Lighting Controls Unplugged

Lighting Controls Unplugged

Dimmed lights save money and create ambiance The Benefits and Beauty of Lighting Controls There is a variety of lighting control solutions to choose from that can easily be customized to fit your needs, lifestyle and budget. Thanks to today’s technology, lighting control can start with basic dimming and switching and eventually be integrated into a full home automation solution to work in conjunction with automated shades, security and a home entertainment system. Whichever type of lighting control solution you choose, it will save you money by reducing energy usage.  Here are a few reasons why now is the perfect time to explore the benefits of lighting controls. Beautify Your Home With A Painless Facelift Most walls in your home probably have more than one lighting switch. With today’s lighting controls, such as the line from a leading company like Lutron, you can replace all of those with one keypad.  These keypads include several buttons to control lighting not only in that room, but others as well.   Today’s keypads and dimmers come in a variety of options –  including size, color and styles – that are designed to complement the décor of any room. Control every light with an easy-to-use app Convenient Control For the ultimate in convenience and security, many of today’s lighting systems can be controlled from your smartphone or tablet, via a clean and intuitive interface. You can also control outdoor and landscape lighting from the comfort and safety of your home. Remote lighting controls are especially handy for second homes. Whatever house you’re going to, arrive to one that has the right lighting at the...

Control4 Unveils New OS 2.3 Software

With expanded homeowner control, new lighting experience and unprecedented interoperability, OS 2.3 delivers exceptional performance. Control4 is now delivering the Control4® Operating System v2.3 (OS 2.3) – providing a new elegant lighting user interface, new features enabling customers to personalize their own experiences, new applications for commercial installations, and feature enhancements and updated certified drivers to boost performance and interoperability. OS 2.3 represents a next significant step in the breadth and depth of the Control4® automation platform. “OS 2.3 brings a new level of performance, reliability and capability to Control4 systems,” said Control4 CEO Martin Plaehn. “Our new software packs a punch, delivering an exceptional experience for consumers and includes enhancements and purpose-built features and tools for our dealers, including hundreds of updated device drivers supporting both residential and commercial installations.” Crafting a First-Class User Experience Control4 paves the way to an unrivaled customer experience with OS 2.3. Its enhanced performance and reliability result in faster, more responsive systems, while also empowering consumers with the ability to customize and adjust specific preferences on their own. Now, homeowners and business owners can add or swap out smart phones and tablets within their Control4® MyHome account. The MyHome app also boasts additional customer-friendly improvements including optimized start-up and reconnect time, better Rhapsody Music Service integration, and additional language support for Control4 non-English speaking customers. Elegant, Sophisticated Lighting Experience One of the key attributes of the new Control4 OS 2.3 release is the introduction of a new elegant user-experience for lighting. The clean intuitive UI makes it easy for consumers to control lighting throughout a residence or business from almost any device...

Home Automation with Yale’s High-Tech, Wireless Interior Lever Locks

Home automation is a tough concept to get if you’ve never lived with it. Lighting control, multi-room audio, systems integration… it all sounds a little out there, and a bit complicated, until you’ve had the opportunity to actually experience it for yourself. But locks? People understand locks. And anyone who has ever fumbled with his or her keys in the dark with a bagful of groceries in one hand and a toddler hanging off of one hip can appreciate the value of a safe, secure door lock that allows for convenient, keyless entry and individualized access codes. Yale has dominated the automated door lock market for the past few years with its Real Living series of wireless deadbolts, which not only facilitate keyless entry, but serve as the perfect doorway into more advanced home automation. Yale Real Living locks come in a couple of wireless varieties, and integrate perfectly with home automation systems from Control4, Honeywell, GoControl, Vera Z-Wave, and others, allowing you to initiate personalized lighting scenes when you come home at different times of the day, allow friends, family, or service personal individualized access to the home on different days, or different times of the day, or even remotely unlock the front door with your smart phone if you need a neighbor to pop in and check on your home in the event of an emergency. This past week, Yale introduced a new version of its Real Living Locks designed specifically for interior door use. These beautiful lever locks bring all of the technology of the company’s exterior deadbolts—including a choice of ZigBee or Z-Wave wireless connectivity...
Apple iPad Mini Literally has a World of Home Control Possibilities

Apple iPad Mini Literally has a World of Home Control Possibilities

Apple’s new iPad Mini, the newest worst-kept secret in the company’s history, has finally been officially announced. In comparison to its larger siblings, the Mini features a 7.9-inch screen, is a mere 7.2 mm thick, and weighs less than seven-tenths of a pound. But perhaps most importantly, it can be held in one hand, and costs a mere $329. And if you’re not already controlling your home from the palm of your hand, you really have no excuse left. Just as the original iPad made touchscreens commonplace in the home two years ago (has it really only been two years?) due to its features, apps, and yes it’s price, the iPad Mini’s reduced barrier to entry will almost certainly lead to a new boom in the proliferation of touchscreens in the home. Before the iPad, home touchscreens were generally only sold as part of much larger home automation systems. They were the remote control interfaces for advanced home theater, lighting, climate, and security control. And yes, they made it easy to see at a glance what was going on around the home, as well as activate sophisticated, complicated home control scenarios at the touch of a button, but at upwards of $1500 apiece, they were also a significant investment, especially when you consider that home control and monitoring (and maybe rudimentary web browsing) were all they could do. The iPad changed all of that, putting touchscreens in the hands of a much larger audience, who naturally wanted to control their lights and security and home entertainment systems, too. It still required a custom installer to configure all of the...