We started adding smart devices to our home a few years ago. It all began because we wanted to be able to open and close our garage door (because who wouldn’t want to do that from their phones). This garage door opener was a “gateway product” to smart home technology, because there was no way that I could stop there. Since then, we have added a variety of smart home technology products, but today I’m going to focus on why you should add smart lights to your home.
Here in Seattle during the winter, I easily will leave for work in the dark and come home from work in the dark. This also means coming into a dark house, and trying to not step on a pet while getting to the alarm panel to turn it off before the alarm really goes off.
Now that we have smart lights, I don’t have to worry about coming home to a dark house because a couple key lights automatically come on at dusk. The indoor ones turn off at 10:20 (which is after we go to bed on most nights). The outdoor ones stay on later for those nights that we stay out late, or for when we take the dogs outside before bed.
In addition to having the lights tied to a set time, it can also be tied to an event like a specific person (i.e. phone) arriving home, a voice command, or a sensor opening/closing. The ideas of how to control lights are limitless, turn on a light in the bedroom if another bedroom window opens overnight, or have a light in the kitchen if the fridge or freezer is left open.
We’ve been building out a Samsung SmartThings ecosystem in our home, and built out our lighting system with Philips Hue. These lights also work well with Amazon Alexa or Google Home. In addition to Philips Hue lights that come on automatically, we also have a lamp tied to a Samsung SmartThings outlet.
We also have a few smart lights outside. There are three lights on the front of our house: one at the front door, and two more on either side of our garage door. Not only do these lights turn on/off automatically, they can also change color! We’ve been known to have purple/yellow (gold) lights during Husky football games, green/blue for Seahawks games, and red/green during Christmas. Jaxson has also enjoyed taking our phones and randomly changing the colors while he looks out the window.
There are also fun things you can do with these lights. Tie them to a weather app and make the lightbulb change color depending on the weather (maybe blue for rain, yellow for sun, dark for storm, etc).
I love having the flexibility and automation that smart lights provide. If my schedule changes and I’m coming home after the lights normally turn off, I can easily turn them on with my phone before I head inside (or even before I head home from my nighttime activities).
Have you added any smart lights to your home? How do you use them?