Putting a wow factor into your home through technology isn’t limited to your own living space.
The owners of this San Diego home wanted to convert their garage to provide some much-needed extra room in their home, but the space will also likely be used as a rental property, too. So owners Justin and Stacy Brown had the bright idea to implement LED and lighting controls and now the space beams with firefly-like glowing attraction.
The renovation project took about six weeks, says Stacy Brown, whose resourcefulness played into the fact that she works for local lighting company Environmental Lights, which specializes in those energy-efficient and color-changing LEDs as well as lighting control products from companies such as Lutron.
Remodeling the detached garage would increase the 1930s-era house’s useful living space from 840 square feet by giving them another 320 square feet that included an extra bathroom, home office, family room and kitchenette. Including LEDs and lighting controls in the mix was an easy decision in the owners’ aim of making the space environmentally friendly, as they also used energy-efficient windows, a tankless water heater, water-conserving toilet and low-voltage heating/cooling unit among the renovated digs.
“We wanted to incorporate sustainable, durable and energy-efficient materials into our garage remodel,” says Justin. “By paying attention to the details and paying a little extra for the upgraded materials, we knew that we would be adding resale value to our home.”
Planning and working with Environmental Lights, the owners and pros implemented a design that installed programmable LED lighting throughout the new guest house not only for energy efficiency but for a bit of dazzle, too. Built-in cabinets in the laundry and wet bar area, for example, feature color-changing capabilities, with RGB Double Density LED strip lights installed above and below the cabinets and can be easily commanded with an RGB LED Touch Controller.
“Everyone that visits the house loves to play with the color-changing LED lights,” says Stacy, who notes that they also use less than 50 watts of power. “There are seven preset static colors (red, green, blue, magenta, cyan, yellow and white) and there’s also a mode to fade those seven colors, or step through them as well—which is really great for a party or something when you want the colors to automatically change. You can adjust the speed of the fade, and also control the brightness.” (See the color-changing mode in the video below.)
The lighting control convenience carries through to the rest of the space, too, for the more traditionally placed LED bulbs in the ceiling and the outdoor area. That additional little wow factor features Lutron’s Pico Wireless remote synced to Lutron’s Maestro wireless dimmers so at the press of a button the user can turn on/off or dim all the lights from any area of the guest house at the same time, including the outdoors lighting so people can turn it on from inside the home before heading out to the detached guest house.
“In our case, we linked one remote to multiple dimmers to control all the lights together,” Stacy explains. “It’s a really great feature if you don’t want to wire all the lights together on one switch and want to have that flexibility. I also used another Pico remote to sync up the outdoor lighting so I can turn on the lights from the main house before I walk out there at night. It’s much safer that way for walking between the houses, and we didn’t have to do any additional wiring that way to make it happen—just link a remote up and we have a great new feature for the house!”
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com and Electronic House magazine.
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