Mood lighting in a modern home

Smart lighting is a common entry point for home automation, but what’s the point of upgrading to mood lighting in the first place?

In common with most smart devices, lighting makes your life safer and easier. Making your house look occupied, even when you’re on vacation, adds a powerful layer of security to your home. Controlling the lighting either remotely in-app or using voice commands puts convenience at uppermost.

Smart lighting can be used for more than just utilitarian tasks and automation, though.

Today, we’ll examine how you can harness the power of mood lighting to create varied zones in your home according to how you’re occupying that space.

First thing’s first then, what is mood lighting exactly?

What Is Mood Lighting?

Mood lighting is the result of creating specific micro-atmospheres within a room.

Often taking the form of soft lighting, mood lighting acts as a powerful counterpart to the task lighting in place.

The purpose of mood lighting is to break up and soften the décor while providing light levels fine-tuned to the task in question.

How can you start rolling out mood lighting across the house today?

Here are some major spaces in your home that could benefit from mood lighting:

  • Bathroom
  • Bedroom
  • Dining Room
  • Kitchen
  • Living Room
  • Outdoors

Mood Lighting in the Bathroom

Setting up lamps in the bathroom is problematic, so the obvious analog solution to mood lighting when you’re soaking in the tub is a scented candle.

Smart bulbs allow you to sidestep the lamp and control the main light bulb in-app on your smartphone. It is a great way to adjust the brightness levels and switch up the coloring depending on whether you’re firing up for your day or unwinding after a hard stint at the office.

Mood Lighting in the Bedroom

Chances are you have a smart speaker or smart display in the bedroom. This is the obvious starting point for mood lighting in the boudoir.

You can use your Echo or Google Home device to tweak the lighting to your taste.

Strip lights work well in the bedroom, so check out our suggestion for that below.

Mood Lighting in the Dining Room

Lamps on dressers and tables work well in the dining room.

Strip lights used lightly around mirrors, clocks, and other features can also work well in some cases.

You can also take advantage of the main light for mood lighting, as long as it’s dimmable. This can be applied throughout the house allowing you to control personalized brightness levels with a swipe or a voice command.

Mood Lighting in the Kitchen

Under-cabinet lighting is an effective way to mix things up in the kitchen.

Downlighting works well, too. Get yourself some LED downlights so you can save energy and costs at the same time as injecting some personality into your kitchen lighting.

The breakfast bar is another great spot to bring the mood lighting out to play. You’ll want far less light when you’re chowing down on breakfast than you’ll need if you’re chopping veggies, so make sure the eating area gives you the scope for muted lighting.

As in any room, you can also use lamps to great effect. If you want to streamline and smarten up control of existing lamps, what can you do? Try picking up a smart plug then giving your old lamp a shot of smarts on the control front.

Mood Lighting in the Living Room

Using LED strips along with robust voice-activated smart lighting lets you stay in complete control of the atmosphere in your living room, without needing to get up off the couch.

Simple dimmers give you brightness levels on tap while you can switch up the colors of your lights in-app or using your digital butler of choice.

Mood Lighting Outdoors

Get creative outside, too.

You can use outdoor smart plugs to automate and control old landscape lighting.

Consider Ring’s smart lighting range we highlight below to jazz up that outside space and keep the tech going outside as well as in.

Whether you have an intimate dinner party or a boisterous BBQ planned, make sure you have the lighting on lock.

Different Lighting Colors

Color is important in two senses.

First, all decent smart lighting gives you a bewildering choice of millions of colors.

Also, you can use color in combination with lighting when you’re looking to create a certain atmosphere.

Here are a few pointers on coloring and mood.

  • Blue: A calm and peaceful color, blue can increase productivity when used in lighting
  • Green: Greenlight creates the least amount of eye strain, so if you spend long hours in the home office, you might want to consider the calming effects of green
  • Purple: Purple can help you become more creative
  • Orange and Yellow: These colors both add a dose of brightness to the atmosphere. These colors work well in the gym of your smart home
  • Red: Red is bold and urgent and works well when used sparingly. Introduce red into the dining room as the color stimulates conversation

Think about the way you can use color on the walls and flooring to help build out the atmosphere you want across your whole smart home. Used together effectively, you can get the ambiance you need more easily than you might think.

5 Great Ways to Get Mood Lighting In Your Home

Now that you’ve seen some of the ways you can apply thoughtfully curated lighting in your home tailored to all occasions, here are some practical examples.

  1. Philips Hue LEDs
  2. Philips Hue with Hue Bridge
  3. LIFX Z App WiFi Smart LED Strip
  4. LIFX WiFi Smart Bulb
  5. Ring Steplight

1) Philips Hue LEDs

Philips Hue is the OG of the smart lighting scene and has a welter of solutions to suit all budgets and experience levels.

If you’re a complete newbie and you just like the idea of a simple smart bulb with no need for a third-party hub, why not get started with a Hue Dimmable LED Spotlight? As with all Hue kits, you’ll unlock the best once you have that Bridge in place. These smart bulbs, though, allow you to take advantage of control in-app with no need for the gateway.

These starter kits come in a huge range of configurations. You can opt for the Bridge bundled and you can also pick up collections with Echo Plus thrown in. That way, you can take advantage of controlling your lighting with voice commands while also enjoying a Zigbee hub.

The white and color ambiance bulb allows you to play with 16 million colors and a full array of shades of white to get the atmosphere spot-on for whatever you’re doing. The spotlight shape of the bulb means this is a wise bet for reading lamps, while it also slips neatly into most overhead lights.

Along with Alexa, these bulbs also play nice with Google Assistant and HomeKit, so you’re in safe hands on the compatibility front.

Whether you’re looking to isolate a reading or working area in one room or you want the beginning of whole-house smart lighting, Philips Hue has something for you. From single bulbs to complete set-ups, you can automate lighting and get it working with other smart tech.

2) Philips Hue with Hue Bridge

As we mentioned, to get the most mileage from your Philips Hue gear, you should pick up the Bridge.

You’ll be able to build in up to 50 bulbs so you should be all set even if you’ve got a sprawling home. You’ll be able to automate lighting with ease once you’re working with the hub. Creating routines and customizing lighting according to the time of day takes the fuss out of mood lighting.

The addition of a smart speaker will enable you to take charge of your lighting using nothing but voice commands. What better way to start the movie than to ask Alexa to “Dim the lights”?

The hub allows you to take control of your lighting remotely, too. While creating mood lighting when you’re home is a valuable benefit of the Hue lights, remote control gives you a nice extra boost of security. Make your home seem like it’s occupied, even if you’re on the other side of the world.

Take your time to navigate the enormous selection of Philips Hue Starter Kits. Pick up the type of bulbs that best suit the mood lighting you have in mind and decide whether or not to roll with the Bridge.

3) LIFX Z App WiFi Smart LED Strip

LED light strips are perfect if you're looking to intersperse some fun and creativity into your regular task lighting.

LIFX is perhaps the main rival to the Hue crown. You’ll enjoy exceptional interoperability with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit, supported along with IFTTT, Google Nest, SmartThings, Flic and much more.

WiFi connectivity means you won’t need a third-party hub with this light strip. This is great news for renters or anyone uncertain about committing to home automation.

Control is seamless whether you want to use the crisp and intuitive app or voice commands and your preferred digital assistant.

You’ll benefit from 16 million colors and each strip kicks out up to 700 lumens of brightness. Imagination is your only limitation when it comes to picking out different zones and illuminating them accordingly.

Set-up is as simple as placing your strip wherever you want it and firing up the app to get started.

4) LIFX WiFi Smart Bulb

A simple LED smart bulb is a cost-effective way to start out with mood lighting.

Again from LIFX, this WiFi bulb gives you the option of going hub-free. You’ll still be able to exercise remote control in-app. You’ll also be able to tweak the colors through a staggering palette and dim the lights according to mood.

If you are a bit more ambitious, introducing a hub and smart speaker allows you to go hands-free with control.

Full software and dimmable lighting that can be switched up with a tap and a swipe is mood lighting the lazy way in a simple and pocket-friendly bulb. The beauty lies in the way you can get started with nothing but the bulb itself, or get far more involved with scheduling and automation as you get more confident.

5) Ring Steplight

What can you do if you want to take mood lighting out into the garden?

We’d strongly recommend placing your trust in security specialist Ring. Their robust range of smart lighting comes with a number of hidden gems like this Steplight.

The core purpose of this motion-activated light is to illuminate dull pathways to help you make your way to the front door more easily.

Beyond that function, Steplights can be easily used to striking effect if you want to light up your decking or BBQ area, or if you just want to drape a water feature with some accent lighting.

As with most smart lighting, you’ll reap maximum benefit by investing in Ring Bridge. This will allow you to string a broad spread of Ring lights together for the best mood lighting out in the yard the easy way.

With the light tools you need for installation thrown in along with comprehensive instructions, set-up couldn’t be easier.

Final Word

Well, we hope you’ve seen a number of ways in which you can soften up your lighting and create a home that’s cozier than ever. Mood lighting doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Indeed, you can get started here with very little upfront investment, then get creative and build a more ambitious ecosystem over time.

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