For much of the last century, our relationship with our lighting has been pretty basic. “On. Off. On. Off. Then, in the 1960s dimming was introduced. Dim a little. Dim a little more. Off.” That’s what lighting has consisted of until the last decade. Now, all of a sudden there are endless possibilities when it comes to lighting in your home, hence why we call it ‘smart lighting’.
Smart lighting is capable of so much including the ability to be controlled through the sounds of someone’s voice, their presence through motion detectors, and even a smartphone from miles away! It may seem like we're talking about something from the future, but this technology is here now, and it is here to stay.
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Before we get into how incredibly beneficial smart lighting technology will be to your life and to raising your home’s value, it’s important to explain exactly what it is. Smart lighting systems work by connecting to your home’s WiFI network and allow you to control and operate your lights through a smartphone app. Other systems use an industry-standard wireless protocol tool called Zigbee to communicate with each other. This is similar to WiFi signal but the biggest difference is that products connected to a WiFi network can only communicate through one central router while Zigbee products can communicate with each other.
Today, there are so many options when it comes to the types of bulbs available on the market, each with its own range, from GUI spotlights and GLS light bulbs with adjustable temperatures, to color changing LED strips that are awesome for back-lighting or running behind cabinets and shelves. Smart lighting is very versatile so you can control individual light bulbs, groups of lights, or even all of them at the same time depending on your preferences.
The coolest part of smart lighting is the ability to customize them. You can adjust the lighting and color of individual lights or all of them, it can be completely customizable. Our personal favorite capability of smart lighting is the ability to set up “lighting schemes” for special occasions. For example you can set up a movie time scheme of dimmed lighting anytime your family gathers to watch a film. Or, you can set up a specific scheme for holidays making your lights green and red for a christmas party. There is really no limit to how creative you can get with your smart lighting! You can also set your lights on a schedule so they turn on and off, dim, change colors, whatever you want at specific times.
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Most smart lighting systems today such as Philips Hue, Crompton Smart, OSRAM Lightify, and LIFX, are compatible with smart home systems such as Google Home or Amazon Echo which means you can use voice commands to operate your lighting. This allows you to get even more creative with your lighting schemes. One of our clients recently told us that since Covid-19 started, her and her husband have been having their date nights at home and she uses her smart devices to set the mood for each date. By simply saying “Alexa turn on Date Night” her lights change to her favorite colors while her carefully curated playlist begins to play!
Smart lighting is only now gaining its popularity and will continue to in the future. It will be an aspect of the Internet of Things (IoT), a network of smart home appliances that are connected to the internet and work together to make your life more convenient and more enjoyable. More and more people are learning about the benefits of smart lighting and looking for homes that already have this awesome technology, so it’s best to hop on the smart home and smart lighting train now and begin increasing your home’s value!