A well-conceived lighting control system is an important element of a home movie theater. From a strictly performance standpoint, the light sources must be conformed so that they don’t cast any glare on the screen, which would wash out the picture. Lighting controls must also allow for an aesthetic quality that sets the right mood and that makes the room inviting and comfortable. Most importantly, they need to satisfactorily illuminate the room to allow people to safely move about. If a home theater happens to be located in a multi-purpose room, other lighting factors come into play such as making allowances for entertainment purposes, reading, or playing games.
In addition to home theater lighting, EDG offers homeowners whole house residential lighting control systems that offer added convenience, energy conservation, and security benefits. Dimmers and switches can be connected to master controls that turn lights on and off throughout the house and garden, as well as monitor lights for energy-saving purposes. Landscape lights can even be automatically synched to the astronomical time clock. “ALL-ON” buttons can be activated in case of emergencies to instantly illuminate all home lights and security systems. Lighting controls can also be designed to consolidate or eliminate traditional switches by replacing them with a single keypad or touchscreen for a clean, attractive appearance.
Moving up the technology ladder, a homeowner can also choose lighting controls that dim lights or switch lights on and off based on input from sensors to detect motion or infrared radiation from a person. There are also photo sensors that adjust light levels based on the amount of available daylight, and sensors that are suitable for accessibility purposes that operate lighting by voice or sound. Many lighting control systems also include the option of remote control via phone or computer.
Homeowners are offered virtually unlimited options in programming a customized lighting control scheme. Some popular solutions include turning on the hallway lights from a bedroom to check on a baby at night or to create a lighted path to the refrigerator for a late night snack. Another popular program is automatically lighting a way through the house that is actuated by the garage door being opened. Customized lighting control solutions are also used to create mood and ambiance, whereby a dining room dimly lit for a romantic dinner one night can be transformed into a brightly-lit space for a family party the next night. They also enhance the design of a room through the use of plant lights, spotlights for artwork, cove lighting, and wall sconces.
Some residential lighting control systems are “plug and play,” while other systems require initial programming by the installer. Basically, all whole house lighting control systems require some user interface, although programming is essentially a simple procedure.
These options are all important considerations that an EDG home theater designer will present to a homeowner when devising a lighting solution for a home theater room or an entire house. Other solutions that are often presented along with an overall lighting control plan include home automation and system integration, and a telephone and intercom schedule.