8 Types of Lighting Control Systems

17th February 2020
17th February 2020 Joshua Gardner - Founder

Just as there are many different varieties of lights available to suit all kinds of needs, there are also just as varied a selection of control systems to use them. It’s often advisable to opt for something that provides a little more flexibility than the simple ‘on/off’ switch. Varied lighting controls are a common occurrence in many commercial buildings due to the benefits relating to security, as well as saving energy and money. However, we’re also beginning to see an increasing number of different lighting controls in homes. This is due to their utility and cost-effectiveness when applied to the right situation. We’ve provided a run down on the different options below, for your consideration.

Light switch

Dimmer switches

Dimmer switches are a classic way to provide that added bit of control to the user, allowing them to select the perfect lighting level to suit a particular mood of their choosing. Dimmers come in different forms:

  • Manual dimmers give full manual control to the occupant, providing convenience and ease.
  • Touch dimmers serve as a more elegant variation of the manual dimmer switch. Requiring simply a quick touch of the finger, they quickly and easily affect changes to the lighting state.
  • Remote control dimmers can be operated remotely using a device. This means the user can operate the lighting controls from within the space, or from elsewhere.

Time switches

These are a staple for many businesses with large commercial premises. Time switches are a useful way to conserve energy after a building is left unattended for the night. In the interests of security, it’s often preferable (or mandated by insurance policy) to leave the premises’ lights on until later at night in order to deter trespassers. Time switches allow businesses to accommodate this requirement whilst avoiding unnecessary energy wastage and reducing costs.

Light level sensors

These sensors can switch lights on or off according to the outdoor light levels visible through the window. This removes the need for lights to be switched on manually at the beginning or end of the day. It’s also possible to use sensors to adjust the lighting levels of a space rather than simply switching them on or off. This creates the effect of a smooth, barely noticeable transition from daylight hours to night time. An elegant solution for encouraging productivity in workspaces, or for rooms used to entertain visitors.

Occupancy sensors for indoor lighting

Indoor lighting sensors provide the ultimate convenience for occupants entering a space. They work by either detecting body heat using infrared sensors, or emitting an ultrasonic sound pattern that triggers a signal when interrupted by bodies entering a room. These sensors can either switch lights on or off, or be combined with a dimmer switch that reduces lights to a low level after the room is emptied. This serves as another great way to reduce energy and improve ease of use.

Motion sensors for outdoor lightingOutdoor motion sensor lighting

Motion sensors help maintain the optimum balance. They ensure good security levels on a premises during times of day that are more likely to attract trespassers (such as after hours) by switching on at the first sign of movement; at the same time, they allow owners to save as much energy as possible by switching off during periods of low activity. You can read more about outdoor security lighting measures here.

Remote control outside lighting

Alternatively, it may be more useful to have maximum control of your outdoor lighting network, as is often the case on large premises with lots of lights. In this case, a remotely controlled integrated system might be the best fit. Remote integrated systems allow users to control the entire lighting network from one centralised point such as a single device, or an app on a smartphone or tablet. Whilst this technology is usually the higher end of the scale in terms of price, this is an unrivalled way of ensuring maximum control, convenience and peace of mind when taking security measures for your premises.

Find the right lighting control system for you with Point Electrical

With so many varied possibilities, it can be hard to know where to begin when deciding how best to kit out your home or business premises. Contact us for more information on what would be the most suitable option for your situation, and we can also provide you with an obligation-free quote for our services. For more detail on what we have to offer, you can also visit our Domestic and Commercial services pages.

Joshua Gardner - Founder

Founder of Point Electrical