Traditionally there were only really one or two ways to control your lights… switches or wired-in PIR sensors.
However in 2020 there’s lots of new and exciting ways you can control your lighting that will benefit you from comfort, convenience and even with home security.
Here they are...
1. Light Switch
Obviously taking the number one spot here is the good old fashioned light switch.
Flick it on, lights come on, flick it off lights go off. Simple.
It’s universal, easy to understand and every home has one so you can rest assured that swapping to smart switches won’t confuse your friends and family when they’re round!
But that’s not all, with smart light switches you retain the traditional wall-mounted switching, but you’ll also benefit from items 2 to 5 on this list.
2. Smartphone App
You can easily turn your lights on and off by tapping a button on your smartphone!
Create scenes and group lights together so that they all turn on with one tap.
Most apps will also add easy ways to turn your lights on without even opening the app, for example Smart Life app has an iOS home page widget, swipe left and you can turn your lights on and off without opening the app!
The app is where you can create all your scenes, timers and automations.
Don’t worry, using the app is not essential for everyday use but it does give you a lot of flexibility and functions.
3. Voice Assistant
This isn’t just for the movies or the rich and famous.
Thanks to simple technology such as the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant paired with smart bulbs and smart switches you can simply say “Alexa, turn the kitchen lights on” and your lights will turn on as if by magic.
You won’t need to worry about reaching for your smartphone or moving over to the wall, simple ask and your smart lights will do the rest.
There are so many useful applications for voice controlled lighting for adding convenience, comfort and even for assisted living.
Most smart bulbs and smart switches are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and some with Apple Homekit (check before buying) allowing you to use all three of the main voice assistants - Alexa, Google Assistant & Siri.
4. Motion or Contact Sensor
Moving on to some “automations”, sensors and door contacts can turn lights on and off for you without lifting a finger or asking a robot!
For example, a motion sensor on your landing will turn the lights on to a preset level as you enter the area, stay on for a defined time then turn off.
This is great for safety, convenience and can save energy.
Door contacts fitted to your front door can light the hallway as you enter your home, the possibilities are endless.
We’ve seen customers using door contacts on children's stair gates to get alerts and even set lighting to a different colour as a visual alert that the gate has been left open.
A true smart lighting system does the work for you, so definitely consider using sensors in your smart lighting system.
5. Timers & Schedules
And last but not least, following on from the automations is timers & schedules.
Let’s take your front external lights as an example, by adding a smart bulb or smart switch you can easily program it to turn on every day at 5pm and turn off at midnight.
Whatever schedule you set, it’s set and forget.
No more forgetting to turn the lights on or off.
As with door contacts and motion sensors there really are lots of possibilities, set a sleep timer on the kids bedroom lights, make lights turn on and off randomly when you’re on holiday to prevent burglaries etc.
Most of these methods are achieved by swapping your existing lighting to smart lighting, this can be done with smart bulbs, smart switches or a more complex lighting control system.
Even our low cost Homeflow smart bulbs can give you control with phones, voice assistants, motions sensors and timers at a really low cost.
Don’t forget the Smart Home Advisors at TECH4 are on hand to help you smart-up your home, call on 02392 006118, email or live chat for free advice.