5 Reasons to Smarten Up Your Home Lighting

Although they may be a little pricier than the norm, smart lighting can offers sustainability and security advantages that make it worth the initial investment.

By Etta Badoe

 

We have smart phones, smart cars, and even smart TVs — so why not smart lighting? Companies like Philips Hue and Samsung have developed energy-saving LED smart bulbs that not only connect wirelessly to smart home systems, but can also customize your home’s lighting with the tap of a screen.

 

Think smart lighting is just a fad or that smart homes are little more than a hacker’s dream? Here are five reasons why installing smart lighting may actually be smart.

 

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Photo by courtesy of syskaledlights.com

 

Smart Control

If you like the idea of lighting that gives you more control and interactivity, then smart bulbs are the way to go. They come with several built-in features like dimmers, scheduled timers, and remote control options that allow you to control your lighting using an app on a smartphone or iPad, or by using a voice activation system like Amazon’s Echo.

 

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Philips Hue smart bulbs, for instance, are designed to be compatible with a variety of smart home systems, including Amazon’s Echo, Apple’s HomeKit, and Samsung’s SmartThings. They come with multiple app options. Some smart bulbs connect wirelessly to GPS so lights turn on automatically when you reach a certain location, or they’re IFTTT-compatible and can be programmed to respond to certain triggers like weather changes. (IFTTT: “If This Then That,” a free online service where you can create automation formulas.)

 

Security

Smart bulbs can help enhance your security system. Integrate them with a home security camera and lights that can be set to come on when certain when motion sensors are triggered. They can also act as a deterrent for potential burglars by giving homeowners the option to schedule their lights to turn on and off automatically at a particular time when they are away.

 

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Home Protection

For further home protection, smart bulbs can link with thermostats and smoke or carbon monoxide detectors. The lights are then set to flash or change color whenever there’s smoke or dangerous levels of carbon monoxide detected in the home. They can even help you to navigate your way through the smoke.

 

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Mood Lighting

Planning a theme night or just want to set a particular mood? Smart lighting systems allow you to change the color of your lighting at will. Some lighting systems like Flux Smart LED light bulbs have a range of 16 million colors. You can set the lighting to reflect a theme night, or to match your favorite team’s colors during game night, or simply to enhance your mood for a quiet night in.

 

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You can also set them to flash or strobe in time with your music. For people who have trouble sleeping, C-Sleep bulbs are designed to emit several color temperatures that can help you sleep by regulating the production of melatonin in the body.

 

Cost Saving

Adding a smart lighting system to an entire home can be costly, but it can also have long term cost benefits for your energy bill and even add to the value of your home. LED light bulbs are more efficient and last longer than ordinary bulbs, and being able to control lights remotely or set them to turn off automatically makes it easier to ensure that unnecessary lights are turned off.

 

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As more companies begin to develop their own smart lighting systems, less-expensive options are becoming more available. There’s always the DIY option, which is considerably cheaper even if the software for DIY options is less polished.

 

Because of the benefits smart homes can offer insurance companies, some insurance firms now offer discounts for homes that use certain smart home security systems or thermostats.

 

Whatever lighting you choose, be sure do your homework. Not all smart bulbs and smart systems are compatible with each other, and some systems may require you to hire a professional to install them.

 

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