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    Smart lighting is one of the most heavily demanded smart home features as homeowners look to add character and ambience to their properties. This can not only improve the aesthetics of your home but the purpose of your lighting systems. It makes everyday life easier and more convenient.

    Along with smart sound, security, heating, WiFi, curtains, and various other systems, lighting has become increasingly popular as we start to see more IoT (“internet of things”) technology entering our homes. The smart lighting market alone is projected to exceed £20bn by 2026, almost tripling in value over the next five years. 

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    Homeowners are eager to modernise their houses with the newest, most innovative lighting technology. We’re here to help. 

    This latest Chris Lewis blog explains smart lighting how it can benefit you and your family. We will explore how it can improve the value of your house, and the more practical features of smart lighting.

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    What is Smart Lighting?

    If you’re looking to install smart lighting throughout your home, you may be wondering what the difference is between smart lighting and what you already have. The answer is simple. Like other modern home technologies, the “smart” in smart lighting refers to the clever way in which it is controlled. 

    Smart lighting is the term given to light bulbs, panels, strips, and various other fittings that can all be controlled remotely via a connected device. These can include smartphones, tablets, or intuitive control panels. You can adjust your lights, switching them on or off from anywhere in the house, some systems even allowing you to control your smart lighting when you aren’t home. 

    There’s much more to smart lighting than being able to control your lights hands-free. While it certainly does add a wow factor to your home, it can help you and your family become more energy efficient and save money on your electricity bills. Read on as we explore the benefits.

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    Are my current lights compatible?

    There are several ways in which you can introduce smart lighting into your home. Over the past decade, companies like Phillips have developed smart bulbs and plugs that you can connect to smartphones and other devices over the internet. These DIY smart lights need lots of attachments that can be tricky to install and maintain. 

    To eliminate any stress and to make sure your smart lighting operates from one easy-to-use system, a professional installation is always a good idea. Our smart home experts at Chris Lewis use technology from world-leading designers such as Control4 to seamlessly unify your smart home.

    The best part? If you want to access the benefits of smart lighting, you don’t have to completely rewire your home. Control systems can integrate with your current lighting by using smart switches. Wired smart switches like the ones from Lutron and Wemo replace your existing switches and are wired into your home's power like a dumb switch.

    Despite being cutting-edge technology, smart lighting can adapt to any setting or aesthetic. In one of our recent projects, Chris Lewis installed smart lighting throughout a 17th century manor house, introducing all of the benefits that come with it but without compromising the property’s classic style.

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    What are the benefits of Smart Lighting?

    Smart lighting is an unmissable feature that can transform your home, and each room within. Here are some of the key benefits that will improve everyday life and comfort for you and your family.

    Features to improve your home

    Convenience is the number one advantage to using smart lighting as it has a long list of practical uses. It will completely change the way you’ll think about lighting your home, and is also a vital convenience feature in households where one or more people may have limited mobility.

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    Here are some of the most used features of smart lighting:

    • Avoid having lots of light and dimmer switches. Rather than having to adjust each of them manually, you can have one button that takes care of your lighting. Whether in one room or around your home.

    • You can set up your lights to power on when they detect motion in certain areas of the house, and at specific times of the day. So, if you need to get up and use the bathroom during the night, you can do so quietly without fumbling for wall switches.

    • When away from home, integrate smart lighting with "mockupancy". This will switch lights on and off at different times of day to simulate someone being at home.

    • All lights can be controlled directly via a touchscreen panel, or even via your smartphone or other connected devices. Use these to schedule smart lighting patterns.

    • There are plenty of other control inputs and settings you can easily configure to customise your smart lighting. An increasingly popular choice is the use of voice commands with devices such as Amazon Echo or Alexa and Google Assistant becoming more common in modern homes.

    • You can even program your smart lights to power on/off, or brighten/darken based on the time of day and the amount of daylight detected in each room.

    Also, unlike traditional LED bulbs, there are more options when it comes to adjusting their brightness, tone, and even colour. This allows you to set the perfect mood lighting for any occasion, whether you need a calming nighttime atmosphere or want to dial up the immersion when watching the latest blockbuster from the comfort of your home cinema.

    The freedom for smart lighting to improve your home doesn't stop there. Whether lighting pathways, pools, or an outdoor home cinema, you can now choose from a variety of dynamic lighting solutions to create the smart garden of your dreams.

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    Save on your energy bills

    Compared to traditional light bulbs and LEDs, smart lighting has a higher upfront cost. Not only does smart lighting introduce a wide range of benefits into your home, it can save you money on your energy bills while helping you to be more energy efficient.

    No matter how hard we try, we’ve all been guilty of leaving lights on around the home. Whether you’re rushing to get ready in the morning or get distracted by a phone call, it’s easy to forget flipping a switch as you leave a room. With smart lighting installed, this is no longer a concern. Clever, discreet motion sensors know when a room is occupied, naturally switching off the lights if a room is left empty after a certain amount of time has passed.

    Smart lighting works using the latest bulbs and LEDs which are proven to be more energy efficient while also having a much longer lifespan. According to energy.gov, these alternatives use around 25 to 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescents, while also lasting 3 to 25 times longer.

    Smart home integration

    We’ve already explained how smart lights can detect daylight, dimming to conserve energy. This feature can be taken to the next level when pairing lighting with smart curtains and blinds, making sure you always have the perfect balance of artificial and natural light in each room, switching lights on only when you need them.

    By integrating smart lighting with your alarms you can improve the security of your home., triggering them when an intruder is detected. Mockupancy can also keep your home and any belongings safe, serving as an effective deterrent against burglars. Meanwhile, geofencing can be set up to detect your smartphone when nearby. This will communicate with your smart lighting and other integrated systems, switching on the driveway and porch lights while also opening the garage door.

    Of course, smart lighting can lift the amusement value of your property by integrating lights with your sound system or even a home cinema.

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    Can I upgrade my Smart Lighting?

    Whether you already have several smart light bulbs and switches, there is a wide range of upgrade options available.

    You can completely modernise your smart lighting system by replacing your current control panel or keypad with a more responsive touchscreen. This will allow even more convenient control of your lighting systems throughout the entire home. If smartphone controls aren’t your thing, don’t worry. You can keep simple button controls to manage your lighting. 

    Those wanting to get the most out of their system may also want to add connected devices such as smartphones and tablet computers to their smart lighting control. Even if you aren’t at home, these can remotely communicate with your lights and other integrated smart home systems.

    Enhance your home with smart lighting

    Whatever your lighting requirements, we can help you create the perfect atmosphere for your home. Don't just rely on cheap off-the-shelf products like Philips Hue. Our smart home experts at Chris Lewis understand the value and usage a smart lighting system can provide and will advise you on the best system design to suit your needs.

    Whether building a state-of-the-art smart home or upgrading your existing property, we offer the solution to future proof any home, and will make sure you are always getting the most out of your smart lighting system.

    Speak with our experts about installing a smart lighting system

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    Tom Clarke
    I design, specify and support clients during new installations, system upgrades and ongoing support of their Smart Technology – even if we were not part of the original commissioning. My background is high-end Hi-fi systems but due to the bespoke multi-discipline offerings from our partners, suppliers and manufacturers, I pride myself on a personal and practical service that turns complex systems into simple recommended solutions.