Lighting

Lighting

By combining lights and connected technology your lighting can align with your needs. Automate, schedule, control remotely and even enable voice control with smart lights, bringing more convenience and personalization to your home's ambiance.

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What is smart lighting?

As an integral part of Internet of Things (IoT) smart lighting is often a first step into the home automation landscape. These network-enabled lighting systems make use of connected technology to make homes more eco-friendly, responsive, and secure. As a result, home lighting becomes more flexible, convenient and customizable, harmonizing with your needs. You can completely automate your lights based on a schedule or control them remotely, taking out the need for traditional home lighting hardware.

How does lighting work?

Smart lights contain software that allows them be discovered and connected. They're primarily controlled through an mobile app, voice assistant or other smart accessories. Many systems operate using WiFi, Bluetooth, or ZigBee, hence enabling all the functions and features found in the respective app. Others use a proprietary operating system that are brand-specific, which usually comes in the form of a ‘bridge’ or ‘hub’ that centralizes communication between you and your lighting. Only lights manufactured by the specific brand can be connected to the hub.

Lighting benefits

Depending on the brand and usage of the smart bulb, they will last anywhere from 15,000-25,000 hours. On average, they last around 20,000 hours which is far more than traditional incandescent lights which last about 1,000 hours. To put this more into perspective, a smart bulb with a lifespan of 20,000 hours, used for 6 hours per day, will last roughly 9 years. The reason being is that they are significantly more energy efficient than their conventional counterparts. According to energy.gov, these bulbs use between 25% to 80% less energy than incandescent lights.

  • Energy efficiency: Smart lighting is significantly more energy efficient than traditional incandescent and fluorescent light fixtures. In the past, 90% of the energy consumed in home lighting converted to heat and only 10% was used to emit light.
  • Eco friendly lighting: Smart lighting uses up 80% less energy than traditional lights (energy.gov) which also makes them last nearly 20 times longer. This siginficantly decreases your environmental footprint and helps save money on your electrical bill.
  • Connectivity: As these lights are a part of IoT, they can be combined with other smart devices to create an entire smart home. Connect lights to thermostats, security equipment or home assistants for more possibilities and greater control.
  • Automation: Smart lights have multiple options to activate automated lighting. Scheduling can be used to specify operating times. They can be configured to turn on and off when you aren’t home, simulating your presence and increasing security. Geofencing is also available with some brands which senses your arrival and turns your lights on as you approach home.
  • Personalization: Smart lighting increases control and customization options. For one, anyone with an app can control lights. Easily dim or turn lights on/off from anywhere. Many fixtures also have color options. Some include warm and cool temperatures while others incorporate the whole RGB color spectrum so you can create a colorful home ambiance.
  • Expandability: Having network-enabled fixtures means there are options for expansion. You can add more bulbs, different fixtures and even accessories, to help make control even more seamless. You can even add other smart devices like cameras, thermostats and speakers and have your lights work in unison.

Different types of smart lights

Smart lights come in a variety of options. Some can be installed in your existing fixtures while others will add more accent and mood lighting. Depending on your needs, smart lights can have a multitude of uses.

  • Smart bulbs: Smart bulbs are technologically enhanced bulbs that can be installed to your homes fixtures and controlled via an app. This is one of the more popular smart lighting products as it's easy to install and can be purchased individually. However, note that some bulbs require a hub while others just need WiFi.
  • Smart lights (fixtures): Smart fixtures can come in the form of ceiling lights, table and floor lamps, or light strips. They can replace some of your stand-alone fixtures and offer several options for automated ambient control.
  • Accessories: Accessories can be purchased for added convenience to your smart lighting ecosystem. Smart switches can be installed in place of your traditional switches so you can still have local control over lights without losing smart functionality. Smart plugs can bring smart capabilities to traditionally ‘dumb’ devices to integrate them into your smart home system.
  • Starter kits: If you don’t know where to start, starter kits offer a simple solution for entering the smart light market. A starter kit is a bundle of lighting products that includes everything you need to get going. They can include a number of different devices but incorporate all the components you need in order to get an accurate feel and introduction to the world of smart lighting.

Do smart lights have voice control?

Smart lights don’t necessarily have voice control integrated locally, however, nearly all smart lights are compatible with the most popular voice assistants. This not only enables voice control but functions as your smart home’s “hub.” It can centralize your homes smart system so you can add more devices (cameras, thermostats, speakers etc) and have them work hand in hand with your lights.

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