Lighting control systems are noted for their ability to automate the lights in your home. Programmed by a professional integrator and linked to the switches in a home, they can provide a remarkable level of convenience and comfort to a household. But there’s another crucial component to great home lighting: the light fixtures themselves.
Fixture styles run the gamut, from imperceptible “cans” that sink into the surface of a ceiling to eye-catching decorative sconces anchored to the wall. Increasingly, these fixtures have been crafted to accommodate LED bulbs, providing homeowners with a more energy-efficient way to illuminate their residences than with traditional incandescent bulbs.
Delivering Flicker-Free Dimming
Interestingly, few manufacturers of lighting control systems offer light fixtures. Lutron is an exception. Its Ivalo line of fixtures comprises a variety of architecturally pleasing options that can be integrated seamlessly into any style of home. Equally important, these fixtures have been engineered by Lutron for complete compatibility with the company’s extensive line of lighting control systems. When integrated with Lutron controls, Ivalo fixtures achieve smooth, flicker-free dimming of LED sources from 100 percent down to 0.1 percent because they come standard with Lutron Hi-lume drivers. Plus, Ivalo fixtures are designed to work from some of the best LEDs on the market and offer an industry best 10 year warranty that includes color rendering and color consistency coverage from fixture to fixture. In other words, with better higher-caliber LEDs and fixture, the textures and hues on walls, upholstery, and artwork are accurately portrayed. Reds look red, not orange; woven fabric looks nubby, not smooth.
Satisfying the Critical Eye of a Lighting Designer
With attributes like these, it’s no wonder the home systems integrators at Chesley Electric, of Park City, Utah, chose to install a Lutron HomeWorks QS system in combination with 175 Finiré recessed fixtures from the company’s Ivalo line in a 28,000-square-foot residence. The synergy of control and fixtures earned Chesley and this project honors as Lutron’s Excellence winner for Best Integration of Ivalo Fixtures. “Using the Lutron Finiré and Hi-Lume drivers made our jobs much easier when finishing up this project,” says Chesley Electric co-owner Mark McGuinness.
“We did not have to make any programming adjustments on the high and low end dimming levels. The fixtures dimmed perfectly the first time we turned them on.” Another bonus: “The project lighting designer loved how the Finiré fixtures looked,” McGuinness adds.
The Finiré recessed fixtures appealed to the lighting designer’s and the homeowners’ sense of style, but for secondary spaces so did Acculux recessed fixtures from Juno. By adding the Lutron Hi-Lume driver to these fixtures, Chesley was able to integrate the Acculux fixtures with the Lutron HomeWorks QS system, too. With this addition, every fixture inside and outside was able to be controlled by the HomeWorks QS system, either by the 200 custom-engraved Lutron seeTouch keypads that Chesley installed or when triggered by conditions such as the time or day, a signal from the home security system or some other predefined event. Chesely complemented each seeTouch keypad with 200+ AC receptacles, 300+ cover plates, and 100+ A/V jacks in colors to match.
Energy-Efficient Enhancements Through Automated Shading
Beautiful, easy controllable architectural lighting was a big must-have on the homeowners’ wish list, but so was energy efficiency. The LEDs fitted on every Finiré and Acculux fixture consume considerably less electricity than standard incandescent bulbs, and the dimming capabilities of the Hi-Lume drivers enable the homeowner to save even more.
But the team at Chesley didn’t stop there in its quest for superior energy efficiency. In addition to employing the HomeWorks QS system to control more than 500 individual lights, they configured it to automate the Lutron shades that they installed on every window in the house—a total of 144 shades.
SeeTouch keypads allow the homeowners to position the shades within a room individually or they can all lower automatically whenever the “Unoccupied” button is pressed. When this happens, the home is insulated from the cold air or hot sunshine outside. There was just one problem with this scenario, relates project manager Dave Calicchio. “When the shades were in the down position, condensation would occur in random windows due to sun exposure and humidity levels inside the house.” The obvious solution would have been to reduce the humidity levels in the house, but doing so could have potentially dried out the hard woods and reclaimed truss lumber used throughout the home.
“To combat the issue we set up a series of up/down sequences for the shades to follow when the occupied mode is engaged. The Lutron system gets a signal from a humidity sensor. If the humidity exceeds a preset level, the Lutron system raises all the shades 15 percent to allow air to flow between the fabric and glass. This removes the condensation completely,” McGuinness explains.
Extending Lutron’s Reach to the Outdoors
The Lutron HomeWorks QS system’s automation of the shades adds an energy-efficient layer of insulation to help the home’s HVAC unit run more efficiently. But Chesley realized that in a home of this size shading control might not be enough. Consequently, they tied several exhaust fans and energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) to the HomeWorks QS system. These fans operate at predefined times of the day, when certain scenes are activated, and when triggered by smoke alarms, gas fireplaces, or the kitchen range.
This level of HomeWorks QS-based control extends to the outdoors, as well, where electric deck heaters, gas fireplaces, and fire pit, are all integrated and automated. A “Sunrise Sweep” scene created by Chesley turns them all off; otherwise, the units turn off automatically after they have been on for a specified amount of time. Swimming pool, hot tub, and fountain pumps complete the outdoor automation.
Elegant Ivalo fixtures working in concert with a robust Lutron HomeWorks QS system create a winning combination of style and performance for the owners of this fully automated smart home. Through creative design and integration, the home system professionals at Chesley Electric were able to also deliver an energy-efficient solution that’s convenient and sacrifices not an ounce of comfort.