Whether you’re preparing to host houseguests or decorating the front yard, automating the lights can add comfort, convenience, and merriment to your holiday happenings
As the holiday season approaches, you’ll likely be using your home’s lights a lot more, and in ways that vary from the norm. There may be more people visiting your house and a whirlwind of activity within the household. You might be traveling to kids’ Christmas concerts or even across the country to see loved ones. And of course, there are strings of lights to hang around trees and stretch across fireplace mantels. Yes, your lights will soon go into overdrive; rather than be a slave to wall switches, consider letting technology manage the lighting in your house. It will save time, money, and a lot of aggravation. Here are 10 reasons to automate your home’s lights this holiday season.
- It will help guests find your house. Why tie balloons to the mailbox to show people where the party is when the exterior lights can do the job so much better, and elegantly? Tied to a control system, the exterior lights can blink for a certain period of time as a beacon. When everyone has arrived you can press a on your phone, keypad, or remote to disengage the feature.
- It makes people feel welcome. There’s nothing worse than standing on a dark porch waiting for someone to answer the door. Make sure your guests, carolers, and other visitors feel welcome by having a motion sensortrigger on the porch lights the instant that someone steps into its detection path.
- It gives off the right vibe. Once your guests are inside, you’ll want your house looking its best and to make them feel at home. Dimming the lights can help create a warm and fuzzy feeling; a lighting control system can set multiple dimmers to your preferred levels at the touch of one button on your smartphone. Bam. Instant ambiance. And when the party is in full swing, you can change the mood with brighter lighting, again with another touch of a button.
- It turns on the Christmas spirit in one fell swoop. You’ve spent countless hours stringing lights outside, inside, tied to trees, hooked on fireplace mantels …Whew, it’s a lot of work. But controlling them all doesn’t have to be so tedious when they’re tied to a single control system. A preprogrammed setting (you might call it “Christmas lights”) can activate the decorative luminaries at a certain time each evening and turn everything off at another preset time. Some lighting control systems, likeLutron’s Caseta, can even tie in music. On command from a remote, the Caseta system can activate a favorite playlist on a Sonos system while setting the lights in the family room for a cocktail party, for example.
- It provides a path to the bathroom, up the stairs, to the coat closet, etc. Strategically placed sensors can ensure that visitors can easily find their way to the important places in your house by activating a lighted pathway whenever they detect motion.
- It guest-proofs your house. With people milling about your house, lights are bound to be left on when they shouldn’t be. Motion sensors can signal lights in a powder room or guest bedroom to turn off after someone has left the area. At the same time, you can activate a temporary “do-not-disturb” setting that prevents lights in certain areas—your home office and master suite, for example—from being turned on. This is a signal for guest to stay out.
- It maintains your sanity. Stop fretting over lights being left on in unoccupied parts of your house. You’ve got better things to do, and a lighting control system can let you check the status of every fixture under its command … right from the screen of your smartphone. You’ll know that your house is running as efficiently and as economically as possible – even with those extra strands of lights.
- It frees up your hands. ‘Tis the season to arrive home with armloads of groceries and gifts—and just try to hit the light switch when you’re dragging in a live Christmas tree. Rather than poke around with your elbow to tap a wall switch, tap a button on your smartphone as you pull into the driveway. A lighting control system can hear the command and activate select fixtures.
- It sets a beautiful table … and more. Food and spirits go hand-in-hand with holiday festivities. A lighting control system can arrange the lighting perfectly for food prep, dining, and clean-up afterwards.
- It bids a fond farewell. After all your guests have left you can quickly shut down the house for the night. A “Good Night” command issued from a remote control, smartphone app, or an wall-mounted keypad can signal every light to turn off.