Switching of lighting circuits within a home or space is a fundamental activity of modern day living. They attach to walls throughout our homes and are considered vital to our everyday lives as we move throughout our homes.
They are even considered by some to be a necessary evil.
Before electronic lighting control systems, these were often one button one circuit systems where you had to interface with multiple switches to get from A to B in a darkened environment.
Two-way and three-way switching came about that allowed for multiple switches to control multiple circuits, adding a level of practical convenience. Multiple button switches made this possible but there was always a limitation - every additionally switched lighting circuit meant more and more cables had to wire to the back of the switch plate.
Lighting control systems allowed for far greater flexibility, you didn't need to consider limitations based on congested wiring back to the particular switch. Every lighting circuit could then run back to a controller and every light switch was able to talk to every other light switch in one big light switch network, this effectively meant that any light switch within the home could control as many lighting circuits as was required.
You could then add logic programming allowing for scenes, schedules, timers and many more automated options.
Even with the above advancements, most switch plate layouts are still one room or one wall one light switch design. The theory, of course, is that when you walk into a particular space you would physically reach for a switching plate to select the lights you required.
Take the following scenario - You arrive home at dusk, your house is dark you trigger your garage door you drive into a darkened garage. You step out of your car and fumble for the light switch, your lights trigger on you grab your essentials and walk through the garage access door into your darkened home, you reach for another switch to activate a hallway light, you move forward open a cupboard door and reach for another light switch, you close the door move forward toward your kitchen accessing switches and activating lights till you get to your kitchen and set up your living space using more switches.
When considering the effort taken with the above multiple times a day you can start to appreciate the following scenario.
Hot Tip - When a lighting control system is deployed throughout the home it offers the flexibility of upgrading switches later on, for example, if you wanted to change a single button switch to a 4 button switch, there is no rewiring required.
You arrive home at dusk, your external lighting is already on (scheduled), you drive into your garage and a sensor activates the lights, you step out of your car and your motion activated light switch powers up upon approach, you select the welcome button setting your home up with a pre-configured lighting scene. You step through the garage access door into your well-lit home, you open the cupboard door the light activates via a sensor, you close the door behind you knowing that in 30 seconds the light will turn itself off.
The above scenario means light switches are no longer about turning on individual lighting circuits but activating pre-configured scenes or modes.
Consider that Walk-In-Robes, WC's, Pantry's and Laundry areas may not need light switches, motion sensors with intuitive programming can detect, activate and maintain lighting based on room activity.