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Take your home lighting up a notch with smart lighting ideas. These are the top 3 key things you can do right now. Read on!
Smart lighting is expensive. Almost every middle-class person thinks likewise. And it is not entirely a myth. Smart lighting is indeed costly compared to traditional lights. But what you may fail to realize is the amount of money they save on energy bills in the long-run. You only focus on the initial cost to set up the lighting in your house. Yes, smart lighting may cost approximately thrice as much as traditional lights, but you will also start saving significantly on electric bills from the following month.
The Difference Between Smart Lights and Traditional Lights
The voltage passing through the light’s switch circuit determines the amount of energy the light consumes. With traditional lights, you cannot adjust the voltage passing through the circuit. But with smart lights, you can. That’s one of the most significant differences between these two lighting systems, keeping smart lights way ahead of traditional lights in terms of energy savings.
The other difference is that smart lights rely on the internet connection to control their smart features. That’s why you need to make sure your connection is capable (here is a good checklist).
Smart Lighting Ideas You Can Install at Home
Here are the main 3 things that will turn your traditional lighting smart.
Smart Light Switches
You can now switch your lights on and off from your mobile phone. Energy-saving light switches come with mobile apps that allow you to switch on or switch off lights from anywhere you go. For example, you suddenly remember while going to your office that you had forgotten to switch off the light in your living room. Check your mobile phone whether the light is still on. If it is, you can switch it off from your smartphone.
Smart dimmers usually come with pre-installed switching relays that function as remote control switches. Dimmers, with the help of these relays, can adjust the voltage amount passing through the switch circuit. When you dim the lights, the dimmer automatically reduces the voltage passing through the circuit, thus consuming less energy. You can increase the light intensity whenever you want.
Traditional lights cannot match this system. You cannot dim traditional lights nor increase their intensity because they run on a fixed voltage. That means they don’t even offer you a chance to consume less energy.
Motion Sensing Lights
Lights with motion sensors can save a significant amount of energy as they turn off automatically when you move away. For example, the light in the hallway illuminates as soon as you enter through the main door. But once you leave your jacket and shoes there and move away, the light turns off automatically. You don’t need to use smart switches or light dimmers.
These lights can detect movement within a fraction of a second. Whether it is your pet or your partner, the motion sensor lights will not fail to light up whenever it detects any movement within its vicinity. Some of the advanced motion-sensing lights only work when there is human activity. That means they won’t turn on the lights if your pets are around, thus allowing you to save energy if your cat or dog decides to take a stroll inside the house.
Things to Do With Smart Lights
The ideas are great, but what is the practical use for them? Here are just a few things that smart lights can do for you (that traditional lighting can’t.)
Come Home with Lights On
You may not enjoy returning home to a pitch-dark driveway or dark house. But leaving the lights on throughout the day also doesn’t make sense as you would have to pay significant energy bills. Instead, use smart lights that you can operate from your mobile phone. They allow you to connect your mobile phone via Bluetooth or WiFi.
Additionally, you can use the IFTTT applet to turn the lights on or off. The IFTTT applet uses your phone’s GPS details to switch on or switch off the lights, depending on your location. For example, the applet will switch on the lights as soon as you park your car in front of your house.
Schedule Your Lights
Want your entire home to light up as soon as the sun sets? With smart lights, you can schedule their on and off time according to different hours. Program the lights to switch on automatically in your bedroom at 6 PM. You will need to schedule the lights from the official app. In addition to specifying on and off hours, you can choose from sunrise and sunset settings. The app will allow you to program the drawing-room light to switch on after sunset. Alternatively, you can also schedule the light in the hallway to switch off at sunrise.
Group the lights
Grouping the lights according to their rooms or zones allow you to control them better. For example, you can schedule all the lights in your ground floor to go dark after midnight. Or maybe dim the lights in the hallway to 20% brightness after 1 AM. Switching the lights on or off or changing their settings one by one takes time. You can use the lights’ app to group the lights in one zone or room. Once you group them, you can change their brightness, hue, color, and temperature together.
Set the Scene
In addition to scheduling the lights, you can also set their scenes according to your mood. You wouldn’t want the lights to glow at full brightness while watching a movie. Similarly, it would be challenging to read a book if the lights glow at 10% brightness. With smart lights, you can now set the scene in a room according to the brightness you need. If you are watching a movie, you can program the lights to switch off automatically or increase their intensity while reading.
The scene-changing feature also allows you to manipulate the lights’ brightness, hue, and color temperature. Once you tweak the lighting conditions, you can save the settings so that you don’t need to change them again the next time you want to watch a movie. Just tap movies on the smart lights’ app on your phone to set the scene.
Now that you know some of the best smart lighting products, give them a try and replace your traditional lights. You may have to splurge on these lighting options, but you will save significantly on energy bills in the years to come. Plus, you should also consider the things you can do with these lights. You cannot imagine doing the same with traditional bulbs.