What is Scene Lighting?
If you’re looking into a Rako or Lutron lighting control system, you may already be familiar with the term ‘Scene Lighting’. If you’ve never heard of the term, don’t worry! In this guide we’re going to cover the basics of Lighting Scenes.
All of the lighting control systems that we sell are based on ‘Scene’ lighting control. Basically, this means that rather than using multiple light switches to turn on an assortment of lights, you press one button to select a ‘Scene’. A scene is a combination of lighting circuits, potentially at different light levels. Scene Lighting is a great tool for getting the most out of your living space.
The key to good scenes is carefully considering how you plan to use a space. One of the great things about lighting scenes is that you can create very relaxing, or romantic, lighting at the press of a single button - rather than adjusting a series of dimmers on a circuit-by-circuit basis! Equally, you can quickly and easily turn on all of the lights you need for a task (like cooking) at the press of a single button.
The best way to design a lighting scene is to walk into a room, list 4 things you might be doing in that room. Now start at the top of your list and imagine you’re about to start doing the first thing on your list. Turn on all of the lights that you’d usually use when you do this task, including dimming any lights you’d like dimmed. Once the lights are perfect for this task, you’ve created your lighting scene! Obviously, you will then need to program the scene into your system but the method will vary depending on which lighting control system you’re using.
Let’s imagine that the first room you’ve walked into is the dining room. My list was: Eating, Relaxing, Working and Entertaining. If you have a dining room, your first task was probably eating too. In my dining room, I’d want the table to be well lit so I can see my food and the people I’m eating with, and it would be nice for the wall lights to be dimmed to create a comfortable atmosphere. When I press the Eating button in the dining room, these lights would come on.
The number of scenes that you can set depends on the system you’re planning to use. A Lutron Grafik Eye QS can hold up to 16 scenes in its memory, but if you want to access more than 4 of those scenes plus an all off scene you’ll need to add at least one SeeTouch QS keypad to your system.
Generally, we find that you don’t need more than 5 scenes per room, including ‘All off’. It’s tempting to create as many scenes as possible, after-all surely more scenes gives you more choice? While that’s true, it also means that you create more potential confusion. What’s the difference between an ‘Entertain’ scene and a ‘Party’ scene? And are you really going to use both? If you’ve considered this and the answer is yes, then by all means include both scenes on your system. But, sometimes keeping it simple works best.
It’s also worth remembering that most ‘Scene Selector’ keypads have a manual raise/lower. Which will allow you to adjust the scene last selected and raise or lower all lights in that scene. So, you will usually still have some level of ‘manual’ dimming in your room if you feel you need it.