Plan For Smarter Home Improvements This Year

Posted on 04 May 2016

If only scientific discovery and social reform could move as quickly as today’s lighting industry! We’ve transitioned from the dark ages of incandescent lighting, and are warming up to the many benefits of LED lighting (even if we were forced to do so). As it turns out, this shift to LED format has poised the lighting industry to be a major player in the biggest new thing folks are geeking out over. If you’ve never asked the question “What can my lightbulb do for me?” then it’s time to catch up with today’s fast-moving lighting industry. I’m here to help you catch up.

{Head over to Techcrunch for a nice summary of how and why lighting got propelled into this role: http://techcrunch.com/2015/12/20/how-intelligent-lighting-is-ushering-in-the-internet-of-buildings }

Just what is this colossal new movement that I speak of? To get you sounding au courant start throwing around the term Internet of Things (also add IoT to your arsenal of smart-sounding acronyms). In essence IoT is the future-is-now connected world where smart instruments quietly collect and transfer data in the background while you enjoy your cup of coffee get on with your task list. This data will be available to any number of applications from our GPS guiding us on the least-congested route to work, to the household hub automatically lowering our shades and turning up the lights as dusk sets in.

This is NOT the Internet of Things
this is not the Internet of Things

The possibilities are enormous and not all of them are relevant to the average homeowner, so what’s in it for us? In an interview with lighting industry journalist Craig DiLouie, Ethan Biery (Design and Development Leader of Lutron Electronics) tells us that three trends are shaping the future of how we interact with LED sources: digital control; wireless technology; and colour tuning. Taken together, we now have exceptional control of our lights from our smartphone, wearable device, or remote control. Perhaps my favourite take-away idea from this interview is to never again be the productivity victim of a dreary cloudy day – I’ll simply dial-in a lighting adjustment to compensate!

So this spring while you’re planning your next home improvement project think about how you can increase your home’s IQ. My best piece of advice is to look for a product line that works together as a system – you’ll get the most out of the features if they work together with no compatibility issues. To help you get started I want to introduce you to the Caséta Wireless system. It’s an easy, fast, and inexpensive way to add some useful automation to your home. Carry your armload of laundry and have the lights come on for you. Holding a sleeping baby? Don’t risk waking her up - dim the lights with your handy Pico remote. Tired of getting after the kids for leaving the lights on? Install motion-sensing switchplates! Away from home and want it to look like people are there? Remotely turn on your lights. See what it’s all about:

Feel like a do-it-yourselfer without the risk of messing things up

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I want to emphasize just how much mothers with babies and small children will really appreciate the features. Feeding baby and settling him down for a nap is helped along by dimming the lights or lowering the shades, all without having to move about and risk disturbing the peace. When your precious angel wakes you in the middle of the night, your programmed low light level makes it easy to quickly turn on the lights just enough to see your way to her. This would make a fabulous gift and it can be as simple as a plug in lamp dimmer for the bedside table lamp, or you can network lights, shades, and thermostat all through a central hub that you control off your phone, Apple Watch™, Amazon Echo, and more.

The Caséta Wireless lineup: in wall and plug in lamp dimmers, switches, Pico® wireless remotes, Smart Bridge, and the Lutron App.
Caseta Wireless dimmers, switches, remote, Smart Bridge, Lutron App

If you’re looking for a quick upgrade, the plug-in dimmers with Pico® wireless remote offer instant satisfaction and will deliver correct dimming of any bulb type without annoying flicker effects or big jumps between light levels. You can buy components separately or go for a kit that bundles the remote with dimmer for table/floor lamps or wall/ceiling lamps (also comes bundled with coordinating designer wallplate for in-wall dimmer switch).

For even greater options and flexibility the Smart Bridge paired with the Lutron App is the way to go. In addition to greater programming options for your lighting (create scenes for movie watching, bedtime, away from home, etc) you’ll be able to control your thermostat and wireless shades as well. The Smart Bridge comes Apple® HomeKit-enabled so you can control lights and shades with Siri® and also works with Amazon Alexa for an alternative voice-activated control.

Of all the home improvement tasks you could take on this spring, this one gives you great bang for your buck and pretty much instant gratification - and will leave you without the headache of dealing with contractors!

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