We’ve finally reached the end of the line in our 12 months of smart home improvements series, and the penultimate article in the series is all about using Smart Lights to enhance your holiday season. Smart lights, of course, are considered a great convenience to most, and they also have an energy efficiency element.
This means that in the three pillars of smart home products (Safety and Security, Comfort and Convenience, and Energy and Efficiency), smart lighting primarily occupies the Comfort and Convenience pillar and secondarily occupies the Energy and Efficiency pillar.
This makes smart lights perfect for use during the holidays—that incredibly busy time of year when pretty much any convenience can make one’s life easier, and when expenses are also rising as well, thus making energy efficient lighting an added blessing to the pocketbook.
If you’re ready to celebrate this year’s holiday season in style, just keep on reading for some smart talk about smart lights.
Why Install Smart Lights?
Installing smart lights is a good idea year round. They’re convenient (can be controlled from anywhere via your smart phone), easy to install (setup generally takes only minutes), a cinch to use (if you can make a phone call, you can control your smart lights), and they’ll reduce your energy output (thanks to the low power draw of LED lightbulbs). But not only that—smart lights also add a whole lot more than just a mere splash of colour to your life. With over 16 million colour options to choose from with most smart lighting setups, your life need never be dull, and you’re guaranteed to never get bored with all your colour options. What’s more, smart lights can even provide an element of security to your home; since you can manipulate them from anywhere and at any time, you can make it appear as though someone is always at home. What burglar is going to want to enter an occupied home? Or at least one that appears to be occupied?
Of course, the theme of today’s article is all about using smart lights to enhance your home’s holiday atmosphere, and there’s simply no better way to infuse some Christmas spirit than with beautiful and colourful smart lights. As you read on, why not try and think of a few fun ways to decorate your own home for the holidays using smart lights?
Key Features of Smart Lights
When it comes to smart lights, there’s no shortage of key features to look for. Most of these features will pretty much be automatic, but not necessarily all of them. Included on the list of what to look for are the following major benefits:
- App Control – It’s pretty much a given that all smart home products will feature app based control. Even so, it’s always worth noting that not every smart phone will be able to run every product’s app. However, as long as you’re running some variety of late model iOS or Android based smart device, you should be in the clear and able to access features such as the ability to turn your lights on and off remotely from virtually anywhere in the world, the ability to set timers for your lights, and the ability to change what colour your lights are lit up in at the touch of an icon.
- Limitless Colour – And speaking of being able to change your smart lights’ colours, most smart light setups today offer a whopping 16 million+ different lighting colour options from which to choose. At Christmas time, this means you can easily set some of your lights to glow in red and others to glow in green if your are so inclined. In fact, you can make your various bulbs and fixtures glow in whatever festive colours you’d like them to glow in—it’s entirely up to you.
- Synchronicity – Some smart lights are capable of being synced to music and/or movies to “dance” with the sounds and enhance the mood and atmosphere of the movie you happen to be watching. For example, if you’re watching a movie that has the option to use your smart lights to create the perfect atmosphere for that specific film, the lights will change colour and intensity in time with the different scenes taking place in the film so as to enhance the mood and make you feel as though you are more living the movie than simply just watching it. Note: This feature may not come with all smart light sets.
- Long Life & Energy Efficiency – Most, if not all, smart lights today make use of LED lightbulbs, which have both a long working life and require only a fraction of the electricity of old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs. In many cases you may get 25,000 or even 30,000 hours of usage time from a single LED bulb, and all without elevating your electric bill to crazy new heights.
- Voice Assistant Compatibility – If you enjoy controlling things with just the sound of your voice, you’ll be happy to know that most smart light sets are compatible with voice assistant smart speakers such as the Google Home and Amazon Echo (featuring Alexa) units. This means that you’ll be able to turn your holiday displays on and off at will without having to get up and throw any switches or even pick up your smart phone.
The above is by no means a comprehensive list of the many benefits you’ll enjoy with smart lighting, but it should give you a pretty good idea as to some of the most interesting ones.
A Few Suggestions
If you’re ready to add some smart lights to your Christmas display this year, you might want to start with the Twinkly Smart LED Light Set. This 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi compatible set has and does everything you would expect of a smart lighting set. It is app controlled, its 175 (5mm) LED bulbs have a 30,000 hour life expectancy, it works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Home, and its beautiful changing colours provide more than their fair share of Christmas spirit. Of course, this in an indoor set, so be careful about where you display it. Your tree is certainly one safe option, and they’re sure to make it look great. You just might need a couple of sets to really do your tree justice.
Another excellent holiday option is the Philips Hue 2m (6.5 ft.) LED Lightstrip Plus. Philips Hue is pretty much the brand name when it comes to smart lighting, so you know you’re getting quality with these. And of course, they have all of the familiar bells and whistles you’re looking for, like app control, millions of colours to glow in, and ease of use. In this particular case, you simply unfurl the light strip and affix it to any surface you choose. However, you will need the Philips Hue Bridge (2.0 version linked) to make this set work, so do keep that in mind before you start planning your Christmas light layout. Then, just admire and enjoy!
By now I hope it’s become obvious that enhancing your holiday season with smart lighting is as easy as it is fun. However, there are so many different Smart Light options available to choose from that deciding what’s right for you and your home could get complicated. For that I would suggest doing some more research right here on the blog, where you’ll find many useful and interesting reviews and other articles on the subject. Good luck, and have fun!
Check out Best Buy’s other great articles in the 12 months of smart home improvement series!