Maximum Value Technology Projects: Wireless Lighting

More homeowners are embracing energy efficient lifestyles and are looking for ways to stay on top of trends and lower their energy consumption. Wireless lighting can do more than just make it easier to turn lights on and off. A breeze to install and affordable on all price levels, wireless lighting systems -- using radio-frequency communication -- can not only control overhead lighting, but outdoor lighting, lamps, thermostats and even small appliances in the home.

CURRENT TRENDS

  • DIY-friendly. One of the biggest pluses for a wireless lighting system, next to the fact that they are extremely eco-friendly, is the ease of installation. Most houses require hundreds of feet of electrical wire to connect light switches to a main power source, but with wireless lighting, radio waves do the dirty work and can connect many different fixtures and appliances at the same time. This makes retrofitting an existing home much easier.

BIGGEST MISTAKE

According to appraisal expert, Leslie Sellers, president of the Appraisal Institute, sometimes spending more money up front can bring you a better return in the long run. In many cases, homeowners go for the cheaper wireless lighting option and will need replacements about once a year. Sellers says to look for the more expensive -- but reliable and long-lasting -- lighting kits that will last five to seven years without needing to be replaced. "Homeowners don't realize that when all that needs to be replaced is a battery once a year instead of a whole system," Sellers says, "the money saved in the long run is always worth it."

EXPERT TIPS

  • On a Budget: There are many ways to save energy and maintain a budget with wireless lighting. From dimmers to occupancy sensors, lights will only come on when you want them to. Lower on price because they are not necessarily connected to a whole house system, wireless lighting can be used in spaces that get the most use to keep utility costs down.
  • Mid-Range/High-End: Connect the whole house through wireless lighting with a property-wide system. Indoors and out, wireless lighting can be integrated with other home automation systems so that you can regulate light usage even when you're not at home. Traditionally, the more complex the system and the farther they reach, the higher the cost, so depending on the square footage of your home or the area you would like to cover, you can easily find these systems at a mid- to high-end price range.

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