Smart LEDs bulbs are a great option for consumers who want to shift to LED lighting and enjoy the additional features of modern connected lights. Most smart LEDs have the ability to connect to your local wireless network, letting you control your lights through a (usually proprietary) mobile app and do everything from switch your lights on and off, change their colors, and schedule when they come on and off.
Yes, it sounds complicated, especially if you’re someone who just expects their light bulbs to act like, well…light bulbs. But if you’re looking to add these cool LED light bulbs into your Scottsdale home, here’s what you need to know.
Work in One Area and Expand Outwards
The easiest way to transition your home lighting system to smart LEDs is to start with one room or area in your home—preferably an area you use a lot—and then move outwards.
When working with an automated lighting system, it’s best to have a central starting or control point. This makes it easier for you to keep track of your connected bulbs. Your living room makes a great control point as it’s usually the first room you enter in your home, so you can simply turn on the other lights in the house the moment you step in the door.
Save Money on Smart Switches
You don’t have to replace all the light bulbs in your home with smart bulbs. Well, technically you can but that’s going to cost you a small fortune.
Luckily, you have the option of using a smart switch. This device replaces your old light switch and now gives you the ability to connect with your local Wi-Fi network. This means that you can keep your current light bulbs and still get ‘smart’ features normally associated with smart LEDs. This works especially well for areas in your home with multiple bulbs wired to a single switch.
A smart switch not only allows you to turn your lights off and on through an app, it also has features like timers that let you set schedules for your lights to automatically come on and off. While a smart switch isn’t as feature-packed as a smart LED like the Philips Hue, for the ordinary homeowner, it should be good enough.
Use Your Voice
Aside from using an app to control your smart lighting system, you can also use devices with voice control features that let you control not just your lights, but other connected devices like thermostats and security systems among others.
One of the best systems on the market is Amazon’s Alexa, an intelligent personal assistant that lets you control third-party smart devices from brands like ecobee, Belkin Wemo, IFTTT, LIFX, Insteon, LightwaveRF, Philips Hue, Nest Thermostats, SmartThings, Yonomi, and Wink.
With Alexa, you can just say “Turn the living room lights off,” and all the lights in your living room would shut down. “Dim the living room lights” or “Switch my living room lights to blue,” will also have the same effect on your smart LEDs, assuming they have these features, of course.
You’ll need a couple of Amazon Echo smart speakers to use Alexa at its maximum potential. Other similar devices include Google Home and the Sonos Play:1.
The latest generation of LED light bulbs do more than just generate light. If you want to add smart features to your home to improve your quality of life, smart lighting is a great place to start. However, it’s a good idea to start slow and get yourself acquainted to these smart LEDs, this way, you won’t be overwhelmed by their features and high price tag. Buy a few bulbs first so you can see what the experience is like before retrofitting your entire home.