOS devices, the Elgato Avea bulb offers users various preset color scenes, as well as the ability to adjust bulbs wirelessly according to their personal preferences.

In a smart home, devices, sensors, and timers are controlled by a single “hub.” Typically, a wireless network – but not your WIFI signal – is programmed throughout the home and then set to “communicate” with home security systems, temperature controls, entertainment systems, and lighting control systems.

Once a controller – or “hub”– is set up, smart devices can be added to the network. This includes your lighting, inside and out; once the automated home is programmed, your smart lighting control system will immediately go to work, gathering information about your needs and your home and making your lights work intelligently for you.

Today’s smart lighting control systems are designed with ease of use in mind. Most lighting control systems, from switches to timers, offer simple apps you can download in order to access your lights, set timers, and conserve energy.

Installation is usually what daunts users most when changing an existing home system, but take heart: most smart lighting control systems require only simple setup. Smart devices are extremely intuitive, often automatically syncing to the network as soon as they’re activated. Plus, many lighting control systems providers, including Z-Wave, offer installer databases, DIY support videos, informative articles, and detailed FAQ pages.

The best system for you will depend on your needs—and the needs of your home or business. Do you have an expansive lawn, for example? In that case, you may require a different solution than someone seeking automated lighting as a way to “set the scene” during movie hour, or discourage intruders late at night.

Keep in mind that you may pick and choose where – and how – your lighting control system is used. If you prefer to wirelessly control only your outside lights, or only specific lights in specific rooms, it’s usually easy, regardless of which lighting control system is work, to implement those preferences as settings. Today’s technology is increasingly lightweight, scalable, and manageable.

And, the scalability of most lighting control systems – and their related products – means that you can pick and choose when it comes to different components. Your smart bulbs, for example, need not be the same brand as your smart switch—though in the end, the essence of the automated home is simplicity, and you’ll likely find yourself requiring far less “equipment” than you’d anticipated.

LeGrand, General Electric, Lutron Electronics, and Philips continue to dominate the lighting control systems market, but that’s changing. Innovative, boutique-style home automation enterprises like Clare Controls, Greenwave Reality, Homeseer, Perceptive Automation, and Z-Wave are just a few clicks away; they can offer everything from smart bulbs and switches to smart home planning and lighting control system installation.

Ultimately, you may either purchase smart lighting control products piecemeal – a switch here, a controller there. DIY installation and maintenance is possible in the realm of smart homes, but make sure you have access to some level of support if you need it.

Or, consider working with a few select suppliers, contractors, or consultants to create a tailored solution that includes installation, software, and hardware – as well as support. Z-Wave offers easy-to-install kits—there’s the You’ll Never Come Home to a Dark House Kit, for example, available at

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