How Do I Automate My Home Lighting?
Ready to take a leap into the future and go hands-free with your light switches? Before you bask in automated bliss, you need to consider just how much you’re willing to invest. There are many systems available on the market to control all or certain parts of your home with just the swipe of a finger. In order to decide to how much automation you truly need, consider these lighting situations solved by the Leviton Smart Light Switch or the Lutron Smart Bridge.
When to Use Smart Light Switches
Let’s be honest here, sometimes you just don’t want to get up to turn off the lights. Luckily, there’s an app for that. You can install wall and dimmer switches that can be controlled by your phone. Leviton’s Decora wireless wall and dimmer switches are designed to work with your smartphone’s Bluetooth signal. You won’t need a central hub or an internet connection to store and provide a bunch of programming. Simply replace your current light switches with the Bluetooth switches. The mobile app to manage your lights is free and works up to 30 feet away, so you gain convenience without a whole lot of effort. You could choose to only install smart switches in a particular area like the living room for movie night or add them to every room to dim, schedule, or turn lights on/off without missing a beat. For beginners, these switches are a little more forgiving on your wallet and the perfect way to dip your toes into the automation pool.
Why Use a Smart Bridge?
For some of us, it’s go big or go home. If it’s not enough to just control your lights and you’re ready to seriously raise your home’s IQ, then you’re going to need a more advanced system to build on. On the surface, Lutron’s Caseta Wireless family seems like a simple set of interconnected light switches. However once you add a Lutron Smart Bridge hub or its security-minded brother, the Smart Bridge Pro, it opens up a world of possibilities. Caseta dimmers and switches can be controlled by a small battery-operated Pico remote. The Smart Bridge is like a wireless router; it can control up 50 wifi-enabled devices, including Caseta switches. Your wireless thermostat such as a Nest or Honeywell device, motorized shades like Lutron’s Serena shades, or even your home security system can all be managed by a single app. If carrying your phone around the house or tapping on that Apple Watch seems like too much work, you can make it all voice-controlled with the Amazon Alexa to give your fingers a rest.
Lighting Tip: Caseta Wireless switches are not limited to your overhead light fixtures. Use the plug-in dimmer switch version with dimmable table and floor lamps to indulge in full lighting control.
Lutron’s system is an investment. To get the most of it, you would need to purchase and install wifi devices compatible with the system. Every light switch and lamp would need a Caseta switch. The Smart Bridge does need to be connected to the internet, however that internet connection allows you to do things, like turn down the heat and set the living room lights to turn on at sunset—even when you’re on vacation in Jamaica. The free Lutron app also lets you set “scenes” such as raising the shades and turning on the lights at a certain time to get you out of bed for work or simply turning on the hall lights at night before your key even touches the lock.
|On/Off & Dimming||✔||✔||✔|
|For table/floor lamps||✔||✔|
|Control via mobile app||✔||✔|
|Connects to multiple devices||✔|
|Requires Wifi or
|Control with Apple Watch||✔|
|Control while away
|Available in multiple colors||✔||✔|
*With associated Caseta Wireless Switches and other wireless-enabled devices
Much of home automation is a murky area. Each home and lifestyle is different, making customization a key factor. There are also proprietary products that don’t play well with others, complex programming, and expensive upfront costs to consider for some solutions. However as technology continues to evolve, we are well on our way to mastering a level of convenience everyone can enjoy.
Whether you just need a helping hand or you never want touch a switch again, there’s smart lighting available to you. Get started in our Connected Home section and find out how a little automation goes a long way. You can also call our experienced 1000Bulbs.com staff at 1-800-624-4488, and we’ll be happy to do the math for you.