In a recent article, we at Aesthetic Lighting Solutions took a look at why lighting control user interfaces don't have to be hugely confusing to whomever is using them. After all, quality lighting should be available for everyone, not just those who have an advanced degree in electronics.
With the incredible amount of tricks and features that modern lighting is capable of in this day and age, surely it makes good sense that the average person on the street can quickly and easily figure out how to utilise such features? Such fantastic technology should be accessible to everyone, otherwise there is little point in incorporating it at all.
On a similar note, if all a person wants to do is switch off the lights, or dim them to suit their needs – perhaps for a movie or a presentation – working their way through a mind-boggling, confusing array of options will only infuriate them, especially when such a task is so simple when using the standard light switches of decades gone by.
Such fantastic technology should be accessible to all, otherwise there is little point in incorporating it at all.
Perhaps advanced lighting systems are a victim of their own success. After all, illuminating homes or buildings in the yesteryear was so basic that all it required was the flick of a switch, as lights couldn't really do much more than turn on and off again – or perhaps dim, if you were really lucky!
Today, lighting can be ambient, setting the mood for a romantic dinner. It can be programmed to turn on or off at preset times, flash or glow. Smart lighting can detect the perfect level of illumination for a room depending on external conditions, and sometimes, a switch isn't required at all.
Why so complicated?
However, all of these options (and many more!) mean that the need for a good lighting control user interface are an essential part of most establishments, but it's important to consider that such technology should not negate the overall experience of the user – rather, it should make it easier for him or her.
Look at it this way. Today's modern lighting control systems make it possible for a simple switch or button to control a avast array of different luminaries in any which way you like. This is largely due to the advent of DALI technology (as demonstrated in the highly innovative, yet deceptively simple RAPIX system), and perhaps the most sensible thing that lighting manufacturers can do is continue to simplify lighting control user interfaces. This way, great innovations in lighting technology can be enjoyed by all, rather than only the experts that designed them!