Oct 03, 2022|

Guide to Smart Home Lighting and Home Security Automation

You’ve just finished binging every episode of your new favorite show, and now it’s way past your bedtime. You’re so tired that all you want to do is make a beeline for your bed. But first, you need to make sure all the electrical devices in your house are turned off.

You drag yourself to every room in your home, turning off lights and shutting down appliances. Finally, you can go to bed. In the morning, you open the garage door to get to your car and realize you forgot to turn off the garage light. It’s been needlessly eating up energy.

If this sounds like you, you might want to consider smart home automation. An interconnected smart setup lets you manage all your devices from one central point. In a smart home, instead of walking to every room in your house, you could simply check your smartphone to make sure everything is turned off.

In this guide, we explain two of the most important parts of a smart home setup, smart home lighting, and home security automation, how they can benefit you, and what you need to set up each system.

A mother and daughter reading a picture book by lamplight.
 

What is smart home lighting?

Smart home lighting refers to a series of smart light bulbs on your property, like Philips Hue bulbs offered through Vivint. You control these bulbs from a single source, like a central control panel, or remotely using your smartphone.

Smart light technology lets you turn your lights on and off, dim or brighten them (without a dimmer switch), or change their colors with the tap of a finger (or by using voice commands).

Smart bulbs can use Wi-Fi internet from your router or Bluetooth technology to connect to your overall smart home system. That means you can program your lights to work with your other smart devices. For example, you might arrange for your lights to turn off when your smart garage door shuts after you leave for work.

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Below are a few other things you might be able to do with your smart lights:

  • Create schedules for when your lights need to be on or off. For example, you could program your outdoor LED light strips to turn on at 11 p.m. when you go to bed and off at 6 a.m. when the sun comes out.
  • Set multicolor mood lighting. Some full-color smart lighting systems with dimming capabilities let you save shortcuts for ambiance. You might create a blue, dim light setting in your room to help you relax.
  • Improve your sleep by adjusting their color temperature. Too much blue light can disrupt the quality of your sleep. Some smart lights can switch to warm colors late in the afternoon that are designed to prepare your body for sleep. There are also tunable white LED lights that can change color temperature.
  • Keep your home protected. Lights with a motion sensor may scare off potential intruders. Bright outdoor lights with at least 700 lumens (light units) that use motion detection are better at deterring criminals than lights that stay on throughout the night.

What’s required for smart lighting?

Let’s explore a few components you’ll need to set up your smart lighting system.

  • Smart LED bulbs: Smart lights are almost always LED lights. LED lights are much more energy-efficient than incandescent white bulbs, and an LED light bulb will last longer than an incandescent light. Different smart bulbs are compatible with different systems. For example, Vivint systems integrate with Philips Hue bulbs using the Philips Hue Bridge.
  • Smart home hub: You’ll need a smart hub to serve as a central control center for your lights. Some systems can operate with no hub and let you use your smartphone, computer, or tablet instead. Depending on your system, you might be able to use a hub with voice control features. For instance, Vivint smart systems are compatible with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
  • Reliable smart app: Your smart app will let you connect your lights to your smart home system so you can control them remotely. A good smart app should be efficient and have an easy-to-use interface.
  • Wi-Fi network: Smart Wi-Fi light bulbs use wireless internet to communicate with your wider smart home system. Some systems use Zigbee technology to communicate, which doesn’t require an internet connection. However, you won’t be able to control them away from home without Wi-Fi.

While these are the main parts of a smart lighting system, you may need alternate or additional components depending on your system. For example, you might be able to use smart plugs or smart switches. A smart plug or smart switch can give an LED light smart functionality, so you don’t need a starter kit.

The front of a house with smart lights on inside at dusk.
 

Can you install smart lighting yourself?

If you’re just adding smart bulbs to your existing light fixtures, you might be able to simply screw in your new smart light bulbs. However, your smart lights are likely part of a greater home automation system.

In that case, you may find it difficult to install and integrate your smart lighting system with the rest of your smart home setup.

That’s why Vivint offers professional installation for all our smart home devices. An expert will know exactly where to install your smart lights to give you the best results possible and can connect them to the rest of your system correctly.

Does smart lighting save money?

It’s true that LED lights are typically more expensive than incandescent bulbs. A smart lighting system may also require other purchases, like a home hub. However, smart lighting systems more than pay for themselves over time in energy savings.

Smart lighting gives you remote control of when your lights are on or off. This means that whenever anyone in your household leaves a light on, you can turn it off no matter where you happen to be. Some smart apps will even send you notifications if any of your lights are turned on unnecessarily.

You can also set up timers for your smart lights to work. For example, the smart light in the living room might be connected to a motion sensor. You could program it to turn off automatically if it doesn’t sense motion for 10 minutes.

Finally, LED lights last over 20 times longer than incandescent ones. You’ll have to spend money on new bulbs a lot less often than with incandescent bulbs.

A man adjusting his smart lightbulbs on his smartphone.
 

What is home security automation?

No matter what your living situation is, home security is likely never far from your mind. Effective home security automation means being able program your smart security devices to work together so they provide your home with the best possible protection. It also means being able to manage your security system remotely or from a central control panel.

Smart devices in smart security systems typically use Wi-Fi internet to share information. Security cameras, motion sensors, garage door openers, smart lights, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and alarm systems are all examples of smart home devices that can be part of an automated home security system.

Benefits of home security automation

Have you ever been on vacation and just couldn’t relax because you were scared someone would break into your home while you were away? Or have you ever worried that your kids left the garage door open while you were at work?

Home security automation can give you peace of mind that your home is protected even when you’re not there. Here are a few of the top benefits of home security automation.

  • Program smart security devices to work together. For example, you could program your indoor security camera to shoot footage whenever your door sensor trips.
  • Check on your home while you’re away. Smart security systems let you do things like watch video clips or live stream from your home security cameras on your smartphone. Vivint smart home security systems will even send alerts when anything unusual happens on your property.
  • Professionally monitor your home. Some security providers, like Vivint, offer professional monitoring services. If there’s ever an emergency at your home and you can’t be reached, a monitoring team will automatically call emergency services.
  • Deter criminals. Burglars look for easy targets. They’re much less likely to try to break into homes with security systems. Many automated systems have functions designed to thwart criminals. For example, video doorbells from Vivint have an anti-theft feature that lets potential package thieves know they’ve been caught on camera.
  • Check in on your furry friends. Indoor security cameras with two-way talk functionality can let you talk to your pets while you’re at work. You can also use smart thermostats to ensure your home is at a safe temperature for your pets.

What’s the best home security automation system?

The ideal home security automation system will be different for every homeowner. For example, large homes may need robust systems with multiple cameras, motion sensors, and security lights to protect many entrance points. Those with smaller homes may feel comfortable having just one security camera attached to a flood light.

Whatever your security needs are, Vivint can help you address them. We’ll connect you with a qualified smart security expert who will analyze your security needs and develop the right automated system to meet them.

Create the ultimate home security and smart lighting system with Vivint

If you want to make your life easier and home safer, let Vivint be of service. We’ll show you the best smart lighting tools and home security devices to ease your mind and cut down on your energy bills. Our products even have integrations with smart speaker programs like Google Assistant.

If home automation is your desire, our knowledgeable staff will provide you with everything you need to build your ultimate smart home setup. Give us a call today at 855.822.1220 for a free consultation.

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