Being able to change your lighting at the touch of a button from your smartphone, or even by voice commands is something that is cool but there is apractical security element. Investing in automated low-energy lighting to come on at intervals will make it look like your home is occupied even when you’re not there and motion sensor lighting can alert you or your neighbours to movement near your home
The requirement for “Smart lighting” is growing as trends for everything “smart” grows, but lets take a look at some of the key benefits,
Space and activity
Lighting sets the mood for a space and can either energise us, or dampen our mood and whether it’s a bright, sunny day or dull and overcast, traditional electrical lighting is limited to performing at one level.
You can always improve lighting, but “smart” lighting is that extra step - an acknowledgement that the optimum level of lighting will change according to the conditions or time of day. Smart lighting creates the ability for the lighting to automatically change with those conditions. Also, consider spaces that might have multiple functions such as an open-plan kitchen, dining and living areas. You can go from cooking, to hosting guests, to relaxing with the a simple press of a button to adjust lighting controls.
Impact on sleep
Lighting can play a huge role in impacting the way you sleep. Consider typical evening habits in a household - watching television, reading or socialising, but probably not paying much attention to the lighting around them which can make a big difference in how well they sleep. Exposure to light or darkness is a key factor in regulating how we sleep. Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by our bodies which aids sleep and is released into the blood during the evening, a response triggered by lower light conditions in the evening. A benefit of smart lighting is that it can be programmed to have lights gradually dim during the evening, particularly in the 30 minutes before going to bed to help trigger that melatonin response. In the morning, the opposite can be done with lights gradually brightening in the 30 minutes before getting up.
Smart lighting gives people the opportunity to sync with their alarms.
Benefits of automation
People are huge fans of automating tasks where possible, and there are a number of possible automation benefits through smart lighting:
- Convenience - you can have the lights on when you arrive home, or use sensors to automatically switch them on as you walk into a room.
- Customise usage and create multiple zones within one space.
- No need for bulky fittings.
- Automated lighting can make you more energy efficient, with lights and lighting levels only being used as necessary.
- Reduce electrical bills by only using energy that is needed.
- Lighting can be combined with other automated systems such as a home security system.
Lighting can be an excellent deterrent to intruders and smart lighting can obviously provide security benefits. If you are away from home you can set up your lighting so that it behaves as though someone is still there. Change the colour, brightness, have lighting on in different rooms at different times and importantly, you can access the lighting system remotely and make other changes, all giving the appearance that someone is home. You can also set up lighting triggers so for instance should someone set foot on the property and triggers an external security light, this in turn can trigger internal lights. Smart lighting can also work directly with a home security system with the triggering of lights turning on cameras to capture recording of the scene. And yes, today’s advances in geo-fencing mean that you can avoid constantly having your security lights triggered by wandering animals at night.