Smart lighting is becoming increasingly popular. Smart plugs, switches, and bulbs allow you to control the lights in your home from anywhere in the world using your smartphone or another connected device. Still, think about what you want your smart lights to do in your house before going all-in on lighting technology. What issues are you attempting to resolve? There’s a lighting option for you, whether it’s to prevent lights from being left on, to make your house safer, or to help you beat the winter blues by simulating outdoor light. When it comes to smart lighting options, there are many things to consider. You need to decide what type of lights you want in your home and what features and functions are essential to you.
What Should you Focus on While Investing in Smart Lighting?
First, decide what type of lights you want in your home. There are various options available, from traditional light bulbs to LED lights. You’ll also need to decide how many lights you want in each room and what type of control you want over them. Do you want to be able to turn them on and off remotely? Or would you prefer a more hands-on approach with your light switches?
Next, consider what features are important to you. Some smart lighting systems allow you to schedule when your lights turn on and off, while others let you dim or brighten the lights from your phone. Some even come with motion sensors that turn the lights on when you walk into a room. Finally, think about your budget. Smart lighting systems can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, and it’s essential to find one that fits your needs and budget.
Now that you know what to look for, checking out our top picks for your home’s best smart lighting options.
Are Smart Lights Worth it?
Smart bulbs save energy and money, but they also last longer. LED lights last ten years on average, compared to a year for incandescent or halogen bulbs. While they are more expensive upfront, you will spend significantly less time replacing them than you would with incandescent lights.
What Are the Reasons to Invest in Smart Lighting?
There are plenty of reasons why smart lighting is the way to go:
- It helps to save electricity: Have you ever returned home from a long day at work or errands to discover that you’ve left all of your lights on? Smart lighting can help if you’re worried about wasting electricity or forgetting to switch off the lights. For one thing, smart lighting uses LED bulbs, which save a lot of energy. LED bulbs utilize 75% less energy than standard incandescent or halogen lamps, according to energy.gov. It is healthy for the environment as well as your bank account. In addition to saving energy, smart lighting can be controlled from anywhere using your smartphone. Log into your smartphone app and disable them.
- It can set the tone: Harsh overhead lighting may be a real pain when you’re trying to enjoy a romantic dinner or relax with a movie after a long day. Dimmable lighting controlled by your phone can help you create a softer, more comfortable atmosphere for whatever you have planned. Smart lighting can also be enjoyable. Coloured bulbs are supported by some smart lights, making them ideal for Halloween, Christmas, and other occasions when you want to show off your festive side.
- It ensures safety: A dark house is one of the most obvious signs to would-be burglars that no one is home. Leaving the lights on all day and night also doesn’t help and is a good sign that no one is home; after all, who sleeps with all the lights on? A home security system that includes smart lights can be pretty effective. You may establish unique lighting rules using smart lighting to provide further protection while away from home. Create a room group, such as downstairs or bedroom lights, and then define a rule to turn them on and off at different times. To an outside observer, this appears more natural than keeping the same lights on all the time.
- You can use your voice to control it: As long as your Philips Hue lights are within range of a voice-activated speaker like Google Home or Amazon Alexa, you may control them. So, if you’re already in bed and don’t want to get out to turn off the lights, or if you come home to a dark house with an armful of groceries, you can ask Google Assistant or Alexa to switch the lights on or off for you.
- Over time, you’ll save money: LED bulbs are used in smart lighting, which consumes substantially less energy and doesn’t need to be replaced as frequently, allowing you to save money over time. The amount you save will vary depending on several circumstances, but keep the following in mind: Assume you have 20 60-watt incandescent lights in your home that are left on for 8 hours every day. You’ll save $321 each year by replacing them with 20 LED smart bulbs.
What Are the Different Forms of Smart Lighting?
- Receptacles and smart plugs: Smart plugs are a simple and inexpensive method to begin automating your house. They plug into regular wall outlets and maybe set up using an app to control any gadget, light, or appliance that is hooked into it, such as a lamp, fan, or microwave. Some smart plugs have capabilities such as energy consumption monitoring and reporting, which can help you optimize your use and save money.
If home security is essential to you, search for a smart plug with an “away” mode, which turns lights on and off at random for a defined amount of time to imitate someone being at home. It is helpful if you travel frequently or spend most of your time away from home. Smart plugs can also be programmed to perform simple tasks such as turning on and off a lamp at sunrise and sunset. You may hire an electrician to replace your current wall outlets with smart receptacles to achieve that clean, built-in aesthetic. They’re also compatible with home assistants and can be operated with smartphones.
- Smart switches: Traditional switches are being replaced by smart switches. You’ll still be able to turn lights on and off with a wall switch, but you’ll get additional features like dimming and remote control via a dedicated app that connects to Wi-Fi or data if you’re away from home. Dimmers reduce energy consumption by roughly the same amount as lower light output if you use LED light bulbs. Lights that are 50% brighter, for example, would require approximately 50% of the power. If you have a lot of switches that control a lot of lights, smart switches are a good idea. If you have several lamps linked to a single switch, it may be more cost-effective to replace the switch rather than multiple lightbulbs. Some include built-in occupancy and vacancy sensors, saving energy because they’re only activated by motion.
Remember that switching out switches can be difficult. You might want to hire an electrician to ensure everything is installed correctly.
- Smart bulbs: Smart bulbs offer a variety of uses, including dimming and assisting with sleep. Like smart plugs and switches, smart bulbs allow you to control lighting in your house remotely and establish schedules and timers for lights. LEDs, which live at least 15 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs and consume 70–90% less energy, are used in smart bulbs. Furthermore, the LED colour kinds employed by some brands’ smart lights are a significant feature, which can be used to establish the mood for any event, including parties and holiday celebrations. You may even configure the colour of lights alongside your bed to put you to sleep and wake you up if you want to automate lighting to meet your lifestyle. Replace ordinary light bulbs with smart bulbs, which screw into existing sockets in your home, to join the game. Consider obtaining smart bulbs that link directly to your Wi-Fi network if you only want a few in your home. A hub-based smart light system may be beneficial if you’re handling multiple lights.
Is it Better to Have Smart Bulbs or Smart Switches?
According to most experts, smart switches do not have the usability issues that smart bulbs do. However, with the recent release of smart switches that can operate with smart lights, you no longer have to pick between the two, and you have the option of having both.
What Are the Disadvantages of Smart Lighting?
- The cost of smart light bulbs is high. Comparing the cost of a standard light bulb to the cost of excellent smart light bulbs, even more recent (and slightly more expensive) LED light bulbs to pale in contrast. When you look at the sticker price on smart light bulbs, understand that you’re paying for more than just light, and you’re also paying for lighting and controllability options.
- Smart light bulbs frequently necessitate the purchase of an additional hub, which raises the price. This design is intended to make the lights function better and more consistently (and often does), but it does add “one more thing” to the requirements of your smart home.
Smart lights are superior to regular lights in so many ways that it’s tempting to use them everywhere. While smart lights can be purchased, specific devices can also assist you in converting current lights, such as home lighting, to smart lights. There are many possibilities for making your lights smart, and a smart socket or a smart bulb can control general lighting such as lamps. One of the simplest methods to turn any appliance into a smart light is to use a smart plug. Smart switches, smart plugs, and constructing a DIY smart switch are also choices.
You may create integrated routines and programs to ensure your home’s security and energy efficiency.