Whether you’re a techie or a smart lighting novice, here are just a few systems that are set to change your winter and help you keep those energy bills down. Smart bulbs are LEDs that are extremely energy efficient. Despite needing to remain plugged in, each bulb is an LED. Combine that with the ability to switch the lights on and off as you please from anywhere there’s a Wi-Fi signal, and you’re onto an energy-saving winner.
According to figures from The Central Statistics Office, in Ireland alone, one in seven internet users (fifteen percent) use internet-connected home energy systems such as thermostats, utility meters, lights and plug-ins. In addition to this, research from HIVE shows the lifecycle of a smart light bulb to be fifteen thousand hours, fifteen times longer than an incandescent bulb!
Whether it’s to act as an alarm in the morning, boost your security while away, or give you more time in bed or on the couch, here are a few smart lighting systems that will help see you through the winter months and more.
Kasa offers a number of different home lighting systems, from multi-coloured bulbs to security cameras to light switches. Easy to install, Kasa’s systems don’t require a hub or extra equipment. Install the app, screw in your bulb of choice, hook it up to the Wi-Fi, and you are good to go. All lights are dimmable from one to one hundred percent and are both iOS and Android compatible. They can also be hooked up to Alexa or Google Assistant and boast a low standby power of less than 0.2 watts, meaning they don’t consume much power. Another attractive feature of the multi-colour bulb side is that it’s certified to drive down energy consumption without losing quality.
One of the better-known smart lighting kits for homes, this starter system is perfect if you’re new to the world of bulb-light programming. Designed for the ultimate novice, it requires a hub for full functionality; however, you can control up to 50 bulbs at once, should you desire! You can control colour, brightness, timing and more. This starter kit contains three bulbs, each of which you can operate from your bedroom or even Bali. It runs on both iOS and Android and works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant.
A little pricier than competitors, LIFX offers a wide range of bulbs from traditional white to coloured. What sets them apart from the rest, however, is that their LIFX+ product incorporates infrared LEDs, which can light up rooms at night. Although no hub is required, for these smart devices to prove a good value investment, it is recommended that you purchase them in bulk. You can also synchronize bulbs through the app, which is both iOS and Android compatible. It also offers ‘theme’ settings, and you can even programme colours to notify you about social media alerts (which can be good or bad!) They also hook up to Siri and Alexa rather easily.
Wyze specializes in a number of smart home gadgets, from security cameras to video doorbells and floodlights. One of their most popular items, however, is the Wyze bulb in white, which has been rated by many as the brightest on the market. This dimmable 800-lumen bulb is both Android and iOS compatible and works well alongside Alexa and Google Assistant. For those on a lower budget, what really makes it stand out is its sun match feature, which is clever enough to automatically adjust the colour temperature throughout the day, meaning you can have soft, warm lighting that mimics sunrise first thing in the morning. It also shares the same functionality as those already mentioned whilst boasting a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 90 plus, producing higher-quality light that makes colours appear more vivid than most.