In the past, home lighting controls were fairly rudimentary. You flipped a switch on or off. Perhaps you had a dimmer switch. To turn lights on when you were on vacation, you plugged a lamp into a gadget with a dial, and it turned the lamp on and off. But today, consumers have more options than ever before.
The growing use of LED bulbs and the proliferation of smartphones and Wi-Fi have brought lighting options to a new level. In addition to using less energy, many LEDs can be controlled from a smartphone app.
When shopping for new LEDs, you essentially have two options.
A less expensive LED still offers longer life, lower energy use and will work for most fixtures. However, consumers with older dimmer switches often find that they must replace switches to work with newer LEDs.
The second and more expensive option is a “connected” LED. These devices offer features like remote control of lights from a smartphone app or via voice control through an in-home speaker. They can also be connected to a home security system or dimmed to enhance entertaining.
Connected LEDs require a central controller or hub, like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s HomeKit products. The hub can control other smart devices and become the center of a smart home system.
Consumers can choose from a variety of manufacturers of connected LEDs. Some bulbs are compatible with different hubs or systems, but if you’re planning a major overhaul to your home lighting, it’s best to buy one brand and stick with it.
Smart lighting options aren’t necessarily about saving energy, but if they can help you remember to turn the lights off when you are not in a room, then energy savings can be achieved.
As technology continues to advance, more smart home products will become available with features that focus on home security and quality of life. If you’re interested in smart technologies for your home, research your options and understand how the system works with the other devices within your home.
Posted: 2/10/2020 8:00:00 AM