What Are Smart Lights?

  • By: mvadmin
  • Date: May 27, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.
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Smart lighting is just LED lights with a small computer connected to an app on your phone, tablet, or smart home assistant. You can control your lights without leaving your gaming chair.

The biggest name in smart lighting is still Philips with its Hue bulbs, but many other companies have joined the market since then, including household names like IKEA, Hive and a whole host of others who have got in on the act.

Things to look for when buying smart lights

The main things to look for are whether it needs a separate hub, the lifetime of bulbs, and whether it works with your existing devices.

What Can You Do With a Smart Light?

Using an app, you can then change the brightness of the light right from your phone (or with your voice). If the bulbs are colour LEDs, you can also set the colour of the lights. With you

The app enables you to change the bulbs’ brightness, and if the bulbs have coloured LEDs, you can change their colours too. That opens up a whole world of possibilities, which you might call light recipes: you might have one light recipe for watching movies, another for dinnertime, and yet another for reading.

Smart lights are not limited to bubs either, you can get Philips Lightstrip, an 80 inch-long flexible strip that can display millions of colours, and the Nanoleaf Canvas allows you to add coloured panels to a wall.

If you’re setting up a games room, there are many options to enhance the experience using smart lights.

Will Current Smart Lights Be Obsolete in a Few Years?

It’s hard to predict, but there are some signs that they will have a reasonably long life.

If you’re worried about switching brands, most smart lighting systems use the ZigBee Light Link standard, including Philips, IKEA and others. And, of course, the various lighting systems all use standard light fittings.

Top Smart Light Brands

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance 2-Pack A19 LED Smart Bulb, Bluetooth & Zigbee compatible (Hue Hub Optional), Works with Alexa & Google Assistant – A Certified for Humans Device Base Lumen (60W) White & Color Ambiance 2 Count (Pack of 1)
  • Simple to Get Started; Set the mood with 16 million colors. Control your Philips Hue Smart Lights all with just the touch of a button on your mobile device or your favorite voice assistant. Add up to 10 Hue Bluetooth/Zigbee smart bulbs with the (free) Hue Bluetooth app. When ready to connect a voice assistant, just go to Settings > Add voice assistant in the Hue App.
  • Lifetime: 22 years or 25,000 lifetime hours (based on industry average usage), Energy Star Certified
  • Previous Hue Customers; This smart light, while Bluetooth compatible, will continue to work with your Hue Hub and can be seamlessly integrated into your current Hue Ecosystem. With the Hue Hub, you can control up to 50 smart lights throughout your home (even outdoor). Create timers and routines to automate your entire smart home lighting setup. Control your lights while away from home or add accessories such as motion sensors and smart switches to further enhance your experience.
  • Set the right mood: Style up your home decor with color accents or set up fun light colors for your next party. Support your day with pre-set light recipes, to get you energized in the morning and wind you down after a long day.
  • Certified for humans: Struggle-free, tinker-free, stress-free. No patience needed—they’re actually simple.

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The Philips lights are easy to set up and work with lots of different devices Alexa, Apple, Google, Nest, and others like IFTTT), with stunning colour effects. On the other hand, they are on the higher end price-wise, and you do need to purchase a Hub that acts as an interface between your smart devices and the Philips lights.

No doubt, due to their popularity, there have been security issues, so you need to keep your Bridge software updated. This can be done from your app by going into the Philips Hue mobile app, opening the Settings and selecting “Software update”.

WYZE Bulb White, 800 Lumen, 90+CRI WiFi Tunable-White A19 Smart Light Bulb, Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, Four-Pack A-19 4 Pack
  • Set any mood with Wyze Bulb’s tunable white color temperature. Use warm white (2700k) to relax in the evening and daylight (6500k) to wake up with morning coffee.
  • 9. 5-watt LED bulb (60-watt equivalent) produces up to 800 lumens and can be dimmed using voice control or the Wyze App (do not use with dimmer switches)
  • No Hub Required. Wyze Bulb connects directly to your 2. 4GHz WiFi network (does not support 5GHz Wi-Fi) and the free Wyze app for a quick and easy setup
  • Automate your lights with Wyze Sense (sold separately): Wyze Sense’s contact and motion sensors allow you to control your lights based on motion or opening/closing of a door so they’re on when you need them and off when you don’t. You can also integrate with IFTTT to link Wyze Bulbs to the rest of your smart home devices.
  • Make it look like someone’s home: Vacation mode turns lights on/off on a variable schedule while you’re away.

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If you’re looking for a cheaper option, the Wyze’s smart bulb is a good option. It works with Google and Alexa. It’s a “tunable white”, meaning it doesn’t offer the vibrant colours of the Philips lights but mimics daylight. You can change both the brightness and colour temperature (2,700k – 6,500k) with the Wyze app and Google, Alexa and IFTTT. It also does not need a hub like the Philips bulbs.

Sengled Smart Light Bulb, WiFi Light Bulbs That Work with Alexa & Google Home, No Hub Required, Smart LED Light Bulb A19 Soft White Light (2700K), 2 Pack 2 Pack A19 Soft White
  • Voice Control: Sengled smart bulbs that work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant make you control your smart lights via voice commands, which include turn on/off, adjust brightness and scenes. No Hub Required. Only 2.4GHz WiFi supported.
  • Remote Control: With Sengled Home app, you can turn on/off the Alexa enabled smart light bulbs whether you are at home or away. Group control function allows you to control more than one smart LED light bulb at the same time.
  • Schedule and Timer: Never come home to a dark house - by using light schedules on the Sengled Home app and be greeted with warm light. The timer function enables wifi smart light bulb power on and off automatically.
  • No Hub Required and 2.4GHz WiFi: Smart WiFi bulb only supports 2.4GHz WiFi wireless network, NOT compatible with 5GHz, dual band router should broadcast on 2.4GHz frequency band if not connected. Three steps to pair up with the app via WiFi easily.
  • Energy Saving and Dimmable Brightness Light: 8W 800lm smart WiFi LED light bulb with E26 base, which is equivalent to 60W traditional incandescent bulbs. Sengled smart bulb saves up to 80% energy compared with ordinary bulb. Long life span with 25,000 working hours. The light brightness can be fixed percentages from 1% - 100% output, you can set many different scenarios as you like.

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This is another inexpensive choice that works with both Alexa and Google Assistant. This one is simple to set up, and it doesn’t require a bridge-like Philips bulb but can connect to your home with the built-in WiFi.

Other popular brands include Sunco Lighting, Lomota, and Innr.

There are a lot of smart bulbs coming onto the market, so it pays to shop around. The main things you should look for are: does it work with my existing set-up, is there additional hardware needed (like a hub), and the bulbs’ lifespan.

Photo by Daniele Franchi on Unsplash