Once you have smart lighting in your home, it is hard to imagine living without it. Lighting is an integral part of our daily lives and a fun part of our entertainment experience. From my perspective, it’s right up there with music in terms of the enjoyment we get, and tops the list in terms of helping us be as energy efficient as we can.
As winter gets closer, our home gets busier. We live in the mountains and have many world-class ski areas just minutes from our door so we tend to get lots of visitors in the Winter season. It’s not uncommon for us to have a great deal of lights on, both indoors and outdoors, along with holiday lighting throughout. And this coming week our home will be decorated for Christmas—with a Christmas tree inside as well as lots of decorative lighting outside.
My wife, Laura, likes the Christmas tree to be lit when she wakes up in the morning, and I like it off when everyone goes to bed. And since we only need the outside lights on in the evening, we have our Control4 system set to manage all of the timing for us. The tree comes on at 7:30 each morning, and the outside lights turn on at dusk and off at midnight. Alternate LED’s have been placed on dimmers and switches so that some are green and some are red. The house looks festive and everything just happens as it should…automatically. Oh, and none of our lights come on to more than 80%, thus extending the bulb life significantly and using less electricity than if blazing full. As for our house guests, occasionally we need to manage them too. Sometimes they forget to turn their closet lights off. It’s not a problem as they are all set to turn off if left on for more than 15 minutes.
We have our smart house set up with a few other automated features as well, such as climate control and audio/video. When our parents are visiting, they tend to set the temperature a little warmer than what we are used to, but our Control4 system always reverts back to our favorite settings easily when they head back home.
One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is the music—and selecting holiday music from Rhapsody or TuneIn is a snap. Be it in one room or all of them, the Christmas tunes can play anywhere and everywhere in a flash with the press of a button on my Control4 touch screen or from my smartphone or tablet.
It’s also nice that our visitors can watch their televisions without hassle. Because one remote controls it all, all they need to know is to press “the red 4 button” and the rest is pretty self-explanatory. From there, they can navigate quickly and easily—flipping through channels on the satellite or cuing up a movie instantly.
Entertaining in a home with Control4 is fun and easy. It’s not an engineering project for our relatives or friends to use. The festive atmosphere abounds, everyone is having fun and the technology works in the background to enhance our holiday experience.