This is Smart Lighting in a Pinch!


Lighting Up My Life!

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My use of smart lighting would add to the list of intelligent items within the house. There are many options available to us consumers. I currently use several options from Philips, their Hue branded line of smart lights. I had invested in my last home and quickly replaced all of these bulbs before moving with standard LED lighting. There was no way we would make our move to the new house and not bring these Hue lights.

Let me first say owning smart lights is an investment. Start small and then branch off to other rooms in the house. Other options are open to you, with smart switches and plugs being a few others. Intelligent switches are excellent but require a little more installation know-how, given it involves working with electricity instead of unscrewing and screwing in an alternate light bulb. Smart switches need you to shut off the power to the outlet you are replacing and remove it. Depending on the light switch and the number of things it controls will determine how it must be wired.
Occupancy Light Sensormedia by Amazon

I have kids, and they are the most complacent individuals on the planet. Enter a room, turn on the lights, and immediately leave the room with the lights remaining on. Such is the daily routine of young kids. Memories of my parents yelling at me to “turn off the lights as electricity is not free” echo within my head. Certain rooms lend themselves to occupancy switches rather than intelligent lighting. In my mind, I still view occupancy sensors as being smart. They are relatively easy to install and eliminate the need to yell at our kids for not turning off lights in specific rooms. They are perfect for stairways, mudrooms, laundry rooms, storage rooms in the basement, and other rooms you deem necessary. These are excellent for walk-in closets, provided the light switch is within the closet. Our current closets have controls on the outside of the closet. With this came a new challenge. The last thing we wanted was to walk by the closet and the lights to go on in the closet every time we entered the room.
Motion Closet Lightsmedia by Amazon

Our closet solution, replace the light fixtures with occupancy sensor ceiling lights. The light has the sensor built-in and comes in handy in the morning. With this came better lighting as the lumens can be adjusted, and the pricing was very reasonable. My goal was to test these before installing the same units into my son and daughter’s rooms. After a few weeks of use, I am happy to add these to all bedroom closets. Word to the wise, not everyone likes the brightest setting. Just know ahead of time you may have to adjust this to your liking. This could involve removing the light again to change. My personal preference is brightest is best, but that is just me. We may be adjusting my wife’s light in the future.
Standard White Hue Lightsmedia by Amazon

I have found that the previously mentioned Hue lights best serve the lights in the other rooms. I remember walking before running when I bought the entry-level kit. It included a few white bulbs and was complete with the hub. It is essential to know Hue has made some strides in lighting since my initial investment several years ago. You are no longer required to buy the hub to get the new lights to work as they have Bluetooth capability. Just know the Hue hub will unlock additional lighting capabilities. I believe my initial investment was strictly for the less expensive, non-colored version. This allowed us to adjust any range of warm to cool lighting.
Color Hue Bulbsmedia by Amazon

I later branched out to specific rooms that could change to any color. It was a novelty to be able to adjust the colors based on a holiday. There are a few applications that work well with certain Holidays. For example, you can synchronize the lighting with scary music for Halloween. Bright reds, vivid oranges, and glowing yellows flash in tandem and intermittently, creating a pretty unique sight depending on how many lights you have synchronized. While the colored lights add a particular dimension, you can get similar effects from the white lights.
Hue LED Stripmedia by Amazon

The Hue offering has grown over the years as they have expanded their offering to all sorts of lighting for the indoor and outdoor enthusiast. You can buy landscape path or spotlight lighting, outdoor wall lighting, indoor/outdoor accent strip lights, indoor recessed lighting, pendant lighting, and table lamps, to name a few. You can buy a few accessories as I have been tempted to buy the Hue Sync device. This device allows the lights to extend your TV viewing experience. The lighting of the movie/TV show is replicated in unison with whatever lighting option you have, provided it is a fully enabled color option. Unfortunately, the item is over $200, and I can’t justify the expenditure based on how little television we watch. Couple this with possibly Hue’s light strips, and you have a pretty powerful TV companion.

Motion sensors, switches and dimmers, smart plugs, and outdoor wiring round out the available accessories. The amount of money one can spend on lighting is almost endless with the market and the competition expanding almost daily. A word to the wise, once Pandora’s box is open, it is tough to shut. I recently discovered another lighting company I have become intrigued with. Nanoleaf has put a different spin on things, and I have begun to dabble with their lighting scheme. Their offerings are a good companion option or total replacement for the Hue. The item I was driven to buy was the Canvas lighting system.

Nanoleaf Canvasmedia by Amazon

The canvas kit is a system you can buy and explore your artistic self. Arrange the squares in a pattern of your liking on your wall creating all sorts of designs. The starter kit comes with nine squares to start. If you want to branch out, you can continue to add to the plan “canvassing” your wall. The designs and color options are endless. This brings a whole new dimension to mood lighting. Do you need this at your house? Probably not! Am I excited by my needless expenditure? You betcha! Part 5

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Canton, MI

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