Guide to Smart Lighting Systems | Smart Homes (2024)

Smart home lighting products come with many different features. But what’s available differs between brands and models. Check out the possible features below before buying to ensure you get a smart lighting system that meets your needs:

Brightness control

Most smart light bulbs, downlights, and LED strip lights have a dimmable function which means you can control their brightness. There are also options that coordinate with daylight hours (i.e., the brightness gradually turns up as the day gets darker) and mood (i.e., dimming the light for relaxing or winding down before bedtime).

Colour control

Many smart light bulbs and smart LED strip lights have multiple colour options and a range of white light options, from cool white to warm white. The colour can be changed remotely via the app to suit the mood. More advanced bulbs can be connected to an entertainment system. The bulb colour can be adjusted automatically to match what is being watched on the TV for an immersive viewing experience.

Timing control

Most smart lighting products can be pre-set to turn on and off at chosen times. This is an excellent security feature as lights can be set up to come on when the homeowner is away, making it look like someone’s home to deter burglars.

Remote control

Smart lighting products connected to smart devices via Wi-Fi (rather than Bluetooth) can be controlled from anywhere in the world as long as there’s an internet connection. So, in addition to setting up timers when the homeowner is away on holiday, they can also turn the lights on at times when they weren’t expecting to be away. For instance, if they are going to be late home from work.

Voice control

Most smart home lighting products can be controlled by voice commands through compatible smart speakers such as Alexa or Google Home. This feature is even more convenient than adjusting the lighting through an app because there’s no need for the phone to be at hand. For example, ask Alexa to dim the lights when getting into bed to read, then ask her to turn them off when it’s time to sleep.

Group light control

All smart lighting products can be used independently from each other. But multiple products can also be connected to a smart hub and can be grouped, so they work together. For example, group downlights in a kitchen so they go on and off together. Or set them up as two groups to light different parts of the room.

IFTTT support

IFTTT stands for ‘if this, then that’. It relates to an automated smart home system that allows multiple smart home products to work together based on a pre-set number of triggers and actions. For example, smart lighting could be connected to smart motion sensors, so lights come on automatically when someone is in a room, then go off when it’s empty. Or they can be linked to contact sensors, so lights come on when a door is opened. Not all smart lighting products can connect to smart home systems, so always check compatibility before buying.

Guide to Smart Lighting Systems | Smart Homes (2024)


What are the basics of smart lighting? ›

Smart lights have a chip inside them so that they can communicate with other devices wirelessly. Every light can connect to an app, smart home assistant, or other smart accessory, so you can automate your lights, change their color, or control them remotely.

Why won't my smart bulb connect to Wi-Fi? ›

I am having trouble connecting my Smart Light to Wi-Fi.

Make sure the Wi-Fi network is a 2.4 GHz network. The Smart Wi-Fi Light will not connect to a 5 GHz network. If your Smart Wi-Fi Light is already on the right frequency, make sure that your phone is not using a VPN app in the background.

What are the disadvantages of smart lighting system? ›

Although we think they're pretty great, there are obviously some disadvantages to smart lights. They can be expensive to initially buy, and are more expensive to run than regular LED bulbs. Plus, they require an internet connection to utilise the 'smart' features, which can leave them vulnerable to hackers.

Do smart lights slow down Wi-Fi? ›

Do Smart Switches Slow Down WiFi? Generally speaking, smart lights won't put much extra drawn on your WiFi network because, like smart plugs, smart lights are very simple devices that will typically only need to communicate when their status changes.

What are the different types of smart lighting? ›

The most common types of smart lights are smart LED bulbs, smart strip lights, and smart downlights. These fixtures can be integrated into a smart lighting system or hub, connecting multiple fixtures and allowing you to control various lights simultaneously.

Do any smart bulbs work with 5GHz Wi-Fi? ›

Smart bulbs that work with 5GHz WiFi are indeed available, with top brands like Philips Hue, LIFX, TP-Link, and GE offering products that can connect to either 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands. The advantage of using 5GHz is faster connectivity, which can be a significant benefit for smart home devices.

How to tell if Wi-Fi is 2.4 or 5? ›

  1. Connect to the WiFi network.
  2. Open your networks panel from your taskbar (click the WiFi icon in the bottom right).
  3. Click on “Properties” of your WiFi network.
  4. In the new window that opens, scroll all the way down to “Properties”.
  5. “Network Band” will either say 2.4GHz or 5GHz.

Is a smart lighting system worth it? ›

Energy Efficiency

Traditional bulbs are often left on accidentally or used at inappropriate brightness levels for the environment. With smart lighting, users can schedule lights to turn off automatically or dim them to conserve energy. Over time, this can lead to significant savings on electricity bills.

Is it worth getting smart lights? ›

Smart bulbs tend to be the more affordable option, and the benefit is that you can use them in your existing light fixtures. However, if you're in the market for a whole new light, a smart light isn't a bad choice either.

Are smart lights expensive to run? ›

So it seems like they'd draw more energy than a regular LED bulb that turns off when it's switched off at the wall – and hence cost more to run. But that's not what we found: there's actually very little difference in running costs between smart and non-smart LED lights. It was a surprise to us.

What happens to smart lights when the Internet goes out? ›

With smart lights, you can get used to control the brightness and dimness of your lights with a single tap on your phone. When the internet is down, you can easily switch your lights on and off with a physical switch.

Can smart lights work without internet? ›

Smart switches for home lighting will continue to function even when your home network is down. But their high-tech functionality will be absent, you will only be able to use them to switch the lights on and off, as you would a standard light switch.

What happens to smart lights when the power goes out? ›

Smart Lights

That being said, while these lights are smart, they are essentially the same as any other lights during a power outage, meaning they will go off.

What are the basics of lighting? ›

There are three types of lighting: ambient, task and accent lighting. Ambient, or general, light illuminates the entire room. This basic form of lighting replaces sunlight and is fundamental to a lighting plan. Task lighting provides illumination for specific tasks, such as cooking or reading.

What is the objective of smart lighting system? ›

Smart lighting systems help to ensure that lighting is appropriate for the environment, responsive to the changing needs of occupants, and doesn't compromise health.

How does smart switch for lights work? ›

At their core, smart light switches are Wi-Fi-enabled devices that allow for customizable lighting control. Unlike traditional switches, smart switches offer a range of advanced features, such as remote control capabilities, three-way switch support, and built-in motion sensors.

Do you need smart switches for smart lights? ›

Do I Need a Smart Switch for a Smart Bulb? No. While you do not need a smart switch for a smart bulb, having one helps with interconnectivity throughout your household. Because even if you are using traditional or non-smart bulbs,the smart switch has the power to make any product smart.

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