Out of all the smart home technologies available on the market, smart lighting is one of the easiest technologies to integrate into your home. Smart lighting can be controlled by voice command, through your smartphone or a smart home hub (like Amazon Alexa), making it relatively easy to control. It is also among the most affordable smart home devices, starting at about $10 per bulb.
Remote control, scheduling benefits
One of the most useful aspects of smart lighting is the ability to control the lighting while you’re away from home. For example, if you leave for work and forget to turn off the lights at home, you can easily turn them off with a few taps on a smartphone app.
Similarly, many smart lights offer the option for a customizable schedule. Users can schedule lighting to turn on or off at certain times of the day, depending on their preferences. For instance, turning off all the lights at home just before bedtime, or scheduling lights to turn on just before returning home from work.
Many smart light bulbs have motion-detection technology that can sense if a person is in the room or nearby to increase safety at home. This feature can be programmed to send an alert to your phone when the smart lighting detects an unexpected motion, either inside or outside the home.
Color customization adds fun
Beyond the more practical applications, smart lighting can simply be fun to use. Bulbs are available in various colors and dimming options that can help set different themes or moods for the room, from an exciting bright white to a calming dim light.
Various color temperatures can create different moods and also potentially help with winding down at night and improving sleep quality. Blue light, which mimics daylight, prevents the release of melatonin, an important hormone to feel sleepy. Setting smart lights to warmer-colored lights at night can help release melatonin, leading to a better night’s sleep.
Potential issues to note
Some smart light bulbs may have minor technical issues, such as not correctly responding to a voice command. However, sticking with reputable brands should ensure a well-functioning light bulb.
Another factor to consider is that not all smart lighting options are compatible with dimmers since smart bulbs have built-in dimming mechanisms. This could lead to inconsistent lighting between smart and regular bulbs and could cause smart lights to flicker if they clash with the existing dimmer switch. To prevent this, avoid placing smart light bulbs in fixtures that already have a dimmer switch.
Before making any purchases, research which smart lighting options work best for your home. Read several reviews to ensure your purchase is reliable during the entirety of its life span. Choosing the best option will help you make the most of it!
Maria Kanevsky writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.