Casambi’s roots are in residential lighting; despite being best known for the development of their scalable solution for commercial lighting projects, the name “Casambi” is a portmanteau of the words “Casa” for Home, and “Ambience”. So strong is the technology that it has been widely adopted into commercial, architectural and large infrastructure projects, but Casambi’s solution is still great for homes and meets the demands of residential lighting in a stylish, personal and effective way.
One of the key differences between the demands of residential and commercial lighting is the personalisation factor. In a home, lighting needs to be adapted to the activity of the homeowner and their family, whether it be entertaining, doing homework, watching a movie, or going about their everyday life, but it also needs to be personalised, and customisable, to meet the homeowner’s individual and ever-changing preferences. This is where Casambi’s app-based platform excels, giving the user the power to change their lighting and create scenes for specific times of day or tasks. However, there are more similarities than differences when it comes to residential and commercial lighting projects; namely, residential lighting still needs to work correctly, putting the right light in the right place, at the right time.
When putting together a Casambi project for a residence, it is easy to get lost in the huge ecosystem of products available, so in this blog we want to highlight where a large number of technology partners have developed the ecosystem to meet the demands of residential customers with a selection products from sleek switch plates and discreet sensors to consumer products like integrated lamps which can be installed without the need of a professional electrician.
The lighting knowledge of many homeowners stops at the difference between LED and “low energy” compact fluorescent lamps and whether a fitting requires a GU10 or E27 style lamp – disasters with poorly chosen luminaires, entirely inappropriate CCTs and poor CRI are commonplace in the DIY market. Simplifying things for those who “do it themselves”, LED by Design’s Tuneable White and RGBW E27 lamps cater to those looking to easily add control to their own homes, while their new Orion and Lyra decorative E27 LED filament lamps can bring warm, low level and stylish lighting as equally suited to domestic pendants and table lamps as those found in a bar, hotel or even retail environment.
E27 lamps are not suitable for all residential applications however, and many homes are fitted already with triac or phase dimmable lighting. To take advantage of Casambi, creating more intelligent lighting, it is often preferable to enable existing light sources and use existing wiring, minimises installation cost and reducing electrical waste when installing wireless controls. Since most homes use mains dimmable lamps and light fittings, devices such as the 2A TRED allow users to wirelessly enable dimmable circuits with the addition of a simple dimmer unit. Lower power dimmers such as the LD220 from Vadsbo, CRD400 from Maintronic and of course Casambi’s own “TED” module deliver the same function for smaller 240V circuits whilst Dalcnet’s LINE-5CV and SLIM-2CV bring similar, multi-channel control to low voltage LED strip lighting as is commonly used in under-counter or cove applications.
In densely populated cities, natural light can be at a premium and in the suburbs large bay windows and roof-lights are commonplace, but often this contributor to home lighting is overlooked when it comes to controls. Thankfully, the development of Casambi’s ecosystem in the world of commercial lighting has spawned the answer, with devices such as the MOAC from Eulum Designs allow for natural light control, powering blinds, awnings or shutters to work in concert with artificial lighting and create the perfect scene. Other multi-channel relay devices such as LichtTeam’s powerful Liga.Air.Rel.8 can be used to power not only blinds but with a 10A switching load, many other domestic devices.
Sensing is also a crucial aspect of residential lighting and a very effective way to save energy, something that with bank balance-denting energy costs, is in especially high demand at the moment. The Liga.Air.SP.HOL is a discreet ceiling PIR with a visible face of just 38mm and is ideal for bringing energy saving Absence control to the home. This sensor is also commonly used in its Battery powered guise, hidden below a wash basin or at low level to detect late night use of a bathroom, with Casambi programmed to bring lights on to a much lower level for night time visits than during the day. Waterproof sensors such as the COPD from Danlers take wireless control into the garden, bringing security lighting, garden lighting and even garages, sheds and garden room lighting under the umbrella of Casambi wireless control.
One of the most striking differences between lighting premises such as schools, offices or shops and the home, is the demand for interfaces, light switches, which meet the clients personal design tastes. Most Casambi devices can be hidden away in ceiling voids or backboxes, but switches are not only visible but are a key interior design element. Using Casambi compatible BLE technology from EnOcean, brands such as Vimar, Jung, Tunto and Retrotouch deliver Casambi switches in every imaginable material and colour, including not only plastic, glass and metal finishes, but even real wood, stone and leather, complemented by full ranges of matching outlets and sockets. Lithoss’s Select, Immix and Circum switches with customizable finishes and configurations extend the range further, putting almost every client’s subjective design preference within the scope of Casambi BLE wireless control.
Ultimately, our lives and our homes are becoming much smarter – with our doorbells, thermostats, alarm systems and even fridges becoming interconnected and with each device able to activate the next. Casambi lays claim to being “the” IOT lighting technology, and smart home connectivity only strengthens this claim. With voice commands to switch and control lighting scenes, not to mention allowing other connected devices to trigger scenes, the X Moment gateway bridges between Casambi lighting control and Alexa personal assistants. Alexa and Casambi’s own timer functions allow devices to be programmed to switch to give the illusion of occupancy whilst the property is empty, but other gateways such as the BLE-Gateway allows users to connect remotely, and turn lights on, or off from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
The power of Casambi’s BLE mesh has seen many manufacturers take the technology beyond lighting, and none more so than Bertronic with their VairusAir air purifier – a super-stylish table top air purifier, controllable by Casambi, which would not look out of place on any table, shelf or mantlepiece. As well as providing anti-viral and anti-bacterial photocatalytic air purification, VairusAir is capable of monitoring indoor air quality conditions which can be reported back via the manufacturers web portal.
Casambi has the power and scalability to control large projects, as seen in the headquarters of organizations like the BBC, Diageo, Barclays and PwC but also brings the user-friendliness and personalisation necessary for individual residential settings. The huge range of design-led, aesthetic products is complemented by functional solutions to meet every home lighting application and extends to integrated “smart” lamps, stylish switches, dimmers, natural light control, sensing technology and much beyond. All these features make Casambi a top choice for enhancing and optimising the home lighting experience.
Holders Technology are the leading distributor of Casambi products in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, New Zealand and Australia. Through our vast experience with smart building products and our Casambi know-how, we are uniquely placed to advise on the best Casambi solution for a residence or any other setting. If you would like to learn more or see how you can make your home smarter, get in touch with us today.