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What are some good options to look at for controlled and automated lighting?

I've seen some DMX (stage-lighting standard) implementations for homes, but I'm not sure if that is the only/best option. What other methods are out there? What are the pro's/con's?


Goals

  1. Ability to control brightness and color (for LED lighting)
  2. Control from panels and/or computers
  3. Compatible with multiple lighting types (indoor/outdoor, led, fluorescent, etc)
  4. Set lighting to adjust over time. (For example: lights fade from 0% to 100% over 1 hour)
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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

See my answer here: Scalable, affordable home automation for a comparison of different consumer products.

You're probably going to have to do a mix of things to get your first goal. LED lighting is relatively new and immature -- the controllers for it vary from being IR remotes, to physical dials, and so it will be harder to interface with, let alone integrate it into a single system.

For the other goals, you can use something like UBP switches and interfaces. There are (expensive) commercial controllers/interfaces, and there are also cheap computer interfaces that make it easy to control/monitor from a computer. If you know how to program, you should be able to basically anything from there.

I would probably find some LED controller that can be controlled from a computer (or home automation controller) and then interface it together myself, using the commercial UBP stuff for regular lighting and controls.

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via the other link you provided, I found vantagecontrols.com . It looks like they have products for LED lighting. Doesn't look the the cheap DIY route ;) , but it is good to know that it is out there –  DesignerGuy Jan 3 '11 at 19:44

Check out the Lutron site online. WWW.lutron.com Although I have not been involved in the engineering aspects of custom lighting for some time, I always had good experience with the Lutron products and they now offer some very nice automated control systems for lighting, shades/blinds and remote operations. There is some really cool stuff coming down the road soon. My son is a computer engineer finishing his Master's at RIT and just did a co-op at MicroSoft where they are working on virtual control wall panels for complete home automation.They have a working demo "house" in Redmond WA., that features wall panels that become a virtual touch screen control panels on demand and disappear when not being used. These displays are capable of monitoring and controlling all the functions of the house including lighting, HVAC, interactive power management, air quality, security etc. Awesome stuff!!! Sure wish I was young again in this exciting time of computer controlled home automation.

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You might want to look at OpenMotics, an open source home automation system: https://www.openmotics.com.

Note: I'm one of the developers at OpenMotics.

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Please see our help section about self-promotion. –  Tester101 Jul 21 at 13:58
    
This is basically spam. If you posted a generic answer and then made a passing reference to your company, among others, providing materials, including disclosure, it might pas muster. –  bib Jul 21 at 14:09

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