Smart LED bulbs put you in control of household lighting
Over the past decade, LED lighting has become a cheaper and cost-effective alternative to standard light bulbs. With a longer lifespan, reduce lifetime running cost and improved directional lighting, it’s clear to see why people are finally making the switch.
But, there’s more to these energy-efficient bulbs than meets the eye. Over the past few years, a new-wave of wireless smart LED lighting has swept the market. From the Philips Hue to LIFX and C by GE – these smart LED bulbs put you in charge of your household and outdoor lighting.
By replacing your current halogen or CFL bulb and installing a central hub, you can control your lights from the comfort of a smartphone or tablet. However, as Mike Andrews from ITA Electrical explains, this is only a fraction of what you can achieve with smart home LED lighting.\
If you have a digital assistant like Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri or Google Assistant, you can use custom voice commands to control your smart LED lights.
Simply give your smart light bulbs specific names and ask your digital assistant to scan the area for new devices. When it detects the new lights, they’ll be instantly added to the database. You can then ask the assistant to switch the lights on or off, dim or brighten the lights to your liking.
You can also group lights together to control different rooms or sections of lighting. This is particularly useful if you want to separately control smart ceiling lights or lamps that exist in the same room.
Control lights without a central hub
One downside to having smart LED lights is setting up the central hub. For most devices on the market, you need this hub to relay information from your smartphone to the light bulbs.
However, if you want to avoid the hassle of buying and installing a central hub – the LIFX Gen 3 light bulbs can simply connect to your WiFi and be controlled straight away.
Want to save even more on your energy bills? The Smart Lamp LED Motion Sensor could be the answer. This smart bulb has an inbuilt PIR sensor that lights up when movement is detected. After 60 seconds of inactivity, it automatically switches off to conserve power.
This energy-saving potential is ideal for homeowners looking to cut costs on their energy bills. It also works as an outdoor security light to protect your home from intruders.
Most smart home LEDs can be automated to create ‘scenes’ in the home. This means you can instruct the lights to perform specific functions at certain times of the day.
This feature opens up a wealth of possibilities for the home. Having trouble sleeping? Schedule your lights to change to a warmer tone before you go to bed. Want to wake up feeling rested? Set an alarm on the app and have your lights gradually become brighter when morning arrives.
If you have the Philips Hue Lights, you can even use GPS tracking to have your lights switch on as you walk towards the door.
If This Then That (IFTTT) is a free web-based service that lets you download custom LED lighting scenes, which you can integrate with your smart lights to perform a variety of functions.
From having the lights dim at a certain time, to changing the colour based on the song you’re listening to – the possibilities are nearly endless. The free service has a dedicated community, where smart device manufacturers and community members upload their own creative scenarios for people to try.
These ‘scenes’ are officially known as applets (or ‘recipes’) and can be downloaded safely through the IFTTT website. Here are some innovative IFTTT recipes you can try in your home:
You Have Mail – Are you waiting on an urgent email from your boss or an important client? This recipe syncs with your email account and blink your lights when you get an email from a specific address.
Smoke Alarm – If you have a Nest Protect smoke alarm, you can have the lights turn red if the Nest detects a smoke or carbon monoxide emergency.
Missed Call – Never let a missed call go unnoticed again. Sync your smart lights with your Android phone. Next time you miss a phone call, the lights will blink to let you know.
Party Time – Get the party started with a light show. Trigger the lights with a voice command to put on a fantastic colour show for your guests.
Try new things
Making the switch to smart home LED lighting is a fantastic way to reduce your energy bills and enhance your lifestyle. While you do need some patience to set up your central hub, connect to your mobile devices, and download new IFTTT recipes – having more control over your lights can really make a difference to the enjoyment of your home.
BriteLUX Diffuser Lens solves common LED lighting dilemma
Landscape architects, pool technicians and homeowners can now eliminate harsh hot spots and distracting shadows in their pool lighting thanks to the BriteLUX Diffuser Lens, Waterco’s latest lighting innovation.
“LEDs are long lasting, energy efficient light sources; however, they can be particularly challenging for lighting experts, specifiers and designers due to the unsightly hot spots they create,” explains George Flory, Waterco’s Domestic Water Care Product Manager. “Hot spots are areas where direct light is concentrated, and they can detract from the overall visual appeal of the light.”
Unlike traditional LED lenses that restrict the light output to unflattering hot spots, the new BriteLUX Diffuser Lens radiates light throughout the entire circumference of the lens. In fact, BriteLUX improves the light’s luminosity by 50 percent in comparison to Waterco’s standard LED light lens.