What's so special about your home's circuit breaker panel? At first glance, not much. The "dumb gray metal box" found in your basement or closet does save you from electrocution, it's not especially exciting. But activate that same electric panel with smart technology and you can turn an "ordinary" breaker into an intelligent breaker that boosts your home's energy efficiency - almost like magic. Now transformed, the smart breaker operates by automated, responsive control (not by magic). A product like Lumin's Smart Breaker Panel handles the transformation for you, making a smart circuit breaker out of any "ordinary" breaker. In short, it makes an ordinary breaker smart. The demand for smart breakers is booming. In fact, the Smart Breaker Market is forecast to be worth $135.3 billion by 2025. This analysis by Markets and Markets cites "the expansion of smart home product portfolio by a large number of players" plus "growing concern about safety, security and convenience among the general population" as major factors fueling the surge.
What is a Smart Breaker?
What's the difference between a regular circuit breaker and a smart breaker? In short, functionality and purpose. Regular breakers are safety devices designed to protect the electrical circuits in your home from overloading or short circuiting. They also protect you from dangerous electrical injuries and potential fires. When circuit breakers detect a fault, they immediately stop (or "trip") the flow of electricity.
How do they work? Upon entering your house, electricity goes straight to a breaker box, which houses your circuit breaker panel (a.k.a. electric panel or power panel). Here the electricity flow is divided into a number of circuits. Each circuit is protected by a breaker appropriate for the load demand of the appliance. Major appliances like electric water heaters demand so much electricity they need their own dedicated circuit.
What's the difference between a circuit breaker and a surge protector? Circuit breakers protect your circuits from overloading, which prevents overheating and fires. Surge protectors protect electrical appliances and devices from voltage spikes, by absorbing the power surge to earth before it reaches them. So what exactly does a smart breaker do? A smart circuit breaker performs all the same jobs as a regular circuit breaker - plus extra ones. In addition to protecting your circuits, it serves as a wireless power monitor or meter as well, providing real-time insights on each circuit. The most advanced smart circuit breakers (sometimes called WIFI circuits breakers or WIFI breakers) handle load management and more. With responsive load control, they automate your household energy consumption - thereby optimizing the efficiency and usefulness of your home energy systems all around. A WIFI breaker works seamlessly with your smartphone or laptop, wherever you are. Installing smart breakers requires professional guidance; DIY is not advised.
Check out the Lumin Certified Installer Program page, where you can download installation manuals and installer check sheets, and watch videos on installing smart circuit breakers. Installers interested in converting their circuit breakers and upgrading to a responsive energy management system can schedule both live and virtual installation training. Whereas some products require a full replacement of your electrical panel or a full upgrade of your circuit breaker box, Lumin works with your existing equipment. It provides a hardware and software solution, with the physical box that sits your electric panel as well as the technology that runs the systems. Lumin's smart breaker panel is easily installed near your existing electric panel and often eliminates the need for a protected loads panel as well.
The Circuit Breaker is the Gateway to a Smart Home
Why focus on the circuit breaker level? Because that's the nexus of your home's electrical load. Approximately 80% of a home's load is concentrated on a small number of dedicated circuit breakers, including the water heater, major appliances, and HVAC systems. This breaker network plays a critical role. Smart breakers take this role to the next level. By converting ordinary breakers into intelligent ones, you can conserve energy and cut electricity costs in a systematic way. Using wireless technology, you now have a Wifi circuit breaker with remote control automation. That's why a smart circuit breaker is considered the gateway to a fully smart home. With circuit-level monitoring and real-time insights, you're able to control home energy use in a smarter way, with greater impact.
Installing Lumin's smart breaker panel is often the first step toward a complete Smart Home Energy Management System. The company's responsive technology enables a number of "smart home" benefits: It responds to your own inputs and allows you to plug in scheduled loads. It can automatically detect outages and balance load control for solar plus storage systems. It can respond to demand charges, Time of Use rates, and other variable pricing to save money on electric bills.
Benefits of Having a Smart Breaker Panel Home
As energy costs climb and power grids face more pressure, more and more residential customers are realizing the benefits of having a smart breaker panel in their home. By installing smart breakers, you can optimize energy storage and energy savings while ensuring higher levels of safety and protection.
Optimize Energy Storage
Optimized energy storage is one of the main benefits of having a smart circuit breaker. In homes with solar and storage systems, smart breakers boost efficiency and maximize ROI. A platform like the Lumin Smart Panel with Whole Home Battery Backup enables your entire energy system to operate more efficiently. In addition to conserving power, it can also strengthen resilience during blackouts and extend battery operation during extended outages.
How does a smart breaker save energy? By making it easy to automate the scheduling and management of your home's circuits. Through responsive technology, you can make your entire home energy smart with a 'plug-and-play' solution. You can plan to use "power hog" appliances at scheduled times and avoid using grid power at peak rate hours. A smart home circuit breaker puts the control back in the hands of the homeowner, rather than the energy provider or utility company. With automated remote control, you can reduce energy waste, gain energy independence, and see significant energy savings on your monthly electric bills.
When it comes to safety, smart breakers are safer than a regular circuit breaker. While regular breakers do protect each individual appliance in your home, they fall short when it comes to prevention. Say you forget to turn off your stove or oven before leaving the house. A smart breaker system will automatically switch off the circuits of those appliances you've accidentally left on. So even when you're at work or on vacation, you'll have peace of mind knowing that your home is safer. Plus, with a smart home circuit breaker you can monitor the performance of all your appliances - and know ahead of time when they might need replacement.
Contact Lumin About Our Smart Panel Breakers
With roughly 80% of a home's electrical load concentrated on a small number of circuit breakers, it's clear that the breaker network plays a critical role. But when ordinary breakers are converted into smart ones, they take on extra roles and boost other functionality as well. Among other benefits, a smart breaker panel optimizes energy storage, energy savings and safety. It also provides connectivity, automated control and advanced energy monitoring. With the demand for smart home technology growing, it's not surprising that the smart panel market is keeping in step. Smart circuit breakers are increasingly seen as the gateway to smart homes. Enabled by responsive technology, Lumin's smart panel breakers bring connectivity and intelligence to your home energy management system. It's like having a Wifi circuit breaker, energy monitor, and smart energy manager all in one.
Smart panels also bring control back to you, the homeowner - so you can control loads and optimize your energy use at your own scheduled times, on your own terms. To learn more about the benefits of a Lumin Smart Breaker Panel, get in touch with our experts and they'll help you make the right decision for your own energy goals and needs.