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The first 5 things to do with your Smart Lights



So you gave your home smart lighting . Depending on your particular setup, meant screwing in light bulbs, swapping light switches in walls, or connecting smart switches to dumb devices. You also downloaded all the required apps that match your hardware. Now the fun really starts.

Here are the first things you should try with your lights. I will cover simple tasks such as daily automation and summarizing lights and scenes, as well as advanced pointers, such as: For example, requesting lights to increase the safety of your home.

If you are fascinated by smart lights and lamps, but have no idea where to start or what to do, this guide is for you.

Read more: Want a Smart Home? Start with your lights .

Automated for Day and Night

Any lighting system called smart should be able to operate automatically and on a schedule . At least they are turned on at night and then turned off during the day.

To enable this feature, first look for the official app for your specific hardware ̵

1; whether it's a wall switch, smart plug, or single light bulb. Lutron, Leviton, or Belkin light switches are examples of hardware with associated applications.

Search the app for scheduling options for your device. There you can specify that the light should be switched on and off at certain times.

If there is an option for sunrise and sunset, I suggest you use that. It is much easier to choose than certain hours of the day, or to confirm exact times for the dawn or dawn. And do not forget to select options for your exact location along with daylight saving time data. This saves you from having to manually adjust the schedule as daytime hours are shortened and extended over the course of the year.

If the app for your smart lights does not provide this control, you can use a third-party solution as a workaround. IFTTT is a good start. The service enjoys a large library of smart home integrations combined with lighting. Key players include Philips Hue, Lifx and Belkin Wemo.


Josh Miller / CNET

Group Lights for More Control

One effective way to use intelligent light sources is to group them together. For example, let your basement become dark after midnight. After 1 o'clock in the morning, make sure that all lights on the main level are dimmed to 20 percent brightness. You get the idea.

To do this, you can combine all the lamps and lights in every room or on the whole floor of your house and then let them work as one unit according to your needs.

Scenes are another nifty hack that I recommend. Use them for specific conditions and tasks such as watching movies, reading during the day or at night, dinner parties, etc.

Within a scene – programmable in your Smart Light app – you can manipulate brightness, color temperature, and even different hues , Once you have precisely optimized the lighting of a room, save these settings as a scene with a unique label. Once your scene is set up, you're just an app away from your favorite mood lighting.

A warmer welcome

Nobody likes to come home to a dark house or pitch-black driveway. At the same time, it is a surefire way to waste energy and money when lamps and lights are burning around the clock.

First, check if there is any way to turn on your lights when you arrive home or turn off when you leave. For example, you can set this up in the Philips Hue app if you have these lights.

Not available in the app? You can switch to IFTTT again.

With an IFTTT applet (or bitcode), your phone's GPS data can show your lights in your location. IFTTT can then turn your light on or off, depending on where you and your phone go.

Doorbell cameras like the Nest Hello also have motion detectors that can trigger your smart lights.


Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Lights that wake up

Smart lighting can also serve as internal security. Connect switches, light bulbs, and smart plugs with all the motion detectors you have in the house – this can be a smart thermostat, a camera, or a stand-alone motion sensor. Adjust the lights to activate with motion or sound as a trigger. Hopefully someone sneaking around (or worse breaking in) sneaks in and turns on the light so opportunistic thieves think twice.

The IFTTT platform is used here again. The service can connect many home devices that capture motion and sound with your lighting system. The Ring and Nest Hello ($ 229 at Dell Home) Doorbells, a series of webcams like Nest Cam ($ 152 on Amazon.com) D-Link, Arlo and Wyze are Nur some examples.

Vacation mode is another way to use Smart Lights as theft protection. When this option is on, your lights will be randomly turned on and off, mimicking someone's behavior home. Philips Hue and Lifx Smart Bulbs can do this as well as Belkin Wemo Light Switch ($ 40 at Amazon.com) offer a similar feature. You can activate the vacation mode (aka Away mode) via the official apps of this product.

The BloomSky Storm Smart Weather Station can also react to connected lights on external conditions.


BloomSky

Adapt to the weather

Everything you expect out there is this lightning peak for you. If you own a personal weather station (PWS) connected to the Internet, it is likely that it can talk to your smart lights. This is handy when unexpected weather is coming up, and you want to keep the light in otherwise sunny rooms constant.

Thanks to UV light sensors, many PWS units can detect the moment when the sky darkens and sunlight fades. Moisture sensors also alert a PWS when it rains.

Bloomsky, Netatmo, and Ambient Weather weather stations also support IFTTT, which lets you create IFTTT applets to turn on lights when a storm comes through. When the clouds split and the sun returns (or the rain stops), they can instruct the lights to dim or turn off.

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