Top tips for buying the best smart lighting
If you’re looking for the best smart lighting for your home, there are a few questions you should ask before you jump in. This article will answer those questions. We’ll touch on the benefits of investing in high-quality smart bulbs, the rooms you might need them in. And of course, smart light bulb prices.
So what are the benefits of the best smart lights on the market?
First up, a quick explanation: smart bulbs are lights that you can control from your smartphone, usually through an app. That’s benefit number one.
Scheduling is also really useful because you can make sure your lights are only on at the right times, which can help you save on energy bills.
The very best smart light bulbs also work with other smart devices to get your home working, without you having to do a thing. Motion sensors that flick your landing light on when you walk by. That sort of stuff.
What platform should you use?
If buying LED smart lights is all you need to do, there are lots of brands to choose from. But bear in mind that smart technology is here to stay. And it extends so much further than lights. So it’s worth looking to the future and picking a platform you can build a smart home around.
Take Hive, for example. With our app, you don’t just control lights. You can also control your heating, plugs, cameras and home alarm system. Having lots of different apps for your smart devices gets a little annoying. With Hive there’s one app for everything. Simple.
And in case you’re wondering, the best smart bulbs in the UK can all be controlled with your voice. Philips Hue, LIFX and Hive are some of the best smart light bulbs for Google Home and Alexa.
Choosing the right smart home lights for different rooms
If this is your first foray into smart lighting, have a think about what room – or rooms – you need them in most. As that could inform the kind of bulbs you choose. Here are some tips.
Smart lights for the hallway
We mentioned earlier that the best smart WiFi bulbs feature scheduling. And that’s really useful for security. If you have a smart bulb in your hallway that’s turning off and on automatically, it’ll look like people are coming and going, even if no one’s home. The bulb doesn’t need to do anything too clever (like change colour) so just go for something simple, like a Hive Dimmable.
Smart lights for the kitchen
A lot of us don’t just use our kitchens for cooking, we also use them for entertaining. And that’s when something like our cool to warm white bulbs can work some real magic. When you’re cooking, turn them up to a crisp white so you can see exactly what you’re doing. Then when it’s time to get the dinner party started, dim them to a warmer hue to add some atmosphere.
If you have spotlights in your kitchen, that’s not a problem. There are plenty of brands (including Hive) that do smart GU10 spotlights, as well as E14 candle lights and standard bulbs. And they can be grouped together so you control them all at the same time.
Smart lights for the kid’s room
Any bulb that you can turn off from your phone, without having to rely on the kids, has got to be a good thing. But when it comes to the best smart colour light bulbs that’s just the start. With literally millions of colours to choose from, all controllable in your app, they can be a lot of fun.
Being able to turn them to any colour is useful for most rooms actually. Red’s good for the bedroom because it supposedly boosts melatonin (the hormone that helps you sleep). Green is a calming, soothing colour so you could try it in the bathroom.
The other way to have smart lights
There’s a trick for turning any light into a smart light… use a smart plug. They work just like adaptors – you plug in your lamp then connect it to a power socket. Bingo! You can switch things on and off from anywhere. With our smart plugs you can set schedules too.
Suddenly those ancient Christmas tree lights you dig out every year just got a whole lot smarter.
What about smart light prices?
When you’re looking at smart light prices, here’s a quick watchout. Often the price won’t include a hub. That’s the device that plugs into your router and gives you control of your lights on your phone. So before you buy, double-check if you need one.
Hive Lights need a hub to work but then you can connect as many products as you like and start building a smart home where lights, sensors, cameras and your smart alarm all work together.
Hopefully that’s given you a couple of things to think about before you take the plunge. And if you need any more information or inspiration, take a look at our Hive Lights.