Do you want to save money by using less electricity and by spending less on bulbs over time?
Do you like the idea of using your smartphone to control your lighting?
How about using voice control?
Is smart lighting something you want for the whole house or just a few rooms?
Do you want to use smart lighting in conjunction with other smart devices?
Take your time with our guide, focus on these elements and you’ll find that best smart lighting solution for you. Keep it personal.
Smart lighting can be cleaved into 3 main categories, each delivering separate outcomes:
Smart Bulbs A classic smart bulb is the easiest entry point to smart lighting.
Plug-and-play in its simplicity, all you need to do is replace your conventional bulb with a new, energy-efficient LED. Download the app and follow instructions on-screen.
You may or may not require a home hub as outlined above.
If you want the convenience of controlling one or two bulbs in your home remotely, smart bulbs would make a good fit. They also work well if you have no other smart devices nor any real interest in whole-house automation.
For anyone looking to up rate the lighting throughout the whole house while enjoying interoperability with other smart tech would be better off considering smart switches
While you might need to call in an electrician and you probably need a neutral wire, smart switches make the most cost-effective solution for smart lighting in all rooms.
You’ll typically need a home hub as outlined above and you can take control in all the same ways as smart bulbs (in-app, by voice control, using a keypad or a physical switch).
A smart plug allows you to uprate an otherwise dumb appliance and take remote control.
If you have lamps throughout the house and you’re tired of grasping for those trailing switches, opt for a smart plug and you won’t need to.
An inbuilt advantage of smart plugs is the way you can control more than just lighting. Plug in a small fan or heater, even a coffee machine. Get creative and enjoy smart lighting along with muich, much more.
With smart lighting, you proactively seize control of the energy consumption in your house. A combination of optimized usage through automation and improved bulb lifespan can save you up to 10% on your power bills.
Make it look like you’re at home even if you’re on the other side of the world withsmart lighting. You can also use outdoor smart lighting to further enhance security in your connected home.
Whether you control your lighting in-app on your phone or using voice control,there’s no need to get out of your seat with smart lighting. Make things even easier byscheduling your lights in line with your schedule.
Integrate your smart lighting with all the other connected kit in your home. Use yourlighting to trigger other actions in your smart home. Go up to bed with the downstairs lightsdimming in your wake and your path upstairs nicely illuminated.
Smart lighting is just like regular lighting except you can take control remotely. Whether you choose to use an app on your smartphone or voice control along with a digital assistant,smart lighting is a flexible solution.
Aside from the convenience angle, you can save perhaps 10% on your utility bills by automating and optimizing lighting. Save your wallet while making your home truly smart and energy-efficient.
- Smart plugs allow you to smarten up old, dumb appliances
- A smart bulb is a plug-and-play entry point to smart lighting with the cost of bulbs constantly falling
- If you go all-in with smart switches, you can create intelligent lighting across the whole house.
Setting up a smart bulb couldn’t be easier...
All you need to do is remove your existing bulb and slide in the new LED. It will instantly function just like a regular bulb.
To access the smarts, you need access to a WiFi network. Some smart bulbs like those from LIFX allow you to connect directly to your home network.No bridge or home hub is required. With other bulbs, you’ll need to connect using a thirdparty gateway. Go here for more on home hubs.
So, with WiFi-enabled bulbs like LIFX, plug them in then follow instructions in-app.
If you have bulbs requiring a hub – like Philips Hue with the classic Bridge - connect the hub to your router. With your bulb plugged in, follow instructions in-app and you’ll enjoy remote control in minutes.
For the purposes of control, you have multiple options with smart lighting:
- Smartphone: Use an app on your phone and take the helm from the couch or the beach
- Voice Control: With a smart speaker or smart display in place, use voice commands to manipulate your lighting
- Physical Keypad: With Insteon smart lighting, you can also make use of physical keypads
- Switch: Despite the option of remote control, you’ll also still be freeto use the physical switches throughout your home
Home automation apps allow a smartphone interface to control devices where there’s connection.
A few smart home applications are Insteon, Nest, Honeywell, Ring, Philips Hue, WeMo, and SmartThings.
Using the Insteon Home Automation App requires the Insteon Hub. However, the app makes adding customizablecontrol to your lighting appliances throughout your home. On the app your can remotely control yourentire Insteon network, receive could-based emails and text alerts, run timers, set scenes, and dothis all from your mobile device or apple watch. Insteon also integrates with Alexa, Google and Cortana.
All smart bulbs are LEDs (light emitting diodes) and they last farlonger than the older incandescent bulbs.
Many LEDs come rated for up to 50,000 hours of use. This translates to more thana decade based on 12 hours of daily use.
To put this lifespan into perspective, that’s 50 times longer than incandescent bulbs,20 times longer than halogen bulbs and 10 times longer than CFLs.
The core purpose of smart bulbs is to offer you remote control. Even at this basic level,you’ll find your life getting easier and more convenient.
Throw in an Echo device or Google Home smart speaker and you can take the helm with nothingbut voice commands. This adds a further layer of convenience for all hands-free lovers.
As with all smart devices, though, the beauty comes when you integrate your lighting with other devices in your ecosystem. Come home to work to your path illuminated by motion-activated security lights and step lights down the pathway. Step inside to the lights nicely muted to greet you. As you go up top bed, simply request, “Alexa, turn off the lights downstairs. Turnon the lights upstairs.”
You can also group lighting and create lighting scenes with a tap and a swipe or even using a simple voice command.
If you rent your property on Airbnb, remote access to your lighting can cut down on wasted consumption.
When you’re on vacation, Away Mode makes it look like the house is occupied with randomized lightingto mimic a house full of people.
So, with smart lighting, you make your life easier while ramping up security and using less electricity.
Some bulbs are white only, some offer shades of white, and others provide up to 16 million colors.
Just like traditional lighting, smart lighting comes in different shapes and sizes.
You can also find indoor and outdoor smart lighting.
While many manufacturers brazenly claim you’ll save up to 25% with smart lighting,this is wildly ambitious.
From our experience here at Smarthome, we would suggest savings of 10% are realistic and achievable.