How do you know when you watch waaaaaaay too much HGTV? When you start coveting snazzy wall plates with which to frame your home’s every light switch. And, just to clarify, when I say “you” and “your,” I really mean “me” and “mine”. Yes, that’s right – all of those hours of taking in the on-air interior design prowess of Candice Olson, Vern Yip, and Angelo Surmelis have taken their toll, and lately I’ve found that I have to keep going back for yet another look at Lutron’s® Claro™ designer wall plates.
Alas, I’m a mere renter, and have yet to procure a house of my own, on which to inflict my personal sense of style. But in the meantime, I can dream – and tell all of you homeowners with an eye for detail why I like these things so much. To begin with, they’re sleek and simple – they have a way of really playing up a room and making it look finished, without actually calling attention to themselves. And they have no visible hardware, which gives them a refreshingly clean and smooth surface. But the real kicker for me are the colors they come in – there are the standard-issue neutrals (like white, ivory, and almond) for the non-risk-takers and those who prefer soothing palettes, or, if you’re feeling a little bolder (like me) you can go with glossy-finished black, brown, or gray. Personally, my eyes have been riveted to the brown wall plates – gorgeous.
Another great thing about Claro™ wall plates is that they’re really affordable, so you don’t have to spend a lot to add some polish to a tired room. And you can even install them yourself - perfect for a weekend project, and you won’t even have to hire someone to take care of it for you.
Claro™ wall plates are available in configurations that range from 1 to 6 gangs (openings), and are compatible with Lutron® Maestro, Diva, and Skylark dimmers and switches, as well as other manufacturers’ designer-series switches and controls.
If you find yourself yelling that around the office more than once in a while, then it sounds like you might be ready for an occupancy sensor or two. We all try to conserve energy around the house, but for some reason, we don’t think about it as much at work. We’re used to having the lights blazing nonstop in our workspaces, but it’s just pointless (and not to mention wasteful) to let them run constantly in secondary areas like conference rooms, break rooms, and bathrooms. Yet we never think to hit the light switch when we’re the last one to leave the room. Lutron® to the rescue.
Lutron® has developed the Radio Powr Savr™ occupancy sensor, a motion detector that senses when someone enters or leaves a room, and automatically turns the lights on or off accordingly. Unlike some occupancy sensors that mount to a wall and can only sense movement up to 180°, the Radio Powr Savr™ is mounted to the ceiling, and has full-range 360° motion detection. It’s also extremely sensitive, so unlike some motion detectors that go and shut the lights off when you’re not moving around much (ever ended up in the dark in a public restroom?), it can sense movements as slight as typing on a keyboard, so you’ll never have to deal with an unexpected lights-out.
Another plus is that the Radio Powr Savr™ is completely wireless – it syncs with other Lutron® wireless controls, so you never have to wire it to anything. And it even runs on a 10-year battery, so you’re free from the hassle of hardwiring it into your building’s electrical system.
These days dimmers aren’t just cool, they’re all the rage. With the way everyone is “going green” while trying to max out on home automation and design details, you pretty much have to catch the dimmer wave if you want your home or office remodel to be truly up-to-date. And really, the renewed push on light dimmers isn’t such a bad trend to be in the midst of; after all, these sliding switches can help you customize the mood in any room of your house, and also go a long way toward cutting down on energy costs and lengthening the life of lightbulbs. As a matter of fact, during a recent training session with our Lutron rep, I learned that a 10% reduction in a room’s light level is barely perceptible to the human eye, yet can actually double the lifespan of a lamp or lightbulb. Not too shabby.
So naturally, this is going to roll around to a product – and judging by the fact that I just mentioned Lutron, you’ve probably already guessed that this is a Lutron dimmer. You got me there. We began carrying a bunch of different (and, may I also add, designer) Lutron light dimmers, but I think I’ve found my favorite. The Vierti™ Single Touch Dimmer. This high-tech little number is a far cry from the older, round knob-style dimmers that many of us still have in our homes. As a matter of fact, there’s nothing resembling a knob on it – instead, you adjust the dimmer by just sliding your finger up and down a vertical LED bar! Kind of like using an incredibly responsive touch screen instead of pounding away at a keyboard. Sounds a little fun, doesn’t it?
In addition to looking great and being incredibly easy to use, the Vierti™ has a few very unique features, including a function that allows you to create your own “maximum” lighting level (say, 85% instead of 100%), and dimmer position saver that lets you see the level that the dimmer was last set at, even when it’s turned off.