Lighting can really set the mood for our day. After all, it’s the first thing we turn on in the morning to get things started and the last thing we turn off at the end of the day as we prepare for a good night’s sleep. So it only makes sense that over time, this all-important facet of our lives has gotten smarter.
What exactly is smart lighting?
Smart lighting technology is a part of a smart home system, connected via the internet to make decisions, follow schedules, and be controlled remotely via a smartphone or voice-activated personal assistant. Most smart systems operate around a central “hub”, or a device that connects your devices with your home WiFi network to communicate your commands.
Much like other features of home automation, smart lighting solutions offer a more efficient way to manage things around the house.
There are a variety of different options when it comes to upgrading your home with smart lights. The most common include:
- Smart Light Bulbs: These are low-cost lighting solutions that can be installed in your everyday bulb holders. All you need to do is pair smart bulbs with a local wireless network and then you can use your smart device to control them remotely.
- Smart Switches: Smart switches are connected to your home network, and allow you to control that particular switch through your smart device or home assistant. These switches will still operate in “on/off” mode, but can now be controlled remotely.
- Smart Light Home System: If you already use smart home automation, it’s easy to expand your network to include smart lighting! Then you can use predetermined settings, voice commands, or a smart device to control the lights around your home.
All the Benefits of Smart Lighting
Home lighting control systems have so many benefits for both your home and your personal comfort within your home. Here are just a few of the upsides of investing in smart lighting features in the home.
Smart LED bulbs last a lot longer and tend to generate less heat than original bulbs. Both of these factors, in addition to using an LED light with a dimmer setting, lead to using less energy than traditional bulbs! And, thanks to its automation features, smart lighting can be programmed to only turn on when needed, saving even more on your next electric bill.
Is there anything more convenient than asking your Amazon Alexa or Google Home to turn off the lights before you walk out the door? What about programming them to turn on and off at certain parts of the day when you know you’ll be home to enjoy them? Smart lighting systems make it easy and convenient to light your home, without needing to get up and turn things on and off manually.
For individuals who need additional help in their homes, smart lighting technology makes things that much more accessible for everyone. Lights can even be set up to flash as a notification for other events like someone ringing the doorbell outside, alerting those with hearing impairments in a visual manner. By being able to remotely control various functions in the home, including the lights, everyone has the ability to operate more independently than ever before.
Customization & Ambience
Did you know that colored lights can affect how plants grow? Similarly, studies have shown that the red light color helps to put our brains to bed at the end of a long day. Plus, who doesn’t want to sync up their lights to their entertainment system, offering an at-home movie theater vibe for you and your guests in the comfort of your own home? The possibilities are endless! Customizing your LED bulbs to be different colors can help to create a better living environment for your whole family: all you have to do is push a button.
Smart lights have been known to make the home more secure by enabling homeowners to turn their lights on and off even when they’re not home. Depending on the type of smart lighting system you have in place, you may even be able to run an away mode sequence that will turn lights on and off at random times throughout the day and night while you are away to avoid the appearance of being a vacant home.
Home light therapy plays an important part in making sure we’re healthy both physically and mentally, all year round. With the changing of seasons comes a psychological impact of both color and light — things we may never have considered up until this point! Studies have shown that the lighting in our homes can seriously impact everything from our mood to our circadian rhythms, affecting the way we sleep and live!
Lighting can affect many aspects of our everyday lives, including:
- Sleep cycles
- Energy levels
Health Benefits of Light Therapy
Light therapy, also known as phototherapy or bright light therapy, can be used to treat a variety of mental health conditions. It’s primarily used to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which commonly occurs during the darker winter months in which there is less sun exposure and a distinct lack of vitamin D. This decreased exposure to sunlight during the winter months affects some more severely than others, causing a deep depression that can lead to lethargy, weight gain, poor concentration, unhappiness, irritability, agitation, and much more.
Home light therapy has grown in popularity in recent years. Now, you can sit in front of a light therapy box or lamp, close your eyes, and allow your skin to absorb the light for an allotted period of time each day. The machines were created with a metal reflective base and plastic screen on top to diffuse the light and filter out any harmful ultraviolet light (UV) rays.
The results of doing this consistently really speak for themselves, boosting melatonin, serotonin, and vitamin D levels. Exposure to the light resets the circadian rhythm, triggers the production of the brain chemical serotonin, and jumpstarts the body’s clock. It can even be used to treat jet lag for those hoping to acclimate to a new time zone!
The light in our homes can offer us a variety of health benefits and mood-boosting opportunities — we just have to know how to use it to our advantage.
Using a Smart Home Professional to Get Started
With more than thirty years of experience in the world of smart technology and home automation solutions, Eco Smart Home Pros is a firm believer that technology is key to offering us happier, healthier, and more sustainable lives both at home and in the workplace. By partnering with some of the best light manufacturers in the business like Lutron and Colorbeam Lighting, Eco Smart Home Pros are able to offer our clients the highest quality lighting solutions available on the market today.
Your lighting controls are used every day, isn’t it time to upgrade to something better?
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a smart lighting system for a home?
Smart lighting is an advanced way to light up your home. While conventional light bulbs turn on and off via a light switch, smart lighting gives you far greater control over your lights. They’re still connected to your home’s power source, but each smart bulb allows you to control it wirelessly — whether via your smartphone, tablet, or smart home assistant like an Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant.
How do smart lighting systems work?
Smart lighting systems utilize smart LED bulbs that connect to an app, a smart home assistant, or other smart accessories so you can automate and control the lights in your home remotely.
What are the disadvantages of smart lighting?
Although conventional lighting works by flipping a wall switch on and off, smart lighting eliminates the need for such things — which can be frustrating when the internet is down or your smart device is delayed in responding and you’re standing there in the dark! However, smart lighting apps give you a variety of dimming options, automatic scheduling and so much more.
Does smart lighting use more electricity?
Thanks to these new LED bulbs that come with dimming options and the ability to automate their hours of operation, smart lighting has been found to use less electricity than traditional lighting solutions.
Is it better to have smart bulbs or smart switches?
Depending on your lifestyle, both smart bulbs and smart switches can work in your home. If you have more fixed lighting fixtures in the ceiling of the home, you will need to use smart bulbs. Smart switches work well with floor lamps and other lighting fixtures that must be plugged into an electrical outlet.
What is home light therapy and how does it work?
Home light therapy is a form of LED light therapy that is non-invasive, pain-free, and can treat a variety of mental health conditions like seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or other types of depression. In recent years there has been an uptick in at-home devices on the market, allowing individuals to sit in front of a light therapy lamp for a set time each day, particularly during the winter months when there is a lack of Vitamin D.