Getting Started with Smart Lights

The perfect lighting can do more to enhance your home than just about any other piece of technology. And unlike so many other gadgets, smart lighting can actually save you money. These long-lasting, super-efficient marvels can set the tone for any room or any activity. Instead of moving fixtures or moving to another room, smart lighting from brands like Philips Hue and LIFX, let you effortlessly go from restful sleep to productive activity to energized socializing and back to restorative relaxation – all with one system.

How does home lighting automation work? Using a smart light bulbs in key fixtures or everywhere in your house, you or a handy smartphone app direct the colors and intensities you want in any area at any time. Some smart lights even work with Nest home automation products, so when your thermostat goes to "away" mode, your lights are automatically adjusted. There is so much to learn about creating a connected home these days. Smart lights might be a great place to start with transforming your living space into a smart space.

Smart Lighting Options

There are lots of choices when getting started with smart lighting. Buying just one smart light can help you test the waters and see which fixtures in which areas make the most sense for you. After that, smart lighting kits are a cost-effective way to make all your lighting work together to create the moods and spaces you desire. Light strips are a great way to augment your system to highlight key spaces or furniture.

When picking bulbs, the output numbers can be confusing, especially if you're used to conventional bulbs measured in watts. Because they are so much more efficient, the wattages of LED smart lights won't mean much to you. Instead, think in terms of lumens – the measure of how much visible light a bulb is capable of producing. To help you gauge how many lumens you'll want from an LED smart light, it's helpful to compare to corresponding conventional bulb wattages: A 40-watt incandescent bulb puts out around 450 lumens, a 60-watt bulb 800 lumens, and a 100 watt bulb 1,600 lumens.