With a little thinking outside the box, energy saving solutions and intelligent control can shed new light on your home. Still in the dark? Let Andrew Dickinson of Bernard Dickinson enlighten you

As the sun starts to set on a chilly evening on what has been a glorious day with bright sunshine and deep blue skies, we’re afforded beautiful hues of oranges and pinks and deep ruby reds. It was the same at the start of the day, with the early morning sun putting on a stunning display which heralded a new dawn.

Nature throws so much at us in terms of light – dazzling direct sunbeams, which bring welcome warmth in winter, but also unbearable heat in summer, long dark nights which we offset by introducing warming lights and colour tones into our homes.

We all know how light can affect us – for better or for worse – yet it still surprises me that intelligent lighting control still gets a lower billing in many homes and, all too frequently, in the world of home automation.

This naturally also often poses the question, ‘What is lighting control?’

We’ve come a very long way since the advent of the dimmer switch, yet that basic operation is still at its heart – make it brighter when it’s dark, and less light when its… you get the picture.

Today’s homes demand the latest crop of technology to make these operations easier, more efficient and more effective. Whether it’s just a single room, multiple spaces or a whole home, you can control the light, it’s intensity and shade levels using a hand-held remote, a sleek wall-mounted keypad, smartphone or iPad.

Press a button on a keypad or screen and the lights and shades adjust to your pre-programmed settings and levels for that space. Lighting and shades that can be programmed to open and close, turn on and off or change in intensity, when you’re not there. You can have ‘mockupancy’ settings for that extra peace of mind when you’re away on holiday or if you’re delayed at the office.

Bernard Dickinson have been working with Lutron (www.lutron.com) for almost two decades and, like many others, consider them to be a world leader in the world of lighting control.

Instead of developing their technology and trying to shape our homes to suit, the guys at Lutron start with user experience first and foremost – how we live, what we need lighting control to do, how can it enhance our homes and our lives? Sounds obvious, doesn’t it, but it’s actually quite a revelation.

The Lutron systems are also massively energy efficient, something which I think we can all get on board with. Using LED lighting means less power, longer lifespan of the bulbs, yet they are an option which is infinitely more controllable than the traditional incandescent bulbs. And remember those dimmers I mentioned at the start? Lutron’s residential dimmers deliver savings of around 20 per cent, a figure which trebles when combined with smart occupancy sensors.

Using that greatest resource – natural light – with Lutron’s elegant shading solutions means we can be even more energy efficient using a ‘Winter Warm’ setting to make the most of the sun’s rays at this time of year, with the opposite to help keep the home pleasant when the summer sun is upon us.

Of course, it’s not just about temperature and shades are there to do just that, shade from the light. This can help protect home furnishings and prevent ‘bleaching’ from UV rays, but the overriding objective is to make our home environment all the more enjoyable.

Bernard Dickinson also appreciate the queries around these systems which are, quite rightly, often tabled. No-one wants unsightly wires around their home, nor a surfeit of remote controls, and then there’s consideration for existing interior design and furnishings. What we say to this is that Lutron has got it covered, there’s no need to compromise – remember, first and foremost it’s your home so wherever you live, however you live, we’re pretty confident that we have a solution to suit you.

It does come as quite a surprise that Bernard Dickinson are involved in lighting control and shading systems, after all we’ve established our reputation in high-end audio, television and home cinema. We, however, consider it to be a natural progression – when you’re settling down to enjoy a movie or engaging programme on your state-of-the-art system, surely you want the lighting to be just right?

And as we have increasingly found ourselves designing and installing bespoke cinema rooms, so the requirements for lighting which can complement and enhance the environment have also come into play.

For Bernard Dickinson today, lighting control is a familiar inclusion into any custom installation brief with which we are commissioned and, with Lutron as a perfect ‘go to’ brand, we’re well positioned to deliver a complete solution for either single rooms or whole home systems.

If you’d like to find out more about how intelligent lighting control can enhance your home, then please do get in touch. You can call in to the Bernard Dickinson showrooms at Beech Drive, Fulwood – a pre-arranged appointment is advisable.

Bernard Dickinson
13 Beech Drive
Fulwood PR2 3NB
01772 862266



Tedd Walmsley

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Tedd Walmsley managing director of Live Magazines shares his views on the latest topics in media.

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