Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan are masterminds often credited with inventing the modern-day light bulb. Little did they know that smart technology would someday arise and give way to an entirely new and revolutionary way of illuminating our homes.
Smart lighting systems empower homeowners to challenge the standard lighting functionality in their homes to perform on a far more magical level. Imagine stepping into your home and waving your wand—or clicking a button on your smartphone—and the entire vibe of the room shifts to reflect the perfect setting to complement whatever mood you’re in.
Many dismiss the concept altogether because they believe it’s expensive and confusing; they’re set on the idea of, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, it turns out that the energy efficiency and convenience of an integrated smart lighting system actually offer quite a few benefits that might make some people reconsider the idea of integrating their lights with smart technology.
In this article, we will break down everything you need to know about home smart lighting systems by focusing on the following topics:
- What is smart lighting?
- The convenience of smart lighting
- Security benefits of a smart lighting system
- Wellness benefits of a smart lighting system
- Smart switches compared to smart bulbs
Before diving into the details, we’ll explain how a smart lighting system works. Once you understand what it entails, you’ll see how it’s not just a trend but a game-changer for your home.
What is smart lighting?
Smart lighting is like having a personal lighting concierge for your home. It brings convenience and creativity with the touch of a finger or the sound of your voice. Depending on the system, you have the capability to customize the brightness, color, and even the warmth of your lights to match your mood, your activity, or the time of day.
The beauty of smart lighting lies in the idea of having total control over the lighting of your environment through a smartphone app or using your voice to adjust settings. If you follow a daily routine, you can even schedule your lights to turn on or off at certain times or through various actions, such as motion activation.
The ability to schedule your lights for your morning or evening ritual is a welcome perk homeowners can enjoy with a smart lighting system. Lights are controlled through the use of voice commands or with wireless remotes.
There is even something called a SPAN Smart Panel, a revolutionary electric panel that brings intelligence and efficiency to your home’s power distribution. It provides real-time insights into your energy consumption, automatically balances the electrical load, and comes with intelligent circuit breakers.
Be sure to find a licensed and certified SPAN Smart Panel installer if you opt for a SPAN Smart Panel, to ensure the system is installed safely and correctly.
The convenience of smart lighting
Convenience is taking the world by storm since it seems everyone has more on their plates than ever before, and any help is welcome. With smart lights, you can program them to turn off at night or come on right before you come home automatically. No more falling asleep with the lights still on or fumbling to hit a switch in the middle of the night.
Whether you’re lying comfortably in bed, you’re away from home, or you’re lounging on the sofa, you have complete control of your lighting without getting up. You can turn lights on or off, adjust the brightness or color, and monitor your system—all from your phone.
Integrating your smart lighting with the rest of your Smart Home Ecosystem is also possible, adding to the convenience factor. Smart lighting seamlessly integrates with other smart devices in your home, including your thermostat, security system, and popular systems like Alexa or Google Home.
Security benefits of a smart lighting system
Smart lighting can be a valuable ally to your security system for the home. Going away for vacation? You can schedule your smart lighting system to turn your lights on and off at specific times to give the illusion that someone is still home—no need to rig up inflatable party guests like that clever kid in “Home Alone.”
Integration with your home security system also allows lights to flash or change colors in case of an emergency, providing an added layer of protection and peace of mind when you’re away from the house.
Motion-activated lights are a great way to deflect unwanted guests from wandering onto your property at night. However, people get intimidated by the thought of dealing with an additional wiring job.
Setting up motion sensors that can be controlled through your smart lighting system can fix that issue. Your outdoor lights can be controlled in the evening without the need for wires, which can aid in the security of your property without the added hassle of wiring a different system.
Wellness benefits of a smart lighting system
The Washington Post recently detailed the benefits of sunrise alarm clocks, highlighting the importance of morning light exposure and how it interacts with your circadian rhythm. With a smart lighting system, you can similarly schedule your lights by synching them with the sun during the day, thereby reducing the need for a jarring alarm clock.
By setting your lights to daylight during the morning and daytime hours, you’ll feel more aligned with your circadian rhythm and have more energy throughout the day. Once the sun goes down, your smart lighting system can be scheduled to adjust to a dimmer tone and cue that bedtime is drawing near.
Smart switches and smart bulbs
Smart switches are basically enhanced versions of traditional light switches, most of which are designed to be installed with all current electrical systems. They fit into most homes’ standard electrical boxes and wiring, making it a relatively simple process for homeowners to upgrade their traditional switches.
Electrical smart switches connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network, allowing you to control your lights remotely from your smartphone, tablet, or smart home control hub. Once installed, they operate any light connected to that smart switch.
If you want the ability to use your switch for dimming, just be sure that your LED bulbs are dimmable.
Because smart switches are not hard-wired, you don’t have to turn the switch on or off. You can control your lights from your app or with voice commands. You can also power your lights on or off if you are out and about. This saves energy and allows for more connectivity than a traditional light switch.
Smart switches are an excellent option for the following areas:
- Ceilings with recessed bulbs
- Light fixtures that are on the bigger side with multiple bulbs
- Any light fixtures that do not have a standard or replaceable bulb
Smart bulbs require an app or voice assistance, such as Alexa or Google Home, to access all their features. If your standard light switch is in the off position, your bulb will not function. When your light switch is turned on, you can manipulate the light’s colors, access the dimming feature, or use voice commands.
Which is the best option, a smart bulb or a smart switch?
If you’re trying to decide between using smart bulbs or setting up smart switches, it really depends on your intended use, the project’s scale, and your budget.
Wi-Fi smart bulbs don’t need new switches installed, so the upfront cost is slightly lower than installing smart switches. However, if you plan to use a bunch of smart bulbs, know that they usually are a little pricey, so the cost can rack up quickly depending on how many you intend to buy.
A smart switch might be your better option if you are trying to light up a large room. Since smart switches essentially transform all of your lights in the room into smart lights, you don’t need to spend a lot on individual smart bulbs.
Smart switches also provide improved energy efficiency. They can help you reduce energy consumption by helping you control when your lights are on or off. The programming function is a valuable tool in ensuring your lights are off when they’re not in use but on when you need them.
Ongaro & Sons — Your Smart Lighting Experts
Ongaro & Sons is a family-owned business in its fourth generation of operation. We offer several smart home products that will allow you to adapt your home to your lifestyle, that will learn your habits and adjust settings to provide ultimate comfort and convenience, and that will improve energy efficiency.
Want to learn more valuable tips, clever tricks, and essential tech know-how to create an efficient, sustainable and comfortable living space? Click here to download your copy of our Smart Homes Made Simple Guide!
As a SPAN Certified Dealer, we are committed to delivering the future of energy management to your home. Ongaro & Sons is also a Certified Lutron RadioRA Installer, so upgrading the light switches in your home will be completed by friendly, qualified professionals in Sonoma County, Marin County, Santa Rosa, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sebastopol, Petaluma, and the surrounding areas.
Contact Ongaro & Sons here or call us at 707-419-3135 today if you have questions about our smart lighting services and how we can best serve you.