Smart Home Lighting Guide
Whether you’re building out a new home or upgrading an existing one, integrating smart home devices into your project has become easier than ever. And when it comes to planning a smart home lighting (and smart ceiling fan) plan, there’s plenty to consider in addition to your usual interior design factors.
From smart dimmers, to smart hubs, smart fans to smart design, we’ll show you how to raise your home’s IQ, regardless of which system—Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit or a proprietary app—works best for your smart home needs. Find all you need all you need in our handy smart home guide, below.
The Benefits of a Smarter Home
Today’s technology has given us greater control over our lives than ever before. With smart home devices you can control the temperature in your home, turn on your landscape lights to welcome you on your way home, play your favorite music in multiple rooms of the house, set up atmosphere profiles for different events—like dinner, movie night, cleaning the house—and even automate the lights to slowly brighten each morning to wake you. And, now, most of your smart home control can be done without even swiping a finger, thanks to voice assistants like Siri and Amazon’s Alexa.
Ways to Make Your Home Smart
Smart Switches and Dimmers
Replacing your existing switches and dimmers with wi-fi connected smart switches and dimmers is an effective way of turning existing hard-wired lights and fans into smart lights and fans. With the smart controls in place, the lights will continue to function the way the did in the past, just now you can control them from anywhere in the room—or world, depending on your signal strength.
This device allows you to control your smart ceiling fans as well as retrofit existing ceiling fans to be integrated into your smart home system.
Control your dimmer switches for multiple types of lighting, from hard-wired ceiling lights to dimmable table lamps.
Installing a smart fan is a quick way to get into the smart home game. As a stand-alone device, it brings smart-home tech to any room instantly, but it can also be incorporated into a smart home system, depending on compatibility. Smart fans allow you to control temperature, sync with your smart thermostat and can even be activated using voice assistants.
Modern Smart Ceiling Fans
Often a feature of portable and cordless lighting that travels with you, indoors and out, lighting that pairs to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth can be controlled on the go and without the requisite wi-fi connection that your Internet of Things devices need to function properly.
Bluetooth Smart Lighting
Occupancy Sensing Lights
Save time and energy with motion-detecting smart lights that know to light up when someone has entered a room or outdoor space. You can program these lights to sense motion at certain times of the day or have them tailored to your schedule. Additionally, they are typically Title 24 compliant.
Modern Smart Home Lighting With Motion Sensors
Controlling Your Smart Home
Controlling your smart home devices can be done by smartphone, tablet, in-wall controls and most recently, voice assistant. If you want to use an over-arching system, you can pick from one of the big three: Google, Amazon, or Apple. These are all great if you have multiple devices and are accustomed to using a voice-activated assistant. If you have concerns about privacy and you’d rather control your smart home through your smartphone or an in-wall device, using a proprietary app would be more appropriate.
Google has built a sophisticated voice recognition system, plus all of the benefits of being the native platform for Nest products (thermostats, baby cameras, home security, and more).
Welcome to the Amazon universe. Summoning “Alexa” will allow you to dim smart lights, start a ceiling fan, play your favorite tunes on a wireless speaker and order another box of Q-tips.
As the grande dame of voice assistants, Siri now has control of all your Apple Home devices as well as all iOS compatible ones. Most people carry an iPhone already, so it’s a natural progression to stick with Apple.
Many smart devices come with their own apps that allow more control over the device. Sometimes that’s helpful, especially with devices that try to learn your habits, such as thermostats and smart fans.
Do You Always Need a Smart Home Hub?
Not necessarily—well, at least not a physical “hub” that sits tucked away somewhere out of sight. In order to control your smart home, you will need a theoretical hub—and this device can be one of many things, including a speaker, small screen or even simply your smartphone. Amazon uses the Echo devices as a hub. Google has Google Home, which is a speaker-like device that also has a microphone. And Apple’s smart home ecosystem can be run through your iPhone, iPad or Apple HomeKit.
One Step Closer to a Smarter Home
Most smart homes don’t happen overnight. Finding an entry point into the smart home game can easily be done one device at a time—whether that’s a smart fan, a smart thermostat, smart dimmer or video doorbell. Once you’ve got the hang of one device, you can start growing your smart home ecosystem. Be sure to assess the compatibility of these products if you plan on using them in tandem or controlling them all with one virtual assistant (for example, Apple is notorious for not allowing certain third parties into their ecosystem). Adding smart devices can also be a smart idea for selling a home, now that a new wave of tech-savvy home buyers are ageing into the market.
To get you started, shop our assortment of products for a smarter home.
Team Y is a dedicated group of design devotees. We love everything that has to do with modern design, from products like lighting, furniture and decor all the way to interior design, architecture and city planning. What inspired the design? How does it work? What does it mean? We want to know. And once we know, we are constantly inspired to share what we've discovered with others who love design as well. That's Y.