Many people will say that they got introduced to smart technology first through smart lighting. It's not hard to understand why. It's easy to install a bulb and make it work through an app, plug, hub or switch. But a smart bulb means you're only using it for a few areas. So what happens is that you buy more smart bulbs so other rooms don't feel left out and next thing you know, you have too many of it -- too many that it becomes an additional chore.
If you're done experimenting as a hobbyist and you are looking to get serious with smart lighting, here are the tell-tale signs you''re ready to shelve smart bulbs for a more connected smart lighting system.
There may be some fixes and workarounds when you encounter these issues, but the question is, “Can you pinpoint the source of the problem?” Bobby A., a smart lighting enthusiast based in Fort Lauderdale, recounted the time he threw all his smart bulbs away, because he tried to solve the flickering of his smart bulbs to no avail.
Bobby simply gave up, because he didn’t know if it was one smart bulb that was giving him an issue or all of them. It’s not that you may not encounter issues with enterprise-level smart lighting, it’s just that they have a brand reputation to protect which also necessitates the need to offer customer support. You’ll definitely benefit from the technical support that some companies offer on top of their installation service.
Premium Digital Control is one of the few smart technology integration companies in South Florida that offer comprehensive 365/24/7 technical support:
There are 1.8 billion devices, many of them consumer grade in quality. Consumer-grade products get more media mileage and as a result, attention and purchases. It doesn’t mean they are better products.
Their biggest disadvantage? They are less supported, whether it means actual technology support or firmware updates compared to the likes of established smart lighting companies.
This inundation of consumer-grade products means you have to be constantly on your toes to figure out which one will work best for you compared to having enterprise-grade products and experienced smart technicians making sure you make the right choices.
One thing leads to another
One thing leads to another when it comes to smart technology. One minute you have smart lighting, the next thing you know you have motorized window treatments, a climate control system, surveillance cameras and many more, which can all be integrated to work with your smart lighting system.
With these many devices, you need proper integration and proper connectivity to make them run seamlessly, which means you’ll need structured cabling that complements your enhanced Wi-Fi system for a faster and more efficient connected system.
As wonderful as wireless networks are, they have limitations. So keep this in mind when your smart bulbs share Wi-Fi connectivity with your other smart devices at home, this means your smart technology system will not be as optimized.
This is why it’s important to think in terms of systems, and how to make things work together rather than one piece of item that works only on its own. And if you’re worried about wires sticking out everywhere, don’t worry. A rack to control them can be hidden from view, so it should not be a problem when it comes to keeping the integrity of your design aesthetic or the efficiency of your commercial structure intact.
To do smart lighting properly is to essentially plan for the following:
1. They rapidly connect and disconnect
You may have poor Wi-Fi connectivity (Bluetooth and Thread protocol included), especially if you have lots of other smart devices in your space
2. Your smart lighting stops responding using your voice assistants
Smart lighting should work in many different ways – with a remote control, tablet, phone or even motion sensor
3. App is buggy; also too many apps to control
If you have different brands, you may end up with too many apps to control; app may need an update
4. Bulbs don’t work well with other smart devices
While more products are now interoperable, thanks to Matter, it’s also good to know ahead of time what smart devices work together
5. Some smart bulbs don’t integrate well with other devices
Connection can be choppy and keeping them connected may become a persistent problem, our team can plan the system that’s right for your smart technology plans now and in the future
6. Bulbs work on certain Wi-Fi network bands
You may end up buying bulbs with different Wi-Fi network bands; you need a low-voltage electrician and/or technician with certifications
7. Smart bulbs don’t last long and stop working with other bulbs
Lifetime use varies for each brand. If one bulb stops working, you may end up spending more time fixing one over another; a standard system helps to limit issues
8. Irregular, unreliable times; sometimes they work, other times, no
There may be connectivity issues when there are more people at home using Wi-Fi with their own devices; you need enhanced Wi-Fi
In South Florida, Premium Digital Control has learned that most of its customers choose a connected system because anyone is bound to have many rooms in need of lighting.
They also like the benefits of smart lighting:
Breaking it down even further, here are more advantages to using smart lighting
Your lights can impact your mood when you have the colors of your lighting on command. And it’s easy to control. With a mobile device, you simply tap or use a color wheel to change the colors of your lighting. Save different colors of lighting and control them from your phone, remote control or tablet computer.
Unleashing your full color senses will definitely make your space – and mood – even more vibrant. Lights can change the ambiance. Lights can change your life.
Make your personal space, store or office light up as you arrive. Motion sensors are one thing but what’s different about smart lighting the Premium way is the way you can control different shades of light, time they light up or dim, even the location where you control them.
You can set your lights to behave any way you want, which means you don’t have to think about how they just turn off or turn on automatically. Smart lighting becomes embedded in your way of life or the way you do business.
Customization can be set up for you, but you can also do easy-to-use light customization. If you can use an app, you can easily control your system from anywhere you are, with whatever device you need it integrated with or the type of space you have.
Some properties and hotels have experienced 28% less energy with connected smart systems that include lighting, while personal spaces have enjoyed up to 40% in energy savings. It’s practical. You’ll save more when you integrate it with other devices.
Control the lights while you’re away. If you’re home, set the lights to dim and then turn off automatically when it’s time for kids to sleep.
Having too many switches and unnecessary lights can add up over time. Eliminate “wall acne” by replacing the accumulation of light fixtures with modern and elegant keypads
If you have a business with big and wide open spaces, you will stand to save and benefit the most from having smart lighting. Assign daylight sensors, occupancy sensors, time clock and other controls automatically.
Premium Digital Control has the best brands for your smart lighting: Control4, Crestron, DMF Lighting, Ketra, Lutron and Savant
Coastal Source offers high-fidelity outdoor audio and lighting solutions that will make want to stay outdoors all the time.
Control4 offers lighting control with a remote control, mobile device and keypad with one-tap customizable buttons. Its Essential Lighting series is perfect for areas that are not used as often. Light switches are very stylish, with some LED backlit indicators providing instant at-a-glance feedback if lights are on, among others.
Crestron offers Zum, a commercial-grade distributed lighting control system at par with 0-10, DALI, DMX and phase control standards. Get your space to look elegantly lit by adding the number of zones you need, including the sensors and keypads. DALI is a decentralized lighting control system, while DMX is a centralized lighting control system.
Crestron also has a scalable load controller where you can turn lights on and off or dim them using a variety of protocols. The 0-10V protocol dims to 0% and turn off at zero volts; at 10 volts, lights will turn on to 100%.
Collect room usage data and reports to save energy and eliminate over-specification and unnecessary programming.
If you’re into highly intuitive modular downlighting, you’ll like DMF Lighting. It specializes in can lights that blend elegant illumination with Warm Dim technology. In 2021, Premium Digital Control used DMF Lighting for its work at the prestigious Ritz-Carlton Residences in Sunny Isles, Florida, which won the 2021 DMF Lighting award, The Best Multiple DMF Products Application.
Ketra works with Lutron’s best lighting controls for various properties, especially in commercial spaces. Tunable and customizable, it has LED lighting and other advanced systems that give designers plenty of room for inspiration.
It has a caramilla of immaculate whites and other rich colors, from 1,400K to 10,000K for pinpoint lighting. The best thing is that it has products that can entice both indoor and outdoor setups. Get a controller to complement Ketra’s innovative Natural Light solution, along with its downlights, linears, and lamps.
The Lutron Caseta Wireless In-Wall Switch permits you to switch multiple load types. When paired with Pico remote controls, you can control light from anywhere. It’s perfect for those installing them in existing rooms; no wiring required.
It has a smart-away feature that sets lights to automatically turn on and off. Enable the Smart Away feature to randomly turn your lights on and off to look like you’re home even if you’re away (smart bridge, L-BDG2-WH, is necessary) Caseta allows you to control your lights a myriad of ways – via the app, your voice, or from the wall Caséta works with more smart home devices than any other lighting brand.
Lutron’s dimmers reduce power. Incandescent and halogen bulbs last up to 20 times longer when used with a dimmer. LED bulbs that were designed for dimming run cooler when dimmed, which can extend its shelf life. For high-performance tunable white dimming, the T-Series driver provides smooth color-changing.
Customized integration provides long-term value, whether you’re looking for smart lighting for your space, business or you’re working with partners. Architects, interior designers and general contractors need to partner with smart technology companies because the demand for smart technology is high. About 54 million households in the United States have smart technology.
So before you buy a smart bulb, think about how many smart devices you already have at home. Because there’s a gulf of difference between connecting one too many smart bulbs and a more sophisticated system of lights that actually talk to each other.
If it’s for you and your family, start right by talking to a smart technology integrator first. Your one smart bulb is good to test, but you’ll need a good system that you can enjoy whether you need it for your indoor or outdoor space.
If it’s for your business, it’s even more crucial that you have it customized, because there’s the design based on your space and how you plan to design and grow your system as time goes by.
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