Dimmers and lighting controls discussed by Miami electricians

Dimmers and lighting controls can help you in your home or business to have full control of your lighting. From controlling the intensity of the lights to programming them to turn on or off at a certain time, or turn on when someone walks in the room and turn off after a certain amount of time of inactivity.

From dimmers, to occupancy/vacancy sensors, motion sensors, photocells, timers, centralized lighting panels and more, there are many ways you can utilize 1 or more of these devices to control your lighting in a way that is most convenience to you.

 

Let’s start with dimmers

These devices can replace your standard light switch, but with the added bonus of having more control than just on and off. Now with dimmers you have on and off and everything in between, normally dimmers are set to control you lights and max out at 90% output. This is by design, that 10% less intensity is unnoticeable but will definitely help you on your light bill and lamp life. You have the option of lowering the intensity and wattage delivered to the light in inc remits of 10% which can set the mood and give you low light at night and full brightness when needed.

One thing to remember when switching to dimmers is to assure that the lights you are trying to dimm are in fact dimmable. A licensed electrician that knows his lighting can guide you trough this process. The problem lies in the bulbs or fixtures most old style incandescent, halogen, and xenon bulbs are dimmable but some CFLs (compact florescent) LEDs and other fixtures with drivers or ballast will only dimm if the bulb and ballast or driver are rated for dimming.

Sounds confusing? It can be but the good news is that all new lights and fixtures are made with dimming in mind especially LEDs, since they are lighting the future. The dimmers we like to recommend are made by Lutron the Maestro series is a very nice dimmer as it comes with digital fade, which means when you turn it off the light continually dimms until its completely out. They run around 30 to 40 dollars a piece but for the money they are worth it, also they will work with any dimmable bulb or driver so it takes the guess work out of the equation.

Dimmer recommended by Miami Electricians
There are more types of dimmers out there, cheaper ones but they do not provide you with the presets, digital fade, double tap full on, and the sleek look that this do, the will still cost you 20 to 30 dollars so for a few extra bucks might as well get the best.

Add these will screw less cover plates also made by Lutron and it will give your home or office an updated classy look. The options are endless they come in all colors and will give you full control of your lighting.

Occupancy/vacancy sensors

These little devices activate or deactivate the lights when someone enters the room or when the room is empty for a pre determined amount of time usually 1 minute for bathroom, 5 minuets for kitchens, bedrooms, and common areas. These sensors can replace your on/off switch or be installed after the switch but before the light, which means that you can leave the switch in on the on position and the sensor will control the lights by turning them on when it senses motion by a person and off when there is no motion. These kinds of sensors are normally installed in the ceiling, they are the small little circles you see sometimes in buildings that control the light in the area you walk into.

These devices come from the standard motion detecting flood lights that most of us have in the corner of our house, which are a good idea as it lights your path when your walking trough but not so great when a burglar tries to break in as most burglars already know that its just motion lights. A good alternative for these combines the lighting from the motion lights with being able to see what caused the motion, speak to whoever might be there, activate a siren, and off site recording so no one can take the evidence like the old days.

We are talking about the Ring flood light camera, we reviewed this product recently and it is a great idea for your homes security system, you can have this installed along with the Ring door bell and cover your entire home, and for a total home coverage price that matches a good quality current camera system.

This system is better in our opinion because of the off site recording and alerts you get while someone is there not just record the crime. Please visit our Ring flood light camera review where we get more in depth about this system.

Lighting Controls and their uses

Lighting controls come in many forms, the most common type of controls are in form of timers and radio frequency and WIFI enabled LED switches that can be programmed to turn off and on the lights as needed,

Some systems can control all the lights of your house through centralized lighting panels, Radio Frequency lighting systems or WIFI enabled lighting systems. These systems allow you to control your light from anywhere in your house or anywhere in the world that you can get an internet connection. Some of the most common systems in use today are Lutron Radio Ra2 home works and Caseta, to Control 4 lighting system and many more. They all hove the differences but give you the ability to control all your lights and some systems will even control other aspects of your home like your thermostats, audio video and much more check out our Home Automation page for more information.

Time clocks, photo cells

Time clocks and photocells are the most commonly used and oldest type of lighting controls today, although they are becoming outdated they seem to not go away due to their ease of use and robust dependability.

Time clock come as in wall timers which will replace your common switch in your house and can also come as mechanical timers that are usually used to control outdoor lights or pool equipment.

Photocells are little light sensors that are installed outside that will activate the lights at night and will stay on until day light, These sensors are very dependable and very inexpensive.

Conclusion

There are many ways to control your lighting and depending on your needs one of these can definitely work for you. If you need some more help give us a call for a free quote or if you just want some more information leave us a comment and we will get back to you in a timely manner.

Best Regard

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Dimmers and lighting controls discussed by Miami electricians”

  1. Brookly M

    January 21, 2018

    I love dimmers, what kind of cost are expexted when installing these dimmers? Also arw all lights compatible with dimmers? Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  • Ben Martinez

    January 22, 2018

    Hello Brookly, The cost of dimmers is relatively inexpensive, they run from 20 to 50 dollars a piece. The dimmers we use and always recommend are the Lutron Maestro dimmers as the only cost around 25 to 35 dollars and they have a very nice look and more features than a regular slider style dimmer. Pair these with Lutron screw less cover plates for a great look. Most lights are compatible with dimmers, but you will run into a few that are not like CFL (compact florescent) Florescent lights, and some non dimmable LEDS wont work, but halogen, incandescent, and dimmable LEDS will work fine with these dimmers. The Lutron Maestro dimmers will adapt to either of these dimmable options listed here, so it takes the guess work out of the equation.

    Reply

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