Smart lighting does more than just control your light switches. It allows you to connect your lighting system to other building systems and devices like doorbells and security cameras. That means your lights can turn on when someone comes to the door, or they can change colors to signal that it’s time for bed or that you’re at work.

Smart lights are also energy efficient, allowing you to calibrate exactly when they’re on and off so that your utility bill stays in check. Plus, with a home automation hub connected to your smart lighting network, you can control them from anywhere in the world. That means you don’t have to physically go from room to room to make sure everything is switched off, and if you forget something, you can always log into your app to see if the porch light or kitchen light remains on.

There are two main ways to configure and manage smart lights: hubs and smart devices. A hub is a device that plugs into your Wi-Fi router and acts as the bridge between the smart light and your wireless network. It processes the commands sent from your mobile device or voice assistant and then sends those instructions to the smart bulb.

Many smart bulbs come with a hub and require you to use their app to control them, but there are a growing number of hubless bulbs as well. These bulbs are cheaper and don’t require any extra hardware or devices to install and use. They’re still able to communicate with other devices and your smartphone via the same wireless protocols (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Z-Wave).

One of the best features of smart lighting is that it can improve your life by simplifying it. If you and others in your household regularly forget to turn off the lights, you can set up a schedule that will automatically do it for you. You can even program your lights to turn on and off at a certain time when you’re away from home, which will help make it look like you’re there and deter burglars.

Another benefit of smart lighting is that you can customize and create light “scenes” to suit your needs. This may include a “Wake Up” scene that dims the lights to help you wake up or a “Reading” scene that changes the lighting color to help reduce eye strain. You can then adjust the settings on your phone to match your preferences at any time.

Smart lighting is an excellent way to save money, stay organized, and improve your quality of life. And with the options for voice-activated lights, you can add an extra layer of convenience without even needing to get out of bed or grab your phone. Just ask and you can change your light color, brightness, or intensity, or even turn them off with a simple voice command. Just make sure to choose a virtual assistant that is compatible with your smart lighting, such as the new fourth-generation Amazon Echo ($129), Google Home ($49), or Apple HomePod ($299).

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