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Tech Talk: Residential Lighting Control

Ketra color temperate lighting

Maverick Integration is one of the first in New England to embrace a new frontier in residential lighting control: the advent of color temperate lighting calibrated to the time of day. Ketra lighting (later followed by USAI, Savant and LF Illumination) has redefined fixtures with automation that harnesses the color and temperature of natural light and brings it indoors. Gone are the days of the one size-fits-all incandescent light bulb you grew up with that has the same steady yellow glow whenever it’s switched on.

“What Ketra did,” explains Systems Designer Dennis Jaques of Maverick Integration, is to “provide a seamless lighting experience that follows the Circadian rhythms of our bodies and the earth.” Just after sunrise, this technology adjusts and elicits a soft warm light; at high noon, it captures that white-blue tone that streams in from the window; and, come sunset, it imbues a “warm amber glow, like a candle or the feel of a cool summer night.”

Ketra’s system is configured to the homeowner’s zip code, longitude and latitude, so it knows when the sun rises and sets in a given locale, year-round. Residents “can’t tell where the sun or natural light stops and the electronic light begins” in their living spaces, continues Jaques. It is unintelligible, and, like the sun, changes so slowly, you don’t notice it. But you feel it.

Maverick Integration has deployed several systems last year alone, and clients have been struck by how much they enjoy the technology. Depending on the time of day, the light makes you feel happy, energized, focused, relaxed and ready for rest. Delos, a New York based company and global wellness pioneer committed to enhancing the health and wellbeing in the environments where we live, work, sleep and play, integrated Ketra within its new office space, as the technology is in keeping with its ethos, but not everyone in homebuilding has been quick to embrace it. “When you think about it,” maintains Jaques, “the way we wire buildings is the way we wired them back in the 1950s.” Given the groundbreaking progress in the lighting world, “it’s time for a change.”

Above, a progression of calibrated light in a kitchen during varying times of day. Photo courtesy of Ketra

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