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A Guide To Smart Lighting

The modern day smart light bulbs are designed to provide security, flexibility and save money, unlike the traditional hot filament bulbs which are generally non-efficient and cumbersome to operate.

The Smart Light Advantage

Light bulbs serve many purposes, depending on the intended function. We have security lights, special lights for social occasions and optimised lighting solutions with timers designed to curtail electricity bills.

The current sets of light bulbs are essentially binary by nature; these bulbs typically require one to be present to effect a change using the switch.

However, the technologically advanced smart lights work very differently. These lights essentially utilise the same local networking infrastructure using either a wireless or wired setup to deliver control.

Smart light bulb users also have the advantage of choosing aspects such as the bulb colour, the level of desired brightness and the circumstances in which the light bulb should operate. However, if you are looking for an even smarter lighting option, you can consider the internet based IFTTT logic tool.

This tool will enable you to switch off your lights automatically from any remote location.

Market Lighting Trends

Smart lighting can be installed in many different scales, for instance you may want to integrate smart lighting into a larger home automation or go with the fully flexible, self-installed lighting solution.

Under the integrated option, light bulbs are rendered ‘dumb’ as they are controlled using a secluded relay or smart switch. In the self-installed system, there is a wide selection of products to choose from; the most basic being smart bulbs. These smart bulbs are similar to the regular screw bulbs, but a little pricey.

The biggest brands in smart lighting include names such as; Philips, Belkin, Insteon and a couple of Australian smart lighting outfits such as the kick-starter funded LIFX. Philips is currently the largest player in the smart bulbs market niche with its Hue brand and the associated Friends of Hue Bloom and Lightstrip smart bulbs.

Belkin products include the popular WeMo brand such as LED light bulbs.

Insteon, on the other hand, is a producer of a number of automated Insteon home products. The LIFX lines of smart light bulbs are stylishly designed with features like Bayonet or Edison-type caps.

Bulb Installation and Cost

There is a large pool of light bulbs which can be self-installed with little effort. A couple of Belkin WeMo smart bulbs and LIFX bulbs can be connected directly and controlled over an existing Wi-Fi network.

Some smart lighting products; however, require a hybrid-schema to operate, since they require both smart network connected switches and existing lighting infrastructure or other home based automation solutions.

Achieving the ultimate smart lighting solution can be a costly and complex affair; as such, it may be wise to contract the services of a qualified electrician. Automating your home by implementing a smart lighting strategy requires an open-minded budget proposition, although you can also set your cash limits.

In terms of cost, dumb LED-lighting parallels are generally less expensive compared to smart light bulbs.

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