We shed light on the basics of this trendy tech.

By Jessica Bennett
November 19, 2019
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The future of lighting looks bright. You can now use smart lights to schedule a lighting wake-up call, program a wind-down routine before bedtime, or remotely turn off and on lights while traveling. The technology also allows you to control your home’s brightness and lighting routine remotely via an app or by using your voice. But with so many options to choose from, it can be hard to know where to begin. We’ve laid out simple steps on how to get started using smart lighting, including expert advice from the American Lighting Association. Before you swap out your basic bulbs for high-tech lights, check out our tips on setting up smart lighting in your home.

4 Easy Ways to Get Started with Smart Lighting

If a state-of-the-art whole-house automation makeover is outside your comfort zone or budget, don't worry. There are still small ways you can try smart-home technology. Use these simple steps for integrating smart lighting into your home.

1. Choose an Assistant

Smart devices should make life easier. The easiest way to centralize smart-home operations is by using a digital assistant, such as Amazon Echo or Google Home. These voice-activated devices can be programmed to communicate with a wide variety of smart-lighting controls, including dimming, brightening, switching on, and turning off lights.

2. Start with Smart Lightbulbs

Switching out a lightbulb is the easiest way to dip your toes into smart-home options. Screw a smart bulb, such as the Philips Dimmable Connected Bulb, $11.97 at The Home Depot, into an existing fixture, connect it to your Wi-Fi network, and start experimenting with using the app to control the light. You can decide then if features like adjusting the brightness without a dimmer switch are worth further investment.

3. Switch to Smart Lightswitches

To make your entire home smarter, consider smart outlets or switches, such as the Kasa Smart Light Switch, $22.49 at Amazon. Once the smart switch is installed, you can remotely control your fixtures, even those with basic bulbs. After you’ve experienced how smart switches can work for your lifestyle, consider installing smart light fixtures, which have this technology built in and can be controlled with your voice or an app.

4. Get Creative with Smart Lighting Controls

Possibilities are nearly endless when you coordinate smart lights with other smart devices using free web-based services. Turn on a porch light when someone rings your smart doorbell, flash a red light if your thermostat detects carbon monoxide, or turn on the bedroom light when your fitness tracker indicates you’re awake. Home automation provides so many ways to make your life easier if you're willing to explore the capabilities.

When you start small, smart lighting is a snap. Try this tech in your home to create an automated lighting routine that works for you.

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