The position of your home can greatly impact the amount of sun that filters in. The sun rising from the East into your master suite helps you naturally wake-up and start your day, while the sun setting to the West in the afternoon brings an abundance of sunshine into the family room ruining your evening viewing sessions. The strength of the sun not only can bring glare to your activities but also heat up your home causing other mechanical systems to perform harder raising your home’s energy bills.
Motorized window treatments are an ideal solution to introduce into the home to mitigate unfavorable sun conditions, maintain privacy, add a sleek aesthetic and help your home to perform optimally. Longitude and latitude programming capabilities allow system integrators to program your system matched to the suns patterns. Additionally, there are other functional and aesthetic benefits to adding motorized window treatments to a home that we’ve outlined below.
Hard to Reach Spaces – Your home is outfitted with large, high windows that drench your home with natural sunlight that not only helps to illuminate the space but adds increased energy consumption to the room. Due to the height of these windows and the lack of an easy-to-use solution to block the sunlight, you deal with it. With a simple push of a button, a motorized window treatment would allow you to lower the shades adding maximized comfort to the home.
Aesthetics – You’ve spent hours decorating your house to turn it into your home. Motorized shades, drapes and blinds can add so much to the aesthetics of each room. With numerous colors, patterns and textures, the design options are endless. For rooms with dual shades, you can have two different fabrics, such as solar to reduce sun glare, and blackout shades when you want near blackout conditions. The use of two fabrics allows you to instantly transform the space switching from both materials.
Sound Proofing – It’s no surprise that motorized window treatments add a warmth to a room, but did you also know they can help keep the outside noise from disturbing your peace inside your home? A Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) is an average rating of how much sound an acoustic product can absorb. NRC ratings range from 0 to 1 with 0 absorbing no sound and 1 absorbing all sound. The fabric options for the motorized window treatments ratings range from .1-.45 which can dramatically cut down on the outside disturbances.
Protection – The natural light penetrating through the windows boosts everyone’s mood and energy, but it can also be damaging to your floors and furniture. We have all seen the bleaching effects the sun can have on our belongings. Create a timer so that as the afternoon sun streams through the windows, the solar shades automatically lower to protect your décor. Fabrics can range from an openness of 0% to <10% meaning they block 100% to <90% of the sun’s harmful rays. You still get the natural light, but you now have the added protection the solar fabrics give.
Energy Efficient – Not only are motorized window treatments aesthetically pleasing, they can help save on your heating and cooling bills. Open the shades in the winter on the south side of your home to let the sun warm the space. In the summer, use the shades to cover the windows to keep your home cooler and reduce the amount of time your air conditioning is running. Some window treatments are insulated adding an additional way to keep those heating and cooling bills down.
Security – Shading systems can add peace of mind for when you’re not at home or traveling. Pressing the ‘away’ button on your shading keypad will lower the shades so that no one can see in from the street. Putting the shades on a timer will also make it appear like someone is in the home as the shades raise or lower on their own.
Insect Screens – Quickly transform your outdoor living spaces with motorized insect screens. Similar to an indoor window treatment, these screens easily turn your outdoor patio into a covered, insect-free space at. There are multiple fabric options, all of which are weather and wind proof. In fact, these screens can be programmed to retract if the winds exceed certain speeds so no damage occurs to them. The screens can easily be integrated into any control system for seamless control. Increase your home’s entertaining square footage by including insect screens in your next project.
Integrate it All – Many motorized window treatment systems are installed in conjunction with a lighting control system or home automation system. These systems allow you to create ‘scenes’ in your home so that, with a touch of an ‘Entertain’ button, lights dim, shades lower and light music queues up. Through integration of multiple systems into one seamless application, convenience and functionality are easily accessible and offer optimized enjoyment of the homes technology systems.
The Science of it All – If you’re interested in learning about the science behind the sound proofing, glare reduction, thermal management, view preservation or other performance specifications of the fabrics you choose for your home, visit Lutron’s Performance Shading Advisor site to learn about how they test their fabrics to make sure they are only putting out quality products. If you only want to view fabrics that have a specific fire rating, NRC level, or glare diffusing ability, use the tool to narrow down your options to best suit your needs.
To speak with a motorized window treatment specialist or to schedule a free at-home consultation contact us here.
LED lighting is quickly dominating the market and becoming the standard in new home construction. As the technology continues to improve, manufacturers are offering a wide range of features and functionality built into these energy efficient, high performance fixtures aimed to provide the same experience as incandescent or halogen lightbulbs. Other features and design options include replicating any color on the full color spectrum, programming a light schedule based on geographic location, and ultra-shallow housings allowing more precise light delivery in any space.
Here are a few terms to add to your LED lighting repertoire.
This is the measure of light temperature. The lower the number, the warmer the light feels. Standard color temperatures are 2700k, 3000k, 3500k, 4000k, and 5000k. In our homes, where we want the space to feel more comfortable and inviting, we use the warmer color temperatures of 2700k and 3000k. These resemble the incandescent and halogen lamps we are accustomed to, and are often referred to as warm white, or soft white.
Color Rendering Index (CRI)
Not all light is created equal. Quality white light is made up of a full spectrum of colored light – every color of the rainbow. When we see color on an object, such as a green leaf, or a red ball, what we are actually seeing is that color of light being reflected off of that object. Natural sunlight is considered the benchmark when it comes to accurately showing the color of objects, so we would say it has a Color Rendering Index, or CRI, of 100. A CRI of 80 to 85 is fine for an office, but in places where color matters, 90 CRI and higher are essential.
There are many ways to measure light, but the one most commonly used is lumens. Lumens are the amount of light given off by a source. In general, more lumens means more light. An 800 lumen lamp is about the same amount of light as a 60 watt incandescent bulb, while a 1600 lumen lamp is closer to a 100 watt bulb. Some manufacturers call this flux, or luminous flux.
This feature allows you to adjust the color temperature of an LED light fixture to replicate any white on the kelvin scale. With customized lighting programs, a schedule can be designed to start your day matching the color temperature of the outside and as the day progresses soften to a warmer, more relaxing glow such as 2700K.
Warm–dim is the new name for something lights have pretty much always done. When we dim an incandescent or halogen lamp, the color of that light changes from a yellow-white to a yellow-orange very warm light. It can make a space feel closer and more intimate. Until recently, LED fixtures couldn’t do this; as the lamp dimmed, it remained at a fixed color temperature, which sometimes felt cold. More and more manufacturers are adding the warm-dim feature, making fixtures that have the same warm glow of an incandescent or halogen lamp. This feature can also be called warm-glow or dim-to-glow.
Part of the fun of LED lighting is the ability to play with color. Some fixtures have the ability to make any color you want – team colors for a sporting event, or a holiday theme, or just to suit a mood. These fixtures are commonly called RGB or RGBW since they are made up of red, green and blue, or red, green, blue and white LEDs. The difference between RGB and RGBW is that RGB fixtures can make any color, or hue, but an RGBW fixture can also change the value, allowing pastels and softer colors to be created through the addition of white light.
Dimmers & Drivers
Dimmers are great for setting a mood and adding flexibility to lighting. Many LED fixtures can be dimmed to very low levels – 5% of visible light is common, and some are going as low as 1% or even .1%. In order to dim correctly, the fixture’s driver, or transformer, needs to be compatible with the dimmer used to control it. There are several standard dimming and control methods used in LED lighting (ELV/Phase dimming, TRIAC, 0-10volt, DALI, EcoSystem, DMX, PWM) and most manufacturers will show what their fixture will work with or offer driver options in the case of a configurable fixture.
Related: SPOTLIGHT ON LIGHTING: Q&A WITH RACHEL CALEMMO FROM CHRISTIAN RAE STUDIO
With LED lighting quickly evolving, staying attuned to the advancements and feature sets can lend itself a challenging task. By partnering with a trusted team of lighting professionals we can guarantee your projects incorporate the right lighting design, fixture specification and lighting controls to deliver an exceptional experience.
Whether you’re a homeowner starting a new project or design-build professional interested in learning more about the many LED fixture brands we supply, we encourage you to schedule a meeting with us today. Click here to schedule.
On May 1, 2019 CE Pro Magazine published its list of the nation’s Top 100 highest-revenue home-technology installation firms. InnerSpace Electronics is proud to have yet again made the list! Coming in at #35 we are expecting to see an even better year in 2019 with the addition of multiple LED lighting fixtures companies and lighting design services now added to our menu of offerings.
Anticipation of a great 2019 seems to be shared in the industry. CE Pro notes, “Historically, members of the CE Pro 100 are optimistic. For example, even during the great recession last decade, integrators were predicting year-over-year revenue growth…So it is not surprising that the CE Pro 100 is anticipating 12.7 percent revenue growth.”
We are looking forward to another successful year of designing, installing and maintaining high-end integrated control systems for our clients and want to extend our gratitude to all our industry partners and clients for helping us to achieve this prestigious honor.
Read the full article here, or contact us to help you design your home’s performance.
We have been fortunate to have had another great year with Lutron Electronics. We are proud to announce our continued Elite Diamond Dealer recognition by Lutron through 2018. In order to achieve this status, an Elite Diamond Dealer has to spend upwards of $750,000 in a given year with Lutron. The spend can be on anything from lighting control parts to motorized window treatments, high-end LED fixtures to HVAC controls.
We would not have been able to achieve this status without the continued partnerships with the design build community and our clients. To all our architect, builder & designer partners and our clients, we thank you for the privilege and opportunity to work with you.
Take a moment to think about the space you are sitting in. How does it make you feel? Do you feel productive and energized, or are you feeling relaxed? Now, take a moment to look at the lighting in the space. How does the color of light appear? Is it an amber, warm glow or more of a white, bright light like daylight? How many fixtures are in the room? Is it a combination of fixtures such as in-ceiling downlights, wall sconces, table and/or floor lamps or is it one primary source of light? Would you consider the space to be adequately lit?
A well-lit space that enhances the environment and mood incorporates multiple layers of lighting. These layers include general lighting of a space, known as ambient lighting, task lighting providing ample lighting to achieve a task, focal lighting to draw attention to a specific feature or architectural element, and decorative lighting such as a beautifully crafted chandelier dangling in the grand foyer.
Additionally, energy output and dimming controls contributes greatly to the way a space is illuminated and how it can be manipulated. In today’s world of lighting, light emitting diodes (LED) light fixtures have made significant strides in supplying energy-efficient light sources. More and more projects are required by state and local codes to include a portion of LED fixtures within new construction projects.
Related: 3 REASONS WHY INNERSPACE ELECTRONICS SHOULD BE YOUR LIGHTING DESIGNER AND FIXTURE SUPPLIER ON RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS
A contracted lighting designer is trained to meet code requirements and design a well-crafted lighting design plan for residential construction. As Home Technology Professionals who specialize in sophisticated lighting control systems, we work closely with lighting designers to ensure interoperability between designated light fixtures and the lighting control system.
We recently connected with Rachel Calemmo, co-founder of Christian Rae Studio, and accredited LEED® and NCQLP Lighting Certified professional, and asked her a few questions about the importance of contracting a lighting designer and lighting control experts early on in a project. Here’s what we Rachel had to say:
Q [IEI]: To start, when a person is building or renovating their home, what would you consider to be the most important aspects of lighting to understand and be aware of in a lighting plan?
A [RC]: I came to the field of lighting design via interior design. For me, one of the most critical factors is visual acuity. This means rendering the colors and finishes in the space in a way that makes them come to life. I use light sources that have the highest color rendering index (CRI) possible and select a color temperature of the light that will complement the colors and textures in the space.
The lighting should also support the activities in the space at any given time. This means not only using the appropriate light sources, but also layering the light and varying the controls to suit the activities by time of day. Daylight provides bright, blue-rich light in the early morning to deliver an alerting signal as we wake up – but exposure to that same light at night can keep you up at night, and can make you feel groggy or irritable the next day. In the early evening, daylight provides a warm, low-level light to cue our bodies for a period of rest.
Circadian rhythms can be supported by using dynamic lighting features that LED lighting technology offers. It puts us in a position where we can now create personalized lighting to mitigate circadian disruption, optimize mood and visual experience, and improve our sense of wellbeing, in better ways than ever before.
Using these tools to design an overall lighting scheme makes our spaces feel more natural and comfortable places to live, dine, work and rest.
Q [IEI]: With so many manufacturers and light fixtures available in the marketplace, how does a lighting design help guide fixture specifications for a project and prove compatibility with a lighting control system?
A [RC]: Compatibility is the most critical factor in ensuring a successful lighting design. LED lighting requires more planning and coordination than any previous system of illumination. In order for LEDs to function properly, they need dimmers and drivers that speak their language so they do not create flicker, popping, strobing, early failure or dropping off. This level of specification is best done by partnering with lighting designers and integrators that can narrow down the wide range of fixture options and select the best possible fixtures that will not only complement the architecture and interior design, but will function smoothly.
Q [IEI]: What do you see as the core benefits of LED lighting over other technologies?
A [RC]: I am very excited about the benefits that LEDs offer us as designers and consumers because while they save us a tremendous about of energy and minimize maintenance, they also allow us to create more dynamic lighting environments. LEDs provide us more control over the tone of our white light while also allowing us to supplement with color. Now, we are not only restricted to one wall color in a space, but can dial up any color of a room by a flip of a switch or a voice command, if we so choose. Technologies such as warm-dim LEDs can mimic incandescent sources, while tunable white allows us to set our lighting to a schedule that matches the tone of daylight to enhance the circadian rhythms I mentioned earlier. RGBW (Red, Green, Blue & White) LEDs lets us play with all the tones of white light along with vibrant and pastel colors all coming from one fixture. LEDs have opened up a world of possibilities.
Q [IEI]: Why is it important for lighting designers to partner with lighting control system integrators early in the design and planning phase of a project?
A [RC]: As mentioned earlier, LED lighting and its control goes hand-in-hand. The vision of a design can only be realized when the proper fixtures are selected and coordinated between the architecture and the controls system. The process works best when a team of designers and integrators are communicating throughout the design and specification to be sure the project goals are being met and the end user will have a space that is comfortable, intuitive and easy to maintain.
Q [IEI]: How does a lighting control system integrator complete a lighting designer’s vision?
A [RC]: In order to take full advantage of the benefits LED offer, controls integration is key. The ability of our lighting to be personalized and intuitive is controls-based. In order to have smooth dimming to a low level in intimate spaces or to follow daylight rhythms in our living spaces, requires complex scheduling and controls. These complex lighting scenes can be quite simple for the homeowner to use once the proper integration and planning is in place. This is why it is critical to not only have the proper fixtures selected by the designer for look and feel, but to have it controlled and programmed by the integrator to have it function to its full potential. We work as a team with the end user to create spaces that have benefits from well-being to visual acuity and enjoyment of our built environment.
About Racel Calemmo LC, LEED®, AP
Lighting Designer, Rachel Calemmo, orchestrates light, color, materials and space to create visually appealing environments which ease the demands of modern life and rejuvenate the soul. An Interior Design graduate of Philadelphia University, Rachel engages all aspects of project design, construction, and management. Her commitment to the total design experience led her to specialize in lighting. She earned the Lighting Certified (LC) designation after successfully completing the NCQLP Lighting Certification Examination. Her technical skills enable her to complete each design challenge from conception to final installation; resulting in projects representing a broad range of scale, scope, and budget consideration. Rachel is also a LEED® Accredited Professional who designs each project to a high standard balancing aesthetic expectations and energy efficiency due to the important role energy consumption and cost plays in an overall building life cycle.
About Christian Rae Studio
Christian Rae Studio, LLC was established in 2010 as collaboration between Rachel and Christian Calemmo. Christian is a licensed architect in Connecticut and New York. Rachel is an interior designer and certified lighting designer (LC). She is also a LEED accredited professional. Our firm is located in Southport, CT and we have worked on projects in Connecticut, Westchester County, New York City and beyond. Our combined technical and creative skills enable us to complete each design challenge from conception to final installation and our project types represent a broad range of type, scale and budget considerations. Each of our projects is unique. Therefore, we focus our attentions on listening to our clients so that we can deliver a product that is not only beautiful and functional but also tailored to your specific needs and requests. We insist on providing detail and quality that is evident through our drawings and project management. The collaboration between multiple disciplines in our studio is an approach that results in a holistic and integrated project. Our goal is to make the design process a thoroughly enjoyable experience for our clients.
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