Published on March 10th, 2014 | by Dee Son0
Touch Lighting: Practical or Pointless?
Touch lighting may be cool, but is it really necessary? There are a range of benefits to having touch lighting but for some, these benefits may not outweigh the cost of touch sensitive lighting. It may be a case of preference for many, but there are some situations in which touch lighting is really useful. However, with the advent of new technology, there are other options for automated lighting, which may become more popular.
Possible Applications for Touch Lighting
In certain cases, touch lighting may be extremely useful, if not essential. For instance, if a person has a limited range of motion in their hands, or has undergone an amputation, they might not be able to work a light switch with ease. In this case, touch lighting would allow them to switch on and off any lights in their home without having to struggle. It can also have much more general applications. It’s useful as a -dimmer switch as well as a simple on-off switch. Certain kinds of touch lighting will have an inbuilt dimmer, so the first touch turns the light on to full brightness, while the second touch dims it and so on.
Simply For Convenience
Even if you don’t have any pressing reason to install touch lighting, it can be more convenient. It can save you some time when you’re switching on lights in a room, or it can make it easier to turn on the lights when you enter a room carrying things and have your hands full. It could also encourage kids to be more vigilant when it comes to turning off lights when they leave a room, as it seems more novel than flicking a switch. This could help reduce your energy bills and your carbon footprint.
Other Ways to Control Lighting
If you find touch lighting a bit old hat, there are new and more exciting ways to control your lighting. You can get electronic engineering kits, suitable for both the hobbyist and the professional that will allow you to programmed your lights so you can control them via a computer. The Arduino Uno — which has ATmega328 16MHz, 32KB Flash memory, 2KB RAM and 1KB EEPROM — has even been programmed so that it controls lights via Twitter. According to MAKE: you can even use it to make an automated night light that will come on when you switch off the main light.
Is It Worth It?
So the question that you’re left with is whether touch lighting is practical or pointless. For some people, it could be very practical and even improve the quality of their day to day lives. However, for most, it’s just a fun technology addition to the home. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have any touch lighting. After all, not everything in your life has to be practical, some of it can be just for fun. Electrical engineering kits to control lighting are more practical than touch lighting and setting them up can be both entertaining and educational.