Wednesday, September 9, 2020 / by Vinny Steo
Home Automation: Smart Lighting
Smart lighting is an integral feature of any home automation. Smart lights use wireless transmissions to send and receive their signals, and different bulbs use different methods. Some use Bluetooth radios that connect directly to your phone or hub, as long as you’re within 50 feet of them. Others use Wi-Fi radios to connect directly to your home internet router.
The first question you should ask when adding to your smart home and are considering smart lighting is, why? First smart lighting as we know is more energy efficient. The average LED will add about a buck to your energy bill each year, compared to about $7 per year for a comparable incandescent. That means a single LED will save you about $6 per year over an old-fashioned bulb like that -- and since LEDs are designed to shine for decades, paying dozens of dollars for one upfront was a sensible long-term investment. Second, you can remotely adjust in lighting and the color of the lights in your home anywhere. This gives you precise control over lighting effects. Lastly, you can establish automated lighting schedules around your lifestyle. When you think about all of the lights in your home, and the number of corresponding light switches and the amount of time you spend each day turning them on and off, automating the process becomes a no-brainer.
The versatility of color-changing bulbs can transform a room or a mood. You can set up scenes, like red and green light colors during the holidays or purple and orange during Holloween. Changing the lights colors had also help with rest. A cool-blue color can match daytime, and warmer, more orange colors are ideal for evening time.
Next, you now need to pick a hub to control them. The top hubs are Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, or Amazon’s Alexa. You will need a smart speaker or a smart display somewhere centrally located in your home. A voice-activated speaker like Google Home, powered by Google Assistant, you can control lights with the sound of your voice. Another consideration when choosing a hub is finding one that handles all the different devices you might wind up using. Think thermostat, smart appliances, entertainment, smoke detectors, security systems, and cameras to name a few.
When shopping for smart bulbs, another thing to consider is adding smart plugs and smart light switches. Smart plugs automate anything you plug in behind them such as a lamp with simple voice commands. Once you have smart lights in your home, you can move on to other automation, but you don’t have to- smart light is genuinely useful to just about everyone.