‘Alexa, dim the lights!’: 5 Reasons To Install A Smart Lighting System

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Smart lighting is the latest, intuitive way to light your home. Perhaps the brightest idea since the lightbulb was invented in 1879, smart lighting is an advancement no modern home should be without. As one of the most in-demand smart home features on the market today, smart lights aren’t simply about showing off — they simplify daily life, reduce your carbon footprint, and could save you money.

If you’ve already invested in smart security and smart entertainment then a smart lighting system is the next step to level up your home. These systems can work together to create a welcoming, safe, and comfortable environment that acts as your personal sanctuary. With many UK homeowners ditching ordinary bulbs in favour of smart lighting systems, it’s time to see what all the fuss is about!

If you want more ease and ambiance in your home, read on find out why you should switch to smart lighting.

What Is Smart Lighting?

Smart lighting lets you can control all the lights in your house from a smartphone app. You can also use a tablet or central control panel to adjust your lights.

Wherever you are in the house you’ll be able to control any light — from LED light strips on the stair to outdoor lights. The most intelligent systems allow you remote access so you can switch your lights on before you even cross the threshold.

There are many advantages to smart lighting. Not only an innovative way to create ambiance in your home, smart lighting improves your mood, lowers your carbon footprint, and even saves you money on energy bills.

With a range of smart lighting options available to suit all homes and budgets, it’s never been easier to light up your life.

What Types of Smart Lighting Are There?

Smart lighting is so much more than smart light bulbs. While smart bulbs have their bright sides, a smart lighting system integrates with other smart home devices to bring more ease and luxury to your life. You might have noticed how a well-lit room can make you feel more alert and productive compared to relaxed, moody lighting. A whole lighting system helps you set the right mood depending on the time of day or year, and whether you’re working or unwinding.

There are different types of smart lighting:

Smart light bulbs are the cheapest most basic option. Smart bulbs are operated by Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or smart home assistants like Amazon Alexa to remotely control brightness and colours. They’re a budget-friendly entry point to smart lighting and might be your only option if you rent. Philips Hue are considered the best smart light bulbs and are a great entry-level option to smart lights. The major downside to smart light bulbs is that your lights are only as reliant as your internet connection.

Smart plugs can be used to control floor and table lamps. Smart plugs are easy to install and can be moved from room to room. Smart plugs synch with your smartphone and like smart bulbs, can be controlled remotely via Wi-Fi signal. You would need a combination of smart plugs and smart light bulbs because the plugs won’t work on hardwired ceiling fixtures.

Smart light switches work by Wi-Fi signal and replace traditional light switches in your home. The beauty of smart switches is that they can control the light emitted by non-smart bulbs, so there’s no need to replace all the lights in your home. They’re a convenient way to create ambiance without overloading the Wi-Fi and you won’t need to whip out your smartphone every time you need to turn the light off.

Smart lighting systems are cutting-edge light technology. Want the drive to automatically light up when a visitor approaches? Or for indoor lighting to dim as the sun sets? A smart lighting system is hardwired into your home and gives you full control over lights throughout your property. The best smart light systems integrate with your existing smart home devices and will work even if the Wi-Fi fails.

Lutron, Control4, and Rako are our go-to options.

Can I Install Smart Lights In My Current Smart Home Setup?

Yes, you can install smart lights regardless of your current setup. Brands in the smart lighting sphere have grown as the industry booms so there are plenty of options to suit big homes, period properties, contemporary new builds, flats, and rentals. However, the sheer volume of brands on the market is bamboozling! How do you know which brand to trust?

For what it’s worth, we place trust in brands like Lutron and Control4. They’ve been on the market the longest and have significant experience in the smart lighting sphere. In many ways, they’re the pioneers of smart lighting, and their authority does come with a price tag. If you’re looking for a budget option you can’t go wrong with Philips Hue. The offer the best smart light bulb and smart plug designs that connect wirelessly to your phone via Wi-Fi. The downside is how fiddly they are to install. Plus, if the internet goes down you’ll be left in the dark.

That’s why we always recommend upgrading to a whole smart lighting system if you have the budget. Cutting-edge technology from the likes of Lutron and Control4 gives you better, more reliable control over the lights in your home, and professional installers take the headache out of installation. They’ll expertly wire your new lighting system to perfection and ensure it connects seamlessly to other smart devices in your home.

Breaking into a cold sweat at the thought of rewiring everything? You can still get smart lighting benefits from smart switches alone. Simply swap traditional light switches for smart ones and integrate with the control system.

What Are the Benefits of Smart Lighting?

You’ve probably already grasped some of the benefits of smart lighting already. If you’ve yet to see the light here are five more reasons to install a smart lighting system in your home.

1. Smart Light Improves Home Comforts

When it comes to comfort, convenience is king. The ease smart lighting brings to your home will transform how you live for the better. No more stumbling to the bathroom in the dark or getting up to dim the lights as the day wanes. Proper illumination might be vital to you if someone in your household struggles with their vision or mobility, so combining smart lights with motions sensors can make a big difference to your peace of mind. Put simply, smart lights make life easier and allow you to live in comfort and elegance — that’s true luxury!

Here are some clever ways to boost home comfort with smart light:

  • Dim your lights by remote control instead of manually. Lights can also be activated by voice via Alexa or Google Assistant. No need to get up from that comfy spot on the sofa!
  • Simulate the look of being at home to deter burglars. You can set lights to switch on and off in various rooms throughout the evening, letting you enjoy a night out without worrying about home security.
  • Motion sensors can trigger lights to automatically switch on. For example, coming up the drive on a dark winter evening or visiting the bathroom in the middle of the night.
  • Control your light based on the season and time of day. If it takes you a while to wake up, set lights to gradually brighten as you make your morning coffee.
  • Schedule mood lighting to help you relax after a long day. You can also experiment with bold colours when entertaining guests.

Not to mention, a smart lighting system could add value to your home! UK Homeowners increasingly want homes with sophisticated tech therefore an existing smart system wired into your property could increase its desirability.

2. Smart Lights Improve Your Mood

Artificial lighting illuminates 90% of our lives but a lack of natural light can wreak havoc with our sleep, cognition, and overall mood.

Have you ever noticed feeling more lethargic on gloomy days but energised when the sun comes out? That’s because the human body’s natural circadian rhythm responds to light.

Here’s how smart lights can improve your mood:

  • SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), caused by lack of sunlight in winter, can contribute to depression and low mood. Beat SAD by adjusting lights to suit your natural circadian rhythm.
  • Boost your mood by tailoring the brightness and hue of your lights. Blue light is proven to disrupt natural sleep cycles. With smart lighting you can minimise blue light in your home before bed to help your body wind down for a good night’s rest.
  • Smart switches can be programmed to mimic the daylight outside, which helps you feel alert and energised in the morning and relaxed in the evening.

3. Smart Lights With Voice Control

The freedom of custom lighting doesn’t stop at mood-enhancing benefits. Smart lighting gives you free rein over colours, tone, and brightness levels. By touch or voice control you can set the right atmosphere for different occassions, whether that’s a calming yoga space or a vibrant dinner party.

Put home cinemas and smart entertainment systems in the limelight with creative mood lighting and create an immersive viewing experience for your guests.

You can also illuminate pathways, pools, and cosy garden nooks to create outdoor spaces that are every bit as luxuriant and sophisticated as the inside of your home.

4. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint With Smart Home Tech

Smart lighting doesn’t just benefit you, it’s good for the planet. Smart lighting has been proven to improve energy efficiency, and often a lower carbon footprint comes with lower bills. Win-win!

Traditional incandescent bulbs use more energy than the LEDs used in smart lighting. Smart lights also last longer, making them more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Despite our best efforts, we’ll sometimes forget to switch off a light. If you live with children or a forgetful spouse you’re probably no stranger to the frustration of lights being left on in empty rooms. Perhaps you’re the forgetful spouse! In this case, smart lighting might help restore peace to your household. Intuitive lights can detect when a room is empty and switch off after an allotted time so you don’t inadvertently waste energy.

Smart Light And Home Tech Integration

If a smart home is your goal, then smart lighting is an essential step. Using Lutron or Control4 system will help to integrate all the smart devices in your home to create a truly luxuriant and intuitive setup. From home security to maintaining even light levels, there are several ways to integrate smart lighting products into your existing smart systems.

Smart Blinds and Curtains

Got smart curtains and blinds? Integrate them with your new lighting system to create the right levels of light and shade. Perfect for daytime napping or helping you drift off to sleep at night.

Smart Home Security

Smart lighting can significantly improve your home security. Smart lights integrate with alarm systems and security cameras to alert you to intruders. From the press of a button instantly illuminate your drive, porch, or garage lights to shed light on suspicious activity. You can also set smart lights to switch on and off while you’re out to create the impression that someone is in the house.

The ability to control indoor and outdoor lighting easily is also handy when it comes to protecting the vulnerable members of your household. Light strips illuminate dark pathways or stairs, for example, to prevent trips and falls.

Lighting and Home Cinema

Show time! Automatically dim the lights in your home cinema as the opening credits roll or set the mood with coloured backlighting. An ambient glow can create a truly immersive experience for you and your guests — all at the touch of a button or simple voice commands.

How Do I Upgrade To Smart Lighting?

If you’re sold and want to make a smart switch there’s a variety of lighting upgrades available. Your smart lighting upgrade depends in part on your existing setup and how much you’re willing to spend.

In a property already kitted out with smart light bulbs and switches, you could opt for a hybrid system. Hybrid systems are a combination of smart bulbs, switches, and hardwired lights. You could replace traditional switches with smart switches or improve your setup with a Lutron control panel. A3 Way Smart Switch Lets you control the light from two different locations e.g. you can switch your bedroom lights on from the hallway. They’re often used in bigger houses and can help reduce your energy bill. 3 Way Smart Switches connect wirelessly to your Wi-Fi without the need to rewire the entire house. They can be operated by voice control, and most are simple to install.

You can easily make smart light upgrades yourself with a bit of research and patience. If this doesn’t appeal to you, you can hire a company with a team of trained professionals to install your new smart lighting system. Professionals are well-versed in how to integrate new lights into an existing setup.

It’s worth noting that there’s a world of difference between a cabled smart lighting system and one that operates on Wi-Fi. Cabled systems will always be more reliable. If this is your chosen option remember to factor in lighting and light fitments as part of a new build or renovation project. Though a more expensive option, you’ll reap greater benefits from the reliability of a wired smart lighting system.

John Ross Smart Living is one of Scotland’s leading installers of smart home technology. We’re a trusted company working nationwide to brighten homes with modern smart lighting. We help homeowners design smart lights that work with their lifestyle and offer ongoing maintenance contracts. There’s nothing more frustrating than persistent technical issues!

Is Lighting Design Important?

Without proper lighting design, the effect of your smart lights will be ruined. Expertly placed light sets the tone of a room and can add an extra dimension to dining spaces or home entertainment areas. Light can either draw attention to or diminish certain features in your home and good design is the difference between cosy and atmospheric or dull and gloomy.

To make the most of your light you must understand how their placement will affect the overall scheme of a room. It would be infuriating to spend all that time and money without achieving your goal. That’s why we recommend working with professionals who are full of bright ideas about lighting design!

Smart Lighting Summary

Keen to embrace smart lighting? Before contacting a professional or diving into the DIY approach, take a moment to consider all your options. Asking yourself the following questions might help to illuminate your lighting needs:

  • How big is my property? Do I need/want smart lighting throughout or only in certain rooms?
  • Am I looking to upgrade existing smart light bulbs and switches or will I be starting from scratch?
  • Which smart lighting benefit is most important to me?
  • Do I want my smart lighting to integrate with existing smart tech like security cameras?
  • Do I want a wireless or cabled smart lighting system?
  • Do I want a smart lighting system or a hybrid of smart bulbs, smart switches, and hardwired lights?
  • Do I feel eager and confident to tackle installing smart lights myself?
  • Would I prefer a trusted professional to install smart lighting in my home?

Let Smart Living Bring Light To Your Home

John Ross Smart Living are trained professionals with decades of experience. Our lighting experts will work with you to find the right smart lighting products and lighting designs to suit your home and budget. We’re specialists in smart home automation and believe that smart homes are integrated ones. We’ll help you configure your lighting, security system, and entertainment so you can start living smarter today.

It’s as simple as getting in touch.

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