Home lighting automation has come a long way in recent years. Although smart devices make life easier and more entertaining, they were once both expensive and difficult to install. Fortunately, there are now plenty of DIY smart lighting options that are easy to install and don’t break the bank.
1. Smart Bulbs and Fixtures
Smart bulbs and fixtures come in a variety of options, including colorful bulbs, dimmable recessed lighting, and even bulbs that feature speakers. Some smart bulbs can be plugged in and controlled with apps via Wi-Fi, while others need a central hub to communicate. Thankfully, many hubs come with a starter set of bulbs that wirelessly connect to a home router.
2. Smart Bulbs
Smart light bulbs can be tailored to meet just about any need. For rooms that need colored lighting, many brands feature full spectrum bulbs that are controlled through a hub. These colored bulbs are easy to install and screw into existing fixtures. White smart bulbs are a less expensive alternative and can be purchased for a similar price as a regular LED light. Depending on the brand, these bulbs can be controlled with a hub or Wi-Fi.
3. Smart Fixtures
Some types of lighting environments make it difficult to smarten up. Most smart light bulbs only fit standard fixtures and are not suitable for recessed lighting. Luckily, there are smart options, like the Feit Electric retrofit kit, that replace recessed fixtures with smart ones controlled via Bluetooth. You can also find options for smart flood lights that are both affordable and work with existing hubs.
Hubs are often a central part of lighting automation. While some bulbs can be controlled over existing Wi-Fi networks, many require the use of a hub, like Samsung’s SmartThings or Wink. Fortunately, hubs are affordable and have apps that can be used with smartphones and tablets. Hubs do operate using different technology, so make sure the hub you purchase is compatible with the smart lighting technology in your home.
5. Smart Outlets, Dimmers and Switches
If replacing all the bulbs in your home is not an option, then consider installing smart outlets to control multiple devices. These outlets are controlled with apps that can easily turn bulbs on and off with the push of a button. Another nice feature is that you do not have to worry about linking multiple bulbs in one environment because everything is controlled through a single outlet.
6. Smart Outlets
Smart outlets are great options if you need to automate one or two lamps in the home or want to control a specialty device. These outlets usually plug into existing wall units and are controlled over Wi-Fi. Not only does this make them easy to install and set up, but they also enable you to control an assortment of devices, including lighting. Furthermore, you can use just about any type of bulb with these outlets and do not have to worry about finding the right size smart bulb to fit a lamp. Replacing an outlet is a quick and simple process; just make sure to turn off the power before starting and to follow the product’s directions.
7. Smart Dimmers
Most smart bulbs on the market come with dimming capabilities. Instead of purchasing a collection of dimmable smart bulbs and replacing the old ones, consider installing a smart dimmer switch that can control all the bulbs in the system in one shot. These smart dimmers are affordable and work by replacing existing switches. They can also control a host of bulbs without any hassle and are capable with most smart hubs.
8. Smart Switches
Similar to smart dimmers, smart switches are great because they control a collection of lights without having to change the bulbs. These switches come in a variety of options and are often less expensive than having to replace multiple bulbs. The only downside to installing smart switches is that you will have to do a little electrical work to replace the old switch. Even still, smart switches are definitely the way to go for larger rooms that contain multiple bulbs. Always remember to follow proper safety precautions when starting an electrical project like this. If you’re not sure where to start, stores like The Home Depot regularly answer questions and offer workshops specifically for things like replacing light switches.
9. Smart Specialty Lighting
When it comes to lighting automation, specialty lighting offers more style and flexibility than typical smart lighting options. This includes smart ceiling fans, smart LED lamps, and bulbs that can also play music. You can even find smart options for outdoor security lights and holiday decorations.
If you want to install a new light fixture or just learn about the fundamentals of the lighting in your home, free workshops are offered weekly at The Home Depot on a variety of DIY topics, including lighting.