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With today’s technology, smart homes are no longer something we see on television. The products needed to upgrade your home are here! These smart home products started with voice-activated home devices like the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and now, with their help, have migrated to smart lighting. Thanks to Philips Hue, smart lighting no longer requires smart plugs. They’ve eliminated the hassle of trying to connect those smart plugs to one app and then sync them to another. With Philips Hue, all of their lights are voice-activated and still connect to your favorite home device.
What is Smart Lighting?
What is smart lighting? Family Handyman breaks it down for us. Smart lights are made with LED light bulbs and can be controlled by voice-activation or through an app on your mobile device. Did you walk out of the house and leave your bathroom light on? No worries! Once you’re no longer driving, pull out your cell phone and use your app to turn off that light. Coming home late at night? With smart lighting, like Philips Hue, you can turn every light in your home on or off with your cell phone.
How Do They Work?
Family Handyman continues breaking down this extraordinary technology for us. In most cases, all you need for smart lighting is a particular light bulb such as this LED lightbulb set sold by Philips Hue. Some light bulbs will require a hub – a device that connects to your router – to work. But there are light bulbs that don’t require a hub. The LED lightbulb set sold by Philips Hue doesn’t require a smart hub. They’re Bluetooth light bulbs that easily connect to Amazon or Google Home devices.
But, if you want to connect every light and light bulb in your home, you might need a hub to make this work. With the Philips Hue Bridge, you can add up to 50 light bulbs/smart lights in your home. 50 lights? Who in the heck would have that many lights in their home? We’re so glad you asked. A study referenced in an article published by Public Utilities Fortnightly revealed that the average number of light bulbs used in a single-family house is roughly 85. That being said, whether you’re shopping for light bulbs or your smart lighting desires center around entire light fixtures, we have the low-down on everything you need to know.
Economic Benefits To Smart Lighting
Did you know that a light bulb isn’t just a light bulb? When shopping for smart lighting, consider these economic benefits.
Money Talk News lists affordability as one reason why everyone should upgrade their home lighting. Using LED lights in your home can drastically cut your electricity bill. In some cases, bills can be reduced by as much as 80%. LED light bulbs, while pricier than other light bulbs, can also last for twenty years, outlasting their less expensive competitors.
Good ole Bob Vila never fails to impress us with his knowledge and expertise. Home security is one of Bob’s reasons for choosing smart lighting. Smart lighting isn’t limited to a home’s interior. It can also be installed on the outside of your home as well. With motion sensors, like the Philips Hue Dusk-To-Dawn Outdoor Motion Sensor, both your indoor and outdoor lights can be set to activate when motion is detected. Help light the way for your friends when they visit after dark. Even better, use the motion sensor to startle unwanted “guests” as well. With the Philips Hue Motion Sensor, porch pirates will think twice before snatching your precious packages.
Not only will the Philips Hue Motion Sensor activate your outdoor lights. Homeowners can also program the sensor to activate their interior lights as well to make it look like someone is home, even if you’re not. Alarm systems are great, but if you can’t afford the monthly cost, smart lighting with a motion sensor is definitely another option.
In addition to economic benefits, smart lighting also has many health benefits, such as improving sleep patterns, boosting learning performance, and more.
The ongoing pandemic has left many families opting for learn-from-home or homeschool programs for their kids. This is one reason why families should consider upgrading their lighting to LED lights. Eaton has found that schools that switch from fluorescent lights to LED lights have seen increased performance among their students. Energy Performance Lighting backs this finding up by adding that many students suffer from visual acuity issues and LED lights can aid those students.
Philips Hue offers a ton of home solutions for boosting performance. Among them is the Flourish Pendant Light which was designed for use in your living room, office, and bedroom. It has an endless range of colors homeowners can choose from to fit their needs and its contemporary style will give whatever room its in a fun, updated look.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Energy Performance Lighting listed seasonal affective disorder as another reason why homeowners, schools, and office buildings should upgrade their lighting to LED lights. The American Psychiatric Association defines seasonal affective disorder (SAD) as a depression that occurs most commonly during fall and winter. It’s estimated that 5% of all adults suffer from SAD and that its symptoms can last for 40% of the year. Energy Performance Lighting recommends using bright lights in all classrooms and offices because bright lighting has been shown to improve moods as well as performance.
Philips Hue offers a number of products that can help you boost your mood and improve your performance. For your living room or bedroom, the Philips Hue Downlight Lighting is one such solution. It has 4 lighting presets available to help meet your needs. Those presets are: Relax, Read, Concentrate, and Energize. Another option for your home is the Fair Ceiling Light which Philips Hue designed with the living room and bedroom in mind. Its light colors can also be adjusted to fit your needs from relaxing to waking up in the morning.
Eaton reported one other benefit of using LED lights in your home or office. Improved sleep performance. A number of studies have found that LEDs can help regulate your circadian rhythm because their brightness can replicate the effects of sunlight by boosting melatonin and thus, helping people relax and fall asleep at night. The Ascend Pendant Light is another Philip Hues product recommended for either the living room or bedroom because its light colors can be programmed to accommodate your daily and nightly needs.
Even though all of Philips Hues products are super easy to install and don’t require any professional assistance, we’re well aware that the task of installing a ceiling light can seem intimidating. That’s why we’re recommending one other option for use in your bedroom or office. The Philips Hue Smart Portable Table Lamp operates using a rechargeable battery and offers a wide range of light colors to suit your needs. If you homeschool in an area that needs more light, the Philips Hue Smart Portable Table Lamp is definitely an option. It’s also perfect to take on the road for camping or RV life.
Shopping For Your Home
CNET has a list of shopping tips to help buyers determine what they need when shopping for smart lighting. We’ve summed them up for you.
Most smart lighting will be compatible with voice-activated devices such as Amazon and Google. But some aren’t. Make sure when choosing your smart lighting, the products you’re looking at are compatible with your voice-activated devices. All of Philips Hue products are compatible with Amazon, Google, and Apple Homekit.
Wi-Fi or Bluetooth Hub
As mentioned earlier, a hub isn’t always required. In most cases, Wi-Fi enabled smart lighting can be connected to your network and activated either through an app on a mobile device or voice-activated using a compatible speaker such as Amazon Alexa. But this begs the question, “Why buy a hub if I don’t have to?” Engadget dedicated an entire article to this very question. It’s all about your internet network.
Laptops, tablets, cell phones, smart lighting, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, e-readers. All of these devices are connected to your network. Now picture this! Your network is the street you live on. These devices are cars parked on your street. The more cars parked on your street, the slower you have to drive to avoid hitting them. Before you know it, it’s taking forever for that Tik Tok video to load because of all the congestion on your network.
Having a hub, such as the Philips Hue Bridge, will transfer some of those parked cars – in this case, smart lighting – onto a different street, allowing traffic to travel smooth, fast, and unobstructed. Also, according to CNET, Bluetooth light bulbs generally require that you be within a certain range to activate them with a mobile device. Having a dedicated hub will broaden that range. So while it might not be required, having a hub is worth considering!
Reading The Label
In addition to verifying that smart lighting is compatible with your voice-activated devices, Money Talk News has some other good advice. When it comes to choosing smart lighting, there is one other question to ask: lumens or watts? According to Money Talk News, the days of shopping by watts are long over. When purchasing LED light bulbs for your home, the question you should ask is how many lumens in a light bulb? Lumens determine a bulb’s brightness.
Money Talk News has a conversion chart in their article that gives a breakdown of how many lumens you need if you’re looking to swap out your old watt light bulbs. For example, if you want the same brightness you’d get with a 150 watt light bulb, then you’ll want an LED light bulb with 2600 lumens.
Choosing The Right Color
One of our favorite aspects of smart lighting is all the different colors available with LED lights. Philips Hue smart lighting makes millions of colors available in their LED lights, redefining “mood lighting.” Elemental LED has some recommendations on what color lighting you should use in each room of your home. Obviously, as far as color choice goes, it’s dealer’s choice, but we found their recommendations fascinating. Warm lighting creates a cozy ambiance and is therefore ideal for living rooms and bedrooms, in particular, if your decor is “earthy” in tone.
For rooms, such as the kitchen, that might be decorated in light blues or greys, Elemental LED recommends using a cooler-colored light. Elemental LED also referenced a study that found cooler lights are ideal for home offices because they yield energizing properties on people. Attention homeschoolers!!!! Consider putting a cool-colored light in your homeschooling area.
When installing any product, such as smart lighting, in your home, safety is always a major consideration. Elemental LED advises looking for products that have undergone laboratory safety testing and are either UL or ETL certified. Clear Touch published an article in 2018 explaining what a UL certification means regarding product safety. Clear Touch considers UL to be “superior” to other laboratories when it comes to safety standards because for a product to receive a UL certification, UL puts that product under rigorous testing.
Clear Touch summarizes the types of testing UL performs on its products as:
- Electrical safety
- Fire safety
- Mechanical safety
- Durability (testing under adverse conditions)
It’s important to mention that, according to Elemental LED, having a UL or an ETL certification isn’t required to sell products in the United States. That means it’s entirely possible you could purchase something that hasn’t been safety tested. For your peace of mind and the safety of you and your family, all Philips Hue products are UL certified.
Philips Hue Smart Lighting: 5 Reasons To Buy
There are an infinite number of reasons why Philips Hue smart lighting is the smart choice for your home. We could go on all day about their products, but, because we know your time is precious, we narrowed down the number of reasons you must buy Philips Hue to five.
With Philips Hue products, installation can be done in just four, super-easy steps.
- Choose your product. This is by far the most challenging task due to all the wonderful home options provided by Philips Hue. You’ll feel like a kid in a candy shop.
- Power up your lights using one of two methods. Some products will require a starter kit. For others, all you have to do is plug the light in.
- Connect the Philips Hue Bridge to your Wi-Fi. Once the three lights are lit, you’re ready to go!
- Download the Philips Hue App that’s available on iOS and Google Play.
That’s it. That’s all there is to installation. No need to hire an electrician. It doesn’t get better than this when it comes to smart lighting.
Huge Selection Of Lights
Philips Hue has a massive selection to choose from. Lamps, flood lights, light bulbs, light strips, ceiling lights, dimmer switchers, etc., etc. The list goes on and on. There’s something for everyone at Philips Hue.
With Philips Hue smart lighting, you can set the mood in every room of your home. Pick and choose whatever kind of lighting you need. From lighting that will help you stay energized and focused to lighting that will help you relax and unwind, Philips Hue has your best interest at heart when it comes to the lighting in your home. Add a Philips Hue Switch to the mix and use it to dim your lights. With Alexa’s help, this switch can dim or brighten the lights in up to ten rooms.
Two Ways To Control Your Lights
All of Philips Hue lights can be controlled either through the Hue app or through voice activation. There are two apps for Philips Hue. One is the Hue Bluetooth app that can be used with compatible Bluetooth lightbulbs. As long as you’re in range, you can control these lights with a tap on your mobile device. The other app is for the Hue Bridge. The Hue Bridge is an additional purchase that comes with many perks. It unlocks a wide range of features that can be used on all of Philips Hue lighting. Some of these perks include syncing movie lighting, saving customized light settings, and programming your lights to turn on and off at various times of the day.
Philips Hue allows customers to use voice-activation through a variety of different platforms. These platforms include, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Homekit, Microsoft Cortana, and more, making it a versatile investment for your home.
Read More: Fully: The Best Home Office Furniture for Families
Flourish Pendant Light | Ascend Pendant Light | Fair Ceiling Light | Downlight Lighting | Philips Hue Switch | Philips Hue Bridge | Philips Hue Dusk-To-Dawn Outdoor Motion Sensor | Philips Hue Smart Portable Table Lamp
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Whether you suffer from seasonal depression, a lack of motivation, or sleep deprivation, Philips Hue has the lighting you need to overcome and rise up. With Philips Hue smart lighting, you can take home security to another level. Rest easy knowing that their motion-activated lights will make any sinister guest think twice before breaking in. Don’t wait another minute! Make your home a smart home with Philips Hue!
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on 8 THINGS YOU NEED TO CREATE THE SMART HOME OF YOUR DREAMS.
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Sources: Family Handyman | Public Utilities Fortnightly | Money Talk News | Bob Vila | Eaton | Energy Performance Lighting | American Psychiatric Association | Engadget | CNET | Elemental LED | Clear Touch | Philips Hue