Light bulb technology has remained largely unchanged for more than a hundred years since. In fact, the engineering and design of Thomas Edison’s incandescent light bulb remains intact, even in today’s generation of incandescent bulbs and halogen lamps.
But in the last 10 to 20 years, lighting has undergone massive change. The arrival of LED light bulbs and more recently, smart LED lighting, has ushered a lighting revolution of energy efficiency and new features that go beyond illumination.
Today, you can now automate the LED lights in your Scottsdale home, such that you can switch on, dim, change the colors, and schedule your LED lighting setup from your smartphone or any mobile device connected to the Internet. If you’re looking to automate each and every light in your home, here are 3 tech solutions you will need to get started.
1. Smart LED Light Bulbs
Every smart lighting setup begins with your light bulbs. The Philips Hue Starter Kit is an obvious choice in this matter; it’s a mature and well-developed system that’s compatible with lighting hubs like Amazon Echo, Samsung’s SmartThings, and Google Home. The Philips Hue Starter Kit also comes with its own Hue Bridge, which is built specifically for controlling Hue bulbs, as well as other wireless-connected LEDs from other manufacturers.
Ultimately, your choice of smart LED lighting boils down to what you want to do with them. Yes, you want to be able to create schedules for your lights to switch on and off at specific times. But you should also consider other features, like color-changing, which might seem gimmicky at first, but actually makes your home lighting setup more flexible.
2. Smart Hub
While the Philips Hue Bridge is nice, it only works with lighting, limiting your potential to automate the rest of your home. The Amazon Echo is a smarter hub, one that allows you to perform a wide range of tasks on different smart home gadgets, such as scheduling lighting, streaming music to speakers, and getting voice-activated information from your computers and mobile devices.
With the Amazon Echo, you can control your lights by simply saying, “Alexa, turn off the living room lights,” or “Alexa, change my kitchen lights to red.” Other hubs you can try are the SmartThings Hub and Google Home.
Next on the list are smart lighting switches. The Belkin WeMo Light Switch is a great choice, as not only is it automatable, it’s compatible with Echo and SmartThings, and has Wi-Fi built right in. The remote control and automation features also work even when the connected LEDs are off.
If you’re already comfortable with DIY jobs at home, switching your regular light switch to a smart switch is a simple affair. Be sure to shut off the power at the breaker, remove the old switch, remove the wires, rewire the new switch, screw in the cover, and switch on your power.
If this is your first time to experiment with smart LED lighting, we suggest starting slow. Start with a few bulbs in a room in your home that gets the most use—your kitchen or living room perhaps. See how you like the smart lighting experience, and then proceed with the rest of your Scottsdale home.