Smart lighting system has taken over the home front now. If you are planning to test out and join the train of smart appliances users for your homes, smart bulbs are the way to go. For the new entrants, your skepticism to jump all into the smart appliance world may be well justified. But you don’t have anything to lose taking a test with something as small as LED bulbs.
A smart LED bulb can perform some high-end transformation to your home in a matter of seconds. It is just a touch of a button away, or following the more sophisticated trend, you can set up great recipes and schedules to make your home awesomely colorful. Matter-of-fact, they are little devices that you can tinker with just to give us a sense of creativity in the home.
What is more, LED lamps have gone a notch higher by affording synchronization with other smart home appliances. So, you can conveniently have your bulb interacting with your refrigerator or even your washing machine. Sophistication doesn’t get any better than that.
To crown it, how would you fancy your bulbs serving as security appliances that trigger when you are not around or when the temperature in the kitchen goes beyond a certain degree? All these can be achieved with the LED lights. They can also turn your regular indoor movie times to a super colorful moment with colors to match the mood and sound of the film. Take the lead and explore the beautiful world of smart lights today.
Best Smart Lighting System Review
Smart lighting is not just about sleeping and waking up. They are also excellent accompaniments for interpreting your favorite song in an alluring way. It can be set to bring that party feeling to your living room just by glowing in accordance to the beat of your song. In order not to get it wrong, it is important to make the right purchasing decision when opting for a LED light. Here are our selections for the best smart lighting system of 2017
- Starter Kit Comes With a Hub
- Compatible With Third Party Apps
- Rich Features
- Low Lumen/Kelvin Output
Philips Hue is a smart bulb in a class of its own. Enjoying more than just a pioneering privilege, the Hue is designed with the feature and effect of everything you want and more. With the bridge and the Hue app, you can take absolute control of your home’s lighting system and tweak it to meet your lighting needs.
With some 16 million colors to pick from and some 600 lumens of brightness capacity, you can turn your home into a colorful haven at will. More so, it can work with many third party apps that further enhance its ability. I am talking about Samsung SmartThing, IFTTT site, Alexa, Apple HomeKit, etc.
If simplicity is your thing and you don’t have much need for colors, the Hue is still there for you. With its white bulb, you can manage color temperature that ranges from 2200 kelvins to 6500 kelvins depending on your desire. Philips Hue is a super nice selection if you don’t mind the price but just want a LED light that delivers exactly what it promises.
- Bright and Colorful
- Does Not Require a Hub
- Generate Heat
In most ways, Lifx has been adjudged a worthy or better rival of Philips Hue. With 1100 lumens of brightness, 16 million color choice and 1000 shades of white light that range from cool to warm, many people have opted for Lifx LED bulbs. It even gets better because it does not require a hub to work, you only need to connect via Wi-Fi, and you are ready to use the bulb.
Another remarkable thing about Lifx is that the set-up process is very simple and does not require the help of a technician. It also connects with apps like Nest Smart, Apple HomeKit, etc.
The Lifx app is pretty much easy to use and possesses useful features that allow the user to manipulate and control the lights as efficiently as they want. It even works to control multiple bulbs – up to 50 bulbs!
- Affordable Price
- Cool Design
- Bright and Colorful
- Generate Heat
- Requires Hub
- May not Work Well With Dimmer
When you purchase the GE Link bulb, you are not just buying a smart bulb. You are signing up for a smarter and brighter lighting idea. Having the capacity to work with ZigBee connection, GE Link is among the smart lights that can be comfortably controlled from anywhere.
That is to say that, you can be in your office, very far away from home and still control what the light in your house does. It is not limited like the Bluetooth connected bulbs are.
Another great thing about the GE Link is its clear plastic top which helps to cast a clearer and brighter light in the home. For control, the Wink app comes to the rescue. It makes a smooth and highly comfortable control for the bulbs.
- Motion / Ambience Detection Ability
- Intuitive and Easy To Use
- Sophisticated App
- White Light Only
- Requires Hub
There is no denying that Stack Downlight starter kit forms an excellent lighting experience for users. Its starter kit is a very promising kit for anyone who wants a very dynamic and sophisticated LED lights in their homes.
Starting from the app, it is designed with a one-blow approach for managing the bulbs. With this, you take control of all the bulbs at home with much ease and precision. Setting up the bulb is also as easy as it comes. All you need to do is to fit the bulb in a lamp holder, connect the hub to a power source and connect the app to it and you are ready to use.
Another cool feature of the Stack Downlight is its super-sensitive abilities. When you put the bulbs in auto-mode, it allows Stack to automatically take control of the lights in your apartments. In this mode, the bulbs will be adjusted throughout the day based on the perceived need. This perception is made possible by the inbuilt ambient sensor that detects and reacts to lighting need based on the need for ambiance.
- More Pronounced Color Chart
- No Hub Required
- Non-Compatibility With IFTTT and Geo-Fencing
- Clumsy App Interface
If your need for purchasing a LED lamp is hinged on affordability and simplicity, then TikTeck LED bulb is your best option. It’s a simple Bluetooth connected bulb that provides bright and accurate colors, besides the colors, is relatively cheap compared to other bulbs in its category.
You don’t have to worry about the pricey lights like Hue and Lifx if your desire is a simple yet efficient light. Designed with as many features as the famous names, TikTeck gives you the same features like app-enabled control, scheduling features, bright colors and sundry.
TikTeck’s design is also one of the features that give it a good edge for delivery. With a dome-shaped plastic top, it is a good aesthetically designed lighting set. This is because the dome-shaped top gives the light more dispersion hence a better-reached glow. The lower part has the traditional Edison screw-able base making it a choice selection for most potential users.
- No Hub Required
- Sleek Body Design
- Simple to Set Up
- Relatively Expensive
- Limited Connection Range
Ilumi may not be the first Bluetooth connection bulb on the market, but it sure has a niche carved out for itself. It is designed with the ability to change colors and also has scheduling features. The Ilumi can also be synchronized with music from your device or any detected device around. Upon detection, it emits lights to match the beat of songs being played.
The body is also crafted in a conical shaped plastic body that ends with a silver rim allowing it to work at the full thermal performance. Since it has Bluetooth connection capacity and no hub, its inbuilt flash memory helps to store presets and lighting schedules that you can retrieve at any time.
- Long Life Span
- Camera Customizable Mode
- Easy Set Up Process
- Limited Connection Range
- Non-Compatibility With Windows OS
- Non-Compatibility With Third Party App
Almost every LED bulb available has some 16 million color spectrums to choose from. The outstanding thing about Flux among the smart LED lights around is its brighter and more brilliant white light. The white light can be tuned to emit glows that range from crisp yellowish-white light to warm bluish-white light and everything between.
Then, there is the ease that comes with the FluxSmart app. With it, you can share the presets that you have configured with families and friends so that they use the same and not have to take the pain of setting up theirs. It also has the ability to control up to 50 bulbs through the app – whether singularly or in a group.
For those who like party and grooving, FluxSmart can liven up your home and turn it into a party. Custom-made with some 20 party color modes, you get the opportunity of selecting any of these or configure your own to provide a smooth party lighting experience in your house.
- Wi-Fi and ZigBee Connection Mode
- Voice Control
- Relatively Affordable
- Requires Hub
At 815 lumens and 2,700 kelvins of brightness, it pitches a little higher in performance metrics compared to the costlier Hue (600 lumens and 2,000 kelvins). Add some 23 years expected life span compared to Philips’ 15 years, and you will see that Cree bulbs are impressive and competent enough in performance yet pocket-friendly price-wise.
Unlike other LED bulbs that have Bluetooth technology, Cree has a wider range of connection. So you can take charge of managing the lights in the house from wherever you are at all times as long as you are connected to the Wi-Fi. This is a whole lot better than what Bluetooth connection bulbs offer.
Just as simple as it appears, the Cree Connected lamp has an equally easy set-up and connection process. Matter-of-fact, it is as smooth and seamless as fitting the light and connecting the hub.
After this, plug the Wink Hub to a power socket and wait for it to start flashing a purple light. This indicates that the hub is ready to connect to your mobile device. To connect the hub to your mobile device, open the Wink app on your device and tap “Add a Product.” This will sync the hub to your device, and you are ready to manage your bulbs as you see fit.
Transformation Through The Light: Smart lighting system To Set The Mood In Your Home
Yes, we all love the sophistication that comes with using LED lights, and there is no denying the accompanying thrill. However, most of the LED light brands available today are designed for specific needs and targeted audiences. Top among the reason for making a choice for a LED bulb is the color it adds to the home. This color can set the mood and define how you experience life in another dimension
How about a calm gradually brightening light to wake you up in the morning? I am talking something that perfectly mimics the entering ray of the early morning sun. Better still, the correctly selected LED lamp can be an excellent factor to stimulate that relaxed feeling that precedes sleep mode just by emitting a cool glow as you lie in bed.
Factors To Consider In Selecting When Selecting A Smart Lighting System
It is not so much of a dreadful thing to launch into the world of smart appliances. Never-the-less, I will suggest that you take it slow, maybe start with something “not so big,” as a LED bulb.
Even in “small things” like smart lights, it is important that be guided in making buying decisions. Although, the knowledge required to make a good buying decision for smart home lighting systems are not too distance. It is a matter of knowing what to look out for and how to make the final decision.
Some of the things to look out for includes compatibility – if you already have some smart appliance in your house. Others include cost, color and brightness, lumen and Kelvin metrics and a few others. Let me just acquaint you with the requisite details here and now.
As earlier pointed out, LED bulbs are just a small aspect of smart appliances. So if you already have some of these appliances and you intend to purchase smart lights to accompany your appliances, you’ll need to ensure the LED Bulbs you are buying will be compatible with the existing devices.
The primary community to look out for when considering this are Samsung SmartThings, Apple HomeKit, and Amazon Alexa. These form the crux of platforms or community of smart things that you will want your preferred bulb to work with.
Colored / Plain White Bulbs
LED bulbs can either be plain white or color changing bulbs. Making the decision to purchase either should be based on your lighting need. Plain white bulbs only have tunable white lights that can be anywhere between bluish-white light and yellowish-white lights.
The bluish-white light is usually the brightest and is useful for productivity settings like the office while the yellowish-white light emits cool white lights that are fine for a relaxed atmosphere like the living room. Examples of these are Stack Downlight.
The colored changing bulbs are usually costlier and fanciful, but you may just have a need for it. Some color changing bulbs like Ilumi can be synchronized with your music player to turn your living room into a dance floor. Better still, you could configure some to suit your mood based on movies you are watching, TV series, etc. an example of this is Lifx.
For most, this is the single most important factor that determines entering into the smart light ecosystem. Given the fact that these bulbs use LED technologies and some other intricate technologies, they are quite expensive to purchase. Some, like Philips Hue and Lifx are the expensive ones. The expensive ones do possess features and functionalities that can be endearing.
However, there are some that are relatively affordable. These one are the likes of Ilumi LED light, TikTeck smart LED light and FluxSmart. So, the onus falls on you as a potential buyer to decide what your buying decision will be.
Lumen and Kelvin Metrics
Lumen is the metric for calculating how bright a bulb is while Kelvin is used to measure color temperature. As can be deduced, the higher the lumen/kelvin metrics, the better the delivery of the selected bulbs.
Beyond just bright lights (lumen figures) you are supposed to also consider how the lights from the bulbs are dispersed. Does it emit a thin ray that shines straight down or it casts a broad light down? This knowledge will help you to make the most relevant of choices depending on what you want the LED light for.
As for the Kelvin (color temperature), you will need to know what the translation means to the environment you intend to mount the bulb. Higher Kelvin rating means harsh lighting while lower kelvin means a warm and cool emission. So, if you plan to fit the lamp in office settings, I will recommend higher kelvin from 8,000k while 2,000 – 2,500k for the living room and other rooms.
Control Requirement (Requires a Hub or Not)
The need for a hub is to facilitate the control of your bulbs remotely. Although the hubs come at an extra cost, it has some advantages. Almost always, bulbs that have hubs have geofencing abilities – can be controlled remotely and also have IFTTT compatibility. So, as much as the hub is an added advantage, it can also be a log in the eye.
There are bulbs that do not require the need of a hub and still perform as good as the ones that do. The only difference is the limit in manipulation and control of the bulbs. Some bulbs use Bluetooth connections or connect to your smartphones via Wi-Fi. Now, you decide which you will like to opt for.
App and Management
Since LED lamps are not necessarily controlled by the switch and need to be monitored and managed from the apps, it is important that you know the capacities and sophistication of the apps. A good light can totally be ruined by a limiting app or a clumsy one that is hard to use. Therefore, much importance is attached to the apps.
The best app allows one to swiftly turn your bulbs into a sensitive thing can react to prompts from other devices. It may even be the difference between a robust scheduling spree that makes your light respond to your presence and absence.
The fact that you are purchasing a smart bulb means that it should come with all the sophistication required of it. However, ease of setup is also a valid consideration to factor in. The best smart light should be easy to set up and not require the need of a technician to setup.
The installation process should be as simple as plugging the bulb into the lamp holder, fitting the hub (if required) into a power source and connecting the app to your smartphone to the bulb or hub as necessary.
Thus far, we have discussed all the factors that can safely guide the new entrants into the LED light system and also be a helpful guide for those who are looking to further delve into the smart light use.
I hope this review of the best smart lighting system of 2017 is helpful and detailed. Now, you can proceed to make guided buying decisions in the area of smart lights and not expect any hitch all the way.