Wireless lighting control systems and new DIY smart home products, including wireless smart bulbs or wireless dimmers, are proliferating in the tech market now, and are enticing homeowners to add smart home systems to their own homes.
Is a wireless lighting system something you can handle yourself or do you need a professional installation?
There are several issues to consider when looking at wireless lighting control. Home automation expert Joe Whitaker walks us through them in a new article from the January 2015 issue of Electronic House.
Among the primary considerations should be the homeowners’ comfort level with electrical wiring. While wireless LED bulbs are easy to install, smart switches and dimmers require more electrical knowledge. Wireless systems can also be effected by various kinds of radio and physical interference, so a homeowner considering such a system needs to know what potential problems may exist.
Whitaker suggests that if you don’t understand terms like signal range, interference, mesh networks and signal strength, then you may be better of consulting with a pro.
Different lighting accessories, such as wireless dimmers, work with different kinds of light loads. Not all dimmers worth with LED or halogen bulbs, for example, so you need to know both what kinds of light loads you want, and what controls will operate them.
Most DIY wireless lighting systems depend primarily on a smartphone app for controlling the system. If you or members of your family aren’t comfortable managing all your lights with an app, a professional can install complimentary control like keypads or touchscreens that are easy to use.
Smart lighting systems are often connected to other home automation systems, such as home security, motorized window shades or even home entertainment (like whole-house audio). That kind of integration may be possible with a DIY system, but it’s often a bigger job, requiring a knowledgeable professional.
To make sure you don’t get in over your head or spend money on products that aren’t actually ideal for you, check out Whitaker’s article on wireless lighting control in this issue of Electronic House.
Jeremy Jump says
Hey really nice article very informational.
Steven Janz says
I agree as well– good article. In the realm of smart lighting systems, not only are there the choices of different types of DIY lighting systems, there are also wireless vs wired (aka panelized) lighting systems as well as other possible options to chose from. What you might find with the DIY systems is that some light control manufacturers (like Lutron) will limit how many lights you can put on one system. If you have a large home than the professionally installed wireless or panelized lighting systems might be a better choice for you. I actually detail more of these issues here if you are interested on things to consider when installing these systems: https://www.technospeakco.com/wireless-panelized-lighting-system-home-automation-system-los-angeles/
Thanks again for bringing light to this topic as I think it is an important one for new smart lighting customers to think about.