Lighting control systems bring simplicity to our lives by eliminating excessive wall plates and switch boxes while saving us money through automatic or programmed energy saving settings. However, as with everything in life, there are choices to be made and with a lighting control system, one of the first decision to be made is “Which layout is best for me?”. Below we will describe the differences between the three types of layouts – centralized, decentralized, and hybrid – and the benefits and disadvantages to each system, in hopes of helping you determine which is best for you!
The first lighting control system design type is a ‘wireless’ (or decentralized) system. While this design type is in fact wireless, it is not wireless in the traditional ‘cutting cords’ sense – all of your high voltage electrical wiring still goes to their normal switch locations, but instead of standard light switches or dimmers, you have what is referred to as ‘hybrid’ switches or dimmers. These ‘hybrid’ pieces are capable of handling the lighting loads while also being able to dim to preset levels and communicate with each other over a wireless network. Typically this type of system is installed when someone is looking to install a lighting control system into an existing home but it is often used in new home construction or remodels due to its relative simplicity and similarity to a standard layout of switches and dimmers.