Internet of things (IoT) is evolving fast and providing new products that change our everyday life.
Smart lighting is one of the latest IoT related innovations and is becoming the most popular addition to smart appliances for the growing trend of home automation.
Even though smart lights have been available in the market for a while, only recently they become an attractive item. The main reason behind that is that manufacturers have improved significantly their quality and features, as well as making smart light gadgets more affordable.
There are many advantages of smart lighting. It can provide a significant contribution to home automation by allowing users to setup when lights should turn on or off. They also provide a great way to customize the house mood, improving rest or any entertainment experience.
But what is smart lighting about? How does it work? What are the more popular smart light gadgets available and their main features?
In this article, we will provide information about the most popular smart lighting products available and their features.
One of the best-selling products among smart lighting gadgets are smart bulbs. They are LED based lights that use wireless communication technologies, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or others and can be controlled by a phone, a tablet or even a smart home technology.
Smart bulbs aspect is no different from regular bulbs. They come in many sizes that fit different fixtures, so they can be screwed into an ordinary lamp, just like any regular bulb.
They can usually be controlled by more than one wireless technology. This is a key feature because it provides customers with different options to control them.
Bluetooth users can easily control smart bulbs without affecting home bandwidth, but they must be near the surrounding area of the bulb in order to get enough signal.
If the user leaves the house, Bluetooth radio signal will be lost and a switch to Wi-Fi or another wireless communication technology will be needed in order to keep control over the smart bulb.
That is the main reason why smart bulbs are designed to be controlled by many wireless communication technologies.
Smart bulbs, like any other smart lighting technology can be controlled through mobile phone or tablet apps associated with the bulb manufacturer.
Also, many people who turned to smart lighting prefer to use voice-activated systems to control them. Apple Homekit, Amazon Alexa and Google Home are among the most used software.
Smart bulbs features
The most basic feature smart bulbs provide is the possibility to turn them off via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or other wireless communication technology. Even though it can sound as a basic feature, it has some amazing uses.
For example, it can help control all the home lights together, turning them on or off at the same time with a single voice command.
Another great application is that, since some smart bulbs can use mobile global positioning system (GPS), they can be set up to turn on automatically as soon as the user arrives home or, to be turned off when he leaves.
Smart bulbs also allow users to adjust brightness. They actually have a great built-in dimming mechanism that provides a much better performance than dimmer switches. In fact, they have a smoother brightness control, with antibuzz and antiflicker system.
One thing that must be taken into consideration is that smart bulbs are usually incompatible with dimmer switches, so it’s not recommended to combine them.
A fun feature of smart bulbs is that they can change their color. Some of them only turn on regular white, but some others have a color-changing feature, so users can set a custom mood in their home.
The most common colors are red, purple and green, but some smart bulbs have an entire rainbow of colors available which will most likely fulfill light mood fans expectations.
Users can also program any custom settings to, for example, synchronize lighting with a certain playlist or movie providing the right mood for every moment. This is a great way to improve user’s experience of music or film.
Smart bulbs can also help getting a night rest by providing a calming atmosphere or a pleasing waking up experience by simulating sunrise illumination scenarios.
Last, smart bulbs are easy to install and compatible with ordinary lamps. Even though they have a higher cost than regular bulbs, they use less energy and have a much longer expected lifespan.
Smart switches are similar to conventional wall switches, but have much more functionalities. They can be used manually, as well as controlled via a wireless communication technology like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or other. Voice command is also available for them.
Many people think smart switches are hard to install, but that is actually incorrect. They are easy to install an excellent choice for multiple bulb switches, because they allow wireless control over a bunch of bulbs, even when the switch is off.
The most affordable of smart lighting gadgets are smart plugs. These items allow users to automate any light that can be plugged in them and are a great choice for budget home renovation.
For example, a regular lamp plugged into a smart plug will be turned into a smart light that can be turned on or off by using a mobile phone or even through voice commands.
Smart plugs are popular among decorative string lights users, because they can customize them easily and with a small investment.