Smart technology means it’s easier than ever to create the perfect home environment you want, right at the swipe of a touchpad. One of the most fun and effective ways you can do this is by linking your home’s lighting to your smart network. But this process isn’t just getting one or two smart bulbs and calling it a day — there’s much more to it than just that. You need a capable lighting control system in your corner to help organize everything. That’s where we come in: we’ve got what you need to know about picking the best lighting control system for your smart home.
What You’ll Need: the Components of a Lighting Control System
There are a few things you’ll need if you want your smart home to have a fully-fledged lighting control system. First, and this goes without saying, you’ll need smart bulbs. These bulbs come in a few different flavors, which include dimmable, tunable, or multicolor. Then, there are the accessories that you can add to a system, such as wireless switches, smart plugs to turn any non-smart light source into a controllable one, and motion sensors.
Finally, the last component is the core controller for your lighting control system. This is the hub that networks all the smart lights, switches, plugs, and related devices and allows them to work together as seamlessly as possible. Sometimes these core controllers take the form of a physical object, sometimes they will exist as a wireless app you can download and install on a mobile phone, and sometimes it will be a combination of the two.
Compatibility is the Big Issue
There are lots of different smart lighting manufacturers out there. This is a good thing, as you’ve got a wide variety of lights and other accessories from which you can choose. However, all this variety comes at a price in that compatibility between brands and manufacturers can be a problem. It’s not impossible to combine different products from different manufacturers, but it does often pose difficulties when it comes to getting your lighting control system to work together with all your different products.
That’s why it’s often recommended to buy an entire set of smart lighting appliances from the same manufacturer at once. Barring that, make sure you purchase your devices that are all certified to work with the same lighting control system such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa, or a similar third-party smart control hub that can work as a lighting control system.
Big or Small, There’s a Control System for Them All
One of the biggest advantages of smart lighting systems is that they’re usually scalable. This means you can start small — a single bulb, switch, and/or plug — and work your way up from there. As long as you’ve got a lighting control system that supports this type of expandability (and just about every one out there does), you can slowly but surely expand to encompass lighting for your entire home.
In the end, how simple or complex you make your smart home lighting is up to you and your needs. Whether you’re ambitious or you’re just looking to experiment with smart home devices, following the above guidelines on lighting control systems will steer you right!