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The Evolution of Home Lighting Control

Explore the Past and Embrace the Future in your Paradise Valley Home

The Evolution of Home Lighting Control

Developing new ways to manage natural and artificial light is hardly a recent phenomenon. There have been constant innovations ever since humans first started controlling fire almost 400,000 years ago. Of course, that’s not what most of us have in mind when we think of lighting control systems. Instead, let’s fast forward to the rise of electricity and the introduction of light switches in the 20th century. Since then, the changes have been exponential resulting in the use of smart sensors, mobile apps, and voice control.

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The Introduction of the Switch

Despite all the advancements in home lighting control, for the most part, the wall switch has remained king for the past hundred years. The toggle light switch was first invented by William J. Newton in 1917. Though the switch's inner mechanisms have been improved on dramatically since then, their on-off function has remained largely the same.

The Rise of Light Dimmers

The first real evolution from the traditional light switch came in the 1960’s when Joel Spira introduced the first solid-state light dimmer. The initial Capri model let households adjust lighting levels from a knob on the wall. Since then, the dimmer has seen a variety of improvements from the way they're managed—using touch panels or linear pads—to the loads they can handle. The next innovation was the introduction of remote control in 1989, allowing users to point the remote at a dimmer on the wall to turn lights on, off, or adjust intensity.

Rise of Full Home Control Systems

Around the 1990’s, the scope of lighting control systems began to expand with the introduction of remote panels that let users control all the home’s lights from one central location. These systems also introduced scenes which called up specific lighting settings from keypads on the wall. Though these were initially designed for commercial theaters, they eventually made their way to home applications.

In the late 1990’s, the first lighting systems based on wireless technology hit the market. Homeowners could use a dedicated remote to turn lights on and off and adjust brightness levels. These were the precursors for the lighting solutions offered by Crestron today. Through those systems, homeowners can now manage lights through dedicated touchpads, smart remotes or mobile apps.

Introducing the Internet of Things

The latest advancement in lighting control systems has been the introduction of the Internet of Things. This refers to all the smart devices that connect to your home network to communicate with each other and work together. Through Crestron Pyng, lighting control systems can now communicate with other smart devices to offer diverse control options.

For example, your lights can communicate with motion sensors to make changes on their own. Occupancy sensors turn on lights when action is detected while vacancy sensors turn them off in unused rooms. One of the latest benefits of the Internet of Things has been the ability to incorporate Amazon's Alexa to manage lights via voice commands.

If you want to learn more about the latest lighting control products and how you can incorporate them into your Arizona home, fill out our online contact form or call us at 888-296-0950.