Smart lighting technology has revolutionized the way we illuminate our homes. With the integration of internet connectivity, LED bulbs, and mobile apps, smart lights offer unprecedented control over your home's lighting.
Automatic home lighting takes this convenience a step further. By using sensors, timers, or even geofencing technology, your lights can turn on and off automatically based on various factors such as time of day, whether you're home, or even specific actions like opening a door.
However, the market for these products has become saturated with hundreds of brands, so how do we know which ones truly shine (see what we did there) and which ones are worth skipping?
In this guide, we will go over some basic details surrounding smart home lighting, review the best products on the market, and help you make an informed decision when it comes to outfitting your home with the latest in lighting technology. To finish, we'll introduce IFTTT, our free automation service that offers hundreds of solutions for smart home lighting.
The Basics Behind Automatic Home Lighting
Automatic home lighting systems are an innovative solution to traditional lighting. They use sensors, timers, and sometimes even geofencing technology to control your home's lights automatically. This can include turning on porch lights when it gets dark, illuminating your hallway as you walk through at night, or even switching off all lights when you leave the house.
The benefits of automatic home lighting are vast. First and foremost, they provide unparalleled convenience. No more fumbling for light switches in the dark or worrying about leaving lights on when you're out.
They can also significantly improve your home's energy efficiency by ensuring lights are only on when needed, potentially saving you money on electricity bills. Additionally, they can enhance security by giving potential criminals the impression someone is home, even when you're away.
Automatic home lighting works in a few different ways. Some systems use light sensors to determine when it gets dark and turn on lights accordingly. Others use motion sensors to detect movement and illuminate areas as you move through them. More advanced systems, like the ones with IFTTT, can even use your smartphone's location to determine when you're home or away and adjust lighting accordingly.
Top 5 Best Smart Light Bulbs
Phillips Hue White and Color Bulbs
The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance bulb is a top-of-the-line smart bulb that offers a full spectrum of color options and compatibility with a wide range of smart home systems. It requires a hub, which can be a downside if you're looking for a simpler setup, but its quality and feature set are hard to beat.
If you are looking for the absolute cream of the crop smart bulb to turn your house into something spectacular, it may be worth the extra price to invest in the Phillips Hue line. Also, Phillips Hue products have hundreds of integrations powered by IFTTT, which can be viewed here.
Wyze Bulbs present a more budget-friendly option that doesn't skimp on features. They offer adjustable white light, compatibility with most smart home systems, and no need for a hub. Their low cost and high functionality make them an excellent choice for those new to smart lighting.
On top of that, Wyze Bulbs have preset lighting scenes and are compatible with IFTTT for more automation options. With their affordable price tag and vast list of features, the Wyze bulbs are a great option for anyone looking to get into smart home lighting on a budget.
Sengled Smart Light Bulb
Sengled's Smart Light Bulbs offer a balance between price and performance. They require a hub, but they also offer a wide variety of bulb types and colors. They're compatible with many smart home systems and offer features like scheduled lighting and energy tracking.
Sengled Smart Light Bulbs also have an IFTTT channel with hundreds of integrations, allowing you to create complex automations and take control of your home lighting. Additionally, they come with a 2-year warranty for peace of mind.
Kasa Smart KL110
The Kasa Smart KL110 is a reliable, bright, dimmable white light bulb. It doesn't require a hub and works well with Alexa and Google Assistant. It's easy to set up and manage through the Kasa Smart app, making it a user-friendly option.
The KL110 also offers voice control, scheduling, and a variety of preset lighting scenes. Plus, if you're looking for a no-hassle setup that won't break the bank, it's hard to beat Kasa Smart's KL110. These reasons are enough to place the KL110 as our favorite non-color option.
The Lifx Plus bulb stands out for its incredibly bright, vibrant colors and the ability to produce infrared light, which can help enhance your home's security camera footage at night. It doesn't require a hub and is compatible with several smart home systems. However, it is one of the pricier options.
Luckily, the Lifx mini is a great option for the budget-conscious. It still offers the same incredible colors and infrared light of the Plus, but it does sacrifice some brightness. All Lifx smart bulbs offer connectivity with IFTTT.
Choosing the Best Smart Lighting for Your Needs
Choosing the right smart lighting solution for your home can seem overwhelming with so many options available. Here are a few factors that you should consider:
Compatibility: Before you buy, make sure that the smart lights you choose are compatible with any existing smart home systems you have. Some bulbs work across several platforms, while others are limited to specific ones.
The Vibe of the Room: Think about whether you want full-color bulbs, which can change to any color of the rainbow, or just white. Color bulbs offer more customization, but a solid white bulb can make the room seem more sophisticated or professional depending on the usage.
Brightness and Energy Efficiency: Look at the lumens (brightness) and watts (energy use) of the bulb. More lumens mean a brighter light, while fewer watts mean the bulb is more energy-efficient.
Hub or No Hub: Some smart lights require a separate hub or bridge to connect to your Wi-Fi network and function. Others connect directly to your network without the need for additional hardware.
Cost: Smart bulbs vary in price, with some costing as little as $10 and others costing $50 or more. Consider your budget and how many bulbs you need for your home.
Smarter Lighting with IFTTT
You might be thinking: these wifi-enabled, color-customizable bulbs sure do seem smart. Well, with IFTTT, home lighting can get much smarter.
The beauty of IFTTT is that it can be used to control your lights automatically when certain events occur, such as turning them on when you arrive home, or dimming the lights at night.
IFTTT can also be used to control your lights via voice command, as well as connect your home lighting system with other services such as web calendars and wearables.
Read on to hear about our mission, and our top picks for the best smart lighting automations.
What is IFTTT?
IFTTT, an acronym for "If This Then That," is our free web-based service and mobile app designed to boost productivity by automating tasks. It works by creating connections between popular apps and services, allowing them to work together seamlessly.
The basic idea behind IFTTT is to create "applets" or sets of instructions that trigger when certain conditions are met. This can be turning on the lights automatically when you enter your house, for example.
Founded in 2011, IFTTT has been used by over 25 million individuals to automate both business and home tasks, saving time and increasing efficiency. It's commonly used to connect disparate services and systems, making all products and services work well together in a way that instills user confidence. Best of all, it's free and only takes a couple of minutes to set up.
Top Smart Lighting Applets with IFTTT
Here is a list of our favorite Applets for a smarter home lighting system. The top picks below feature many of the brands discussed in the sections above. Let's get right into it;
Remember, to enable these Applets and millions more (yes, millions), try IFTTT today for free!