Homeowners are getting used to controlling their homes with their phones. Home alarm systems, thermostats and many personal assistant devices are increasing the demand for more devices that are “app-enabled”.
According to Statista, “will be household penetration 40 and is expected to reach 57.2 percent by 2025. “ Landscape lighting is no exception when it comes to this trend of phone controlled home automation devices.
The growth of customers who expect their landscape lighting to be controlled via their phone has increased dramatically in recent years. You are more used than ever to schedule automated events on your phone.
This is good news for professional landscapers as, for most of these customers, phone-controlled and planned landscape lighting is not the first automated device. This makes homeowner setup and training easier than ever. If your customers want landscape lighting systems that are easy to control, WiFi transformers may be the solution they need. These transformers transform any landscape lighting into intelligent, wireless systems.
The difference between a standard landscape lighting system and an intelligent system
In the past, landscape lighting transformers were controlled by timers and / or light sensors. These devices gave the homeowner the ability to turn the light on at sunset and off at sunrise (or at any time requested by the customer).
A disadvantage of these earlier systems was that some timers were not battery backed up and a power failure would cause the time to be incorrect. These base timers were also unable to adjust for daylight saving time, resulting in the owner having to adjust the time at least twice a year in most locations.
More recently, astronomical timers have become available. These timers used location to determine the correct sunset and sunrise times. This increase in functionality made light sensors obsolete, but also resulted in a more complex setup, all of which had to be done with a multitude of buttons on the timer.
In today’s marketplace, WiFi landscape lighting transformers have eliminated the need for physical timers and light sensors. At the same time, these devices have reduced the need for a user manual as they have made setup and modification easy and intuitive, making life a lot easier for the installer and homeowner.
Along with this benefit, WiFi light transformers have given homeowners flexibility they have never had before – they can now manually control the lights outside of their set schedule.
Photo: port lightingBenefits of installing a wifi transformer for landscape lighting
WiFi transformers offer planning functions, multiple zones and timely support and simplify light management at home.
1. WiFi transformers allow lights to be planned
Cloud-based WiFi landscape lighting transformers give customers the benefit of being able to schedule and control lighting when they are not at home.
As long as they have internet access, customers can manage lights using these cloud-based WiFi light transformers. When using a cloud-based system, there are two types of transformers on the market. The first runs its schedule based on signals from the cloud server on which commands are stored.
The second and more practical system contains the schedule in two places – in the cloud and on the transformer. The advantage of that Infrastructure design is that the schedule will run even when the landscape lighting transformer is not connected to the internet (that is, when the WiFi network is unavailable for a certain period of time).
2. WiFi transformers have multiple zones
With the digital age of, there has also been greater functionality Wireless Internet access Landscape lighting transformers. Many of them have multiple zones. By combining it with schedules and other area zones, customers get the ultimate flexibility.
Customers use these zones to control the lighting of the living area as needed per use outside of a set schedule. While this feature may also be available for bluetooth landscape lighting transformers, it is not as convenient as being close to the transformer is generally not convenient for entertainment.
Customers use this additional benefit to control items such as bistro or deck lights with their phones if necessary. In the eyes of customers, nothing beats the convenience of managing lights with their phones.
3. WiFi transformers provide better support
Cloud-based WiFi landscape lighting transformers also give users the added benefit of better support. In these cases, firmware updates and bug fixes can be performed remotely by the manufacturer so that the homeowner can receive future features that are developed.
How to choose and install the correct WiFi transformer
Choosing a WiFi transformer size
The dimensioning of the WiFi lighting transformer is done in the same way as the dimensioning of a historical landscape lighting transformer. These transformers are rated according to power (watt). If you add up the total light output (watts) connected to the transformer, you can correctly dimension the transformer.
Many manufacturers give an overhead specification of around 20 percent. This allows for power dissipation that occurs in the cabling and other areas of the system. WiFi landscape lighting transformers are the same size.
Connecting a WiFi transformer to the internet
How can light transformers be connected to the internet? In general, the preferred method for a WiFi landscape lighting transformer to connect to a WiFi network is a direct connection.
However, some devices on the market require a “bridge”, an intermediate device that is required to connect to the WiFi network. Bridges are used to “translate” communication from WiFi networks into a communication language used by the transformer.
Because WiFi landscape lighting transformers generally connect to a customer’s WiFi network, it is important that the transformer be mounted in an area with a strong WiFi signal.
For this reason, it is recommended to mount the light transformer first and connect it to the WiFi network before proceeding with the installation process. This will ensure proper connectivity before running cables.
Transform your landscape lighting system
When choosing a transformer, it is important to understand all the features, advantages and functions of the system. WiFi bridges, zones and schedules are important factors in installing a WiFi landscape lighting transformer for your customers’ needs.
The conversion of a current lighting system into a wireless system is made possible by the flexibility of a light transformer. By implementing a transformer for their landscape lighting, customers get one step closer to the benefits of a smart home.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This article was written by Chris McCoy. McCoy is the founder of Haven Lighting, a leading manufacturer of intelligent WiFi-enabled landscape lighting systems.