Kitchen Lighting Controls Enhance Buyers’ Lifestyles
Kitchens have evolved over the past decade. No longer relegated solely to cooking family meals, the kitchen has become a focal point in the home, an area for entertaining.
With the kitchen’s new uses come new lighting requirements. The old single fixture hanging in the center of the kitchen is being replaced with sophisticated lighting to match the room’s versatility. Home owners today want to paint the room and furnishings with a desired amount of light or to change the level of light appropriate to the task at hand.
Builders and designers who work in concert can create optimal plans to illuminate the kitchen using the four main types of lighting options ― utility, task, ambient and accent ― to satisfy the varied tastes in today’s marketplace.
But, for builders to take full advantage of the new lighting’s potential — and wow their customers — they need to mate these lighting options with sophisticated lighting controls that can create a variety of lighting schemes that not only enhance the beauty of their model kitchens but also control the ambiance of the room and offer energy savings through eco-enhancements.
Designing a kitchen requires a team of qualified professionals ― from architects, cabinet makers and counter top technicians to the appliance installers and lighting fixture manufacturers. However, one integral professional — the Electrical and Electronic Systems Contractor (ESC) who can bring the kitchen to life by coordinating and installing the lighting controls ― is often overlooked.
ESCs are well-versed and competent in the most high-tech, state-of-the-art lighting possibilities available and work with builders and home buyers to create the desired atmosphere in each individual home. As such, they should be involved early in the construction process to create and install upgraded lighting option plans and controls that meld seamlessly into the overall design of the home.
Controlling Lighting in the Kitchen and From the Kitchen
A sophisticated lighting plan with integrated technolgy is needed to properly light the modern gourmet kitchen for cooking — and entertaining.
Home buyers today demand the latest in lighting design and control to easily create a desired atmosphere throughout their entire home.
Our company, S&S Electric, has found that our greatest success with lighting control has been in the kitchen because home owners want a simple and convenient way to control the vast number and types of lights located there. The use of dimmers and one-touch keypads simplifies lighting control for even the pickiest home buyer.
With dimmer switches, home owners have the flexibility to determine how much light is needed for different activities, or to simply set a desired mood in the room. Dimmers also can be used to accent artwork or collectibles.
Additionally, dimmers help control energy usage, can reduce energy consumption and can extend the life of a light bulb. Many people don’t realize it, but dimming a light by 50% can reduce electricity use by 40%.
Keypads Limit the Number of Kitchen Switches, Achieve Home Owner’s Desired Effect
Sometimes, simply using dimmer switches cannot achieve the desired setting ― or flexibility ― that the home owner wants to create. Many times, relying only on dimmer switches in modern gourmet kitchens clutters the aesthetics of the kitchen’s design and detracts from the mood lighting.
High-tech keypads with easy-to-use menus give home owners the ability to control the mood of the entire room with the touch of a button.
Our customers truly appreciate how easily they can change the atmosphere in the kitchen from sterile to intimate in a matter of seconds — without having to adjust multiple dimmers or turn several light switches on and off manually.
A well-lit kitchen that combines natural lighting with a well-thought-out, integrated and easy-to-use lighting system with utility, task, ambient and accent lighting is more likely to sell a home ― and it’s much easier for builders to achieve than they might think.
New home buyers are prepared to select kitchen fixtures such as cabinets and countertops during the construction process. They will be more than ready to consider convenient, easy-to-use — and dramatic — lighting control systems at the same time.
Shawn Smith is president of S&S Electric, a Florida-based installer of home technology systems. An NAHB member, he currently serves on the boards of the Florida West Coast chapter of the Independent Electrical Contractors, CEA-TechHome, CEA-Multi-Room Audio/Video Council, the marketing committee of the Home Lighting Control Alliance and the Home Technology Allicance (HTA). For more information about S&S Electric, visit www.ss-electric.com, or call 800-762-3056. To learn more about the Home Lighting Control Alliance, visit www.homelightingcontrol.org.
CEDIA: A Source for Experienced ESCs
The Home Technology Alliance (HTA), a partnership between NAHB and the Custom Electronic Design Installation Association (CEDIA), was created to meet the growing consumer demand for home technology.
CEDIA, a founding sponsor, is an international trade association of companies that specialize in designing and installing electronic systems for the home. CEDIA members are established and insured businesses with bona fide qualifications and experience in this field.
For more information on CEDIA, visit the association’s Web site at www.cedia.org. To find an ESC, click here.