Basic Ways To Automate Your Christmas Lighting Displays
November 28, 2008
The holiday season gives you a chance to show off your creative spirit with custom lighting displays inside and outside your home. By using INSTEON lighting and appliance automation devices, you can easily control your lights and animated decorations. There are three basic ways to automate your lighting displays: from a timer, via remote control or from any web enabled device.
From a Timer
Using a simple timer such as TimerLinc, you can set on and off times for each day of the week, to control a single or group INSTEON controlled lights or devices. Once programmed, you won’t have to lift a finger; your lights and decorations will turn on and off at the time you have specified, and by doing this you can limit the amount of energy your using, which will save you money on the holiday electric bill.
Via Remote Control
Most lighting enthusiasts have more than one or two strands of lights and powered decorations operating throughout the holiday season. If you are one of these people, you know what a pain it can be to run around the house every night and turn everything on, only to run around again before you go to sleep to turn everything off. Not only is this tedious but who’s to say you won’t accidentally leave something on. You can eliminate all of this by connecting everything via INSTEON, and using a RemoteLinc to turn up to six individual or groups of lights and powered decorations on or off, from anywhere inside you home. Turn everything on at the start of the night, leave only a couple things on later in the night, or simply use the ‘All Off ‘ button to shut everything down, all from the comfort of your couch or bed.
From Any Web-Enabled Device
Managing your holiday lighting displays doesn’t have to be limited to using timers or remotes. You can use a SmartLinc – INSTEON Central Controller to operate your entire INSTEON network and holiday lighting from anywhere in the world. It works with any web-enabled iPhone, cell phone or PDA to give you remote access of all your INSTEON devices. So whether you are working late, celebrating the holidays with family or friends, or halfway around the world on vacation, you can still turn lights on and off to illuminate your home with holiday spirit or to give it that “lived-in” look while you are away.
What You Need
To build your INSTEON network, the most important thing you need is a pair of Access Points, these allow for communication between devices throughout you home. For most holiday lighting you’ll simply need on and off control; the ICON Remote Control Appliance Module (3-Pin) will handle up to 400 Watts. If you want to dim lamps or other dimmable holiday lighting, the ICON Lamp Dimmer (2-Pin) can handle loads up to 150 Watts. If you are looking for a clean installation that won’t compromise your decor, simply replace any existing wall receptacle with an OutletLinc – INSTEON Remote Control Outlet. All you have to do is plug your lights or decorations into one of these modules and you can control them in one of the aforementioned ways or via any INSTEON Controller. Numerous other INSTEON products are also available.
For the Advanced User
If you are looking for the ultimate in holiday lighting control, Light Show Master 2.0 Holiday Lighting Control Software will give you the ability to orchestrate a custom lighting display set to music. Using an INSTEON PowerLinc Modem, sold separately, you can create animated lighting displays, via control of INSTEON modules, and synch it with your favorite holiday sounds. The software allows for programming of custom lighting sequences that will turn your lights on and off and fade them up and down for an unlimited number of show “events” that can span minutes, hours, days, or even years.
Do you need to add a receptacle outside to power up your Christmas lighting? If so, then check out my article How To Install an Outside GFCI Receptacle – Step by Step Instructions with Pictures.
Do you need assistance with your electrical wiring project? Please visit my DIY Electrical Wiring Help from a Master Electrician page. Where I provide electrical wiring tips, expert electrical advice, answers to your electrical questions and electrical consulting & design services over the phone, via instant messenger or via email.
- SmartLabs’ INSTEON Wins AeA High Tech Award for Innovative Technology of the Year
- SmartLabs Introduces ALL-Link Interoperability for INSTEON Home Control Devices and Applications
- Z-Wave Takes Command of the Lighting Category for Wireless Home Control
- Be Safe with Electricity, Especially During Holidays
- 5 Ways to Creatively Save (Energy)