As days get shorter and the nights get long, the twinkling of lights in the windows grabs our attention. That feeling of warmth and the potential merriment of the season is created by creatively designed lighting. It’s time to break out the LEDs and untangle lighting for every room.
Room With a Hue
In the living room we want to make sure the lighting is bright enough to read by and yet easily dimmed for ideal movie and sports watching.
Philips hue-connected colored LED lights can be controlled and adjusted by an app and some lighting and home control systems. Control the color and the tone, with shades from bright blue to warm yellow and the entire spectrum.
Philips has teamed up with the makers of several apps to create lighting designs for a variety of purposes from ideal TV watching through SyFy’s Sync, which allows the lights to interact with a show’s setting by flickering or glowing in various colors depending on what’s on the screen. The hue system and shared apps can be synched to offer up to 16 million colors at the touch of a finger
Lights to Cook and Snack By
In the kitchen, functionality is needed most. Bright LED lights to cook by and nightlights to sneak into the fridge for a midnight snack are necessary. of Legrand’s Adorne Under-Cabinet Lighting feature energy-efficient LED puck lights, USB ports, wireless Bluetooth-enabled speakers that stream music from mobile devices, and out-of the-way outlets that reduce cord clutter. Charging cradles hold digital devices. Tucking it into the back counter cleverly conceals the gadgets while keeping them accessible.
Eaton Cooper Wiring Devices’ Patrol nightlight series shows the way down stairs, and through hallways so you can find your way to the bathroom or the refrigerator. The line features outlets and switches with nightlights, dimmable low-level LED nightlights that use a watt or less in power, GFCI combination ambient light sensors that turn the lights at night. The devices can also be wired in a series and controlled by a switch for applications such as hallways or stairways.
Romance, Rest and Circadian Rhythms
Sonne Industries’ new lighting control system automate lighting by using levels of light, not just the time of day. The Light Sentry uses a natural light sensor placed in an area of sunlight exposure to automatically power lights to desired intensity levels. The patented system also adjusts to environmental conditions and seasonal variations.
The Portable Power Gates plugs into any outlet, with the lamp or appliance plugged into the gate. Then, with the use of a PC or Mac computer, the Light Sentry Hub syncs user preferences and power gate commands. In a matter of minutes, the Light Sentry will adjust to customized romantic lighting scenes.
The system can also be hardwired to recessed and ceiling-mounted lights and switches.
Quick Hit: Sexy Bedroom Tech No One Should Resist
As scientists learn more about how electric light affects our circadian rhythms, light makers are beginning to create systems that can change the color as the day progresses, from bright blue in the morning to rich amber in the evening. The bright blue morning lights help you wake and feel refreshed, while the deep amber light help you to relax in the evening and begin production of melatonin.
Lighting, Comfort and Control
In the bathroom, ventilation is as important as lighting—and many spot ventilation fans often come mounted behind a lighting fixture. Broan’s Ultra Green fans and lights come with single or multispeed fans, humidity and motion sensors and LEDs—and yes, they are Energy Star rated.
To control all this lighting, you can go full home control system, such as a Leviton or Lutron, which offer varieties of lighting controls such as daylighting sensors, dimmers, occupancy sensors and timer switches, and allow you to program your favorite lighting scenes and select them via a mobile app or touch screen controls. Then there’s EnerWave, which uses Z-Wave wireless technology, and offers and array of light switches, electrical receptacles, and plug-in modules with the ability to turn devices on and off automatically and check their energy usage.