Imagine this: it’s movie night in your house, and you turn down all the lights to set the mood with a simple request to your smart home hub. Or, imagine you’re tiptoeing out of your child’s room after they finally fall asleep, and you want to dim the lights without making a sound, so you hit one button on your smartphone once you’re safely into the hallway. With smart lighting set up in your connected home, you can do these things – and so much more!
With smart light bulbs, a smart light switch or a smart light starter kit, you can easily take control of your home’s lighting from anywhere – through your smartphone or smart home speakers like the Google Home or Amazon Echo.
Why should I switch to smart lights in my home?
Smart lights are useful for many reasons, with one of the biggest perks being how they help make your home more energy efficient. Not only does a Wi-Fi connected smart bulb use less energy than a traditional light bulb, but you can also set up lighting schedules, and have them automatically adjust based on outside lighting factors.
If you’re still on the fence, that’s okay. Our experts are here to talk you through it. They listed their 3 favorite smart lighting features and share how they can make life easier… and even add a little more fun!
Best smart light features
Tell your lights what to do
With smart lighting, as is the case with any smart home product, you’re in control. Most smart bulbs are designed to work with smart home hubs like your Amazon Echo or Google Home, so you can turn off the kitchen lights or dim your living room lights with just your voice or with the simple tap of a button on your smartphone using the compatible app.
You can also group your smart lights together by room or zone. That way, you’re not telling Alexa to turn on each individual lamp and switch in the living room. Instead, you can simply say, “Alexa, turn on the lights in the living room.”
Set a smart light schedule
Say goodbye to sleeping through alarms and coming home to a dark house. When you get a smart bulb like a Philips Hue or a Wyze Bulb, they come with an app you can use to set a light schedule. Set a time to turn your lights on or off, change color, or dim and brighten whenever you want.
Are you going on vacation or a business trip and your home will be empty? Keep your house secure with Vacation or Away Mode. With either of these modes, you can schedule your lights to switch on and off at random intervals, making it seem like someone is in the house.
Fun activity to try: Looking for ways to keep your kids entertained while they’re home from school? Use your smart bulbs to schedule a fun light show to break up the day. If you need more fun tech ideas, check out our list of the top 5 best online activities for kids.
Add smart motion sensors
No more fumbling for the light switch in the dark – let your smart lights light the way. Some smart lighting systems offer motion sensors, so you can customize where, when and how your lights turn on based on movement. You can even use your smart light’s app to adjust which light setting will trigger when you walk into specific rooms. Some sensors detect when it’s day or night and adjust your light accordingly.
For example, Ring Smart Lighting’s line of products offers smart outdoor lighting options that you can sync with your Ring security camera or doorbell to help create a smart lighting system for your entire home and add a little extra peace of mind. The best part is, it can all be controlled through their app, and they’re also compatible with Google Home and Amazon Echo.
Smart lights FAQ
How long do smart bulbs last?
Each bulb is a little different, so they all vary in time; however, they all last a lot longer than traditional light bulbs. According to Digital Trends, the Philips Hue Go can last up to 25,000 hours before it needs to be replaced. So, if you left it on and never turned it off, it’d last a little less than 3 years.
What is a smart light switch?
A smart light switch replaces your traditional in-wall switch boxes for appliances like overhead lights and ceiling fans. You’ll still be able to manually turn them on and off just like you do normal light switches, but a smart light switch provides the added flexibility of being able to control them through an app on your smartphone or through voice commands to your smart speaker like the Amazon Echo or Google Home.
How do I reset my smart light bulbs?
Because every smart light is different, they each have their own steps for you to take. Use the manufacturer’s app you probably have on your phone already and follow those directions or visit the manufacturer’s website to troubleshoot.
How do I control my lights with Alexa?
To set up your smart light to your smart home hub like an Amazon Echo:
- Open the Alexa app on your phone and tap Devices in the bottom right.
- In the top right, tap on the + icon and tap Add Device.
- Select Light as the type of device you want to set up.
- Choose the brand from the list and follow the directions on screen.
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