Smart Home Series: Post 02
Time for the second post of my Smart Home series! Last week, I walked you through my smart home security setup. This week, we’re taking a dive into lighting. Through my partnership with The Home Depot, I chose to light my home up with Philips Hue light bulbs and smart wireless dimmer switches. The bulbs aren’t just ordinary light bulbs—they change colors, sync with music, and can be configured to turn off and on whenever you want! With it being smart technology, you can colorfully transform every room in your home with the sound of your voice or one tap on your phone. Let’s take a look at all the crazy awesome ways these bulbs can add value, style, and excitement to your home.
Watch the Video (and continue reading below):
First, I want to start out by highlighting the features I love about my Philips Hue lighting setup, and then we’ll go over installation and how to get started.
Create a Mood for Every Room
My Philips Hue setup has completely transformed the way we experience light in our home. We can change the lighting based on whatever mood we want to create. The app allows us to control what colors we want to see in each room and when. We can control the colors, brightness, and shades with the touch of a button. There are 16 million colors and any shade of white to choose from!
If I want dim red lighting while I’m watching a horror flick in my living room, I can do that—and if my husband’s in the kitchen cooking at the same time, he can create his own separate effect where he is. All the rooms can be the same or completely different—it’s entirely up to you and what you feel like seeing at any given moment! As you can imagine, this is especially cool for parties.
Use a Light Preset
The app comes with its own light recipes and you can also create presets of your own. For your daily routine, you can choose from four white light presets designed for relaxing, reading, concentrating, or energizing. They give you cool daylight, bright white, and warm white lightning options. Or you can choose from a number of colorful presets for a more creative atmosphere. Tropical twilight is pretty purple and Savanna sunset is a fiery orange.
Configure the Timing of Your Lights
You don’t even need to manually turn on your lights if you don’t want to. You can schedule it to turn off and on automatically! I remember the old days when I had to plug timers into my lamps. Not anymore y’all.
You can create your own sleep routine by configuring the lights to slowly wake you up in the morning and dim down in the evening. You can set your lights to turn on or off automatically when you enter or leave your home. A really useful tool is the sunset and sunrise routine option which allows you to set your light to follow the natural rhythms of the day. Your lighting schedule can automatically adapt to the rising and setting of the sun based on where you live. If you’re traveling, you can even randomize your routine to make it look like you’re home!
Sync Your Lights with Music, Movies, and Video Games
Gahhhh this is so freaking dope. I cannot WAIT to have a party and utilize this feature! You can sync your lights with music, movies, and video games. In order to do so, you need to download Hue Sync to your desktop and pair it with your bridge just like you did with your Hue app (more on the bridge + app in the installation section down below). Once that’s done, the lights will sync with what’s playing on your computer. I just tested it out with some Beyoncé tracks and it definitely creates a cool vibe. I feel like I’m in a music venue.
**NOTE: I had to do some troubleshooting because it wasn’t syncing with my MAC properly at first. If you have issues and you’re on a MAC, go to System Preferences, Security & Privacy, select the Privacy tab, and make sure “Hue Sync” is checked under Accessibility. That fixed it for me.
Control Your Lights Using Voice Commands, Dimmer Switches, and Apps
I love all the options for controlling my lighting. I can use the Philips Hue app on my phone, the Hue Sync on my desktop, the dimmer switches, or my very own voice! If you have a larger ecosystem like Alexa or Google Assistant, you can use voice commands to make your lights do what you need them to do. Usually when I’m ready to go to bed, I just say “Hey Google, turn off the bedroom lights” and they turn off. I also often use voice commands to dim the lights. I might say something like “Hey Google, turn the bedroom lights down to 10%.”
WHAT TO BUY + HOW TO INSTALL
Now that we’ve talked features, I want to highlight the ease of installing and how to get started! If smart tech scares you in any way—this is quite possibly one of the best products you can start out with because it’s so simple to install.
Installing the Light Bulbs – Get the Starter Pack (IMPORTANT!):
So far, I’ve installed the Philips Hue light bulbs in the ceilings of my kitchen, living room, bedroom, dining room, master bathroom and upstairs entertainment area. To begin, get the Philips Hue Starter Kit which comes with 4 bulbs and the bridge that connects the app with your lights. Then if you need more bulbs, you can buy additional bulbs separately.
It takes very little time to install, especially if you use a light bulb changer for hard-to-reach areas instead of going the slower route of using a ladder. I have this 11-ft Pole Light Bulb Changer Kit I picked up from The Home Depot. You attach the basket (the part that grabs the light bulb) to the pole, place the bulb (large side down) into the basket, extend the pole, and screw it in—easy peasy! It also works in the reverse—you can unscrew a light bulb using the pole too!
Installing the Wireless Dimmer Switch:
All you have to do is stick these to you wall! No wires, no complicated drilling, and they are battery powered. You can place Philips Hue wireless dimmer switches anywhere you want and use them as remote controls for your lighting.
Connecting to the App:
The bridge is important because it connects everything together. Simply plug the bridge into an outlet and then connect it to your router. Once you open the app and pair it with your bridge, you can begin using your phone to control your Philips Hue lighting setup.
MY REVIEW + WHERE TO BUY
I cannot emphasize enough how much I love my Philips Hue lights. When we first moved in, these were some of the first smart home products we installed and I use them every day. It’s not only useful, but adds some spice to situations that would otherwise be pretty ordinary.
You can buy everything you need for your smart light setup from The Home Depot store or go to their website to shop online. That’s it for today’s smart home tech walkthrough! Stay tuned for another one dropping next week—and here’s a hint: it might make you hungry.
Tell me: How would you use a lighting setup like this in your home?
*This is Post #2 of my Smart Home series. Find the rest here!
*This post was sponsored by The Home Depot, but trust–all opinions are ALL me.