Smart home gadgets are still niche and of limited use. However, smart home lighting, on the other hand, is becoming a commodity. Smart speakers, such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home have made the dream of a fully automated smart home a reality. However, one question still lingers in the air…do you really need a smart home?

Yes, you can get a video doorbell that shows you who’s at the door. But maybe people don’t come to your front door all too often. You could also consider installing a smart thermostat and let it control your heating and AC automatically. But maybe your industry standard programmable thermostat is just fine for your current needs.

Many smart home gadgets, no matter how useful, typically appeal to a certain group of people. Smart lights, on the other hand, are a totally different story. If you frequently move from the couch to turn a light on or off, or forget you left the lights on in room an hour later, it’s easy to envision how smart home lighting can improve your day-to-day life. Here are a few of the core benefits of smart home lighting just to get your mind stirring.

Can you screw in a light bulb?

Most people can install a smart thermostat if they look it up on Youtube, but installing smart home lighting is even easier. You literally just need to screw in a light bulb! The most elite smart home lighting systems, such as Phillips Hue and LIFX, incorporate all the important electronic components into the bulbs themselves. This means you can go ahead and use your current lamps and light fixtures, which will save you the burden of up-front expenses.

Smart Home Lighting Specifics

Phillips Hue requires a smart hub, which is relatively simple to install. You just plug the hub into the wall, press the lone button when the app tells you to do so, and you’re good to go. On the other hand, LIFX lights do not require a hub. However, they’re a bit more expensive and are only as reliable as your Wi-Fi network. Most of the setup for both brands takes place in an app on your smartphone. Another perk associated with both Phillips Hue and LIFX is that they do not require you to modify your home in any way. This means that rentes can get in on the festivities as well without concern for their security deposit.

Adjusting your light switch habits is the most difficult adjustment phase with smart home lighting. Both smart bulbs require you to keep your switches in the ‘on’ position. This definitely takes some time to get used to. Thankfully, Phillips Hue offers a bridge for your light switch habit. Their Smart Dimming Kit allows you to stick a 4-button switch on your wall. This switch lets you control your smart lights. In reality, the ‘switch’ is really a remote control, that is stuck to the wall by magnets, so you can remove it and use it from your couch if you wish to do so.

Controlling lights with your voice just makes sense!

You can only turn your lights on from one (maybe two) places with traditional light switches. Furthermore, you can only operate traditional light switches if you have a free hand. This is a major first world problem that we have come to deal with in our everyday lives. However, smartphone apps remedied this issue. Smart home lighting has further streamlined our daily tasks through integrations with voice-controlled smart speakers. Smart home lighting has literally made it so that you don’t have to lift a finger to operate the lights around your home.

Walking into a room and your hands are full? Turn the lights on with a voice command. Sitting on the couch and want to turn off the overhead lights? Turn them off with a voice command. Best of all, you can crawl into bed and turn them off once you’re nice and cozy under the covers. When you’re free from the switch, it’s immediately obvious how much voice-controlled lights, again, make a lot of sense.

It even frees you to turn off lights in rooms you’re not in. In the old days, if you remembered leaving the lights on downstairs, you would have to stop what you were doing, run down the stairs, flip the switch and trudge back up. With a cheap smart speaker in your bedroom — or even the voice assistant on some phones — you can control any light in the house without going anywhere.

The apps on your phone for Philips Hue or LIFX can set schedules, but if you want to automatically turn on lights when you enter a room, you’ll need to buy a motion sensor. Philips Hue, for example, sells its own, or you can get a slightly cheaper one with the Samsung SmartThings platform.