By Jon Snyder
The day you’ve anticipated has finally arrived. You’re so excited you’ve practically carved impressions in the grip of your hand with your new keys. After months of planning and building, you’re finally ready to move into your custom dream home.
Perhaps you’ve settled in but feel that your home lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. Fret not — you can add extra security while also setting the perfect mood for any occasion with smart lighting. You can find many fixtures on the market that add a modern, lustrous feel to your home — plus, these lights are energy efficient. Get the most out of smart lighting with ideal fixtures for your home’s aesthetic. But first, let’s cover the basics.
How Does Smart Lighting Work?
Connected lighting enables you to control your home’s lighting through a smart home system like Amazon Echo, Apple Homekit, or Google Home. They’re essentially voice-activated speakers that enable you to control your home’s intelligent devices — including smart lighting — and are typically connected via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
The Philips Hue light bulbs — tunable white bulbs that feature a spectrum of brightly colored hues — are the grandfather of smart lighting. These bulbs enable dimming and brightening, and the colors can be used to set the right feel for a festive party or a romantic, home-cooked dinner with your significant other.
One of the greatest advantages of smart lighting is the security it can provide. By remotely controlling your lights, you can make it seem like you’re home while you’re across the world, as long as you have access to the internet.
Program your virtual hub to automatically switch lights on and off in different rooms throughout the day while you’re on vacation or working late. The changing lights make it appear as though the home is occupied, which can help discourage potential burglars. Connect your smartphone to your smart home system to control individual light fixtures with the tap of your finger.
What’s more, smart lighting is also great for helping you wake up or fall asleep. You can program your lights to mimic the sun’s rise and fall for a more natural sleep environment. You can also create the perfect ambiance for a movie night by setting your smart bulbs to adjust to the onscreen action and emphasize your viewing experience.
The Energy-Saving Benefits of Smart Lighting
Switching to energy-efficient bulbs has the potential to make a positive impact on your bank account. Although the upfront costs of LEDs are a little higher, their lifespan and energy efficiency make them less expensive overall. In fact, LED lighting is approximately 80 percent cheaper to use than traditional incandescent lighting.
Smart lighting can save significantly more power than traditional light bulbs. Of the energy used by LEDs, 95 percent is transformed to light, with the remaining 5 percent expended as heat — a much more efficient ratio than traditional bulbs. This can have a huge impact on your utility bill. Switching all of your light fixtures to LED bulbs can help diminish the demand on power plants and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. All of this on top of saving you some cash? Sounds like a win-win.
How LED and CFL Lighting Compare to Incandescent Lights
A traditional 60-watt incandescent bulb produces about 800 lumen. CFLs require roughly 14 watts and LEDs just 10 watts to produce the same effect. Incandescent bulbs can be used for approximately 1,200 hours, while CFL smart lighting produces up to 8,000 hours of light. But LEDs have both of these types of light bulbs beat by a long shot.
Smart LEDs can produce up to 25,000 hours of light, which means purchasing far fewer light bulbs over the years when compared to traditional bulbs. Plus, the latest smart LEDs fit into standard fixtures used for traditional lighting. You don’t need to plan for special ceiling lights or give up your favorite table lamp!
Smart home lighting can not only make your home more energy efficient and cost effective, but it also offers the potential for increased safety and security for you and your house. Although you may pay a little more when purchasing smart LEDs, they can save major money over the long term. And the additional safety and security smart lighting can provide? Well, you can’t put a price on that.
Jon Snyder is a Product Manager at Esurance, where he oversees countrywide design of property insurance products. Jon has over 25 years of experience in the auto and home insurance industry. Learn more how smart home devices can help you save money on home insurance by visiting Esurance’s website.