Are you torn between getting a wifi light switch and a smart bulb? If you answered “yes,” to that question, you’re not alone. But how on Earth do you decide which is the right one for you?
Start by understanding the features and benefits of home automation. Without this information, you simply can’t make an informed decision. Both types have their pros and cons, and once you know what they are, choosing the smart lighting that fits your needs will be downright easy.
6 Features of Smart Home Lighting Automation
Controlling the lights remotely in your home is now a reality with home lighting automation technology. Home lighting automation offers you many benefits, such as convenience and energy-saving features.
1. Control lights with apps
First of all, one great feature of smart home lighting, whether a wifi light switch or a smart bulb, is that you control it using the turn lights off app. As such, apps such as Iconnect Hue or the Smart Lights app let you remotely control the smart bulbs in your home.
2. Set a schedule for your smart home lighting
Setting a schedule for the lights in your home turns them on and off when you want them to. That means you could come home from work to a well lit entryway, instead of fumbling for switches. Alternatively, dimming the lights around bedtime may just be the trick to that healthy sleep cycle you’re seeking.
3. Changing hues of smart light bulbs
Smart light bulbs can also change colors, matching your mood. Do you want to turn your bathroom into a peaceful oasis? Set your lights to a relaxing blue. Would you like to add a romantic touch to your bedroom and spice things up a bit? Choose a soft red glow for your lighting.
4. Works with smart hubs
Another great thing about home lighting automation is integrating it with smart hubs such as Amazon’s Alexa, Wink, Apple Homekit, and Samsung Smartthings. So turning your smart home lighting on or off through voice commands via smart hubs, a control panel, or an online app is easy.
5. Can connect to security and alarm systems
Another great thing about smart home lighting is they also integrate with smart home security and alarm systems; such as the Kwikset Electronic Door. With a smart home security and alarm system, your smart home lighting immediately turns on in case of uninvited intrusions into your home. They even connect your smart lighting system to your smoke detector adding light signals in addition to your fire alarm. This is especially useful for people with hearing impairments.
6. Automatically adjust lighting
Another great feature of smart light bulbs is automatically adjusting their brightness depending on the ambient light in the room. Smart bulbs adjust from bright light to soft light and grow dim without you doing anything. That’s how smart they are.
Which Is the Best Smart Home Lighting Automation?
Among the smart home lighting devices, the wifi light switch and smart bulb top the list. They offer nearly the same convenience when it comes to home lighting automation. But, there are differences which heavily impact which is the best choice for you.
A smart bulb is a good fit for consumers who prefer more customization features and choices for color or ambiance. However, smart bulbs can’t do their thing unless you turn on the power through a traditional switch. If you use a smart bulb, they still require flipping the conventional wall switch.
On the other hand, a wifi light switch covers the capabilities that smart bulbs lack. Specifically, they don’t require flipping the wall switch on. Therefore, a smart switch comes in handy for those seeking hand’s free, remote light operation. And since you are only changing or upgrading your switch, you can still use your existing light bulbs for automation.
In other words, traditional light bulbs work just fine with your wifi light switch. But, they won’t set the mood with color choices.
Differences Between a Wifi Light Switch and a Smart Bulb
But, a wifi light switch takes time to install and can be tedious, especially if you aren’t an electrician. A wifi light switch becomes pricey when hiring an electrician because the wiring system gets too complicated. It is not advisable in some apartments that restrict changes in the wiring. And, when you move, you either lose them or have to go through the hassle of removing and reinstalling the smart switch in your new home.
Budget-wise, both the smart bulbs and the wifi light switch range from costly to inexpensive; depending on your needs. Keep in mind that smart hue bulbs that come with extra features for multiple lighting fixtures come with a hefty price tag.
The right choice for you really depends on your needs, budget, and convenience. However, for more convenience and customization many buy both devices as they compliment each other.
For traditional lights that are not connected to the circuit, consider a smart plug. Through the use of a smart plug, you can remotely turn on or off the light bulbs in your home.
How to Choose a Wifi Light Switch and Smart Bulb
Not all households are made the same. So when choosing between a wifi light switch and a smart bulb, there are some essential facts needing consideration.
First, check your existing wiring to see if it has a neutral wire. Most wifi light switch requires this type of wire for it to work properly.
Next, it’s best if you are familiar with the wiring network around your home. Once you know which lighting fixtures go together on one switch, you can save on buying extra wifi light switches to automate your bulbs. Some wiring also connects to a fan which causes hazards for some wifi light switch products. If you have any doubts, consider professional installation — better safe than sorry.
If most of your light bulbs come in different sizes, choose a wifi smart switch so that you do not have to change most of the bulbs and sockets in your home.
Best Value-for-Money Home Lighting Automation Products
There are many home lighting automation brands and devices on the market today. Which one suits your needs depends on exactly what features you seek, your budget, and if you plan on an expansion of your system in the future.
1. Philips Hue LED Smart Bulb Starter Kit
The Philips Hue Smart Bulb Starter Kit is one of the best smart home lighting bulbs on the market. It is even the top pick of Business Insider when it comes to a reliable smart bulb.
These smart bulbs turn on or off remotely through an app-controlled through a smart hub. As such, the Philips Hue bulbs integrates with the leading smart home hubs such as Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Logitech, Nest, SmartThings, and Xfinity Home. Allowing voice control of the lights using these hubs.
You can also set schedules for when these smart bulbs turn on and off or grow dim. You remotely control the Philips Hue smart bulbs using their smart lights app. For iPhones, you can install the Iconnect Hue app which lets you make cool animations and colorful light shows with the Philips Hue smart light bulbs.
Types of Philips smart bulbs
Phillips smart bulbs come in three different light settings: white, white ambiance, and white and color ambiance. The white theme is the classic smart bulb. It lets you turn your lights on or off. It can even sense when you walk into a room and will automatically turn on if it detects your motion.
White ambiance, on the other hand, mimics the natural lighting of the sun. Its brightness gradually changes automatically, like the rising and setting of the sun. This is perfect for your bedroom lighting.
And lastly, if you find your room in need of a little spice, the white and color ambiance bulbs are the most ideal product for you. These smart bulbs can even sync with the music you are playing in your home.
How to install a Philips smart bulb
Installing a Philips smart bulb is relatively easy. You can do this just by screwing in the smart bulbs in the proper socket. Then, you must download the Philips Hue online app and pair it with the Hue bridge. To switch off the lights when you’re not at home, you can use the turn off lights app to switch off all the smart home lighting devices in your home.
2. Stack Lighting
Another great choice for smart light bulbs is Stack Lighting. The Stack Lighting smart bulb can switch from bright to soft light and adjust its brightness depending on the amount of lighting in the room. You can also set a schedule for when these light bulbs turn on or off wherever you are in the world, using their mobile app. You can check on this site to download the app that’s compatible with Stack lights.
Stack lights give you a sunlight ambiance that also rises or sets depending on the schedule you program in. They are fully intuitive and they even adjust to your daily activity.
3. Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch and Remote Kit
For the wifi light switch, you can not go wrong with the Caserta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch and Remote Kit.
This wifi light switch has everything you need in a smart home lighting switch. In particular, the Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch and Remote Kit can replace your existing switch and can control up to 17 LED bulbs per circuit.
As a smart home lighting switch, you remotely control the lights in your home using their remote or your smartphone through their free Lutron mobile app. So, it also integrates with smart home hub such as Alexa. That means you can switch the lights on or off and make the lights grow dim using voice command to Alexa or any smart hub device.
This light switch, additionally, is the ideal dimmer switch for your home as it doesn’t require a neutral wire. Plus, it can be installed in as little as 15 minutes.
4. Wemo Mini Smart Plug
The Wemo Mini Smart Plug lets you remotely turn on and off any plugged appliances in your home. You can also pair it with other smart hubs. Through an online app for the smart plug, you can set a schedule for when your home appliances will turn on or off.
Some Home Lighting for You
These are just some of the best choices for the wifi light switch, smart bulb, and smart plug if you’re looking to automate the lights in your home. For more customization, these smart home lighting devices are best paired with smart hub controllers such as Alexa and Siri.
Today, smart home technology is changing the way people live, work, and play. You can now interact and talk to devices and make them work at your command. Recently, these smart home devices were the stuff of fiction books and sci-fi movies. But now, these are a reality, thanks to technology.
This is just the tip of the iceberg on what smart home technology can do for you and your home. Truly, today’s advanced technology is offering numerous benefits. Plus, smart home technology is getting more affordable as well as integrating into our daily lives.
The Era for Smart Home Technology
Finally, there are a lot more possibilities for the smart home, and it’s just the beginning. The upcoming developments in home automation are definitely something to look forward. Smart home technology is constantly evolving to meet the demands of customers around the world. Indeed, the era of the smart home is looking unprecedentedly bright.
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