July 29, 2023
When it comes to lighting up your smart home, figuring out which smart automated lights are best for you can be a tough issue to tackle. There are an enormous amount of options to light up a home. The number grows exponentially when throwing the phrase “smart home” in there. Let’s go over a few of the most popular options, and how well they work with other automated home components and which lights integrate best with smart home control systems such as Savant and Control4.
Chances are, you have a few smart devices scattered across your home already. The Amazon Alexa and Google Home are a short few of the many dotting our smart homes in recent years. The wonder of these devices is that they work with a ton of other equipment. Anything that has a Bluetooth connection or a smart bridge will connect to them. That includes sound bars, televisions, smart home systems, and even light bulbs. A smart light bulb can work with your other smart home systems seamlessly, creating a wonderful set of options for anyone looking to simplify their life. It’s possible to program these lights and other devices to a set schedule, or a voice command. The possibilities are almost limitless with this type of equipment. Smart lights range in style from a simple A19 bulb, to a much more sophisticated color changing light strip, and everything else in between.
Some smart lighting options incorporate motion and lighting sensors that will automatically turn on and off, given the amount of detected light or the presence of people and movement in a given space. These simple features can reduce wasted energy that comes with accidentally leaving lights on when the home is unoccupied. This leads to a wonderful increase in energy efficiency, which is definitely a plus when it comes to homes in the San Francisco Bay Area where energy costs can skyrocket.
Some of the most advanced smart lighting systems also incorporate certain types of learning abilities. We’ll get more into these in detail, but one of the most advanced systems can work with your entire smart home system and set natural lighting to your own body’s rhythms. The ability to learn our daily routines and schedules along with setting different types of environments with our smart lighting gives it a definite edge over traditional light bulbs that are tied solely to dimmers without many available customization options.
When it comes to deciding whether an integrated smart home lighting system is a better choice than a few stand alone Alexa powered lights, the benefits are very obvious right from the start. With smart home automation systems such as Savant, you can integrate your lights into a single app and program them to scene modes. With these scene modes, you can set your lighting to the natural mood of your home, allowing you to cater your lighting to any specific need you may have (we’ll go more into scene modes from Savant later in the article!). With this ability of customization, you can expand your smart lighting system to do anything you’d like during any point of the day or event you may have. Scene modes are limitless and you can create one for just about anything related to your various home automation features.
Energy costs have gone up exponentially in recent years, and the need to conserve power whenever possible has grown as well. With smart lighting systems, energy efficiency is at the core, and you can set your lights to timers so that they’re not on during needless times. Energy efficient smart bulbs have become the newest craze as well, saving you quite a bit of money on your monthly electric bill.
You may have heard of Savant when searching for a whole home automation kit. Savant offers wonderful control over every aspect of your home, and can do wonderful things from the touch of an app. Things are no different when it comes to smart bulbs, which Savant offers a beautiful selection of from their own inventory. If you have a home theater as well, you can use your Savant Scene modes to create a dynamic lighting environment for those movie nights with family and friends and recreate that special movie theater experience without leaving your home.
Wouldn’t you love the ability to set your lights to the natural rhythm of your day? With Ketra’s unique abilities along with Lutron’s integrated lighting systems, you can do just that very easily. Ketra and Lutron work together with your integrated Savant system and can create specialized scene modes that cater your lighting to your day, other than forcing your natural rhythms out of their natural sync. This allows you to set lighting that will turn on with your natural wake up time and the sunlight, and dim down in the evening while you rest before going to sleep as we’ve previously written about in-depth. This lighting system has been proven to relieve anxiety and sleeplessness and it is wonderfully easy to integrate into most smart home systems such as Savant.
Some smart home lighting systems are more simple than others. Some of them require a bridge device to work with your other smart home components, and others integrate more seamlessly with other automated components that you may already have installed. Deciding what each system offers and if its worth installing as a standalone option as opposed to integrating with a smart home control system such as Savant requires a lot of research and planning. Each lighting system has its own individual features.
This system works very simply and independently of other smart home components. This works as both a plus and a negative, depending how you look at things. With a simple smart phone app provided by Philips, you can program your lights to turn on and off independently from one another. This system also integrates with Alexa, allowing voice commands for your lights, although they tend to fall off of the system frequently. If you’re only looking for a few smart lights, then this system is a possible option for your home. This system also doesn’t require a bridge device in most cases, which is a plus if you’re not looking to purchase additional components for your smart home lighting system.
C by GE is unique for their fairly new set of smart bulbs and light strips that don’t need a hub. While other brands tend to only have single bulbs available for standalone lighting systems, C by GE has taken it another step further and made various lighting strips and other systems available for use in any situation. With Wi-Fi radios built into each one of these bulbs, you don’t need a separate, plug-in hub accessory in order to control them from outside your home or pair them with a voice assistant. This gives you a lot of ability to expand your lighting section by section and use the dedicated GE app to control the lights in your home.
Once you’ve decided if you’d like a whole home integrated system that can work with automated switches and systems such as Savant and Ketra, or just a few bulbs around the house that you can control with a native app or an Alexa, then you are halfway through the process of smart-lighting your home. With larger homes, it’s definitely recommended to integrate your lighting into a whole home system, as it’ll be easier to add more rooms and lights and keep track of everything from a master system such as Savant. Lutron Palladiom switches can also be programmed to control entire rooms or set scenes to your liking, which is far beyond the ability of a Philips Hue app on your phone.
If you have a smaller home and only want to add a few lights, then maybe a few individual bulbs is the right choice for you. The only downside to this option is you may have to restart your entire smart lighting process if you decide to expand your system or add additional rooms or features such as a home theater for example at a later date. In our opinion, it’s a much better idea to lay the framework to a fully fledged lighting system from the start or your smart home lighting experience.
Depending on your location in the San Francisco Bay Area, whether it be a condo in San Francisco, a Napa or Sonoma villa complete with indoor and outdoor lighting features, or just a beautiful Atherton or Hillsborough cottage — there are countless lighting system options available for your home. Set up a consultation with Regent5 in order to get the best lighting solutions available and set up your installation as soon as possible.