Smart light technologies include a wide range of solutions, from smart light bulbs to fully automated systems controlling the amounts of natural and artificial light indoors and operating the lights outdoors. What they all have in common is the idea of operating the lights via the internet, and being able to arrange to light with just one touch of a button on your touchscreen.
Smart lighting is not only about convenience and comfort, but also about energy saving. With smart solutions that can adjust the amount of light and energy used to your very personal needs and lifestyle, you can not only save on your electricity bill but also contribute to saving natural resources.
Smart light bulbs are internet-connected bulbs (using Wi-Fi, ZigBee and/or Bluetooth technologies) that can last for many years and are operated through an interface. They can be set to a certain percentage or dimmed completely through a smartphone app, remote control or a simple switch. They are quite pricey, but can surely be the first step to make your home lighting go smart.
Automatic light systems give you the option of programming the lights in your home according to your preferences. This means that you can have your lights dimmed to any level you want at specific times of the day. If you like to wake up to a dim light of your nightstand lamp, you can program your system to turn the lamp on at the specific time that you wake up. And when you come home from work, you can program the lights to turn on right before you appear on the driveway and then have your way to the front door lit and the lights on when you enter.
The automated light system also means the end of anxieties about having left your lights on when leaving the house. You can control and monitor the lighting with a smartphone app, and turn them on and off from any place with an internet connection. Also, combined with movement sensors, occupancy sensors or IR cameras, lights can switch on and off when they know somebody is in a certain room. This way, no energy is wasted and the lights are on only when they need to be and at a level you want them to.
The most advanced systems can be paired up with security cameras or smart curtains. These solutions provide the perfectly balanced amount of natural and artificial light, as well as warm or cool light, which is not only beneficial for your wallet, but also for the wellbeing of you and your family. The right exposure to natural light is crucial for our health, both physical and mental. Smart lights can interact with the curtain system in order to balance the natural light coming through windows. An integrated system can be also useful in terms of security. When nobody is home, the lights and curtains can still be working simulating that someone is actually home. This is proved to be an efficient way of discouraging potential intruders from trying to enter your home.
As with most smart technologies of today, also the smart light options are still not perfect. There are a lot of products available, but only a few actually provide a desirable performance. A good smart lighting system should be easy to install and easy to use. It should provide a large number of options for how to set up your home. If you feel a system is too complicated and lacks a feature you feel strongly about, it is recommended to refrain from investing in it. The reason is simple, at least for now, the rule is that once you buy a lighting system, you are more or less stuck with it for years. The systems don’t get upgraded that often, and it is more likely that a new one will arrive with fewer options of compatibility with the older ones. And since a smart lighting system is quite an investment to make, it should not be more trouble than fun. So be sure to make the right choice and take your time when considering the options. What might be recommended is to go for a more comprehensive smart home system that is not focused only on lighting? Such systems (like Samsung SmartThings) tend to be more flexible, upgraded more often and give you the option of connecting more and more of other devices to it and eventually build up a whole smart home