SDM’s Laura Stepanek and Art Niedosik (right) get ready to tour Lutron’s lighting and shading Experience Center (entrance in background) with Lutron’s Bart Manguno.

Come to Coopersburg, Pa., Plantation, Fla., or Irvine, Calif., and treat yourself to a living experience using a lighting and shading control system. Lutron Electronics Co. Inc.’s Experience Centers recreate life in an automated home. The centers showcase electric lighting and electronic shading systems as brought to life by Lutron residential control systems.

As the editor and associate publisher ofSDM smartHOME, I was invited recently to tour the Coopersburg Experience Center, which opened last October. The Center is used to help design teams and contractors, such as residential integrators, and homeowners envision how Lutron products can be best used in their environment, said Lutron’s Kristin Crawford. In addition, tours of the Center are open to the public once a month.

The Coopersburg Experience Center, contained within Lutron’s corporate headquarters, features an outside entrance, a foyer, living room, bedroom, bathroom, hallway, patio, and home theater room. Crawford demonstrated the effects that are possible through control of lights and shades using keypads and wall controls. Most impressive were the different scenes that can be created; scenes are accomplished by automatic control of groups of lights that are set at different levels.

In addition to scenes designed to create ambiance, Crawford demonstrated scenes for safety and convenience, such as nighttime pathways and “worker on-call” scenes. The home theater scene demonstrated the effectiveness of lighting combined with automated shades; because the shades fit snugly into a side channel it completely seals off the outside light to produce a more effective viewing experience. The lighting control system working in tandem with the shades also can help your customers achieve heating and cooling efficiency.

Lutron offers three families of home control products: AuroRa, RadioRA, and Home Works. AuroRa is a pre-programmed, wireless, radio frequency lighting control system that provides control of five areas of light.

A RadioRA Home Dimming System provides one-touch control of all home lighting. Lights can be turned on and off from anywhere, including a car.

HomeWorks can be installed in either new or existing homes; it is suited for older and historic homes, as well as additions or renovations.

For the security market, both the AuroRa and RadioRA lighting systems can be integrated with a security system so that upon alarm, all lights come up full and outside lights flash.

“It does not have to be a sophisticated system that gets a [security] dealer into lighting control,” said Bart Manguno, security sales supervisor,, Lutron Electronics Co. “It can be as simple as three to five dimmers.”

For more information about Lutron’s products, or to schedule a tour, visit:www.lutron.comor call (877) 258-8766.