Frequently asked questions
What should we be guided by, and what should we take into account, when designing the lighting in an apartment or a house?
Lighting allows visibility after dusk, and creates an atmosphere aiding relaxation, entertainment or work. Light points should be installed in places to secure general illumination and properly light specific zones described inside. Most of the rooms require such a layout of the electrics that can easily be adapted to any possible changes. In many cases several independent sources of light are required. It is useful to often have several separate light circuits and install twice as many outlets than we had estimated when beginning the design process.
A design I am currently creating uses many appliances, and I am having trouble figuring out how to control them. Separate switches for lights, separate switches for window blinds, a special control panel for heating, etc. All this is becoming complicated, beside the difficulty of laying it all out…
The ideal solution to this problem is a smart installation. It reduces to the minimum the number of required switches or consoles and lets utilise 100% of the capabilities that are built into the utilised appliances. One just needs a single aesthetic console per room, which thanks to a built-in thermostat and display will enable control of the heating; most consoles will allow hassle-free control of several lighting circuits and selected window blinds.
During execution of a design we had stumbled several times upon the problem of earlier (in the design stage) assigning of switches to control particular circuits. This is a big hindrance, because changes to certain variants can be difficult or even impossible later on.
This is a common issue architects stumble upon. Until recently there was really no proper solution. Today, however, this is not a big problem any more, because the KNX/EIB system is here with the solution. This is exactly one of its main advantages - the ability to change (practically at any stage of the project) of the method of switching selected circuits assigned to a particular console. This means that one can, at any time, reprogram the consoles to i. e. control the dining room lamps from a console in the kitchen, at the same time taking care of sconces at the fireplace and window blinds in the living room.
How to handle determination of necessary light intensity without having access to a ready interior?
In the smart system one always has the chance to change light intensity without having to physically intervene in the circuit structure. At any time we can change an ordinary circuit into a dimmed one by just making alterations to the electric switch cabinet.
Banquets, parties, special meetings or just watching TV, meaning - situations for which one needs to rearrange the interior - how to plan the lighting for such occasions in advance, without at the same time having to disturb the family?
The task seems difficult at first, but the smart home systems offers a solution. Selected buttons of control consoles can initiate so-called 'light scenes'. One just needs to press a button with a description saying i. e. 'dinner', and the overhead lamp will be lit with an intensity of 50%, wall sconces - with the intensity of 25%, and temperature will be reduced by 3 °C; also, window blinds will be lowered, and soothing music will play in the background. The customer can decide himself what should be included in the scene, and is free to name it as he wishes - be it 'rest', 'guests' or 'cleaning'.
How to solve the problem of unnecessary lighting, or then again - not enough light in certain rooms, depending on anyone's presence?
A simple and effective solution are motion detectors. In rooms like the toilet, boiler room, pantry or spaces like corridors or stairs, the installation of a sensor to detect motion eases the adaptation of light usage depending on the presence of anyone in those rooms. Such devices also possess light intensity sensors, thanks to which light is only enabled when it is really needed.
I am often asked about automatic switching of electricity in selected outlets - in particular for outlets to which washing machines or irons are connected.
In an intelligent installation one always has the option to control selected power outlets. This means that they can be switched on with a console, or additionally programmed to cut off the power when everybody had left the house, and returned when anyone comes back home. In effect one doesn't need to worry about such important yet petty things (like an iron left running), and one has more time, which is always scarce precisely when we should have left the house long ago :)
In view of such great features of smart systems I am concerned whether I will not have trouble hiding the cabling and performing any finishing work?
Definitely not. In a traditional electric installation, the execution of every function requires running a separate cable, because each cable only fulfils one function. In the KNX/EIB system control signals sent via the two-wire bus cable are separated from the power supply cabling of each receiving device. Thus, using just one cable one can control a multitude of devices. This causes the installation to be easily hidden away in any way one chooses to do it. On top of that, a wide and stylish range of control consoles makes the KNX/EIB system look as attractive as it really functions.