BEST OF THE BRIGHTEST: SMART LIGHTING
BEST OF THE BRIGHTEST: SMART LIGHTING at CES 2019
When Thomas Edison patented the first commercially successful light bulb in 1879, he couldn’t possibly have imagined how dramatically his invention would evolve. The smart lighting arrays of today not only illuminate our homes, businesses and streets; but they can also provide entertainment and even respond to your geographic location. In comparison to other connected devices, its low cost is a natural entry point into smart home for many consumers.
As smart home devices become more popular, it’s essential to understand the impact consumer technology has as it relates to selling real estate. There are many lifestyle benefits and these can be used as a marketing tool. It’s important to note that many smart home devices such as voice assistants and smart bulbs are considered personal property. My recommendation is to use an agent who knows smart home so they can help guide you through the buying process and protect your interests.
When researching smart lighting solutions for your home, consider whether you want a system with a proprietary hub. Philips Hue, for example, will require you to purchase a hub but LIFX and C by GE do not. Smart bulbs use LEDs so, while they may represent a more significant up-front investment as compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, they will almost always last longer and conserve energy.
At CES, there were many options for smart lighting on display, including smart switches, which require a bit more work to install, but are typically very DIY-friendly (be sure to hire a professional if you’re uncomfortable working with electric wiring). Smart bulbs make entry into the smart lighting category a breeze.
Here are some of my favorite CES smart lighting options!
Sengled has pushed the limits of what a bulb can do. Their vast portfolio of smart bulbs includes bulbs with speakers, motion sensors, and security cameras. One of my favorites is the Smart LED with HD Security Camera. It’s an outdoor floodlight with a 1080P night vision camera. At CES this year, they unveiled a new range of smart light bulbs. The Sengled Smart LED extra-bright 100W bulb is the first-to-market 100-watt replacement bulb. Sengled also announced a Smart LED multicolor light strip that offers 16 million color options. The company also showcased the Smart LED with Motion Sensor with PIR motion sensor priced at $29.99. The light strip as well as the 100-watt LED smart bulb will be available in the first half of 2019.
Philips Hue is the major player in the smart lighting category. It’s a company that is recognizable, and that brand recognition goes a long way in building consumer trust. Philips Hue has a wide range of smart lights, sensors, and switches. At CES this year, they added a slew of new smart outdoor devices and accessories. The new wireless outdoor sensor will automatically turn on when it detects movement at night but will also disable during the day. It’s weatherproof and will be available in February 2019 for $49.95. The new Hue floodlights come in white and multi-color, $110 and $130, respectively. Hue has also added new outdoor color-changing wall fixtures called Econic. This line of fixtures comes with a modern square design as well as the traditional lantern look.
NANOLEAF & LAMETRIC SKY
In direct competition with each other, Nanoleaf and LaMetric Sky each offer lighting as art and entertainment. I visited Nanoleaf’s infinity room and got a product demo. Their Nanoleaf Canvas products are interconnected LED squares that can be attached at any edge to create your own unique design. They react to touch and music, and you can play games Memory or Whack-A-Mole. At CES, they announced their new Hexagon design, just in case triangles and squares aren’t your thing. LaMetric Sky’s mosaic pattern created from its triangular-shaped LED panels mimics that of stained-glass look. It offers a unique spin on data visualization, helping you keep track of things such as your Instagram follower count, current temperature, and even smart home notifications. We likely won’t see LaMetric Sky on the market until 2020. Nanoleaf Canvas is available now; so if you want a fun lighting statement in your home, check them out!
Ring has become one of the favorites in the smart security space. Their smart lighting collection was a natural progression in their mission to keep the home secure as well as reduce crime in your neighborhood. Ring Smart Lighting are motion-sensing outdoor lights that work with your other Ring devices. If motion is detected by any of the outdoor sensors, the system will signal the Ring cameras to begin recording and simultaneously turn on all the other Ring lights around your home. It’s important to note that you will need to buy a bridge to connect the lighting system to the cameras. If you’re already in the Ring & Amazon Echo ecosystem, this one is a no-brainer.
Creating a smart lighting solution that fits your needs should be a fun endeavor. You can dabble a little or go all in. There are endless options for you to customize based on your needs.