When it comes to smart light options there’s a lot to choose from, each offering a range of different features, sizes and more. From smart bulbs, to lamps and even light switches.
We’ll be going over the most common types of smart lights and highlighting some of the more unique options at the end.
After some smart light recommendations, or to find out a bit more? We recommend heading to our guide on smart lighting.
Common Smart Lighting Options
When it comes to introducing smart lighting into your home there’s three popular ways you can go about it, replacing the actual bulbs, introduce new lights (like a lamp) or replacing your light switches.
While there’s benefits to replacing every bulb in your home, this comes with a steep cost compared to replacing just your light switches.
1. Smart Light Bulbs
Smart bulbs are so common, it’s hard to find a smart lighting brand that doesn’t focus or at least have a selection of bulbs to choose from. They’re also one of the few ways you can change the brightness and colour/tone/temperature of the light itself.
When we say bulb, we’re referring to the light itself – in other words, any existing light in your home that you can replace will be covered by this section (ceiling lights, bulbs).
As we said earlier, smart bulbs come in a range of sizes and types, from traditional bulbs to ceiling lights so you’ll always find one that suits your home.
Aside from being able to change the colour (given you purchase ones that can), bulbs offer you more control over your lighting.
For instance, you can control individual light or group some together to set a particular mood or scene. We go over some great benefits of smart lights and uses of smart lights if you’re interested in learning more.
If replacing every bulb in your home doesn’t sound like something you want to do, have a look at replacing your light switches instead. Opting to install smart switches can be a much more cost-effective way of getting smart light control and benefits into your home.
2. Smart Light Switches
Since smart light switches offer a more cost-effective way to obtain smart light controls in your home, they are a recommended option for many. While you won’t be able to change the colour of your lights, some do offer the ability to dim them.
Switches offer some neat functionalities like the ability to remotely control your lights, have them turn on at a set time each night or turn them off with a single voice command or press of a button.
They’re also easy to operate as they directly replace your previous light switches, so guests will be able to physically control your lights as will you.
Striking a good balance between features, functionality and cost, you should weigh up how much granular control and ability to change the tone/colour of your light really means to you. If you can do without these things, we’d suggest sticking with only installing smart light switches for your home.
You’re also not limited once you’ve installed smart light switches, some people even install both smart switches and smart bulbs in certain room. We’re not saying you should by any means, we’re just saying that it’s possible should you want to include colour or more granular control into a particular room.
Other Smart Lighting Options
Brands are constantly looking for ways to innovate and some have done so by creating lights that serve a more singular purpose. Unlike bulbs these products don’t replace your existing lights, instead they’re additional light sources.
These solutions are standalone, which means if you purchase a smart lamp and the light breaks, you’ll most likely need to replace the whole thing. Brands such as Philips Hue have a great range, with a record for lights that last – if you’re looking.
3. Smart Lamps / Light Bars
Anyone to add some additional lighting sources that don’t require an electrician, will find lamps and light bars to be great solutions. They are not only capable of changing the colour of the light, similar to bulbs, but they can also be grouped with other lights for easier control.
You won’t find a wide range of choices though, so if you have a favourite lamp we recommend finding a compatible bulb to install instead.
4. Light Strips
Increasing becoming more popular, light strips are a great way to add light to areas such as desks, tables and even behind your TV. They are great at setting a scene or mood and provide a more aesthetic look to the room they’re in.
One use that we’re seeing more of is syncing them up to your TV or monitor, and having them change colour based on what’s being shown. TVs are even going as far as to include light strips directly into the TV itself.
5. Smart Outdoor Lights
Typically being more robust and water-proof than indoor counterparts, bring the features you’ll find indoors into the outdoors. If you’re interested in installing smart lights in your front or backyard than here’s some of the types you can purchase right now.
- Flood Lights
- Pathway Lights/Lamps
- Wall lights
- Spot Lights
Some of these options also have in-built motion and ambient light sensors, turning on when someone approaches or the sun goes down.
Accessories For Smart Lights
A lot of major smart light brands will support accessories, so you can say connect your bulb or switch to a motion sensor.
More common accessories include wireless remotes, to allow easier control over your lights without having to open your phone each time you want to control them.
For the biggest impact in a single room, you can’t go past replacing your lights with smart bulbs, but that does come with a hefty price tag.
Instead if you’re happy with your current light setup but would like to say, dim the lights, and control them remotely / automate them – then installing smart switches would be the perfect option for you.
Additional light sources like lamps and light strips can really make a room feel cosier or astatically pleasing. Again no smart light comes cheap, so you’ll want to weigh up how much you really want or need them.