Smart homes have transformed interior design in recent years with an increasing number of homeowners looking to have smart technologies installed into their existing or new-build properties. There are a wealth of benefits to smart home setups like smart lighting systems and different forms of smart entertainment like wireless speakers but some are still unsure, sceptical or a combination of the two when it comes to all things smart.
As such a lot of questions are being raised surrounding performance and efficiency including a common query surrounding whether a smart lighting system is more efficient than traditional lighting. Energy efficiency is of growing importance for many homeowners who are looking for ways that they can reduce their energy bills and still make improvements to their homes.
That is something that makes smart lighting such an ingenious innovation. These new lights have been designed specifically for energy efficiency with a combination of user controlled and automated systems turning the lights on and off or even changing the colour of the smart light bulbs themselves.
What is a smart lighting system?
A smart lighting system is controlled from one central unit that doesn’t actually require any kind of manual input or adjustments. While the main controls can be switched on and off by a person; it is possible to switch these lights on or off, or even to adjust the brightness or colour, from an app on your smartphone.
With smart lighting systems you, the homeowner, have more control over the lights that are on and off in your home – even if you’re not physically in the house. Arguments over how many lights are on are common around the world with parents constantly fighting with children to switch lights off when they’re not in rooms, and smart lighting enables you to have the final say or to leave it down to the system itself.
A bit like programmable lights in workplaces, many smart lights can be set to turn off when they don’t detect movement for extended periods of time. This could be anything from ten minutes to half an hour, for instance, and would mean that the arguments over lights being left on in bedrooms when kids are downstairs would be a thing of the past.
Systems such as the Philips Hue wireless lighting system enable homeowners to create their own tailored environments with dimmed and colour-changing lights that can be adjusted from the Philips Hue app on their Android or iOS devices.
At the tap of a button on your phone you can alter the brightness of the Philips Hue light bulbs so that they are dimmed in certain areas of the room and brighter in others so you have the perfect home entertainment setup. Alternatively, you can choose a completely different set of coloured bulbs according to the time, day or occasion which is great for gatherings and family parties.
Homeowners can choose from around 16-million different colour configurations and the settings can even be saved for future use. What’s more incredible about the Philips Hue smart lighting system is that you can sync each of your lights with movies and music, and they are fully compatible with the Apple Home Kit so you can control the whole system with the help of Siri.
It isn’t just special occasions where smart lighting systems come into their own, however. If getting home from work to a dark house isn’t something you’re keen on or if you’re away for the night or perhaps even a few days and are worried about intruders, then you can set your lights to come on in certain rooms at certain times. This means that you can get home to find the lights are on and your home is essentially welcoming you back after a long day at work; and thieves will think that there is somebody home after all and they’ll leave your home alone.
You can even programme your lights to come on at certain times of the day, like when you’re going to bed or when you need to get up, so that the lights slowly come into action when you need to be waking up (which is far kinder than many traditionally harsh halogen bulbs startling your tired eyes we’re sure you’ll agree).
This can also work really well in children’s bedrooms with the lights slowly but surely switching themselves off which is more efficient than having a night light on for young children who struggle to sleep in the dark.
So is a smart lighting system more efficient than traditional lighting?
Yes, a smart lighting system is more efficient than traditional lighting. Remaining with the previous example of the Philips Hue wireless lights, the Hue light bulbs use approximately five times less power than traditional halogen light bulbs making them much more eco-friendly as well as being significantly more financially friendly when you get your monthly energy bill!
The programmable systems enable you to turn lights on and off as you need them, or when nobody is home, so that you’re not wasting electricity. The fact that Philips Hue light bulbs are five times more efficient than Halogen bulbs says a lot and smart lighting systems enable you to monitor your home from your smartphone – even when you’re out – switching off any lights that may have been left on by mistake in your rush to get out of the house.
A lot of energy is also saved in comparison to traditional bulbs because of the dimming features. Not only do they reduce the amount of light emitted when you press the button or turn the dial on the control, they also reduce the amount of energy being used making them far more efficient.
You can browse the full range of smart lighting systems at BT Shop today. Take a look at our smart home section for information on how to find and install the very best tech on the market today.