When home automation first started making an entrance, it was quickly apparent that the technology offered several benefits, especially when it came to lighting. Now smart home lighting is compatible with almost all of the home automation platforms including Alexa, Google Home, and Apple Home. While most smart lighting features can be controlled by Bluetooth, those that are controlled using your Wifi can be put into action from almost any location just by using an app on your Android or Apple device.
INCREASED HOME SECURITY
Smart home lighting is especially useful when combined with home security systems. Motion-activated lights can be placed above doorways and near garage doors to alert you when someone is approaching your home after dark. Inside lights can be set to a pre-determined schedule to turn on and off during your regular periods of activity/inactivity giving the impression you are at home.
LIGHT UP STORAGE AREAS
Storage areas like attics and large closets can be difficult to maneuver, especially if the light is attached to a drawstring in the middle of the room. With smart lighting, you can turn the light on or off just by opening and closing the door. This means no stumbling to find the light switch/drawstring and no forgetting to turn the light off when you are finished. Smaller closets may have dark areas between shelves that aren’t well lit. Place a strip of smart LED lights at the back so you can see between each shelf without having to dig out a flashlight.
DOORS LOCKED? LIGHTS ON!
Have you ever left your home only to get a few miles down the road and wonder whether or not you locked the door behind you? One of the best features of smart lighting is to help make sure your home is secure. You can sync your smart locks and home security system to your lighting controls so that when you lock your door an interior light comes on. If you prefer, you can use a smart light that will shine with the color of your choice, showing you that the doors are locked and your home is protected.
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR KIDS
Smart lighting also allows you to communicate with your children. Want to let them know what type of clothing they need to wear for the day? Put a smart light in one of the fixtures that will glow blue for cold temps and red or orange for hot. You can also add a specific color to designate study time or play time. Flashing lights may indicate that it’s time to get ready for school or 30 minutes until bedtime. The options are endless. The Philips Hue lighting system can light up a room in over 16 million different colors, so you can even assign a color to each child.
COLOR CODE YOUR ENTRYWAYS
Once your lights and home security system have been properly synced, you can use your lights to let you know when someone is entering your home through a specific door. Give each door its own color and you will immediately know which one is being used. If you have a video doorbell, you can use it to talk to whoever is trying to unlock or open the door. This works well if you have doorways that aren’t used on a regular basis, giving you a quick heads up that something isn’t right.
SET THE MOOD
Smart home lighting can be used to set the mood for the evening. You can create backlighting for a soft, subtle appearance or dim your lights and create a light show that follows along with the music you’re playing. Use the lights in your bedroom and program them to turn off after you have gone to sleep. Putting smart lights in your children’s bedroom will allow you to not only choose a relaxing color but also dim the lights over time so your child can fall asleep feeling comfortable and secure.
SMART HOME LIGHTING TO ENHANCE YOUR DECOR
Smart lighting can enhance your décor and accentuate specific focal points in your room. Light up a picture frame or put light strips along your shelves to highlight specific items. You can also use light strips under your furniture to create a give the room a soft glow while you are trying to relax. Adding small recessed lights to a steep stairway will allow you to see better in the dark and prevent an accidental fall. Smart LED light strips can be placed almost anywhere and synced to most home automation systems accentuating focal points or just adding a beautiful backlight to areas of your home that you are particularly fond of.
Most home security systems and home automation platforms allow for alerts from environmental hazard sensors and devices. This includes smart thermostats, moisture sensors, and fire/smoke alarms. Environmental alarms can be set to trigger your lights to flash in a specific sequence or color depending on what is going on. A fire or smoke alert could be signaled by a red light while a moisture alert or water leak would best be represented by a blue light. This type of alarm is ideal for individuals who are hearing impaired or children who sleep soundly. Pairing these alerts with the home automation features of your home security system is a great way to keep your family safe.
NEVER MISS A CALL OR TEXT
If you wear headphones to listen to music it can be hard to hear your phone ringing or a text notification. By syncing your Android device to your home security system, you can set your lights to flash in sequence or in color to indicate either a phone call or text message. While some devices only work for systems supported by Android, Apple users may be able to sync their phones to their home security systems and produce the same effect.
By using LED light strips and smart light bulbs you can create color washes for your walls or create a light show that plays along with your music. There are programs available that allow you to create light shows for outside your home as well. Light displays can be as simple or as elaborate as you want them to be. The sky’s the limit! You can entertain yourself, your guests or the whole neighborhood! Most lighting systems can be controlled through downloadable apps that work on both Android and iOS devices.
With most smart home lighting systems, you are only limited by your imagination. Once you understand how your lights and home automation devices work together, you will be able to do any number of things from interacting with your children to securing your home when you’re away. Take a few minutes to learn what your systems are capable of and then put all of their features to good use. Many of these systems are easy to install and will integrate seamlessly with one or more home automation platforms. Do a little research and find which devices work best with the system you have in your home. If you are looking to install a home automation system, find out which one offers you the most features for your money. You will be surprised at what many of the systems can accomplish for a very affordable price.