I just read a statistic that more than 30% of households in the U.S. own a smart speaker! As a rather old-fashioned, do-it-myself kind of person, that truly amazes! But on second thought, I can see ADVANTAGES to using some of the smart home technology available out there with your home lighting.
Consider the consumer that LOVES a particular custom lamp for the master bedroom, either a wall sconce or table lamp, that comes with no in-line (on the cord) switch. We all have those moments or circumstances when it just feels like too much work to reach that switch under the shade! There are after-market in-line switches that can be purchased affordably to install on your lamp cord, and voila’, easy on-off or dimming capability! Wunderbar! And available for a pittance! And of course, some custom lighting installations will involve an outlet that is controlled by a wall switch, naturally making things easy.
But, for those who are interested in dipping their toe into the new technology available, some experts are recommending that an initial investment into making your home smarter, should begin with lighting. What are some of the benefits?
- No need to toss out the lighting you already have! That custom lamp you love will work great in your smart home!
- Turn your lights on, off, or dim (with no dimmer switch!) without touching them!
- Put your lights on a schedule that you control with one of your devices
- Add the home security benefit of remotely lighting up your home when needed
- Program colored light or layer your lighting for amazing effects!
Is it difficult, you might ask? Now, in all truth, I haven’t embarked on this journey myself, but the “experts” make it sound simple if you have chosen your technology carefully. You can use a smart speaker if you already have one, but this is not a necessary expenditure for controlling your home lighting. Purchasing smart bulbs is. Though there are many brands to choose from, the smart folks at TheVerge.com recommend the Philips Hue smart bulb because it is “easily available, quick to set up and well supported.” A two pack of white only bulbs with a “bridge” can be purchased for $69.97 at Home Depot. These don’t have all the bells and whistles, but they are an excellent place to start.
Now how about the one-two-three of this venture? Once you screw the smart light bulb into your favorite table lamp, floor lamp or wall sconce and turn the lamp on, you will be set to start making things happen! Plug the Philips Hue Bridge into the wall outlet and your router. Then install the Philips Hue app on your smart phone and search for the light bulb on the app. When you find it, you will have all kinds of options open to you! At this point that gorgeous new custom lamp will be under your control, using only your smart phone! On, off, dim, scheduling, color, with no need to reach for any switch!
Consider how far you could take this! All your home lighting, inside and out, custom table lamps, wall sconces, floor lamps, everything that employs a light bulb, when equipped with a smart bulb, allows you a great deal more control and more creativity, which is infinitely more FUN!