Smart Lighting Top Tips

Last Updated

When starting to use smart lighting in your home, you may be overwhelmed by the control you now have over your lights. To get the most out of your new system, or to properly prepare, check out our 7 top tips below!

1.    Check your router

To properly set up your WiFi enabled light bulbs, you need to have a WiFi router that can be ‘split’. This sounds very technical, but it’s not too complicated and you can easily do it at home.

Mesh WiFi combines 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi frequencies into a single network. By combining these speeds, your WiFi reaches your whole house.

WiFi enabled light bulbs need to be able to connect to your 2.4 GHz connection only, so it needs to be separated from your 5 GHz frequency.

The best way to do this is to Google ‘Split WiFi Bands’ and the name of your internet provider (e.g. Split WiFi Bands Sky) as there will be specific codes and instructions unique to your provider.

If you find you can’t split your WiFi – don’t worry! You simply need to shop for smart lighting that is also Bluetooth enabled.

Screengrab of a smart lighting product showing that is is both bluetooth and wifi enabled

2.    Keep to the same brand

While it’s natural to shop around for the best price when shopping, we highly recommend sticking to the same brand when shopping for smart lighting. This is because each brand will have their own phone app.

For example, if you get your living room bulb from 4Lite and then your kitchen downlight from Crompton, you will need to have both the Wiz Connected app and the Tuya app on your phone just to control your lights.

This means that schedules, themes, and more will be separated. Additionally, you’ll need to individually connect each app to your smart home assistant.

3.    Keep the switch on

To get the most from your smart bulbs, the wall switch needs to be left on and you should turn your bulbs off in the app or using your smart home assistant.

While this does mean that there will be a small energy draw from your switch being turned on, it’s a negligible amount when compared to just switching your bulb off at the wall. However, the greater control over your bulbs is an excellent way to save energy over the long term.

Of course, if you still want to turn your smart bulbs off at the wall, you can still utilise their dimmable abilities and colour changer.

4.    Pairing to your smart home assistant

An added layer of convenience with your smart lights is the ability to pair to your Alexa, Google assistant, Siri, Samsung Smartthings, and more.

Instead of fishing your phone out of your pocket every time you leave or enter a room, you can simply call out to your home assistant to turn the light on for you.

This can be as simple as just turning on a single bulb, to as complicated as house-wide themes or schedules.

5.    Schedules

Setting a daily schedule is also a great way to use your smart lighting. For example, set it to be like your home is welcoming you back when you arrive by setting the lights to turn on at the time you get home each day.

You can also have 1 less thing to think about in the morning by setting your lights to turn off when you leave.

Not just that! You can even set your lights to turn on at the same time your alarm goes off to prevent yourself from falling back asleep, or set them to begin to dim down when it’s time to go to bed.

The only limit is your imagination!

6.    Themes

Known as themes or scenes across the different apps, you can take a snapshot of the way your smart lights are set up to quickly and easily get back to that. This is especially helpful if you have a number of lights in one room.

For example, if you have 10 spotlights in your kitchen, you can create a scene of them all being turned on to easily turn them on and off in one go, rather than individually.

7.    If this then that

IFTTT is a simple way to integrate apps, devices and services. It has programmes called ‘applets’ that allow you to set rules when connected to your smart lighting. Put simply, IFTTT can do anything.

You can create rules like ‘Turn the light on when I get home’. This pairs your lighting app to your location app and automatically turns on the lights of your choice when you enter the predetermined area.

Another fun rule is ‘turn the lights on at sunset’. This pairs your lights with your weather app and turns your chosen lights on at sunset.

But it doesn’t stop there! You can change light colours when the weather changes, pule your light when you get a notification to your phone, flash your lights when your doorbell rings, turn the light on when motion is detected, change your light colour to cozy when it drops below a certain temperature, and so much more.

IFTTT is a subscription based service, but their Free subscription is £0 forever and lets you use 5 applets around your home. The most expensive package, with unlimited applets and multiple accounts, is just £4.41 a month.