Typical whole-house lighting systems combine dimmers, photo-sensors, timers and switches to provide a wide range of lighting functions with a single touch of a button.
Once a luxury, centralized lighting systems are now an affordable option for many homeowners. But they are mainly used in large homes with a complex lighting design, and can be a poor choice from an energy-efficiency standpoint.
Whole-home lighting systems provide a wide range of functions with a single touch of a button. You can command the whole system with a wall-mounted keypad or with a hand-held remote controller, or a portable tabletop controller…Typically, they aren't designed with energy savings in mind.
Lighting scenes or zones
Whole-house lighting systems provide pre-programmed lighting "scenes" or “zones”, responding to different situations: Morning, Vacation, Dining, Entertaining, Arriving, Departing…
The system can switch on, or switch off, or dim the lights selectively, to meet the occasion and your needs.
A “Vacation” scene, for instance, may replay your daily routine (for security reasons) even when you are out: turning the lights on and off, or lowering and raising the shades as if people were at home.
A “Departing” scene (for when you leave for the day) will switch off the lights or whatever you have defined for the scene. With a whole-house lighting system you can define scenes such as a safe path of light for getting up during the night; or you can combine the indoor lighting system with your entry and outdoor lighting, with the same controller; or connect lights to the security system, or to the cooling and heating equipment…
Prices & Manufacturers
Prices vary a lot. Individual lighting controls are very cheap (some few dollars for a dimmer switch or a timer...) but the price of typical whole-house packages start at about $2,000, installed.
Whole-house lighting systems require careful design, testing and also programming.