Smart Home Series – How to use smart lights effectively

Smart lights aren't the latest foray into the home automation industry, but they're certainly impressive. Recent acquisitions and innovations have made intelligent lights more dynamic than ever before. But, where do you start?

Smart Home Series – How to use smart lights effectively
  • Ring has always been synonymous with intelligent doorbells. Now, they’re getting into the smart lighting realm after their acquisition of Mr Beams.
  • Before you rush out for the smart lights of your dream home, consider the cost. CNET decked out their Smart Home and, suffice to say, it cost a pretty penny.

The technology in the Jetsons in the year 2062 still sounds like a faraway idea although we are slowly getting there. A connected home may not be an absolute necessity, but it does help us save time. Be it for cooking or doing laundry or simply turning lights on and off, home automation has entered every sphere of our lives. But, when it comes to gadgets, we’re often reluctant about what to buy and whether or not it will be as good as advertized. From smart lights to locks, every corner of our house seems to be overtaken with technology. But, will you actually make use of it?

Philips Hue Smart Lights

Philips Hue Smart Lights controlled from the app

Welcome to the Smart Home Series by Gadget Flow. In this series, we are going to discuss each and every aspect of smart homes and devices. Starting with light bulbs, let’s see whether it’s wise to swap your old bulbs with these new smart versions.

What is a smart light bulb?

Just like the name suggests, it’s a light bulb you can control from your smartphone. In most cases, there’s a specific app you need to download in order to control these bulbs. With Amazon Alexa and HomeKit, things are becoming even more connected. There are even smart light bulbs you can pair with your Alexa device to control them with your voice.

If you’re not up for swapping out all the lights in your home, you can still upgrade your traditional bulbs. Smart home control systems, such as Atmos, have voice-activated touchscreens. Plus, keeping your lights (as well as your other smart home devices) controllable in one central hub is extremely convenient.

Advantages of smart home lights

Smart lights aren’t just for choosing from millions and millions of color options, although that’s pretty cool. There are several advantages of having these lights at home.

  1. You don’t need to be next to the lights in order to control them. Even if you’re away from home, you can still manage your lights from your phone.
  2. Voice-activated control makes it as easy as talking to your lights to turn them on and off.
  3. The apps also let you analyze your home’s energy consumption. Understanding this information can help you lower your electric bill.
  4. You can dim the lights or come up with stunning lighting combinations based on your preferences. Whether it’s a date night or family movie night, you can set any mood.

Disadvantages of smart home lights

  1. They’ll only work if the physical switch is in the “on” position. If someone accidentally turns it off, your app is useless.
  2. According to the CNET Smart Home, getting your home transformed with smart lights can be expensive – around $1980!
  3. Controlling your smart lights from your phone sounds easy but we’ve got to take our connectivity under consideration. You may also need to upgrade your home’s Wi-Fi to keep up.

NOTE: For more complicated lighting situations where you have multiple bulbs and a single switch, consider using a smart switch. Smart light switches make the process of controlling these lights even easier and you don’t have to worry about keeping your traditional switch in the “on” position.

Where do you start?

To be honest, automating your entire home lighting system at once is a lot of work. Also, you should get used to this system before deciding to transform your entire house with smart bulbs. Here are some great solutions to get you started:

Philips Hue Ambiance Starter Kit – This kit includes two bulbs, a bridge, and a dimmer switch to really light up your house. You can choose where you would like to place the bulbs and the wireless dimmer controls them both.

Philips Hue Ambiance Starter Kit

Philips Hue Ambiance Starter Kit

LED Lamp with Alexa – Equipped with Amazon’s super smart AI assistant, this lamp can respond to your questions and even take commands. The ultra-sleek base doubles as a speaker and elegantly displays circular LED structure.

LED Lamp with Alexa

LED Lamp with Alexa

Noon Smart Home Lighting System – By replacing your current switches, your traditional lights and bulbs can learn and adapt to you and your family’s routine. The intelligent Noon Switches even have a motion sensor.

Noon Smart Home Lighting System

Noon Smart Home Lighting System

Once you’re well-versed in your smart lighting system, you can then replace all of your light bulbs across the home. With prominent smart home industry players like Ring getting into the smart lighting space, integration is getting more and more seamless.

While using Alexa or Siri for total control sounds great, as long as the prices aren’t affordable enough, getting into the smart lighting space is still a big commitment.

The Gadget Flow Daily Digest highlights and explores the latest in tech trends to keep you informed. Want it straight to your inbox? Subscribe ➜

Ashley Timms is an editor at Gadget Flow where she gets to write about the most incredible products in the world. When she’s not writing, she’s producing fine art dog photography.
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