For many people, the idea of smart lighting seems complicated, fiddly, and expensive. They can't imagine why anyone would want to bother with it when they can just screw in a "dumb" lightbulb.Here, we'll explore some of the benefits of smart lighting and the disadvantages of the various devices. We'll also look at how to get started with smart lighting and some good options for smart lighting that work for your setting.
Smart lighting is when your lights are controllable remotely using a wireless connection and a smartphone app. With smart lighting, you can set timers for your lights, create schedules or routines to turn them on and off at specific times, or have them turn on and off automatically based on motion and occupancy. You can even sync your lights with the sunrise and sunset, dim and change their color, or control groups of lights on more than one circuit simultaneously
Do sync your lights with the sunrise and sunset, dim and change their color, or control groups of lights on more than one circuit simultaneously. Use your lights to maximize the morning and optimize your circadian rhythm with a smart lighting system as an alarm clock!
Do mix both smart bulbs and smart switches. Smart bulbs are a great way to get started with smart lighting, since they're relatively inexpensive and easy to install. But for full home control, you'll want to mix in some smart switches as well. Smart switches give you the ability to control multiple lights at once, and they can be used to create custom lighting scenes. However, this can be difficult as there are few companies that offer both products that are compatible with one another.
Do choose a single smart home platform to control all your lighting at once. Software like Google Home, Apple Home, or Amazon Alexa can give you full command with just a single app. Before you start your smart lighting journey, you'll need to pick a platform and protocol. If this sounds overwhelming, then just start with just one brand and its associated app. You can always add more later on as you get more comfortable with the technology and how it fits your needs.
Do choose the right smart bulbs. While most smart bulbs can be dimmed, there are three types of smart bulbs available: white, full-color spectrum, and tunable white lighting. White smart bulbs are perfect for if you want to individually control the lighting in a multi-bulb fixture or on a single electrical circuit. Full-color spectrum smart bulbs add some fun and flair to your home by allowing you to change the color of the light. Tunable white lighting is perfect for those who want to adjust the color temperature from cool to warm as it can match your circadian rhythm.If you want to be able to change the colors of your lights, or use different shades of white light, then you'll definitely want to choose smart bulbs. While they can be more expensive than regular bulbs, they offer a lot more flexibility in how you can light your home. Smart bulbs are also a good choice for lamps and other decorative lighting fixtures.
Do utilize voice controls and set up routines. Voice control is an increasingly popular feature in smart lighting products. Many manufacturers are including voice control functionality in their products, and many more are likely to do so in the future. Voice control allows you to control your lights using voice commands, and can be an convenient and fun way to interact with your lighting. It takes a little longer to set up, but it can be way more convenient in the long run.
Routines can be helpful if you want your lights to turn on and off at specific times of day, or if you're away from home and want to save energy. However, these solutions can be difficult to customize, especially as your needs change over time. In general, motion sensors are best suited for hallways, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
Do start with smart switches first, unless forced to depending on your lighting situation. Smart switches are easier to install since they simply replace your existing switches. Smart bulbs, on the other hand, are placed inside your light fixture and may require professional installation. Not to mention, it’s also quicker to get started with smart switches since you can start using them immediately after installing them. When choosing smart switches, consider products based on the number of switches you need. For example, it might be more cost-effective to buy a five-pack of smart switches than to buy five individually. More specifically, you should also consider what type of switches you need. There are smart switches designed for three-way or four-way circuits and switches that feature dimming capabilities. There are also switches that come with built-in outlets, making it easier to install multiple devices on the same switch.
Do know if you have a neutral wire or not for every switch. Smart switches are easier to install since they simply replace your existing switches. Smart bulbs, on the other hand, are placed inside your light fixture and may require professional installation. Not to mention, it’s also quicker to get started with smart switches since you can start using them immediately after installing them.
Do consider hiring an electrician. Hiring an electrician for smart lighting installation is a great idea if you want to have a professionally installed lighting system in your home. Electricians are trained and experienced in installing lighting systems, so you can rest assured that your new system will be installed correctly and safely.
Do install smart plugs. Smart plugs can help you save energy and money, and they can also make your life more convenient. For example, you can use a smart plug to control a lamp from your smartphone, or you can use a smart plug to turn on your coffee maker from your bed.
Smart plugs are a great way to control lighting in your home, especially if you don't have hardwired lighting fixtures. They're easy to use and can be placed anywhere in your home, making them a great alternative to traditional light switches or bulbs. Plus, smart outlets are a great option for controlling other plugged-in devices, like lamps or small appliances. For outdoor lighting, they come in waterproof as well.
Do choose the right smart switch for your situation. There are a lot of different types of smart switches, and it can be tricky to figure out which one is best for your needs. There are single-pole switches (on/off), dimmable switches, motion sensing switches, and three-way switches, plus a variety of combinations of these features. Three-way switches can be especially tricky to understand and use.
Don’t mix smart lighting platforms. Each platform has its own app, rules, and integrations. They are not designed to work together and trying to make them do so will likely create more headaches than it is worth.
Don’t forget to consider your needs when choosing a smart switch. When choosing smart switches, consider products based on the number of switches you need. For example, it might be more cost-effective to buy a five-pack of smart switches than to buy five individually. More specifically, you should also consider what type of switches you need. There are smart switches designed for three-way or four-way circuits and switches that feature dimming capabilities. There are also switches that come with built-in outlets, making it easier to install multiple devices on the same switch.
Don’t try to use dimming switches with smart bulbs, as the dimming process disrupts the power and can cause flickering or other issues.The disadvantage of smart switches is that they doesn't offer any color control. If you're hoping to add some cool lighting effects or change the ambiance of a room with colored light, you'll be out of luck. Additionally, if you have any smart bulbs installed, you won't be able to use them with a smart switch – the switch will simply turn off the power to the bulb just like a regular switch would.If you want to take advantage of dimming capabilities, you will need dimmable LED bulbs. You can also dim the light with a three-way switch, which is not possible with just two smart switches. With a three-way switch, you can turn the light on or off from either location.
In short, as we enter the digital age, an ever-growing number of devices are being equipped with features that allow them to connect to and communicate with other devices. One crucial element that enables this connectivity is a wireless protocol, of which there are several different types available on the market.
The most popular options for smart lighting products are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Mesh, Zigbee, Z-Wave, or a proprietary RF developed by the manufacturer. Each wireless protocol has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to choose the right one for your personal needs. But with so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to start. Thankfully, our team of experts have compiled all the information you need to know about the different types of wireless protocols in one place.
There are a few different types of smart bulbs on the market, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Wi-Fi bulbs don't require an extra hub or bridge, which can save you some money upfront. However, Bluetooth mesh bulbs do need a hub for things like remote control outside of your home - but many times you can use a smart speaker like an Amazon Echo or Google Home as thathub. Another downside to Bluetooth is that it has limited range and can be subject to latency issues.
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