Smart lighting can be a convenient and comfortable
Does the situation, when you have already gone to bed and wondered if the kitchen lights downstairs are still on, sound familiar?
Nowadays we can remotely manage our home lighting, with just a tap on our smartphone.
Smart home lighting is a really clever way to make it look like we are home even when we are not. Our smart lights can run on a specific set schedule, to hide the fact that we actually have things automated.
Another advantage of this kind of lighting is definitely the ability to change its brightness. We can easily adjust the level of it, with a simple swipe on our smartphone. If we want to be able to dim our lights with a smart switch, let us make sure the switch supports dimming.
If changing brightness is not enough, we can always take the next step and change the light colour. We can do it with a smart switch. That off course is, if we have a device that has the possibility to change colour (for example RGB LED strips). We can save different scenes and use them later, manually, or even automate them.
Beside the fact, that we now have the possibility to control our lights from a distance using our smartphone, there are countless possible use scenarios. Using the gateway, we can combine automation of lighting with other smart devices and this way, for example, make the lights automatically turn off when the TV is on, connect them to a movement sensor, so they turn on when we step into the room etc. Smart lights can connect to alarm clocks, music, smart locks and other smart home devices.
Smart switch or smart bulbs?
The first decision we have to make before installing a new smart lighting system is either to choose smart bulbs or smart switches. Each technology has its advantages and disadvantages.
Smart bulbs have typically Wi-Fi capabilities and we install them by simply screwing them in. We use a smartphone app to control them directly. Some brands need a gateway or a hub that works as a communication bridge between them and our smartphone. Smart switches, on the other hand, are not as easy to install as smart bulbs, as they require an additional component to our existing wiring, so they can automate our bulb. Also for installing them, you have to have neutral wires, which are not common in houses that are older than 30 years.
With a smart switch, we will be able to remotely switch the lights on and off. Some of them have a possibility of dimming, but if we want to change the light colour, then smart bulbs are our only option.
In a real world, using smart switches is far more practical. With a smart switch, our new smart light bulb can still work as an ordinary one. Using it, we can still switch our lights on and off in case our network crashes, our hub breaks or our Wi-Fi is down. Having it, we make sure that, for example, our guests, parents or gran parents will be able to control lights manually. As a matter of fact, smart bulbs only work when the light switch is turned on.
Remote control of lights
We get a wireless lighting control system when we change our toggle switches for wirelessly controlled switches and keypads. They communicate with a processor that can be easily hidden in a closet or utility room. Inside this kind of switch there is a magnetic coil. When we press the switch rocker, it creates enough energy to send a radio signal to the receiver. The built-in receiver is wired to the light and stored in the light fixture. If it is a plug-in module, then it is simply plugged into an outlet. The device it controls though, is plugged into the receiver.