By Joni Wittenbach
What makes a smart home truly intelligent? To us, one of the smartest—and most convenient—components that can be included in every smart home is smart lighting. With benefits like energy efficiency, added peace of mind, streamlined day-to-day activities, and automated actions, it’s pretty easy to see why. Or is it? What does smart lighting actually entail?
Let’s shed some light on the subject. (See what we did there?)
WHAT IS SMART LIGHTING?
It’s not a fancy bulb or an app on your phone; although, those can certainly be part of it! It’s the intertwining of the lighting in your home, the multiple functions you can create with them, and the ways in which you can control it all. Using keypads, voice assistants, an app, touchscreens, or a remote, you’re able to dim lights or change colors and hues in any (and every) room, turn individual fixtures or groups of lights on and off, and set a specific mood. With just one action, set an entire scene that dims the kitchen lights to a certain percentage while the speakers start a playlist and the front door locks. The smartest thing about smart lighting is that it’s more than just lighting.
DID YOU KNOW?
There are two main ways smart lighting can be installed:
- The first is called “Centralized Lighting” which is used for homes in the new-build process or going through major renovations. This option actually connects the lights to a central location, similar to a breaker box, which is hardwired and connects to the smart home “brain” or controller.
- The second is called “Wireless Lighting” and is mainly used for retro-fitting. This option uses the same wires that run to your current lighting switches, but the regular switches are replaced by a smart switch or keypad and then communicate wirelessly to the “brain” or controller.
You can read more about these HERE.
WHAT CAN IT DO?
Conveniently placed lighting keypads allow you to turn off every light on your way out the door with one tap. As you arrive home, your garage door can trigger the entryway lights to lead your way into the house. Motion detectors brighten the hallway lights during the evening and throughout the night, making it easier to move about without disturbing the rest of the household. Smart lighting simplifies your daily routine—and even tasks that only happen every now and again—in an intuitive way easy enough for the whole family to use and enjoy.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
Switches, dimmers, and customizable keypads (check out colors and finishes here) match your decor and blend in seamlessly to your home; no unsightly or boring switches plastered your wall creating “wall acne.” No longer will you need to fiddle with switches until you find the right one. Instead of a bank of four—or more!—switches on your walls, one sleek customizable keypad can take care of multiple lights in multiple rooms, or even set an entire scene with preset lighting, music, temperature control, and door locks.
HOW DO I USE IT?
Smart lighting wouldn’t be very smart if sleek switches and keypads were the only way you could control it, right? With Control4 Smart Lighting, you’re also able to use an app on your phone, tabletop or in-wall touchscreens, voice assistants like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, and even a TV remote to control your lighting throughout the entire house. When your hands are full while you’re working in the kitchen, just ask Alexa or Google to turn up the lights for you. When you’re cozied up on the couch, use the remote to dim the lights for the movie. When you’re out on the patio enjoying the evening, use the mobile app to turn on the ambiance of the outside lights. And of course, as you’re headed up the stairs to catch some Zzzz’s, use the lighting switches and keypads to put the whole house to bed.
SO MANY POSSIBILITIES…
Keep your home safe while you’re away
Smart lighting can help deter burglars from targeting your home. With remote management capabilities, you can turn lights on and off right from your phone while you’re away, or using our “Mockupancy” feature, your lighting—and electronics like TVs—will turn on and off on their own to “mock” how they would be used if you were home; perfect for while you’re away on a holiday or just out for the night.
Spruce up the holidays
Add a little extra spirit to your holiday decor and never have to walk outside to plug in the exterior lights in the snow! Simply tell Alexa or Google to turn on outside lights, or have them power up and down at a set time every night along with other decorations without having to lift a festive finger.
Smart lighting helps you conserve energy in a few different ways. Lights can stay consistently at 70% luminosity for most preset scenes. Exterior lights may come on at a certain time in the evening so you aren’t arriving home to a dark house, and then turn off at an early morning hour so you aren’t wasting energy when someone forgets to flip the switches the next day.
But this is just the first hint of light when it comes to the benefits of smart lighting. The future of your smart lighting journey is looking bright!