What if you want Smart lighting, but don’t want lighting attached to your Smart hub?
There could be any number of reasons why you want the advantages of Smart lighting but would prefer not to attach your lights to your home hub. Security is one issue. It has been found that in the past some manufacturers were not adding sufficient security to Smart bulbs, which left a huge hole in people’s security. You may want to keep your Smart Home hub sleeker, adding only the most necessary items to your portfolio of apps, but still with to take advantage of energy saving lights with offer more than just on, off or dimmed. Or you may not even have a Smart Home, but you like the idea of lightbulbs which have several functions.
What Do They Have To Offer?
Specialised LED bulbs are a relatively new addition to the market and offer several features and benefits which up until now had only been available through specialist retailers or via Smart Home technology. These features include:
Battery assistance and backup
‘Dusk to Dawn’ outdoor lighting
What can these specialised LED bulbs do for me? Let’s take a look at each feature in order.
Motion sensors which are integral to the lightbulb mean that one can be used to light a porch, landing, dark corner of a garden or any other spot where you only need illumination occasionally or where you pass frequently with your hands full, or indeed if you have limited mobility and need to have light somewhere you can’t easily reach, or have the option of relocating the switch. Motion sensitive LEDs can stand alone or be connected in a group of up to 30 and sensitivity can be adjusted so they come on when movement is detected 10, 25, or 60 feet from the sensor. Another variable is the length of time they stay on once motion has ceased. Choose from 10 seconds, 30, 3 minutes, 10, or to stay on constantly once triggered.
Sound And Lighting
Bluetooth speakers embedded in lights provide an all round sound for listening to music or watching movies on a computer or phone. While they don’t have anything like the functionality of Echo Dots or similar devices for making calls, announcements, or taking instructions, they are a fun and useful way of introducing wireless sound in the house or garden. The speakers are controlled independently from the lights, so they don’t have to be on to provide sound and additional bulbs can be synced with the ‘parent bulb’ within 25 feet. Use the remote control to adjust the volume and dim the lights whenever you need to control the settings.
Add Colour Remotely
Coloured bulbs come in a limited range compared to most Smart lights and are controlled using a remote control instead of hub or voice commands. The colours you can get from a colour bulb include soft white, daylight, red, orange, yellow, pink, purple, indigo, blue and green, and several bulbs can be controlled from one remote-control at a time. However it is not yet possible to have different lamps in different colours controlled from the same handset.
Unscrew & Take Your Light With You
Battery assisted bulbs aren’t just there to be used in the event of a power cut, although they do that well. They can be operated independently of the mains so if there is a power they will stay on for hours, but also if you’re moving a lamp and it happens to be dark there’s no need to turn off the light. And picture this; the shatterproof bulbs can be simply taken out of their sockets and used as a torch if you don’t want to turn all the lights on and off as you move around the house and garden late at night. The charge will last for up to five hours and simply putting the bulb back in the socket and turning the power on will recharge it.
Always Have Enough Light Any Time Of Day
Dusk to Dawn bulbs are most commonly used in porches, entrances, and areas of poor ambient light where it is necessary to have constant light. Using UV sensors they will come on whenever it gets dark, be that nightfall, prolonged shadow, deep cloud cover or any other reason. Once the sensor detects light once more it turns itself off. A 60W bulb equivalent uses approximately 8W of energy and only turns itself on when required, meaning that you save a good deal of energy while keeping entrances attractively well lit. Some options offer a 50% brightness feature, meaning the light is dimmed when no one is around but as soon as motion is detected they will come up to 100% brightness for ten minutes.
So while they’re not Smart in the fullest sense of the term, they are intelligent and it is possible to link them to a light sensitive devices operating on an If This Then That (IFTTT) platform. Use motion linked and Dusk to Dawn bulbs alongside your CCTV and Smart security systems to increase the sense of security you have when leaving the house unattended, or enjoy the feeling of multiroom AV as you move from room to room using Bluetooth speaker enabled lighting.