Modern technologies delight us with innovations that solve a wide variety of household issues without getting out of bed. For example, with the help of the remote control, you can turn on music, TV, even start a multicooker or a kettle. But the most practical is remote lighting control.
There are several options for remote light switching on the lighting market:
- Motion and light sensors, which we talked about in this article . But they are convenient if you enter or leave the premises. But what if you are lying down reading a book before going to sleep, and you want to sleep, but you don’t want to get out of bed, but you need to go to the switch?
- At one time, the clapping device was popular, but it soon lost its customers. It turned out that the sound sensor responded not only to clapping, but also to coughing, the barking of a dog or the closing of a door. This turned out to be inconvenient.
- Remote controls for light only recently began to appear on the market, but their undeniable plus is obvious. We will talk about them.
Control units with power load
Why did it become possible to remotely turn on and off the light only recently? After all, remote controls for the same garage or TV have existed for a long time. But you have to go across the room to the light switch. It would seem that technologies exist, why not implement them in light bulbs. But there is a difficulty here – the mains voltage of 220 V, from which your lamps are powered. To control such a voltage, power thyristors and triacs that have large dimensions are needed. The control box turned out to be bulky, and it is inconvenient to hang it near a lamp or a switch. It took time for scientists to make such equipment more miniature.
The development of lighting control devices went in several directions:
- Separate modules. A special device is connected to the wiring of the house, and the wiring for the light bulbs is already from it. Management is carried out by turning on and off the voltage supply to this device.
- Adapters. They represent a sable adapter cartridge, which is screwed into the bulb cartridge, and the lamp itself is put on it. There is a similar model, which is inserted into the socket, and it already has a plug from the lamp.
- Built-in blocks. They replace the usual switches and sockets. Outwardly, they do not differ from their usual counterparts, but they can be controlled from a distance.
The listed devices are signal receivers. Which one to choose, decide for yourself. It all depends on the ease of installation in a particular case.
With the development of technology, additional functions have appeared that allow you to adjust the degree of illumination of the room or improve the capabilities of the system. In particular, these are dimmers , control rheostats. They are special modules that are installed in the gap of the power supply chain in front of the lamp. With the development of remote technologies, dimmers with a built-in IR receiver began to be produced. Thanks to this, it became possible not only to turn on the light, but also to adjust its brightness using the remote control. Buying such a device is easy, there are many of them on the market, ranging from cheap Chinese names to well-known manufacturers such as Nootehnika, DeLumo, Simon, Lumine, Foton, VENOM.
Types of control panels
Now let’s talk about the remote controls themselves. You can, of course, program an ordinary TV remote control so that devices receive its signal. However, it risks failures and false positives from other similar controllers. If you want high-quality work, then it is better to take care of a completely autonomous lighting system.
The following types of remote control devices are distinguished:
- Remote control with an infrared (IR) sensor. This is a long-established technology for which accurate and high-quality control controllers, transmitting and receiving semiconductor diodes have been developed. Such devices guarantee that when you press the lighting remote control, the lamp will turn on, not the TV. The minus is a device of directional action, that is, it is necessary to direct the remote control to the signal receiver, which at the same time does not pass through the ceiling.
- Lighting control panel with radio control. Unlike IR, such a remote device allows you to turn the lights on and off even when you are in another room or by pointing the remote control in another direction. This technology takes its roots from radio-controlled models in robotics and modeling. Limited by the range of the radio signal.
- Management using wireless technologies (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Internet). In this case, the borders in the remote switching on of the light are completely erased. If the remote control still has a limited range of the wireless signal, then by configuring the control programmatically, you can turn on the light even from abroad. Fortunately, smartphones, tablets, laptops will easily allow you to do this, it is enough to install the appropriate program.
A huge number of compact Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules built on system-on-a-chip (SOIC) technology have appeared on the market. These are miniature flat boards a few centimeters in size, which can be integrated into switches and sockets of standard sizes without significant modifications. They are full-fledged access points of Wi-Fi networks, can be configured separately to perform a wide range of actions, including lighting control, and connect to a single Wi-Fi network used for Smart Smoke automation.
Take the ESP8266 (8285) board for example. They already have a ready-made web interface and the ability to connect to a Wi-Fi network out of the box. Using a free available program on your own smartphone, you can quickly set the module’s operating conditions and issue control signals, with the help of which you can control any device in your home. And for switching power lines, ready-made thyristor blocks are used, which are already specially designed for controlling microcontrollers. In this way, you can control the lighting in the apartment from your smartphone without getting out of bed or being far away.