What are smart lights?
Smart lights do more than just turn off and on with a switch. They can be: dimmable, scheduled to turn on and off, voice activated and remotely controlled from your phone or tablet wherever you are. They can also change colour.
There are lots of options on the market to suit every home. Some smart lights connect to a home hub like Amazon Echo, and some will also connect directly to your smartphone without a hub.
Are smart lights right for me?
Yes, if you want more flexibility over your lighting and want to be able to control your lights from wherever you are. There'll be a smart light that's suitable for you because they're available in the main fitting types (see right), just like traditional light bulbs. These are the three main kinds:
- Standard bulbs – E27 or bayonet fittings
- Candle bulbs – SES (small screw) fittings
- Spotlights – GU10 spotlight fittings
Smart lighting bulbs are all LED. This is great news because they use less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs. In terms of colour, you’ll usually get to choose between two kinds of bulb: white ones or colour-changing ones.
Wi-Fi light bulbs
Wi-Fi smart lights are simple to set up. You just put them in your existing socket, download the app that goes with them, connect to the internet and you're good to go. A lot of the Wi-Fi light bulbs also work with Amazon Echo so you can have voice-controlled lights anywhere in your home.
Smart lights and Amazon Echo
Smart lights can be controlled by an Amazon Echo, which means you can use Alexa to control your lighting anywhere in the home.
Alexa is your built-in personal assistant you can talk to and give instructions. You can set your individual commands when it comes to your smart lights too. For example, if you like your lights dimmed when you're watching a film, you can set a command like: "Alexa, switch lights to 'movie night' mode." Then your lights will dim.
Why not get a starter kit to try smart lights out in one room first, then see if you want them throughout your home? Check out our Smart Home Store for great deals.