Do you want to change the functionality of your outdoor lighting?
One of the best ways to control your outdoor lights with your phone is smart LEDs or switches. These lights are long-lasting, energy-efficient, and have been a popular light source for over a decade. One downside to LEDs is that they are more expensive than incandescent bulbs. However, as technology improves, they are becoming more affordable for homeowners.
Below, I’ll discuss smart lighting and how it transforms the way you interact with your outdoor lighting, and I’ll also share some of the best lights for this purpose.
What Is Smart Lighting?
If you haven’t heard of smart lighting, then this is the perfect place to start. It gives you all aspects of control with your lighting. These include adjusting brightness, color changes, setting routines, scenes, and schedules with your phone or voice commands.
These lights are available in a range of designs and brands. For example, Philips Hue gives you access to millions of colors. Most smart lights work with Wi-Fi, and you can either connect them to a bridge and then to your router or directly to the router. Combine at least 50 bulbs and have your lighting sync with each other. There are a variety of options when you upgrade your regular light bulbs with smart LED bulbs.
How Do Smart Lighting Interact With Each Other?
The following Communication Systems are used to connect smart lights to mobile devices or the Internet – Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Zigbee.
Bluetooth-connected smart bulbs can form a mesh network with each other using no wires. You can easily control them with your Bluetooth-enabled phone.
Wi-Fi – With stable internet, your smart bulbs are connected to your router so, you can control them with your phone.
ZigBee/ Z-Wave – These create a mesh network that allows you to control your outdoor lights without delay.
How Can You Control Your Outdoor Lights with your Phone?
First, you’ll need to look for smart bulbs that offer either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth pairing. With apps and hubs like Google Home, SmartThings, and Amazon Alexa, you can easily pair your lights and access all the controls from your smartphone. Smart bulb prices range from affordable to more expensive options.
Below is an overview of my favorite smart lights.
Philips Hue Smart Outdoor Lighting
If you are looking for smart lights for your outdoor space with a Wi-Fi connection, then the Phillips Hue bulbs are perfect. These lights come with the Hue app. So users can control their lights remotely according to their needs. It works wirelessly through iOS and Android devices like iPhone, Samsung, and iPad as well as uses Zigbee technology instead of other Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPANs) like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
A great place to start is the Philips Hue Starter Pack. It gives you enough devices to dip your feet into the world of smart lighting. As I mentioned above, the Hue is on the expensive side, and for good reasons, since you are paying for quality and long-lasting products that will give you the best experience.
Features Philips Hue packs in smart devices:
- The appearance is sleek.
- Adjust light with a tap or voice commands.
- Hand-free triggers. Just walk outside.
- Easy to install.
- Add colors.
Are you familiar with light switches? Smart switches are similar but much more clever. There are a variety of smart switches to create the perfect mood in any room. With dimming capabilities across the board and a built-in voice assistant, you can control your lights hands-free.
The Belkin WeMo and the Kasa Wi-Fi light switch from TP-Link are great options for those looking to control their lighting at home. For less than $50, these basic models offer simple automation and remote on/off features that are compatible with many third-party platforms like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant.
If you’re on the fence about whether to buy smart bulbs or switches, here’s a tip: Smart bulbs only work when power is available. Unlike smart switches, which provide their main functions even when the power is off. Also, both provide similar features, so you won’t miss anything if you choose switches.
Lutron Caseta Smart Switch
Although I love the Hue products, my number one smart switch goes to the Lutron Caseta, as it goes above and beyond for functionality. The price will always draw me to this switch, with the Pica remote as a bonus. It has all the features to control your outdoor lights with your phone. Also, they are compatible with most of the popular hubs like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple Home Kit.
Did I mention it’s Affordable?
Create schedules with your outdoor lights and switch them off all at once; with just one tap, it’s that quick. Installation is super easy, and if you’re having trouble, the internet is full of content that can help.
To me, being able to find resources online is worthwhile. It makes me feel I’m not alone when experiencing difficulties with the device.
These days, it’s so easy to control your outdoor lighting with your phone when you buy smart light bulbs or switches. Choose from hundreds of brands that specialize in making your home lighting system clever.