Close-up of hand of a man holding a Philips Hue web-connected smart lightbulb, August 29, 2019. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images) (Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
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I’m new to the smart light revolution, and I’m not turning back. Let me explain. I lived in my last home for 17 years, and while it needed upgrades throughout, the lights were the least of my worries.
Moving into a new place, I had to either hire an electrician to install the kitchen’s under-counter lights or try to do it myself with smart lights. I opted for saving money and getting my tech hands dirty.
But it’s not only a solution for counter lights. You can turn any lamp into a smart lamp using a smart bulb. Screw a smart LED bulb, install an app, and pair it with your smartphone
Smart LED bulbs are an affordable, easy way to dip your toes into the smart home waters, and they offer a ton of perks in return.
1. Control smart lights from anywhere
You control smart lights using an app. You can turn lights off when you forget, set the mood before you arrive, or turn the lights on to make it look like someone is home.
Some apps and lights track your location. Like magic, the lights in your home turn on or off as you come and go. You won’t have to do a thing.
The days of getting up off the couch to turn on and off the lights are over. Just open the app or use your smart assistant.
2. Work with voice assistants
Alternatively, you can control your smart lights using your Amazon Echo, Google Nest, or Apple HomePod. You can say things like, “Alexa, turn off the upstairs lights” or “Alexa, set the living room lights to 30%.”
3. Set up schedules
You can set your smart lights to a schedule. Make all the lights go off at one in the morning or come on at sunrise. You can also create sleep routines that gradually dim and shut off your lights.
4. Have fun with color, temperature, and dimmable options
Many smart bulbs let you change the color, temperature, or intensity to create the perfect ambiance. Throwing a house party? Kick up the decor a notch with bright, colorful lights.
Are you having a dinner party instead? Use your smart bulbs to imitate the glow of warm candlelight. The ambiance world is your oyster.
5. Link your lights to music
You can also set the mood in your home by synching lights with music. Want to have your lighting react to the beats of a banger? Set whether how reactive the smart lights are — subtle, high, moderate, or intense. Your smart lights might be able to react to other sounds from games and videos, too.
Now, let’s explore some smart light options. Hit the product links to learn more.
Best smart LED starter picks
Most affordable: For around $15, the Wyze Bulb Color offers many features to turn a regular lamp into a smart lamp.
For more colors and options: The $30 Sengled Smart Bulb has more scheduling features and pleasing tunable whites.
A complete wireless lighting system: The Philips Hue White and Color Kit give you three color LED smart bulbs that fit most lamps, overhead lights, and 4-inch recessed cans. It includes a bridge to control up to 50 lights. I used this kit with the Philips Hue LED smart light strips in the kitchen.
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