Effortless style is a cliché that gets bandied around a lot, but smart lighting systems really deserve that moniker. They add a whole new facet of style to your home that you don’t have to think about. They’re incredibly convenient, too.
A well-designed smart lighting system can be a dazzling and delightful thing, as well as a useful and entertaining one. It can give you many choices for on-demand mood lighting and scene creation while keeping control simple.
What is a smart lighting system?
Practically, smart lighting systems vary from traditional lights in two ways:
- On/off or dimmer bulbs are replaced by low-energy smart bulbs with a range of settings for colour, warmth, brightness and more.
- The lights are connected to an intelligent central control system. This handles the complexities of the different settings to produce scenes that are both useful and amazing while leaving you with simple, familiar control options. These usually include wall switches, voice commands or apps, as you prefer.
At Baker Stone, we normally talk about full smart lighting systems, often integrated with a variety of other smart systems. The overall outcome is that your house’s lighting can provide you with many different, attractive and functional lighting options. The same living room can appear bright and clear for working, cosy and warm in the evening and dimmed with only guide lights for cinema night, as well as having many more settings. You can even switch to a disco scene if you’re throwing a party or toggle between spotlights and floodlights with just a word.
All of this functionality can be added without sacrificing any simplicity. Smart lighting systems still generally include toggle or dimmer switches on your wall for easy control, and the more in-depth options are activated with just a few obvious words.
Many different looks for each room
For the style-conscious and house-proud, having several different looks for one room is an important benefit that usually takes a bit of fuss. It used to mean moving furniture around or switching wall hangings. But with smart lighting, it’s possible to have a huge range of varying looks in the same place with little-to-no effort. Different colours can accent an area, automatic dimming can draw the eye and set the focus and warm and cool or bright and dim lighting can create a mood. As mentioned above, projections can add a whole new array of spectacular effects to your smart lighting system.
These options can bring out the best in your home, change your own mood for the better, impress guests or simply make your housework better for you. What is more, all of your scenes, moods and settings can be accessed at a word or push of a button.
This is where smart home managers like us really come into our own. As well as physically installing your smart lights and smart lighting control systems, we set up and program your lighting to create the scenes and moods you want in your home.
In our case, it starts with a relaxed conversation about you and your home. We cover how you use the space, how you enjoy the style of your house, what you do with your lights currently and what you would like to do with them. We look at what scenes might work well for you. Then when the installation is complete, we set up the different scenes and take you through how they can be accessed, usually by a quick word, a simple phone app or possibly a specialised switch.
Are there any Harry Potter fans out there?
Do any of you Harry Potter fans remember the roof of the Great Hall, which was … “bewitched to look like the sky outside”?
Surely such a thing could only be achieved by magic?
Back in 1997, when the first Harry Potter book was published, that may have been the case. Today though, with the help of smart lighting systems, cameras and projectors, you too can have the sky at night on the roof of your dining room, or even above your bed.
So, you, like Harry, Ron, Hermione et. al, can see the ceiling “with lightning blasting across it” during thunderstorms, “lit with glorious red-gold” at sunrise and “velvety black … dotted with stars” on clear nights. Although in some places in grey old England, you may be better off going for a pre-recorded projection, as this astrological Instagrammer has.
Let there be light – Smart Lights in 2024
Artificial intelligence is writing a whole new chapter for smart lighting systems. One major benefit of AI is that smart light systems, like all smart systems, can understand and interpret an ever-wider range of vocal commands. Ultimately, this means that users can control lights more naturally than ever before, without needing a manual or any in-depth training. Guests who have never used smart lights before can now come along and say, ‘I fancy some warm and cosy lighting’ or ‘Please turn the living room pink’. Then, an artificially intelligent control system can interpret and understand what they want, no matter their specific words or accent.
In the past, particular command words were required to enable one scene or another. If you didn’t know this word and have the right accent, you couldn’t access the scene. Now, and increasingly in future, this doesn’t matter. Smart lights will be easily accessible to all, as well as more intuitive.
Choosing and specifying smart lighting
There are two distinct levels to smart lighting.
First, there are the individual smart bulbs and smart light fittings, which can link up to an app on your phone or a virtual assistant for control. These can provide a good taster of smart lighting, allowing you to switch them on and off, and control their colour individually. They are only a partial taster though.
For the full experience, you will want to install or commission a complete smart lighting system run via the leading industry standard, involving professionals who can set up functionality and scenes at your request. This will give you a system that works with your house, includes a good range of stunning, complimentary scenes and enables you to control it easily.
Can smart light systems work without the Internet?
Your smart lights will still work just fine if you lose connection to the internet. You will still be able to access the full functionality of our smart light systems, and most other modern smart light offerings when you are offline. The only exception is if you try to control them away from home or your local network.
Why have a smart lighting system?
Smart lighting systems add style, convenience and security to your home and your life.
- Many options for brightness, warmth, colour and more.
- A range of scenes to suit your mood and décor
- Create multiple different looks for one room.
- Create magical-looking effects with integrated smart projectors.
- Maintain constant light levels or change them gradually throughout the day.
- Alter your lights using a switch, voice, app, time or detector.
- Couple simple switches with in-depth controls.
- Rely on smart systems to handle your lighting for you to make it simple.
- Enable people with limited mobility to easily change all the lights.
- Simulated occupancy when you’re away
- Level up your intruder detection with lights attached to different detectors.
Learn more on our Lighting Systems product page.
Smart lighting systems are things of incredible beauty and convenience. They allow you to create stunning scenes reminiscent of a Hollywood movie or change the style of your home at will. Careful installation and management mean that even the more complex systems can be controlled with surprising simplicity by the homeowner. What’s more, advances in artificial intelligence have made control more intuitive than ever. So you, your family and your guests can access all the style, convenience and security more easily than ever. To find out how, book a design call with Baker Stone.