Advanced House Controls- Automatic Light Control

Automatic Light Control
Automatic Light Control

Those who are set in their ways (and there are plenty of people who are!) might be wondering why they need automatic lighting controls at all? The truth is, our homes have been functioning just fine with the traditional light switches and bulbs. As much as this might be a valid point, you only need to look at the advantages associated with advanced house controls and in particular, automatic light control. You will immediately see why you should think about having automatic lighting control installed in your home.

For starters, the world over is quickly switching over to better energy-saving standards, and as such, most cities, towns, and states have building control regulations that make it imperative for homeowners to observe the highest possible energy saving standards when building new homes. A stellar lighting control system is one way to ensure that you have a home which is in accordance with these set standards.

The right kind of lighting control system can help you get rid of any unnecessary energy waste all the while greatly improving the comfort of your home. It does this by balancing out the light provided by your home and that needed by the occupants. Plus:

  • Automatic lighting controls can be programmed to turn themselves on in the evening even if you are not home
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    They can be programmed to set a scene for romance or vibrancy
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    Automatic dimming extends the life of your bulbs
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    You can remotely control the lights using your smartphone
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    Automatic lights can be programmed to turn themselves off once a room gets empty

The benefits of having an automatic lighting control system installed are numerous, and we will get into all that a little later on. For now, let us look at some of the things you might need to consider before having automatic lighting control systems installed in your home.

Factors to Consider Before Buying an Automatic Lighting System

There are several questions that you should ask yourself before you buy an automatic lighting control system. The answers to these questions will determine the kind of lighting system you should get:

  • Do you want to control your lights using your phone or the same remote as for your entertainment system?
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    Do you want a lighting control system that you can self-install?
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    Would you like to have lighting scenes?

Of these three questions, it is the one to do with lighting scenes that will act as a better guide. If you would like lighting scenes included, you need to get a system that:

  • Can turn your lights on and off
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    Can detect the state of your lights
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    Can support the definition of scenes
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    Can control the brightness levels of each individual light
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    Can vary on and off times during the day’s security window
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    Can detect or calculate the time periods of the day (dawn and dusk)

That being said, here are some of the best automatic lighting system options on the market today.

Advanced House Controls - Automatic Light Control Reviews

1. Belkin Wemo

The first thing you need to know about Belkin and their automatic lighting controls is that they make two models under the Wemo banner. The older version which is the 'Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Light Switch' was designed to provide you with basic on and off light controls as well as scheduling. The newer version, which is the 'Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Dimmer' is a fully fledged automatic lighting control system that provides you with all that the previous version has plus dimming controls.

The switch has a modern design that shows you just how high-tech they are in nature. This is a stark contrast to most other switches that tend to have a traditional look. A huge advantage that comes with the Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Light Switch is that it does not need an additional smart hub because it connects directly to your home's Wi-Fi. While this switch is very easy to use, you cannot use it in a three-way lighting set-up which is really the case with most smart automatic lighting systems anyway.

Another added advantage is that these switches work perfectly with Amazon Alexa as well as Google Assistant, but you will need a compatible voice control device. Additionally, you can link these switches to your Nest account so that they can be included in your smart home set-up. The fact that these switches do not work with a smart hub means that you HAVE to link them with any one of these services to ensure that they work properly.

Automatic Light Control

Belking Wemo Smart Switches Pros

  • They are very easy to use.
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    They do not need a smart hub.
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    They work perfectly with Alexa, Google Assistant.
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    Can be linked to your Nest account.
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    They are affordable.
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    They have a futuristic look which is really cool.

Belking Wemo Smart Switches Cons

  • You will need to buy multiple switches which can get expensive.
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    Do not work with a three-way set-up.
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    You need a neutral wire to install them.

If you are looking for a smart automatic lighting control that is not only affordable but also works well with Google Assistant and Alexa, then you might want to consider the Belkin Wemo switches.

2. Ankuoo NEO

The immediately stand-out feature of this smart lighting switch is that it is the most affordable option out there! It is also an excellent device for those who do not care for connecting their automatic lighting controls to Alexa (although you can still find an Alexa compatible option from Ankuoo called the REC). This device does not need a smart hub, but that also means that it cannot connect to the rest of your smart home systems. It is also very easy to install and requires a neutral wire to work. The main disadvantage that comes with this is that it cannot work with three-way lighting set-ups. The device comes with plastic faceplates that are easy to snap on. It also has bright LED lights that show you when it is connected to the Wi-Fi in your home. This also means that the switch is quite easy to find in the dark thanks to those bright LED lights. All these features make this switch a simple and easy to use smart addition to your home. You are, however, advised to find something that can connect to your smart home devices if you want to have access to more than just the basics of automatic lighting control.

Automatic Light Control

Ankuoo NEO Pros

  • It is very affordable.
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    It is easy to install and use.
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    It does not require a smart hub.

Ankuoo NEO Cons

  • It requires a neutral wire to set up.
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    It does not connect to your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
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    Does not work with a three-way lighting set-up.

This is the perfect automatic lighting switch for those who are just getting into this whole 'smart home' thing. It gives you the basics of automatic lighting control while saving you a great deal of money since it is so cheap. However, if you are after something a bit more advanced, then you should check out the next product.

3. Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Kit

One of the most respected names in the industry, Lutron smart lighting switches are absolutely delightful. The Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Kit, in particular, is quite easy to use and works perfectly with most smart home systems. This makes the Lutron smart automatic lighting switch a big deal in the market as most people will have some form of home automation going well before they install an automatic lighting system. Whether you are using Alexa, Apple HomeKit or Google Assistant, Lutron automatic lighting switches will work perfectly with them. These switches need a smart hub to connect to your smartphone and are some of the pricier options in the market today. That, however, does not negate nor diminish the fact that these are some of the best automatic lighting control switches available. One advantage this option has over the other two we have already reviewed here is that you have access to three-way lighting provided you use the Lutron's Pico remote mounted on your wall.

Automatic Light Control

Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Kit Pros

  • It is easy to use.
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    Works well with Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit.
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    Allows for three-way lighting set-up.
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    Has excellent remote controls.
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    Pairs well with almost every smart home system.

Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Kit Cons

  • It is quite expensive.
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    If you use the wall switches, they will not work with three-way lighting set-up.
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    You need a smart hub to run this system.

This is by far one of the most exciting automatic home lighting systems in the market today. It works well with almost every home automation system and pairs perfectly with Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. With this option, you have more control over your home's lighting.

The Benefits of Having an Automatic Light Control System Installed in Your Home

As already mentioned, the advantages associated with installing an automatic light system are numerous. Here are just some of the most outstanding ones:

  • You can control all your lights with one button: This is by far one of the most useful features that come with smart lighting controls. Depending on which system you get, you will be able to control all the lights in your home with one, futuristic looking control panel. You will have the ability to create different scenes and conveniently program the lighting to every room in your home as well as the exterior.
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    You will get rid of all the dull looking switches that plague your wall: If you have many lighting fixtures in your home, then you also have a lot of switches lined up on the walls. These can be a bit of an eyesore. With the right automatic light control system, you will do away with all these issues and control all the lights in your home with one, beautifully designed control panel or switch. Interior decor has never been so simple.
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    The lights know when to turn on and off: If you have landscape lighting, you know that you have to constantly worry about remembering to turn them on and off at dusk and dawn. The problem is that sometimes you forget, run late or are away on business or vacation. This presents a security issue. But with automatic lighting control, you can easily program these lights to come on and go off at specific times of the day. Whether you are home or not, the lights will come on and off during those pre-set times. This gives the illusion that you are in even when you are away on a trip.
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    You can control your lights with your smartphone: Now you no longer have to pause the movie just to get up and switch off the lights that you forgot in the kitchen. With this kind of remote control capability, you experience complete comfort and convenience.
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    You can set the scene: If you are busy having a romantic dinner, you can easily set the scene, so the lights are dimmer in the dining room instead of having to turn those lights off and relying on the light from the adjacent room or candles to avoid pitch darkness.
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    You can integrate your lighting with your smart home automation system: This gives you more control over your home as well as more convenience.

As much as these advantages can be a lifesaver as far as your convenience and comfort are concerned, there are some disadvantages of which you need to be wary. These include:

  • Most automatic light control systems that rely on wireless connections can be rather unreliable. To combat this, you need to get a wired system which requires quite a bit of work when installing.
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    If your system is badly set up, the comfort and convenience that you should have gotten will quickly turn into irritation and monetary losses.
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    Most systems may require quite a bit of maintenance every now and again.

When all is said and done, getting a smart automatic light control system installed in your home is one of the best perks of living in a technological age. If you feel like this is something you might want to consider, then any one of these options might be a good place to start.

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