What is smart lighting and how does it work?
There may not be flying cars on the streets or floating buildings in cities but without a doubt, we are living in the future. The technological capabilities that are at our disposal are fascinating and we live in an age where we can switch on our lights at home with our voices. It’s called smart lighting and here at Leader Lights, we are going to explain to you how it works.
How does smart lighting work?
First and foremost, smart lighting is a type of lighting which you can control with an app from your phone or with a smart speaker such as an Alexa device. The app or device will let you turn on/off lights or dim the bulbs to a setting that you choose, the lighting also has the capability to change the colour of your light (only if you have a colour changing system – it’s the future but it’s not magic).
What are the benefits of having smart lighting in your home?
Smart lighting can be a very useful thing to have installed in your home. With the tap of an app on your phone, you can switch your living room lights on. This acts as a great safety feature for those who are on a summer holiday and want to deter intruders. It can also be useful for lowering your home’s energy consumption.
With smart lighting systems, you can turn on lights in other rooms which is convenient and allows you greater control over the lighting effects in your living space.
Another benefit is that with some systems you can install timers to ensure that lights are activated at certain times for your convenience. Let’s set the scene – it’s wintertime and the nights are dark. You usually get home from work around 6 pm and it’s always a task to find the keyhole in the dark; well with smart lighting, you could set a timer from 5:45 pm until 6:15 pm to keep your outdoor light on.
Anyone can install smart lighting into their living space and it is a home improvement which makes a big difference and doesn’t break the bank.
What do you need to install smart lighting?
Smart lighting is usually controlled by a main networking source and uses mesh networking technologies to operate. This is where each smart light bulb connects wirelessly to the next and is controlled by a main hub. This main hub is often called a hive and is plugged into your router. By connecting to your router you can control your lighting through your smartphone, tablet or other devices which makes life that little bit easier. Essentially, you will need a stable wifi connection and an operating hive system which can be easily installed.
How does hive lighting work?
Most smart lighting hubs use common wireless technology but it depends upon the operating system. Technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are common but some hive systems have their own communication systems installed. The system can then be installed onto your smart device via your usual app store. In most cases the app is free and you will connect to your own system using a code or automatically through your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. From this, you will then be able to use your smartphone, tablet or other devices to control your home lights.
How does Alexa turn on lights?
As we previously mentioned, we are in the future, and that means being able to turn your lights on with just your voice. Amazon’s smart speaker device, also known as Alexa is wonderful and if you have one around we suggest you stop what you are doing and say “Alexa, I’ve got 99 problems.” and wait for the response.
You may be wondering, ‘how to get Alexa to turn on the light?’ well, here at Leader Lights we have put together a step by step guide of how to do just that.
What will I need to get Alexa to control the lights?
- An Alexa device
- Alexa app (available from most device stores)
- Smart light bulbs
- Smart hive system or a Smart plug switch
There are two main methods for getting Alexa to control the light and we’ll cover both – we wouldn’t want anyone feeling left out. Both methods have the same steps for installation.
Method 1: Smart Switch
By using this method, Alexa is controlling the power which is supplied to the light. This means that this method will only work for stand-alone fixtures such as floor lights and table lamps which you will find a large range to choose from here at Leader Lights.
Method 2: Smart Bulbs / Hive system
With smart bulbs, you will have already installed your hive system and the bulbs should be in place. Alexa controls the individual bulbs here and is more suited towards mains lighting.
Step by step guide to get Alexa to control the lights
- Open the Alexa app on your smart device.
- Once in the Alexa app, go to devices at the bottom right of your screen.
- Tap ‘Add Device’
- This is where you select your device type (Light, Switch, Plug, Hub)
- Choose your selected brand from the brand list
- This should provide you with the appropriate steps for your device.
Top Tips once you have installed your device
- Make sure that you name your device something that you will remember. Ideally, name the device as the room in which it is placed e.g. – Kitchen.
- To name a device select the following: Device > Settings > Click on the device you want to rename > Edit name > Enter your desired device name.
- It’s best to use short phrases when using Alexa to control the lights. A good example would be “ Alexa, turn on [name of your light].
Now that you know everything there is to know about smart lighting and Alexa’s ability to turn on your lights why not browse through the selection of luxury lights available here at Leader Lights.