Staying a Step Ahead
The future is now. Our homes have the ability to anticipate what we don’t know.
Shelter. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the term as, “a position or state of being covered and protected.” In recent times, our homes have offered exactly that: a place where we feel safe, protected and secure to live our best lives possible. But our homes are so much more than building materials and elements of comfort. They are also conduits for communication, entertainment, warmth, illumination and general wellbeing. Whether we realize it or not, today’s homes have evolved to become very sophisticated entities, and that is just scratching the surface of the awe-inspiring potential they possess.
Brad Smith, president of Audio Video Design (AVD), with offices in Westwood and Osterville, and whose mission calls for making technology fun and easy, says the possibilities for technology to enhance our lives have never been greater.
“If we examine just the evolution of lighting, the very real effect of the type of lighting fixtures available in a residential application allows for benefits we may have never considered before,” Smith explains. He says the most impactful lighting innovation is the use of light-emitting diodes (LED). LED lights are considered to be 80% more energy-efficient than traditional lighting like incandescent bulbs and fluorescent lights. In addition, most of the energy (95 percent) is concentrated on delivering light and very little (5 percent) emits heat.
Smith says the benefits go far beyond LED’s inherent efficiency. “The range of output with LEDs allows you to provide a range of lighting that can have a direct effect on the wellness of the home’s inhabitants,” Smith explains. “Lighting can be programmed to mimic the natural world so that your day begins with a soft evolution not unlike the sunrise and early morning. As the day progresses, the light becomes brighter and whiter. And as the afternoon takes hold it again becomes a softer, more yellow light, just as the sun moves across the sky outside of the home.” Smith says the positive effects on a homeowner’s Circadian Rhythm or Seasonal Affective Disorder are profound and sublime at the same time. Popular manufacturers of world class lighting products like these are Lutron and lesser known Kestra, not to mention the Cape’s very own Savant in Osterville.
Other wellness applications involve colored lighting. Think: a massage room for some lucky homeowner. Their sensory experience can be enhanced by the scents of essential oils, the soothing aural sensation of soft music and the calming influence of soft hues of lighting. Or, in a stylish and modern wine cellar display behind a wall of glass, imagine a backlit tone of deep blue. Even art installations can be accented and enhanced by the right lighting, which may involve color tones, and Smith says his team works with homeowners, architects and designers on a regular basis to achieve all of these applications.
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