ruth in mooresville

04:14PM | 02/18/04
Member Since: 02/17/04
1 lifetime posts
We're in the process of getting a panelized home delivered in late April and I'm going to have to have some ideas about what I want to do with lighting throughout the house.

I have seen the term "total lighting system" in a couple of books but very little detail. It appears that you select different scenarios that you want lit versus doing specific lights. For example, in the kitchen you might tell it that you want it to be light for mid day versus light for night when you want to get a glass of water (this light would be much dimmer). Instead of controlling the under counter lights separately from the ceiling lights with two different switches, you control all the lights in the kitchen simultaneously to create different scenarios--like daytime light in kitchen versus evening light (where want to be dimmer). Can anyone recommend a magazine article or someother place where this is described in detail so that a homeowner could develop their own lighting scheme or at least lay it out?


06:43AM | 02/29/04
Member Since: 02/17/04
11 lifetime posts
Ruth, I hope you have lots of money. I had considered "structured" wiring of the lights in our new home. I went to a couple of specialists who mapped out what was involved. Let me say that expensive is the key word. I would love to have been able to do this type of lighting since I HATE wall switches. With the structured system, one keypad would control multiple areas of the house and scenes could be programmed to set the light levels to achieve mood lighting or task lighting or anywhere you needed it to be. As I said it was expensive. For our house, about 3000 sq. ft, it was over $18,000! This does not include light fixtures, just the wiring, keypads, controllers and the main panel.

I have decided to drop this idea, for obvious reasons, and use Lutron Maestro dimmers. These don't have the switch sticking out from the wall like typical switches but look like a flat almost rocker look switch. There is a small flat switch next to it that set the level of light. Once the level is set it goes to that level when turned on. I think these switches also glow softly at night kind of like a night light. I thought these would look better than the normal switches since we will have to have so many, up to four, in one place.

If you want to pursue the structured wiring path, I suggest you look in the yellow pages for Home Theater Installers. Most of the people are into installing structured systems since they are into high end electronics.

Good luck with you home. I hope this helps.

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