One’s time in university is often a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, highs and lows. Imagine, then, if there were a simple way to brighten one’s days at little expense and with even less bother. Well, that’s exactly what you can do with smart lighting, and today I aim to show you just how you can brighten up your dorm room (both figuratively and literally) in the coming school year using these fun and energy efficient lights. Read on for full details and product suggestions.


Smart Lights to Brighten Up Your Dorm Room

One way to brighten up your dorm room is with the Philips Hue A19 Smart Bulb Starter KitBeing a “starter kit,” it’s a great place to begin our discussion. It’s also a straightforward and easy-to-install set that comes with everything you need to get started. This includes four individual Philips Hue A19 Lightbulbs (each with a lifespan of several thousand hours), one Hue Bridge, and various cords and cables.

Beyond that, it’s simply a matter of plugging/screwing everything in and connecting to your Wi-Fi setup. Once complete, your dorm will have access to virtually any colour lighting you could possibly imagine via your smart device and the Philips Hue App (which works with both Android and iOS based smart devices). Via the app, you can change your lighting’s brightness, colour, tone, whatever! You can even set up a timer to control when your lights come on or go off, or an alarm that makes your lights pulsate under specific circumstances. 

Create the ideal atmosphere for reading and studying, or set the mood for a special date or party. Philips Hue lighting is an incredibly versatile system. It also just happens to be fully compatible with a variety of today’s top home automation systems (like Works with Nest and Apple HomeKit), meaning you can easily turn your dorm into a fully connected smart home if you like. 

For a fun and colourful way to brighten up your dorm room, there’s no better option than the LIFX Z Smart Wi-Fi LED Light Strip Experience KitThis set includes 3 x 1 metre long light strips that can be combined with additional strips (sold separately) to achieve a total length of 10 metres of beautiful, app-controlled lighting.

Flexible and fun, you can place these long-lasting strips (with a lifespan of over 22 years at up to 3 hours of use per day) anywhere you like in your room for a blast of brilliant colour in millions of different shades and combinations.

Whether you prefer to stay in and study or invite some friends and classmates over for a mini dorm-room party, the LIFX Z Smart Wi-Fi LED Light Strip Experience Kit is sure to enhance any occasion.

You really can’t go wrong with these strips if the goal is to brighten up your dorm. In fact, the only mistake I can think of with these strips is limiting yourself to just one set. After all, when it comes to incorporating bright, eye-catching colour into one’s life, you can never have too much!

Another option with a bit of fun and whimsy is the Nanoleaf Canvas Smarter KitWhy is it fun? Well, that’s probably quite obvious. With this 9-piece square panel smart lighting kit, you can literally make your own artistic creations in pure, pixely brilliance!

These cool lights can be arranged in any fun way you can imagine, and they even have a built-in audio sensor that allows them to dance to the music in your room. What a great way to relax between rounds of studying for final exams or doing a strenuous assignment!

Other features of the Nanoleaf Canvas Smarter Kit include the ability to program schedules for when they will come on and go off (a great energy—and money, saving feature!), compatibility with several of the major smart home automation systems (including Google Assistant, IFTTT, Apple HomeKit, and Amazon Alexa), and easy installation with no need for tools whatsoever (the kit comes with everything you need for installation, including double-sided mounting adhesives).

Note: Also available is the Nanoleaf Aurora Smart LED Light Panel (a 9-pack of triangular lighting panels – shown below).

Other uses for smart lighting that may be pertinent to college life include having the ability to light up one’s dorm room in school colours on game days/nights or the option to easily decorate for the holiday season simply by choosing the appropriate festive colours, which most smart lighting options can do. The possibilities are virtually endless with today’s amazing smart lighting systems, and the choice of how to employ them is wholly your own. With the upcoming school year fast approaching, now is the time to consider your options and make your choices. Good luck to you, and have a great academic year!


Leo enjoys writing about everything from secret agents to tech toys and gadgets to professional hockey. Find his reviews and other product related commentary right here on the Best Buy Blog and his latest hockey rants at


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