Home lighting greatly affects our living comfort and mood. It is also an important decorative element that can emphasize the architectural values of individual rooms, terraces or gardens. The current technology allows you to easily control the light in our environment and create lighting arrangements for various occasions. All this without the need to rebuild the electrical system.
What is Smart Lighting?
Smart lighting for a flat or house is a lamp system that can be wirelessly controlled from the level of an application on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Such a system can consist of one light source, as well as a dozen or even several dozen. We can control them individually, or combine them into large groups – for example, with one click in the application, change the lighting of the entire garden.
To create such a system, we need:
- smart light sources – light bulbs, lamps, wall lamps, LED strips, etc.
- devices that will control wireless connections between them – this is most often a bridge
- an application thanks to which we will be able to control the lighting – the application should come from the manufacturer of the other elements of the system
The benefits of smart lighting
Remote control – no more walking around the house or garden and pressing more switches. You control everything with the touch of a finger on your smartphone. There are other ways too. If you have a voice assistant installed in your home (such as, for example, Google Home), you can control the lighting using voice commands. There is also an option to control the lighting with a wireless controller that you can attach to the wall or just have it on the table at hand.
Dimming and brightening – you can adjust the light intensity to the time of day or your mood. Smart bulbs and lamps enable wireless dimming and brightening.
Changing the color or temperature of light – you will be able to instantly change the color of light by regulating it from very warm to cool. For example, warm light is perfect for reading or relaxing, while cool light stimulates activity and is best for everyday activities. Some lamps also have the ability to change the color of the light. Do you want to make the kids a disco in the living room? May flash colored lights. Do you want to change the face of your bedroom? An atmospheric light may turn on in it. The possibilities depend only on your imagination.
Motion sensors – smart lighting can interact with motion sensors. It is a great convenience – the light turns on when we enter the room and goes out when we leave it. It is also a cost saving. We do not pay for lighting in rooms where nobody is present.
Schedules and lighting profiles – Schedules will allow each light source to set the day and time to turn on and off. Profiles will allow you to program the action to be performed by a group of lamps under one button.
Element of the safety system – lighting can also become an element of the safety system. When connected to alarm devices, we can make the lights throughout the house flash when the alarm goes off. Lamps can also be programmed so that they turn on during our absence at home, simulating that someone is still there. This can confuse those planning the break-in.
Energy saving – smart lighting consumes much less energy than conventional light bulbs. Thanks to this, the investment in the purchase of such equipment pays off after a few years. Additionally, in our application we will have reports on energy consumption. This allows you to better plan the schedules and cost of lighting a garden or porch.
Decorative element – with the help of light you can change the house and garden in an almost magical way. A space that has so far seemed uninteresting suddenly takes on a completely different atmosphere. Moreover, you can create different lighting variants. For example, the garden may look different at a family party than at a party with friends.
Synchronization – thanks to some sets of smart lighting you can make the lighting in the room become part of a movie, game or music. Then the lamps will react to the events on the TV, monitor or to the mood resulting from the music. To achieve this, you will have to include a computer and additional software in the system.
Types of smart lighting
A smart lighting system can consist of several different components. The most important of them are:
Smart light bulbs – a smart light bulb at first glance is not much different from a regular one. It has the same types of threads as classic incandescent lamps and can be screwed into ordinary lamps. After connecting it to the Wi-Fi network via a bridge, we can control its operation through the application. Depending on the model purchased, we can adjust the light temperature, dim or change the color of the light. We can also create lighting profiles for many bulbs or create schedules for turning them on and off.
Smart lamps – they come in virtually every popular variety. We can buy classic ceiling lamps (both ceiling and suspended), wall lamps, bathroom lamps, lamps for suspended ceilings, floor and desk lamps. Depending on the model, we will have functions such as smartphone control, dimming, changing the color of the light, or creating lighting schedules. Some lamps have two light sources – white and colored. Lamps can work with motion sensors or wireless switches.
Smart LED strips – LED strips are a perfect tool to emphasize details in the interior design of our rooms. They are often placed at the base of mirrors, on the edges of furniture, in slots at curtain rods, as a decoration for suspended ceilings, or inside furniture. The tapes are flexible and allow the use of lighting in places where the use of classic lamps would be impossible. The assembly is extremely simple – the tape is simply stuck in the selected place and connected to the power supply. Before purchasing, you can check whether the tape is for indoor or outdoor use. The latter are resistant to weather conditions.
Smart garden lamps – these are primarily light poles, outdoor luminaires, floodlights and wall lamps. They are made of durable materials. They are resistant to weather conditions. They work with motion sensors – so lamps can only turn on in areas where someone is moving. Smart garden lighting can also read your location and turn on automatically when you drive to your property. You can also set the garden lighting in such a way that the lamps will brighten up with the falling darkness.
Lamps with a motion sensor
Smart lamps can react to movement in the immediate vicinity. This is a very convenient solution, because we don’t have to do anything for the light to turn on and then off.
- motion sensor – the simplest sensors, after detecting activity, turn on the light for a specified period of time, regardless of whether someone will still be moving during this time. As a result, after this time has elapsed, the light goes out and turns on again only after detecting another movement
- presence sensors – more advanced motion sensors. These devices keep the light on as long as they detect movement.
Motion sensors are most often used in bathrooms, corridors, stairs and garages. They are also widely used in the case of outdoor lighting – in gardens, porches and terraces, or at entrance gates.
It is also worth checking what technology the sensor uses:
- laser beam – the simplest are devices emitting a laser beam. When it is interrupted, the light turns on. However, in this case, the lighting can be switched on, for example, by leaves blown by the wind
- measurement of infrared radiation – much more functional sensors, based on the measurement of radiation caused by the presence of people. Often they have the ability to adjust the sensitivity
- microwave sensors – in their case, movement can be detected behind obstacles such as walls, glass or furniture. This is because microwaves can penetrate plastic, wood, glass and other thin materials.
Smart garden lighting – why is it worth it?
Smart lighting systems can change the garden in a matter of seconds according to our needs and preferences. After dark, it can look really fabulous. It is also worth knowing that all garden lamps are resistant to moisture, rain or washers.
The most popular garden lighting elements are:
- Low lamps – also known as bollards. They are lower than 1 meter and are used primarily to illuminate communication routes – for example paths and sidewalks. Their light is directed downwards, thanks to which they do not blind anyone.
- Wall lamps – mounted on the walls. Used to highlight important building elements – entrances, house number plates, bells, etc.
- Floodlights – powerful lamps designed to illuminate a large area of the site well – for example, a driveway to a garage.
- Spot lamps – provide a narrow beam of light illuminating details – for example bushes, ponds, garden figurines or a fountain.
Smart home lighting – is it worth it?
Smart home lighting is a system that will greatly simplify and make our lives more pleasant. We will quickly get used to the convenience of remote lighting control and soon we will forget that we had to flick a switch on the wall to turn on the light. We will certainly appreciate the ability to adjust the temperature of the light. Warmer, yellow light is great for reading and relaxing. Colder, white light is well suited to everyday activities. Certainly, we will also find applications for changing the color of light. The colors will allow you to change the look of the rooms if necessary.
Schedules for lighting and operating profiles that allow you to control many lamps at the same time with one button are a great help. We can set a profile, for example, for rest, watching TV or working at the computer. Lighting can also become part of the security system and be coordinated with the alarm. Another convenient function is to turn on the light in response to movement. Such smart lighting of the stairs or terrace is a great help. More advanced users will also appreciate the option of controlling the lamps using voice commands. All this makes it definitely worth investing in smart lighting systems.