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As smart lighting becomes more popular, many people are still trying to make sense of all the options available to them. Not only is it about choosing the right brand, but the right kind of system as well. Do you want to just upgrade some of the switches on the wall? Do you want to eliminate some of the wall acne as well? It’s time to figure out how to bring smart lighting to your house in Houston or the Woodlands, TX.
Depending on your main reasons for wanting a new lighting control system, there are a few ways you could go about it. Despite the wide range of options available, the decision usually boils down to two types of systems: centralized vs. switch-based. Style, application, and budget can all affect which one makes the most sense.
As you keep reading, you’ll learn what the difference is between the two primary lighting control systems. We’ll also highlight the main benefits of each.
Do you currently have a different switch corresponding to each of your light fixtures? Lighting control systems that work that way are switch-based: every light is independently connected to a switch which is then linked to your general circuit breaker.
This traditional lighting control system is the most common but can still be upgraded by exchanging your existing light switches for more efficient and controllable ones. The light switches are usually changed (a few or all) for dimmers that let you go beyond on/off options. In addition to adding additional range by dimming the light fixtures, these types of systems can be controlled by a home system to bring all of your existing lighting to a scene or app control.
How do you know if this is the best solution for your home? Replacing your switches is quick and efficient, with no need for any rewiring. That’s why it’s often the go-to for retrofits or existing homes. Before you start, we can help you find the dimmers that work best for your space and type of control, from a variety of vendors including Vantage and Savant.
Lighting control also comes in more comprehensive, centralized forms. In a centralized system, the wiring is a little bit different, so it is typically used in new construction or a remodel. Instead of going from the breaker to the switch, there are no switches on the wall to control the lights. You have dimming modules in a location near the breaker that do the dimming and control. Then you have a control system or keypad telling the modules what to do.
Especially in large spaces like living rooms, the wall acne created by numerous switches on a wall in your home can get overwhelming. The number one reason many of our clients opt to go for centralized lighting control is that you no longer need switches in every room, for every fixture. Instead, you can essentially convert any number of switches on the wall into one elegant multi-button keypad. Each button can be customized to control a single light or control multiple lights at once.
Since you’re not limited to controllable dimmers, you also have a much wider variety of styles for control. Keypads range from 1 to 8 buttons, offer a variety of button options, colors, and faceplate finishes. They include LED backlighting and custom engraving so you can have them named and programmed according to your preferred use.
For example, you can have a “Welcome” button on the keypad near your front door. When you press it, it turns on the lights in the foyer and the living room along with any additional path lighting to your preferred dimming setting. Even shades, climate, audio, and more can be incorporated into these scenes for true personalization.
Through these types of systems—like Vantage InFusion—you can even get rid of wall controls altogether for the absolute sleekest look. You can control your lights through a mobile app, touchscreens, motion sensors, or even voice commands.
Want to find the ideal upgrade for your existing lighting control system? Reach out by calling 713-933-0606 or filling out our online contact form. and we'll help you figure out whether switch-based or centralized control is the best option for