Universal Color Control for Room Lighting

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As consumers switch to high efficiency LED-based light bulbs in their homes, an exciting possibility is created - color control!

Controlling color can be done with existing electrical wiring and minimal cost by replacing the wall switch in a particular room with a multifunction digital dimmer control. The control behaves similar to a traditional dimmer control, except it has color control in addition to dimming control.

Unlike a conventional incandescent dimmer control which reduces the voltage to dim the bulbs, the multifunction dimmer control sends digital commands to the smart LED light bulbs on its circuit.

Because there are many manufacturers of smart LED light bulbs, a standard control protocol is used, allowing consumers to replace bulbs with any brand or model they choose without having to replace the dimmer control.

But not every smart LED bulb is created equal. Some bulbs have only dimming control functionality. Bulbs with color control may offer only two colors, and only over a limited range of brightness. Some may offer a wide range of vivid colors, others only a range of natural light.

The smart LED controller is universal, and works with all of these flavors of bulbs, even though they behave differently. The color control sends digital brightness and color control signals to the bulbs, and it is up to the bulb manufacturer to decide what behavior should be provided. The consumer may purchase whatever bulb type they want, based on the manufacturer's description of color control behavior.

Advanced smart LED bulb controllers may include an internal clock to provide time-based color and brightness. This can create a desired mood, save energy or create the impression that a vacant home is occupied.


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    Mark Rumreich
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