Is Smart Lighting Right For Your Home Remodeling Project?

Smart Lighting Tips For Home Remodeling

Technology has changed the way we gather information, how we communicate with family and friends, and today, the latest technology is bringing our homes into the future! While we're not entirely living like the Jetson's (remember them?), today we're able to control more elements of the infrastructure of our homes using our tablets, smartphones, or even an electronic assistant like Amazon's Alexa or Google Home.

One element of your home that is one of the easiest and desirable smart home assets is smart lighting. Smart plugs, switches, and bulbs can help you to manage your home's lighting through any connected device.

Before you run out and start buying smart plugs, think about what you'd like to accomplish with smart lighting in your home. Are you trying to solve problems like preventing lights from being left on, programming lights for when you're away from home or mimicking outdoor light to keep the winter blues away?

Here's some information on why smart home lighting makes sense, what hardware and software you'll need, and what types of smart lighting are currently available.

Why Consider Smart Home Lighting

Smart lighting can enhance your home's security by making it look like your home when you're not. By automating your lighting, you can either set your lights on an auto-timer or control them from your smartphone when you're away.

Along with security, smart lighting can help you to control your electrical use. Lights can be programmed to turn on when you enter a room, and off when you leave. Many smart bulbs offer enhanced features like color changing and dimming.

Voice-control allows those with disabilities to operate lighting without having to go to a switch or dimmer. Imagine if you're hands are full taking the laundry to the laundry room. With a simple voice command, you can turn on the basement lights and the lights in the laundry room. As smart home technology continues to evolve, voice control is becoming more available at a lower price point.

Learn The Cost Of Remodeling A Kitchen In Alabama

Smart lighting can also be an entry to more advanced smart home systems like thermostats, shades, security video systems, and motion detectors. Most systems can be retrofitted into your home and can be added to as your needs change, or the technology becomes available.

Finally, researchers have shown that smart lighting can boost your mood, improve your sleep and even help you to heal faster!

Smart Lighting Options

There are four basic types of smart lighting available. They are:

• Smart Switches

Smart switches and dimmers with built-in wireless connections can replace your existing switches to create a smart lighting system without a significant remodel. If you're remodeling, your contractor can swap the switches easily. They typically work with almost any light fixture. The addition of a master keypad or smartphone app can make operating your smart lighting easy. Some more advanced switches can talk to each other and continue to work even if your Internet goes down. Smart switches are an excellent way to transition to a smart home.

• Smart Bulbs

Smart bulbs by manufacturers like Philips Hue and LIFX can simply replace the existing standard bulbs in most fixtures. Each bulb has a tiny transmitter, receiver, and processor that connects to the internet via your wifi router. Smart bulbs offer options like color changing and dimming. Smart bulbs are the cheapest option to purchase, but they can be confusing to set-up and maintain if you don't have the right technology.

• Assisted Systems

Voice controlled systems like Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit and others serve as the brain of a smart home system. These hubs can speak to a number of different technologies allowing you to manage devices from multiple manufacturers. You will be able to control your smart lighting, thermostat, security cameras, video feeds and more using simple voice commands, or smartphone apps. While assisted systems are gaining in popularity, most hubs will speak to several devices, but not all that are available. You may find that some of your devices are not operable. A tip: The fewer manufacturers you use, the easier it will be to set up, expand and maintain your system.

• Integrated Systems

If you're renovating, consider upgrading to a centralized whole home system. These allow control of any light from anywhere in the home and use wired connections. Smart lighting isn't a new technology, Controls have been available from manufacturers like Lutron, Control4, and others. Integrated systems are typically “centralized” with a brain and electrical panels. They're often more reliable than some wireless systems. Today, integrated systems talk to Alexa, Siri and other digital assistants, connect to not only lighting, but thermostats, shades, motion detectors, and security systems. Installing a smart home system is not a “do-it-yourself” project. When considering an integrated system, work with your home remodeling team. They will provide a licensed subcontractor that will install a system that matches your home's new lighting design.

Smart lighting is making huge inroads into homes today as homeowners are beginning to see the many benefits a smart home offers. From enhanced security to lower energy use, installing a new smart lighting / smart home system into your next remodeling project can improve your lifestyle, reduce your costs and help you to live more sustainably.

If you're planning a home remodeling project, give the experts at Toulmin Cabinetry and design a call at (205) 366-0807. Our experts can help to educate you on all of the smart lighting options available and help you to bring your home into the future!

View These Tuscaloosa, Alabama Remodeling Projects