Smart lighting continues to gain popularity with more and more people both adopting the technology and combining it with other smart devices in their homes.
The ability to control the lighting and influence the atmosphere in any room, at any time, from anywhere with an internet connection, is probably the first thing people are drawn to, and is the major selling point of smart lighting.
However, you can use this functionality to bring additional benefits, beyond entertainment and aesthetics.
Smart lighting for better sleep
Believe it or not, you can use smart lighting to improve your sleep. Our brains respond to lower light by releasing melatonin, which a hormone that helps to regulate our sleep cycles. Melatonin starts to increase in the evenings and peaks during the night, before dropping again in the morning.
Exposure to bright light in the evening disrupts the natural production of melatonin. To avoid this, you can pre-programme your smart lights to switch to a warm sunlight colour and begin to dim in the evening, thirty minutes before bed. This gradual reduction in brightness will aid in the production of melatonin, preparing you for better quality sleep.
The opposite can also be done in the mornings, and synced to your alarm, by connecting your phone to your lights using an IFTTT recipe. You can then programme your lights to gradually brighten for thirty minutes before your alarm goes off, which will aid in maintaining a consistent sleep-wake cycle.
Lighting for an improved mood
While smart lighting is not clinically tested and proven to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), it can still help in improving your mood, especially during the darker winter months. You can even set them to change with the weather, so your lights can change to a warmer colour and get brighter if it starts to rain.
Smart lighting for increased security
You can make your lights behave as though there was someone home when your house is empty, changing everything from colour to brightness, for every room in the house. You can even control them when you’re not home from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
Save money with smart lighting
By utilising motion sensors you can ensure your lights only switch on when someone walks into the room, which can be ideal for hallway or landing lights, especially in the middle of the night.
Lights sensors can be used to automatically adjust the brightness of the lighting according to how much natural light is available in the room. This is known as daylight harvesting, and the savings can really add up.
Decorate with light
Fancy a new look in your living room? With smart lighting products such as lamps and striplights, you can change the colour of your walls and ceilings with lighting, rather than by redecorating. You can also change the ‘decor’ whenever you want, choosing from hundreds of millions of colours and billions of colour combinations!
Have more fun
Of course, sometimes it’s just fun to play around, and the IFTTT platform allows you to do just that with pre-built “recipes”. Here’s some to get you started (based on Philips Hue smart lighting):
Tell Alexa to start the party with a Hue light colour show
On your birthday, match your lights to fancy balloons
Hue lights go bonkers at midnight on New Year’s Eve
Send your lights into a colour loop when the ISS passes overhead