KBB - September 2009 - (Page 32)

Education Back to Basics Get the 411 on lighting controls It’s widely recognized that in today’s real estate market, fewer people are building new homes and starting major remodeling projects. Still, homeowners are looking for ways to create comfort and make better use of existing spaces. One strategy for accomplishing this goal is to make the space more versatile, especially if it’s a kitchen or bathroom. And an easy and affordable solution is to incorporate lighting controls, which not only expand a room’s versatility, but also enhance its ambiance and save energy, too. When developing a room design, it is important to consider all of the possible uses that the client might have for the space, as well as the products within it. Just as consumers would never purchase a stereo with only one volume level, or an oven with only one temperature setting, asking a homeowner to settle for just on/off control of their lights makes little sense when there’s a world of control options available. By taking the time to learn the benefits of lighting control (including dimmers, timers and occupancy sensors), such as increased flexibility, enhanced aesthetics, added convenience and energy savings, designers can offer their clients simple, cost-efficient solutions that both enhance their design and help the environment. Lighting controls have been available for residential applications since 1961, when the familiar rotary (round knob) dimmer hit the market. Since then, companies have been growing the category to include three basic types of lighting controls that are offered at multiple price points: full-featured single-light dimmers that dim a single light fixture (like a chandelier or table lamp); entire-room systems that operate multiple fixtures in a space using just one control panel; and total-home lighting control systems that control virtually every light source in a home from convenient remote keypads. Currently, there is some debate and confusion surrounding new lighting sources and bulb types. However, it’s important to note that lighting controls and dimmers can be used with almost all of them— from incandescent, halogen and fluorescent to LEDs and compact fluorescents designed specifically to be dimmed—and all light sources use less energy when dimmed. Lighting control products, like Lutron’s Maestro dimmer with a discrete occupancy sensor (left), can save a significant amount of energy. Window shades and drapes can also be controlled to reduce or maximize sun exposure (above). Lighting controls are changing the way people live and play by providing increased flexibility throughout a space. Whether a client is looking for easy solutions to upgrade a single room or they are in the process of building a residence from the ground up, the possibilities are endless. KITCHEN USES Take, for example, the heart of the home—the kitchen. Because the kitchen is used so frequently, it not only serves as a place to create great meals, but increasingly features great design. Lighting can be used to enhance the aesthetics of the space and make the room more comfortable and functional no matter the activity at hand. And adding a control system allows for both the brightness needed for tasks such as food preparation, as well as dimming for atmosphere. For food prep, homeowners often seek enhanced lighting over the sink, countertops and island. For entertaining, creating ambiance and elegance are important and can be achieved by varying the light levels to set the mood for meals with family and friends. Custom cabinetry and high-end appliances are easily accented with the perfect light setting, and properly adjusted undercabinet lighting can bring out the detail in beautiful countertops. Continued on page 34 + K BB September 2009 / www.kbbonline.com / The Official Sponsor of K/BIS www.kbis.com Jully2004 http://www.kbbonline.com http://www.kbis.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - September 2009

KBB - September 2009
Contents
Online Contents
Online News
Publisher's Note
Trends
Products
Profile
Design
Fine Balance
Something Old, Something New
Education
Editorial Index
Ad Index
Favorites

KBB - September 2009

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