The global smart home market is predicted to be worth over £430 billion by 2030. With architects and homeowners alike turning to intelligent solutions, the takeover is essentially inevitable.
If you’re looking to revamp your outdoor space, now is the perfect time to move towards a more intelligent future, and this outdoor lighting is an essential addition to any dream home.
- What Are Smart Outdoor Lights?
- How Does Smart Outdoor Lighting Work?
- What Are the Features of Outdoor Lighting Control Systems?
- What Smart Outdoor Lights Should I Choose?
- Smart Outdoor Lighting Integrations
- Final Thoughts
Outdoor lights can often be overlooked, but if you’ve decked out your whole house with automated features and completely neglected the garden, you’re missing huge opportunities to improve the design of your property.
In this blog we’ll explore everything you need to know about smart outdoor lighting and how it can transform your garden or outside space.
What Are Smart Outdoor Lights?
Smart outdoor lights are systems that allow garden or building external lighting to be controlled in a variety of intelligent ways. They can be managed using motion sensors, wall panels, devices such as phones, or even voice commands. Choose from an array of bulbs, light panels, LED strips and more to achieve the perfect illumination for your outdoor spaces.
These lights can be installed to any spec you wish. Decide which kinds you would like, then where you want them to be located. A specialist installer can design a lighting solution which perfectly matches your expectations and complements your garden’s style.
How Does Smart Outdoor Lighting Work?
Entry level systems use a WiFi or proprietary wireless connection back to a central processing hub, which allows them to work without human input. Once installed by an expert technician, lights can use motion detection or schedules to turn on and off at set times.
For a more robust system with a greater choice of styles, colours and fittings we would recommend installing the fixtures you want first. After this, you can wire everything back to a control system to apply the automation to a standard system. If you already have external lights, such as outdoor wall lights and wall lanterns, we can retrofit a wireless solution to give your existing system the added controls, with no need to add new fittings or bulbs.
So how are these devices activated? It’s really quite simple. Lights can be activated in a number of intelligent ways, including motion, timing schedules, darkness sensors or even through a wall mounted panel. The major benefit for outdoor lights is that they remove the need for bulky, heavily wired or unaesthetic outdoor switches.
Smart lighting solutions also work to reduce the level of energy wasted. How many times have you left your porch light on after falling asleep? With automatic switch-off and emergency all-off buttons for quick exits, no bulbs are left on needlessly. When it comes to making our homes more sustainable, LED lighting is a quick fix, with a long lasting impact.
Once your system has been installed, it can be linked to a control system such as Control4 or Lutron. These systems allow you to change and adjust the outdoor and indoor lighting in a number of ways. Alter the hue (colour) or brightness of your bulbs using a remote control or your mobile device.
- Endless Style & Design Prospects - Using a lighting control system rather than buying smart light fittings gives you a nearly unlimited choice of devices that can suit, and even elevate, the design of any home.
- Convenience - Installing intelligent lighting on the exterior of your home can benefit homeowners by making everyday tasks easier. Set outside lighting to a schedule to illuminate your home entrance when you arrive home, and automatically turn off once you have left for work. An automated solution can ensure your bulbs are on at the times you need them and off when you don’t.
- Unlimited Colour Options - With intelligent lighting you can change the colour, brightness and hue of your bulbs from a central control panel, or your phone if you're away from home. This is a handy tool for when you’re hosting events such as garden parties or barbecues. A simple but effective way of transforming your space for different occasions.
What Lights Should I Choose?
There are bulbs and fixtures on the market which are branded as 'smart' such as Philips Hue Outdoor Lights. However, these can limit your options. A smart lighting control solution has the ability to elevate any spec of lighting, including LEDs, allowing you to control them through the internet. This is because the intelligent control is not in the fitting itself but in the central control panel that everything is wired back to.
A lighting control system can automate your existing setups, either in a retrofit application using wireless dimmer modules, or ideally while the electrical cabling is being installed. We would recommend DALI compatible fittings, so you have more options with tuning the colour of the light fittings to suit the time of day, the ambience you want to create and the scene.
The beauty of smart tech is the potential to customise your solution to fit your home and needs. An expert installer will ensure to use the leading tech to allow you to build a solution which doesn’t limit your options.
Smart Outdoor Lighting Integrations
- Outdoor Sound - Smart garden lighting can be integrated with your outdoor home cinema to elevate the cinematic experience. Link your cinema sound system with your lighting to be reactive to the sounds of the film (find out how to build the perfect outdoor home cinema here). Outside lighting can also be linked to your sound system to pulse in time with the music which can really add to the atmosphere during a garden party.
- Home Control Systems - When your lighting is linked to your home control system, you can use one app for all things audio, visual, heating, lighting and security. Since they are integrated into this ecosystem, it will allow you to do things like solely turn on the outside lighting to illuminate the landscape when you’re at home to enjoy it. If you set the alarm or push the “goodnight” button then all your outside bulbs turn off. When the geolocation activates on your phone as being near the house your lights can turn on to welcome you home.
- Automated Gates - Link your outdoor lighting to your home security gate to naturally illuminate your paths and driveway when you approach the property. This will save you from fumbling around in the dark when coming home in dark hours.
- Intruder Alarms - Integrate your new outdoor lighting with your home intruder alarm to illuminate all outdoor areas in the event that your alarm is activated. This will provide a clear picture for any CCTV cameras (if they are not night-vision or infrared) and potentially stop the crime going any further.
Relying on off-the-shelf outdoor lighting products will only lead you to disappointment. Technical weaknesses in these solutions will naturally bring problems which cause you frustration and burden you with the task of fixing these. Not to mention the fact that you are limited with the selection and unless you bought them all from the same producer they might not be compatible with each other.
A professional solution allows you to enjoy your new, improved outdoor space, without the added hassle of unexpected servicing.
Intelligent outside lighting can also reduce the carbon footprint of your home, with a range of energy saving options available this is a small step you can take to have a positive impact. This technology is designed to last a long time, so it’s important to take these things into consideration when installing new systems.
Smart outside lights are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tech for your exterior spaces. Whilst lighting is an effective asset to complement your garden space, combining this with other outdoor solutions will provide the ultimate experience. Check out 5 ways smart garden technology can improve your home to discover more about your options.
No smart home is complete without outside lighting (and we don't mean fairy lights) to compliment the overall look of your property and unite the experience across all areas of your property. If you're after the fully formed smart home experience, check out our Design Guide.
Whatever your lighting requirements, we can help design and install a solution which meets your needs and creates the perfect atmosphere for the outside of your property. Whether you’re building your dream home to include everything from the get-go, or upgrading your existing property, we offer the solution to future proof any home.
At Chris Lewis Group we're a Certified Lutron Installer. Our experts are highly experienced in the design and installation of Lutron tech including Lutron lighting solutions. We’ll ensure you’re always getting the most out of your lighting system.
Contact us today to discuss your requirements:
Submit the form below and we will respond to you very shortly.
When looking for smart home technology to improve your property, it's tempting to purchase the most popular option on the market. Many of the smart home devices currently available to the general.