When it gets dark, the first thing most people do when they walk into a room is looking for the light switch. Changing the lights is one of the easiest and most fun ways to improve the look and feel of your home. It could mean changing the fixtures or just putting in a new light bulb. No matter what, a room’s lighting can affect when and how it is used, from cooking and eating to reading a book.
When you replace your lights next, you might want to think about getting smart lights to save energy, save money, and change the feel of the room. Smart lighting systems let you customize your spaces more, from the hue of the smart bulbs to the way you can change the brightness of a room from an app on a smart home device. There are many different do-it-yourself smart lighting systems, and each smart bulb and smart light switch has a different set of features, so you’re sure to find the right one for your home.
What Is Smart Lighting?
Using smart lighting, which is connected to the internet, is a cutting-edge option for indoor illumination. You can automate your lights or control them from a distance with smart LED bulbs since their embedded software communicates with an app, smart home assistant, or other smart accessories.
Switching on and off is what makes traditional bulbs function. In other cases, the lights may be dimmable because they are hardwired into a dimmer switch. To be fair, this is about all you can do with standard house lighting.
On the contrary, smart lighting allows us a plethora of customization options. Each LED-integrated fixture and smart bulb still need a connection to your home’s electrical system, but they can be controlled remotely from your smartphone, tablet, or virtual assistant (like Google Home or Amazon Alexa).
Types of smart lighting
There are two components that make up a smart lighting system: smart light switches and smart light bulbs. There are three distinct types of smart light bulbs, which include dimming, temperature-changing, and color-changing. These bulbs are plugged into the existing light fittings in your home. Smart light switches are designed to replace the switches in your home with ones that can be controlled remotely.
Smart light bulbs
What are smart light bulbs?
A smart bulb is an internet-enabled LED light bulb that can be remotely controlled. Smart bulbs are among the most popular home automation and IoT solutions.
Smart bulbs can be managed using a mobile app or a home/building automation hub with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, or a proprietary connection. Individual bulbs can be programmed to change the output. Internet connectivity allows suppliers to leverage edge computing to attach smart bulbs with cameras, speakers, and presence-sensing. Smart bulbs can control brightness and RBG color.
Smart lights can be attacked like other IoT devices. Context security researchers gained a network’s password from a smart bulb 30 meters away. Armed with the encryption technique, key, initialization vector, and mesh network protocol, the researchers could inject packets into the mesh network, acquire Wi-Fi data, and decrypt credentials without authenticating or alerting them of their existence.
To maintain security, check smart bulb products for known vulnerabilities, update the vendor’s software, and run smart devices on an isolated network that doesn’t allow sensitive data access.
How do smart light bulbs work?
A central controller wirelessly instructs a smart light. Remember this relationship while setting up smart lighting. The central controller can be a hub or software. Smart home hubs connect Wi-Fi devices. Wi-Fi-enabled smart lights link wirelessly to the internet.
Some smart light bulbs require a hub to connect wirelessly to a router. The hub connects smart lights to phones and tablets. It processes mobile device commands and instructs the smart light. Why don’t smart lights use hubs? They link to home or business Wi-Fi. When operating them from your phone, tablet, or smart speaker, you send internet commands.
Some smart lights aren’t entirely wireless. Adaptive light fixtures can detect environmental changes. Smart bulbs with motion sensors don’t need hubs or internet to turn on and off.
How do you install smart light bulbs?
Manufacturers include setup instructions in their product manuals. First, pair a new smart light. This often requires multiple on/off cycles. As it searches for a wifi connection, the LED blinks rapidly.
Download and launch the smart light fixture’s companion app to pair it. Once linked, the light won’t blink. You should name each smart light you install. If you replace all your lights with smart bulbs, you must pair and set up each one.
Smart lights may not respond if they lose connection to a hub or wifi. Resetting a smart light is the same as setup. Start by turning it on and off until it flashes rapidly. Pair the smart light’s app.
You may also link smart light bulbs to a smart home platform. Using voice commands is easy. Setting up your smart light in the Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or Google Home app connects it to Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant. Linking the brand’s companion app to your smart home platform’s app saves time if you have many smart bulbs from the same manufacturer.
Smart light switches
What are smart light switches?
Smart light switches replace regular ones. When linked to your home’s wireless network, you can control it remotely or using voice assistants. You don’t require smart bulbs, only lights attached to that switch.
Smartphone apps set up, schedule, dim, and operate smart light switches. Geofencing apps use your phone’s location to trigger lighting. The app’s functions differ per brand, but they’re similar to smart light bulb apps.
How does a smart light switch work?
Smartphones and tablets can control smart switches. But what makes anything “smart”?
Most smart switches need 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. The slower 2.4 GHz network provides a longer signal range from the router, making it perfect for smart home applications.
Smart switches need neutral wires (not just hot and grounded, as in conventional switches). 1980-or-later homes have these installed.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth make integrating smart gadgets easy in apartments and smaller homes. More network devices use more bandwidth. For large, multi-story homes, a mesh Wi-Fi network or smart home wireless protocol like Zigbee and Z-Wave may be advantageous.
How to install a smart light switch?
There are 11 steps to install the following smart light switch:
#1. Learn your wall switch arrangement.
#2. Identify your wiring.
#3. Open the existing switch where you’ll install the smart switch.
#4. Check the wiring.
#5. Choose a smart light switch.
#6. Remove the old switch.
#7. Connect smart light switch cables to wall wiring.
#8. Turn on the power to test the wiring.
#9. Turn off the breaker and secure the smart light switch.
#10. Install the smart light switch.
#11. Connect your smart light switch to your network.
Benefits of Smart Lighting
At first, smart light bulbs may cost more than regular compact fluorescent or LED bulbs, but in the long run, the benefits of smart light bulbs can more than makeup for the extra cost. The best smart lighting options save energy, last much longer than regular light bulbs, and give you fun and useful ways to change how the lights look.
Lower energy use.
Smart lights use CFL or LED bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs and can cut the amount of electricity needed to light a room. A smart bulb with the ENERGY STAR® label uses 70 to 90% less energy than a regular bulb.
Longer life span.
Most incandescent bulbs last between 750 and 2,000 hours. The LED smart lights, on the other hand, can work nonstop for 35,000 to 50,000 hours. This means that your lights will last longer.
Many of the best smart lighting options have motion sensors that turn lights on or off depending on who is in the room. This feature can be set up to send alerts to mobile devices when it detects unusual motion, whether it’s inside or outside.
Switch the lights on or off remotely.
Rich people used to have light switches near their beds so they didn’t have to get up to turn off the lights from the wall switch before going to bed. But now, you can just use your phone or tablet, which you usually carry with you everywhere. You just use an app to turn your lights on and off.
Some bedroom lights can even be turned on and off with your voice. There are even some lights that can turn on or off automatically based on where your phone’s GPS says you are.
And you don’t have to use only the lights in your room. When it’s time for your kids to go to sleep, you can also use the app to turn off the lights in their rooms.
A sensor can sometimes turn on lights when it senses movement. This is a great way to keep people from sneaking around your house late at night because it shows them up. It can also help when guests need to use the bathroom down the hall. It can even wake you up if your kids sneak out at night or move around while they’re sleeping. Not only can the sensor turn on the light for the child, but it can also turn on a light in your room to let you know if someone is walking around the house.
Lights as notification.
Your lights can also function as signals for other events. For example, if you’re having a party at home with loud music, it’s entirely possible that you won’t hear the doorbell or someone knocking at the door. But with smart lighting, it can visually inform you if someone’s outside your door.
In fact, the lights can serve as a notifier for anything. It’s even possible for you to get a lighting system that’s networked to your social media! You can get lights to blink (or to turn a different color) when you get a text message, an email, or a particular message through Instagram.
Easy-to-use light customization.
Whether you own a business or a home, you probably use certain lights at certain times. You can set smart bulbs to turn on when you get home from work, get dimmer as the night goes on, or turn them off at certain times.
With home lighting automation, it’s easy to put your lights on a schedule. Each light (or a group of lights) can be set to turn on or off at a certain time. You can even set them to turn on and off at random times, so burglars who are checking out your house won’t think it’s empty. The problem with just setting a light to turn on at a certain time is that bad people know it’s an automatic function.
Lights can set the mood and can be used in many different places. You can set up a lighting plan ahead of time for a romantic date or for late nights. You can even adjust the lights in your room so that it’s not too bright and you can still see the remote and your snacks while watching TV.
In some situations, the lights can slowly come on in the morning. People can be able to see their coffee better in the kitchen, while the rest of the house can only have a few lights on. That should make it less shocking to get out of bed before dawn and see bright lights.
The most modern lighting systems of today have more than just dimmers. They might be able to change colors as well. That can really change the atmosphere in any room of the house.
Key Features of Smart Lighting
List of their most important features, which are:
Connectivity means how the smart lights connect to the internet. Most of the time, this is done with Wi-Fi, but you can also use Bluetooth, SmartThings, Z-Wave, and Zigbee.
Most smart lighting could be turned up or down to fit our mood or the weather, whether we wanted soft lighting for a romantic dinner or bright lighting to stay awake while studying for a test.
Light bulbs can be either white or colored, so they can change to more than 16 million different colors. It’s fun to make different moods with different tones, so getting color bulbs will give you more options.
Watts are used to measuring how bright something is, and most of the smart lights we tested had around 60W.
The most common shape for smart bulbs is A19, which you’ll find in 99 percent of them.
Size of the lamp base
Most A19 bulbs have E26 lamp bases.
Most smart lighting can be put on a schedule so you don’t have to turn it on and off by hand.
Scenes are groups of smart lights that can be changed at the same time. They are often set to certain colors or levels of brightness so that you don’t have to start from scratch every time you want to watch TV in the dark.
Energy monitoring means that the app keeps track of how much energy the smart lights use. This feature isn’t very common, which is too bad because we’d like it to be.
Some smart lighting can be set to sync with the sunrise and the sunset, changing slightly with the weather throughout the year.
Some people connect their smart lighting to their mobile devices’ GPS so that it adjusts based on their locations.
Sync with other IoT devices
IoT devices can trigger one another. For example, you could have your smart lighting turn on whenever your smart garage door opens.
Usually, more than one person can use their own mobile app to control smart lighting.
Integrations with smart platforms
Most smart lighting can be controlled by voice commands through Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, or Microsoft’s Cortana.
Applications of smart lighting system
Smart Lighting System For Various Applications
Lighting control systems can be programmed to generate a number of different settings or atmospheres. This can be accomplished by managing the light fixtures, switches, and properties of the lighting, such as dimming, color, temperature, and other features.
The control systems are an integration of a number of different technologies, such as wireless communication devices, intelligent LED lighting, and sensors that can detect occupancy without the use of cameras.
The Digital Addressable Lighting Interface, also known as DALI®, is a protocol for digital communication between the many components of a lighting installation, such as the luminaires, the sensors, and the control units. This protocol serves as the platform that enables lighting sequences.
For instance, an ambiance for watching movies, going to sleep, getting up, and a variety of other activities can be produced with the help of Philips Hue lights.
Osram provides lighting control solutions that are multipurpose, making them ideal for use in commercial spaces such as gyms, hotels, and other establishments that host business meetings and conferences.
Human Centric Lighting
The concept of human-centered lighting centers on the creation of artificial lighting that simulates the appearance of natural daylight, which is the source of the biochemical, emotional, physical, and mental health and wellness of individuals. The consequences include an adjustment to the body’s daily rhythms as well as an increase in awareness.
By the year 2024, it is anticipated that the market will reach $3.91 billion.
Tunable white luminaires and advanced light management systems are included in Human Centric Lighting solutions. These systems allow for adjustments to be made to the color spectrum, light intensity, and timing.
The application of human-centered lighting is being studied for use in public places including schools and hospitals as well as office buildings.
Incorporating artificial intelligence with human-centered lighting will result in the development of advanced solutions.
Philips, Osram, Zumtobel Lighting, NormaGrup, Arcluce, Fagerhult, Waldmann Lighting, 3F Filippi, ES-SYSTEM, and CoeLux are some of the companies that are currently working in this industry.
See full this video: Human-Centric Lighting
The process of cultivating crops or plants vertically involves the utilization of light or LEDs that are optimal for photosynthesis.
By the year 2022, it is anticipated that the market for vertical farming will have grown to $5.11 billion.
LEDs with a larger red or blue component include the light wavelengths that are necessary for plants to perform photosynthesis and achieve their maximum potential for development. Vertical farming also makes use of high intensity discharge (HID) reflectors, in addition to high-pressure sodium, metal halide, and ceramic metal halide lamps that have been built specifically for use in vertical farming.
Because of the relatively recent change in the law that made vertical farming legal, relatively few lighting manufacturers are now operating in this sector.
Lighting Science, Philips’s Horticultural LED Solutions, Osram, GE, Greenpower technologies, Valoya, Future Farm Technologies, Illumitex, Heliospectra, and Lumigrowre are only some of the firms that are actively working in this sector.
OSRAM has recently purchased “Motorleaf,” a Canadian firm that provides solutions for production forecasting in greenhouses and indoor farms. Motorleaf was founded in 2014.
See full this video: Samsung Experiment for Indoor Farm Lighting Solutions
LEDs, also known as solid-state lighting technology, are utilized in the process of illuminating the streets. It makes it possible to remotely and securely manage all of the connected street lights. Both the networks that connect the lights and the fixtures that house the lights themselves might have features built into them that are targeted at reducing crime and increasing quality of life.
By 2021, it is anticipated that the market will reach 7.9 billion USD.
Implementation is a multi-step process that requires participation from a variety of parties, including government agencies, influential parties, consultants, service providers, manufacturers of luminaires and lighting electronics, and others.
GE, Philips, Osram, Panasonic, and Schneider Electric are some of the electronic manufacturers that produce luminaires and lighting.
See full this video: Smart Street lights make cities more attractive for both businesses and communities
What to think about before you buy new smart bulbs?
You don’t have to stumble around in the dark trying to find the light switch if you have smart light bulbs. If you get home late at night or need extra help around the house, smart light bulbs can be very helpful. These light bulbs are the same as any other, but they can be controlled from afar by voice, mobile apps, or Bluetooth.
Smart light bulbs can be a good place to start if you want to set up your house with smart home products. Because smart light bulbs are easy to use and set up, they are a great place to start with home automation. But before you buy new smart light bulbs, you should think about these things.
Setting up a smart bulb is not difficult
Most of the time, it is easy to install a smart light bulb because you just have to take out the old bulbs and put in the new ones. It can connect directly to your home Wi-Fi, so it doesn’t need a wireless connection to use the smart home features. Some bulbs don’t even need a bridge or hub to connect to your Wi-Fi network.
All you have to do is plug it into your old bulb socket, and the built-in app will walk you through the rest of the setup. There are also smart light bulbs that can only be set up with a hub. A smart hub is what connects the light bulb to the wireless router. In this case, you need to connect the bridge to the Wi-Fi router.
When the lights on the bridge start blinking, you can finish setting it up by downloading the app that goes with it. But it’s important to remember that the exact steps for setting up a brand may be different. Connecting the smart light bulb with Bluetooth is the third way to set it up.
Again, different brands have different ways of setting up this method, so make sure to read the manual before you try to connect the bulbs.
Know how a smart bulb works
Some smart light bulbs can be controlled by an app that can be downloaded on your phone or tablet. Other smart light bulbs can connect to smart speakers like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple’s HomePod that have an assistive voice. Still, most smart light bulbs can be controlled by voice or through an app. So, make sure you read the instructions that come with your smart light bulbs carefully.
They will tell you which app to download and how to connect them to your smart speaker based on the brand. Also, it’s important to remember that you can use your smart light bulbs the way you always have by using a regular switch. This is helpful when the Wi-Fi network isn’t working or if you always turn the switch on when you get home.
But the bulb won’t work remotely if the physical light switch is off. Some smart bulbs can use the GPS on your phone to turn on the lights when you get close to your door.
How durable are smart bulbs
All smart light bulbs are LEDs (light-emitting diodes), which should last a lot longer than the old-fashioned tungsten bulbs. LED bulbs also use 90% less energy than tungsten bulbs, which could help you save money on your energy bill if you switch out all of your old bulbs for the new smart ones.
Worth what you paid?
Upgrading to smart light bulbs might seem like it will cost a lot at first, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. You can buy just one smart light bulb, which is much cheaper than buying a whole smart light fixture for your home.
Before you spend a lot of money on them, there are some important things to think about, like how many smart light bulbs you want to start with, where you want to put them, and whether you want to start with just a couple of bulbs before buying a bigger set-up.
Some brands sell starter kits for smart lighting that come with bulbs, hubs, switches, and other important parts for setting up. You can also save money by buying this package, and it’s easy to set up and usually works with an app that lets you control the whole system. Also, all smart home bulbs are LED, which means that your overall electricity bill will go down over time.
How useful are smart bulbs
When connected to a smart speaker with a voice assistant like Alexa, Siri, or Google Home, smart light bulbs can do a lot more than just turn the lights on and off. With the touch of a button or a simple command, you can set up a lighting scene, dim the lights, or even set up a schedule for your lights.
If you’re going to be gone for a long time and want people to think you’re home, you can set your lights to turn on and off at certain times. Some smart bulbs have a “vacation mode” that lets them learn how you use them and act like you do when you’re not there.
You can also add more color to your space with smart light bulbs. Some smart bulbs can be set to a certain color to help you wake up in the morning or get ready for bed at night.
These bulbs will also work with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. Smart home bulbs that come in different colors also let you change the color tone to match your mood or an event like a birthday party. You can also use an app to tell some smart light bulbs to change color at certain times.
The convenience factor
Smart light bulbs can make your daily life easier, and it doesn’t matter if your house is 100 years old or just built. You can put these smart bulbs in lamps, in light fixtures that already have bulbs, or anywhere else you can put a regular bulb.
User-friendliness There are also different shapes and sizes of smart light bulbs that can be used both inside and outside. There are many different kinds of smart light bulbs, such as Edison bulbs, floodlights, recessed lights, and more. There are also 40W, 60W, and 100W versions of these bulbs. Smart light bulbs can be a great way to start making your home smarter and more convenient.
How to choose smart lighting?
What do you need to know about smart switches and smart bulbs?
Smart lighting can be broken down into two categories: smart bulbs and smart switches. You are not required to choose any option over the other. However, it is not a good idea to use smart bulbs on smart switches (more on this later), therefore the most successful smart lighting configuration in a home will likely be a combination of smart bulbs and smart switches. The difficulty arises from the fact that just a small handful of businesses provide both services. Therefore, rather than opening three different apps to manage your lights, you will want to use a smart home platform such as Google Home, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, or Amazon Alexa to control all of your lightings rather than accessing multiple apps individually.
You will need to choose a platform and a protocol for your smart home.
The good news is that a new smart home standard called Matter promises cross-platform compatibility, so you won’t have to worry about which smart home platform a light works with or what technology it uses to communicate (Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Bluetooth, or other). If a light bulb or switch is Matter-certified, it will work with any Matter-compatible platform and communicate with any other Matter device.
The bad news is that Matter won’t be available until later this year, so you’ll have to choose a platform and a protocol before you can start using smart lighting. (For more on this, see “How to Choose a Protocol” below.) If all of that sounds too complicated, don’t worry. You can start with just one brand and get your feet wet by using its app to control it. As you learn more about the technology and how it fits your needs, you can build up to a larger smart lighting system.
How to pick a smart lighting protocol?
All smart lighting uses one of a number of wireless protocols to make it smart and connected. Most people choose Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Mesh, Zigbee, Z-Wave, or an RF that was made by the manufacturer and isn’t available elsewhere. We’re also starting to see a few Thread options, and when Matter comes out later this year, we’re likely to hear about more.
Even though Matter should make it easier to mix and match protocols and let you control your lights in any smart home ecosystem, you should still think carefully about which protocol you choose. There are big differences in price, how they are set up, and how reliable they are.
There are big differences in price, how they are set up, and how reliable they are.
In short, Wi-Fi smart bulbs don’t need a separate hub or bridge, so they’re cheaper to buy at first. For things like remote control from outside the house, Bluetooth mesh does need a hub, but many people can use an Amazon Echo or Google Home smart speaker in that role. But Bluetooth has a limited range and can have a lot of latency (the time it takes the light to respond to a command). Zigbee, Z-Wave, and proprietary RF protocols are usually the most reliable, but they need a separate bridge, which can be expensive. Like, the Caseta bridge from Lutron costs $80.
Thread is a newer option with fewer products on the market, but early examples like Nanoleaf Essentials A19 bulbs and Eve smart plugs show that it is fast and reliable. It is a major protocol that Matter will use when it comes out later this year. It doesn’t need a special hub, but a Thread border router is needed. There are many border routers on the market today, like the HomePod Mini from Apple and the Eero Wi-Fi router from Amazon. Some Amazon Echo smart speakers and Google Nest hubs are also set to become Thread border routers.
When and why choose smart bulbs?
Smart LED bulbs are popular since they’re straightforward to set up. Once pricey, you can now buy a smart, connected LED bulb for $5. Despite costing twice as much as a comparable dimmable LED, it’s considerably more affordable now.
Most smart bulbs are dimmable, with three types: white, full-color spectrum, and tunable white (where you can adjust the color temperature from cool to warm, which is how circadian rhythm lighting works).
When and why choose smart switches?
Smart switches eliminate smart bulbs’ power issues. Smart switches don’t turn off when flipped, unlike smart bulbs. They keep power even when “off” so they can execute automation and accept commands from you and your smart home.
When you install a smart switch, whatever old lights it controlled become smart. You generally won’t need new bulbs, however most smart switches require dimmable LED bulbs.
Advantages and disadvantages of a smart switch
|Smart bulbs cost less than smart switches. The cheapest is on/off, while dimming and motion-sensing cost more. One smart switch may replace several smart bulbs, making it cheaper. Smart switches are suitable for spaces with recessed ceiling lighting, huge light fixtures with many bulbs, and light fixtures without a replaceable or common bulb type.||Smart switches lack color control. You can't add adjustable lighting or decorate with your favorite sports team's colors. Smart switches turn off smart bulbs just like ordinary switches, therefore they can't be paired. Dimming switches don't work with smart lights because they disturb the bulb's power, causing flickering or unresponsiveness.|
How to Control Smart Lights?
People can control their smart lights in more ways than just through their phones.
Mobile app: Of course, many people will use the mobile app to control their smart lighting, especially when they aren’t at home. Have you ever wondered if you turned off the lights before leaving for work? Now, if you have smart lighting, you can check on your phone.
Using your voice: Voice assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and Microsoft Cortana often work with smart lights. If you are at home and near your smart speaker, you can use your voice to control smart lights.
Schedules: Some people put their smart lighting on a schedule so that it turns on and off at set times during the day without the user having to do anything.
Geofencing: Geofencing means that your smart lighting is connected to the GPS in your phone, so it will turn off when you leave and turn on when you get home.
Sunrise and sunset: Some of the smart light bulbs and lamps we’ve tried turn on and off at the same time as sunrise and sunset, which helps you keep your circadian rhythm.
IoT triggers: Many smart lights, like smart locks or security cameras, can be turned on by other IoT devices. For example, when our outdoor camera is set up and ready to go, it turns on our outdoor lights when it sees movement. This means that if someone tries to break in, they won’t get very far because our bright spotlight will show them every step they take. Find out more about the best smart home devices you can use with your smart lighting.
Switches you can touch: Not everything needs to be linked to the internet. Most smart lighting still lets you use physical light switches, the same ones you use with regular incandescent bulbs. This will help you a lot if your Wi-Fi goes out.
What Are The Best Brands of Smart Lighting?
Editors Choice: Wyze Bulb White
Wyze Bulb White is a dimmable, 800-lumen LED bulb. Tune your white-light color temperature and brightness at home to achieve the appropriate lighting. Sun Match automatically adjusts color temperature to match natural light, helping you wake up and fall asleep. Afternoons are cold and mornings and evenings are warm. With a 90+ CRI, you’ll enjoy true color everywhere. You can customize Wyze Bulb White’s timers and schedules to match your regular habits so you never come home to a dark house or forget to switch off the lights. Your voice controls the lights with Alexa and Google Assistant.
Premium pick: Philips Hue White 2-Pack A19 LED Smart Bulb
Hue smart bulbs simplify smart lighting. Bluetooth can control 10 lights in 1 room without the Hue Hub. Couch-surfing? Change your lights without getting up. Use the Hue Bluetooth app or Alexa or Google Assistant to control your lights. (Hue Hub required for Echo (1st Gen) and Echo Dot (1st Gen) Human-approved: Stress-free, struggle-free, tinker-free. They’re easy; no patience is needed. Want smart home lighting? Add a Hue Hub to control up to 50 light spots, receive complete Hue capabilities (Home and away control, timers/routines, more smart home partners), and indoor/outdoor smart lights and accessories. Philips Hue user? These bulbs are Hue Hub-compatible. Philips Hue, the originator of Smart Lighting, offers the most complete, secure smart lighting ecosystem.
Best value: Kasa Smart Light Switch HS200
HS200 lets you control lights, fans, and other equipment remotely. The smart switch replaces any regular light switch and connects to Wi-Fi using the free Kasa app. Kasa allows you to establish schedules, timers, and countdowns on your smartphone or tablet. When coupled with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Microsoft Cortana, you can operate the HS200 by speech. 100-120 VAC, 50/60 Hz, 15 A.
Sengled Smart Light Bulbs
Sengled Smart Light Bulbs Multicolor A19 works with Alexa to illuminate your house. Each color-changing light bulb functions as a Bluetooth Mesh range extender, enabling whole-home installations. With BLE Mesh, Bluetooth’s lower range no longer limits whole-home installations. Amazon’s Simple Setup makes setting up the Alexa light bulb easy and stress-free. Alexa Smart Energy lets you track energy usage and regulate on/off, dimming, and scheduling.
WiZ Connected Color 60W A19 Smart WiFi Light Bulb
The WiZ LED full-color A19 smart bulb offers intelligent lighting for your day-to-day life and activities. You may create the ambiance you want with 16 million different colors and warm to cold white light by retrofitting LED light strips into any lamp shade. You may program your lights to turn on and off according to your daily or weekly routines, control them with your smartphone or by using your voice, and have remote access to your lights even while you are not at home. There is no additional hardware required because WiZ lights link to your existing Wi-Fi network.
Meross Smart Lighting
Compatible with Apple HomeKit, Siri, Alexa, Echo, Google Home/Mini, Nest Hub, and SmartThings, amongst other home automation platforms. Wi-Fi Smart Bulb, Dimmable, Party Color Change Bulb, RGBCW, 2700K-6500K, App Remote Control, Timer Schedule, Sunlight, Sunrise, Sunset, DIY mode, Scene mode, Energy Saving, There Is No Need For A Hub
Tips for using smart lighting
Use multiple light sources
It’s not a good idea to rely on only one ceiling lighting to illuminate the whole room. Instead, make use of numerous smaller light sources so that the illumination is spread out evenly throughout the room. If you only have one light source coming from the ceiling, the light emanating from that particular region will most likely be excessively intense. This destroys the warm and welcoming atmosphere known as “gezelligheid” that the Dutch hold in such high regard.
When you put lights in the corners of a room, it gives the impression that the room is larger than it actually is. For the best effect, choose a floor lamp or a pendant lamp that hangs from the ceiling.
Begin with just a few light bulbs.
Instead of beginning with just one smart bulb, you should begin with several. If you merely replace one bulb, the brightness can be inconsistent with the rest of your lights, giving the impression that it does not belong. To get the most out of your smart bulbs, you should begin with about four of them and have them all collaborate with each other.
Add colour subtly
When working with color, subtlety is the name of the game. Although it could be a lot of fun to turn your living room into a rainbow disco, colored lighting is most effectively utilized when it is used to draw attention to particular aspects of a given location. If you want to intensify the impression of a colorful wall in a room, you can make the lights that are in the room the same color as the wall. If you have a lot of plants close to your lamp, you might want to consider using a muted shade of green so that it draws attention to the plants. Just remember to keep things balanced and utilize colored lights sparingly if you want to get the most out of your living area.
Make use of indirect lighting.
Check to see that you are not seated or standing in such a way that you are looking straight into a light bulb. Either cover the light bulb with something, turn it so that it is not facing you, or tuck it away somewhere (inside a bookshelf, for example).
Be creative and experimental
Every house is unique in its own way. If you are having trouble getting the interior of your home to look the way you want it to, you could either seek the assistance of a professional interior designer or ask a friend or acquaintance who has excellent taste for assistance.
Smart switches vs smart bulbs: Which one should you buy?
When first getting started, deciding whether you need smart light switches or smart light bulbs might be one of the most difficult problems.
The answer to this question is going to be different for everyone because there are perks and drawbacks associated with both options. So then, let’s take a more in-depth look!
Smart Light Switches
Putting in a smart light switch takes a little more work than putting in a smart light bulb. Most of the time, all you have to do to install a smart bulb is change the bulb. But a smart light switch often needs some changes to the way the wiring is set up. So, if you want to work with electricity, you need to know what you’re doing or hire a qualified electrician (always use an electrician if in doubt).
But using smart light switches can save money, give you more options, and give you more freedom.
If you want to use the “smart switch” method in a room with several downlights, you only need to replace the light switch with a smart light switch, not each bulb. So instead of buying a bunch of smart light bulbs, you’ll only need one smart light switch, which can cost anywhere from £15 to £40, depending on what you need.
Smart light switches are great because you can use any kind of light fitting or bulb you want. So, smart light switches can be a great choice if you already like your lights and light fixtures. And unlike smart bulbs, smart light switches let you turn lights on and off “manually” using the switch without affecting your ability to control the light with an app or automation.
One thing to keep in mind about smart light switches is that most of them need a neutral wire to be run through the switch so that the smart switch is always on. Some homes have the neutral wire go straight to the light. In some places, the wire goes to the light switch. Neither way is wrong, but if the switch doesn’t have a neutral wire, you may not have as many options.
When compared to traditional light switches, smart light switches offer a much wider range of styles and looks. What if you already like your light switches and just want to make them smart?
If you don’t want to replace your light switch, you could use a smart relay like a Shelly 1L or a Shelly Dimmer 2. These devices fit in the backbox behind the existing light switch and turn it into a smart light switch.
With a Shelly, you can use the light switch like a regular one and control it with the Shelly app or smart assistants like Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa.
The Shelly devices can also work with or without neutral wiring. Depending on the type of Shelly you need, they usually cost between £14 and £29, on average.
Smart Light Bulbs
As long as you can find a bulb that fits your light fixture (e.g., E14, E27, etc.), it’s usually easy to put a smart bulb in a fixture that already has a bulb.
Smart bulbs can be quite a bit more expensive than regular bulbs. Depending on the brand, such as Philips Hue, a single smart bulb could cost between £25 and £55. But some other brands, like Lifx, Wyze, or Innr, can be less expensive.
Some smart bulb ecosystems, like Philips Hue, may also need you to buy a bridge or hub for some features to work, so it’s always a good idea to do a lot of research.
Most of the time, the best way to control smart bulbs is with the app that the manufacturer makes for smartphones. Through the app, you can turn lights on and off and often change their color, brightness, and temperature.
If your family is used to turning on the lights with the light switch, this might mean that they need to change how they do things. After all, if you turn off the light switch, the smart bulb won’t have power and won’t be reachable through the app or any automation you may have set up. So, if you want to use your light switch to control your lights without affecting the app or any automation, you’ll probably need to replace the light switch with a remote switch made by the same company that made the bulbs.
See full this video: How to set up smart lights
Does Smart Lighting Save Money?
Even with the standby mode, smart LED bulbs will save you money because they use less energy than incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs use 25 to 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs, and on average, they last three to 25 times longer. Energy Star-approved bulbs can save you up to $75 a year, which could pay for the bulb itself.
How long do smart light bulbs last?
In general, smart light bulbs are constructed to have a service life of 25,000 hours, which is equivalent to more than 11 years, provided that they are utilized for around six hours each day.
Are smart light bulbs worth the money?
The simple answer is that it is. Not only does automated lighting enlighten a room, but it also gives you the ability to smartly regulate it for features such as changing the color of the light, setting timers, and automating the power based on the activities of other devices, amongst other things. The main point is that there is a greater amount of connectivity and gadgetry for which something could go wrong.
Do Smart Bulbs Need Hubs?
Some smart bulbs need separate bridges or hubs to connect to the internet, while others just need a mobile device and an internet connection. For example, the Kasa Smart TP-Link Bulb doesn’t need a hub, but the Sylvania Osram 65W Bulb does. It needs a hub from Wink, Zigbee, or SmartThings.
What can I do with smart light bulbs?
Smart light bulbs let people use less light and energy in their homes, control lights with their voices or a remote and set times for lights to turn on or off. Some smart light bulbs let you choose from different colors and can also be set up in groups to make scenes.
Do smart light bulbs come in different colors?
In most cases, you’ll find that smart bulbs are classified according to full color, dimmable white, and tunable white (bright white and warm tone options). If there is even a remote possibility that you might like to experiment with different hues on occasion, you should go with color bulbs because all of the color bulbs we tested have numerous white and warm settings.
Where can I use smart light bulbs?
You can use smart light bulbs anywhere you would use regular light bulbs, but they work particularly well in table lamps and other fixtures that are not connected to wall switches. Although you can use smart light bulbs anywhere regular light bulbs are used, they are best used in table lamps.
Should I buy smart light bulbs?
They use less energy and last longer than light bulbs that use incandescent light. Smart LED lights are also a better deal than regular LED lights because they can be set to turn on and off at certain times. When you’re not at home, you can turn off smart lights with a schedule or remote control to save energy.
How much are smart light bulbs?
Each smart bulb will set you back at approximately $42 on average. However, this average hides a wide variety of prices, from as little as $2.24 for a Cree 60W Bulb to as much as $90.35 for a Philips Hue Decorative Candle, which is in extremely high demand.
Can Smart Lighting Improve Your Health?
Another surprising way to improve your overall well-being is through home automation, especially with lighting that is made with people in mind. Human-centric lighting uses the natural patterns of sunlight to help you control your circadian rhythm. This is good for both your physical and mental health.
Do smart light bulbs use electricity when off?
After seeing our electricity bill from last month, we were desperate to find ways to use less energy. We’ve heard that LED bulbs use less energy than incandescent bulbs, but we also know that smart bulbs use electricity even when they’re off or in “standby” mode. That’s because they’re always connected to the internet and can be turned on at any time, even when they’re not being used. This kind of device is called a “vampire device,” and the average U.S. home has 65 of them. Altogether, these vampire devices cost homes an average of $165 per year. But the costs of smart light bulbs with Bluetooth were only $1.50 to $4 per bulb per year, which we don’t think is a big deal.
Do smart bulbs work in lamps?
Smart light bulbs can be used anywhere regular light bulbs can be used, but they work best in table lamps and other lights that don’t have wall switches. In these situations, a smart light switch might be a better choice.
Do smart bulbs use LED?
Light-emitting diode (LED) and compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs are the two most common types of smart bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are outclassed by both their lower energy consumption and their longer lifespan. The value of smart LED lights is higher than that of normal LED lights because of features such as scheduling that are included in the former.
Can you mix smart bulbs from different brands?
Yes, it is possible to use a variety of smart bulbs from various manufacturers in a single lighting fixture. You would, however, need to use a hub or numerous applications in order to control all of them, as this would be the only way to do so.
The technology behind smart homes is always being improved upon.
People are realizing that smart lighting is not as terrifying as it may appear, and there are a lot of wonderful benefits, which has led to a significant rise in its popularity in recent years. Just five short years ago, actual technology specialists were the only people who had smart lighting in their homes.
The replacement of individual light bulbs is not required when using smart lighting, which is one of its many advantages.
Why not begin with a modest amount, such as installing a few light fixtures in a single room, and then gradually expand from there?
Before you convert your entire house, you may spread the expense over a longer period of time, become accustomed to the new system, and enjoy the benefits of having more control over the lighting in your home.