Home Automation: Lighting

HappydocOctober 12, 2013

Hey guys,

I have been researching lighting last couple of days and came across the Levitron occupancy/vacany switches maestro with dimmer capabilities.

Are people putting these in their houses? Do they work well? It seems for a small bump in price, you get a lot of control of your lights and don't have a lot of light wastage.

I am also looking for good solutions (cost effective) for led tape lighting with motion for bath and kitchen toe kicks? I have been researching LED tape lights but have no idea which one is good and prices are all over the board. If anybody has any recommendations that would be great. I was thinking RGB to incorporate different colors to have maximum flexibility.

Last but not least, anybody ever install or see automated stair lighting like reactive lighting. ( http://reactivelighting.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=34&products_id=86 ) This product looks awesome and very practical and looks super easy to install. Just not sure how well this would work.

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Almost no one is interested in automation for their homes. It's just not a big burden to flip a light switch.

As far as brands of tape lights, I like Hafele. Their quality control is tops. They only accept the top diodes from the manufacturers for their tapes. There's a lot of cheap stuff out there, where the quality and lumens produced isn't predictable at all. I've seen it used to underlight vanities with a motion switch, and it's a pretty good look for a very modern home.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 5:55PM
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As per the stair lights, I did take a look at them from your link. However, I found them way too busy for my liking, and I wouldn't want to install them right in the wood stairs. If you want to light the stairs, why not do the low level floor washers on every other or every third step instead. These go low down on the walls near the steps, but not in them.

Have you tried posing your question on the lighting forum? I know Davidtay on that forum sometimes refers posters to a site called Pegasus Lighting which educates about and sells a variety of creative lighting solutions. He will have an opinion on the automatic lighting you asked about.

Best of luck!


    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 11:06PM
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I have a family that never turns lights off despite much reminding.

I have the Maestro occupancy sensors in the entry hall from the garage, the first floor half bath, and the dining room chandelier (because it is such high wattage and never gets turned off if it is turned on, except by me). They only turn on in low light, not in the daytime.

The only problem is that if you are very still in a room past the designated time period (adjustable), the light turns off. We have all learned just to wave an arm in the air.

The sensitivity can also be adjusted but the dining room light does turn on if I walk past the door between it and the kitchen, Not a high traffic area unless I am heading into the dining room so not a big problem.

I had an electrician here for something else so I had him put them it, but I think we could have figured out how to do it.

Visitors think it is really cool when they use the half bath and the lights in the hallway and bath turn on automatically.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 1:20PM
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Thanks for the responses.

We have an open floor plan, so I guess I unless sensors are really well placed. It might cause to many lights to come on. My light designer also doesn't seem to be in favor of them due to increase cost, I am still not sure what the cost difference there is. The wiring seems the same, besides running some type of ground to the motion sensors.

There are so many options, it is going to take some research. She also thought LEDS were so much money compared to flouroscents. Mentioned static elecricity for LED tape lights which make them less effective.

I think I will install occupancy/vacancy switches in the bedrooms, laundry rooms and possibly bathrooms and leave it at that.

Right now we are making a lighting plan and she is not in favor of 6" housing for recess and wants 5", but I am thinking of using cree 575 home dept bulbs. Maybe we will mix and match.

Does anyone know if recess housing for all practical purpose is the same if you get ICAT or are there functional differences?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 6:11PM
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