Previously we discussed the importance of Lighting Layers and how they help create a visually balanced property, but what if a client doesn’t need to create that complete, picture-perfect lighting every single night? Maybe they only want all their lights on when arriving home from work, but they still want their safety lighting on from dusk to dawn. This is where Light Zoning comes into play.
Light Zoning is the process of wiring specific groups of fixtures together and having all these groups controllable from one central control panel. In a traditional landscape lighting system all the fixtures are set to turn on and off simultaneously based on the timer settings in the transformer(s). This strategy works well for small lighting systems, however in today’s day and age homeowners want more and more control over their property. Light Zoning increases the homeowners’ control over their systems, allows them to create specific scenes, and ultimately results in improved efficiency.
With how fast technology is evolving homeowners can use their lighting zones to control much more than when certain groups of fixtures turn on and off. Many light fixtures are now fully dimmable by controlling the power output of the LED bulbs. The importance of this is evident during the changing of seasons. In the summer when all the trees are in full bloom fixtures are going to need more power to shine through the full canopies, but as soon as the leaves fall that same power level will over-light the same tree. Similarly, as years pass and trees grow this allows homeowners to gradually increase the power of fixtures to match the tree size. Beyond power output, some fixtures now can even control of the color and color-temperature that it gives off. This can be a fun way to celebrate various holidays, like Christmas or Halloween, without the trouble of setting up extra holiday lights and decorations that are just going to be torn down in a couple of weeks. Homeowners can even save these settings as specific holiday “scenes” for future use year after year.
As mentioned above, Light Zoning gives homeowners the ability to create multiple pre-saved “scenes” on their property for specific uses. They can set an “arrival scene” that turns on the front yard lights right before they pull in from work, a “family scene” that only activates the lighting around a backyard patio for intimate gatherings, or a “party scene” that uses every single fixture on the property for when the homeowner wants to show off their picture-perfect property. The possibilities are endless, and completely controllable by the homeowner.
Creating various scenes with lighting zones effects even more than convenience for homeowners; it makes their landscape lighting more efficient. For example, instead of having all 50 fixtures of a system on for 12 hours every night for 365 nights a year, it allows homeowners to have the essential 20 fixtures on for 240 nights a year, 35 fixtures on for the 100 nights a year during warmer months when they can go outside and enjoy the lighting with family, and then all 50 fixtures on for the 25 nights a year for entertaining when guests are visiting. This leads to large energy savings over time, and in turn creates financial savings on energy bills.
Light Zoning can completely change how you use your landscape lighting, and can enable your property to adapt to your ever-changing life. Call Erickson Outdoor Lighting today at 952-474-4536 to discuss Light Zoning possibilities that fit you, your life, and your needs.