Crestron’s tunable LED lighting fixtures and Solar Sync sensor bring circadian rhythm lighting to its smart home


The pro-install home automation company Crestron Home is adding circadian rhythm lighting to its high-end living platform. This week, the company announced that its new full-color, tunable LED lighting fixtures with circadian rhythm capabilities will be available in August. Smart lighting isn’t a new feature for home automation, but lighting that automatically adjusts to the sun’s natural changes throughout the day is taking it up a notch.

Circadian lighting is an option with some out-of-the-box smart lighting, such as Philips Hue bulbs that work with Apple HomeKit’s Adaptive Lighting. Crestron’s pro-installation competitors, including Savant and Control4, also offer several wellness lighting solutions. But in general, the smart home has been slow to adopt this excellent use case for tunable smart lighting, which is often applied in commercial spaces.

The Crestron Solar Sync is an IP67-rated outdoor solar sensor capable of measuring color temperatures from 2,000K to 25,000K.
image: Crestron

This slow adoption is likely because circadian-driven lightening routines can be complicated to set up and execute. To help combat this, Crestron also announced the launch of the Crestron Solar Sync – an outdoor sensor that relays outdoor color temperature in real time to the Crestron Home platform. This allows your indoor lighting to mimic the exact light outside in your yard with little to no setup.

The company first developed the Solar Sync for “a retail customer who traditionally builds their stores with a lot of glass,” Crestron’s John Clancy said in an interview with The edge† They have used that technology and translated it into a living environment. Users can pair Crestron’s new lighting fixtures with Solar Sync for a ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ implementation or set up more personalized lighting changes in the Crestron app.

Crestron’s new LED lamps are available in adjustable, wall wash, fixed frame and pinhole fixtures, with square or round edges.
Image: Crestron

Scientific research has shown that the human body responds to changes in lighting, and matching the lighting in your home to the natural hues of the sun can help you feel happier and healthier. The right lighting can improve productivity during the day, wake you up gently in the morning and help you relax when the sun goes down.

Crestron’s new fixtures provide full-color, tunable light — allowing users to control the hue, saturation, color temperature and intensity of light, as well as circadian synchronization options. But they are not smart bulbs that you can retrofit, and they are not cheap. The in-ceiling spotlights — which will be available in adjustable, fixed, wall wash and pinhole options — are designed for new construction or remodeling and will cost about $900 per fixture, according to Clancy.

Crestron’s circadian lighting system can be controlled with the Crestron Home platform app.

The company also announced it was working with third-party fixture manufacturers to create other lighting options, such as linear, chandelier and sconce-style fixtures with native Crestron Home integration. †[This is] a huge step forward in the architecture of intelligent and appealing LED lighting fixtures…” explains Clancy. “Installers, designers and homeowners will all be able to get what they want with flexible, reliable and easy-to-implement lighting solutions.”

The lighting fixtures can also be combined with smart shades, including Crestron’s new battery-operated shades, to incorporate real sunlight into circadian rhythmic lighting scenes. And while circadian synchronized lighting may be ideal for your biological clock, it’s not always the best lighting for task lighting. That’s why Crestron has added the ability to switch between circadian settings and other scenes, with the system automatically returning the lighting to where it should be when it returns to circadian settings, not where it left off.

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