Control4 Delivers the Lighting Control Solution of the Future…Today!

July 2, 2013

This editorial is written by Dennis Burger, Editor in Chief at HomeTechTell and contributing writer at Residential Systems.

Let’s face it: the upgrade cycle for electronics is a vicious, never-ending saga of self-flagellation. We consumers who like to stay on the cutting edge of tech are almost stuck with a sick sort of Stockholm Syndrome: We know next year’s new smartphone is probably going to sport the feature we really wanted last year; we know next year’s TVs are going to be packed with some new enticing net-connected feature. Do we buy a new receiver now, or wait until the brand we want adds Spotify or AirPlay or gapless FLAC playback down the road at a price we can afford? And don’t even get me started on the perpetual upgrade game when it comes to computers.

And yet, we tech junkies are somehow grateful for these incremental yearly upgrades, despite the full knowledge that companies may be dangling intentionally withheld features in front of our noses like proverbial carrots on sticks.

So when Control4 announced a complete revamp and vast expansion of its wireless lighting control offerings, the cynic in me couldn’t help but look at it all and wonder, “What are they holding back? How much better are next year’s new switches and dimmers and keypads going to be?”

And after pouring over product sheets for the better part of a week, after pestering Control4 lighting and comfort product manager Scott Stephenson on the phone for over an hour, after scrutinizing every aspect of this next-generation lighting control lineup, I’ve finally figured it out.

This is next year’s lighting control system. Heck, it’s the lighting control system for the year after that. And the year after that.

If you’re going to stand out in an industry built on a bedrock of intentional obsolescence, what better way to do so than by offering the lighting control solution of the future… today?

What makes up the Control4 next-generation smart lighting control solution of the future? For one thing, the new Adaptive Phase Dimmer is designed to work with virtually any lighting control load known to man. If you’ve ever tried dimming LEDs with traditional dimmers, you know it’s a gamble that usually pays off in flickering annoyance. With the new Adaptive Phase Dimmer, though, you can squeeze (and even extend) what life you have left in the incandescent bulbs around the house, and upgrade to LEDs a bulb at a time—without having to upgrade your dimmers again!

Add to that gorgeous new keypads, combination dimmer/keypads, auxiliary keypads that deliver three-way control of your lighting loads, and—best of all for this southern boy—a truly integrated ceiling fan control solution for the Control4 system. Now the question shifts from “what are they holding back?” to “what else could you possibly want in terms of lighting control?”

Control4 Keypads

Now, granted, if you start stripping away some of Control4’s features—fully configurable, custom-color backlighting, customizable ambient light sensors to keep that LED backlighting tamed in the dark, support for 277V lighting, integrated energy monitoring to let you keep tabs on exactly how much energy you’re using (and saving) with Control4’s lighting products—the sort of functionality offered by this next-generation of smart lighting was available to Control4 customers before. If, that is, you wanted to pay to have a third-party lighting solution programmed separately, then tacked onto the Control4 ecosystem after the fact. With the next-generation of lighting control, though, your dealer need only poke a few buttons in the Composer Pro software, and in literally a matter of minutes, you’ll have access to the most advanced lighting control solution.

Better yet, Control4 is bucking another electronics industry trend by making the smart lighting control completely compatible with its older dimmers and switches. No more punishing early adopters. If you want to upgrade from Control4’s existing lighting line to the next-generation lineup, you can do so a dimmer or switch or keypad at a time.

So if you’ve been holding off on upgrading your home’s lighting to something smarter, something sexier, something on the cutting edge, but just can’t help shake the feeling that there’s always going to be something better around the corner, here’s your something better. And it’s not around the corner. It’s here today.

Now, if only it were so easy to decide whether to hop on the Apple® iPhone 5S this summer or wait for the iPhone 6 that we all know is on the horizon.