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Aerial view of an outdoor space with lighting from multiple angles
From welcoming you home at night to warding off would-be burglars, smart lights are the perfect way to give your home a high-tech overhaul.

 

What is smart lighting?

Put simply, smart lights are light globes you can control remotely, from around the house or even when you’re away from home. Some smart light globes connect directly to your home Wi-Fi network. Others use the Zigbee wireless standard and rely on a tiny adaptor box, sometimes called a smart bridge, which plugs into your broadband modem/router.

The great thing about installing smart lights is that you don’t need to rewire anything. You simply pull out your existing standard light globes and plug in smart ones. You can replace all the globes in your entire house, or just in the rooms where they’ll be most useful. 

The no-fuss solution

Smart light globes come in a range of sizes, with a choice of screw and bayonet connectors, plus you’ll find downlight options. Most are energy-efficient LED globes and they come in a choice of brightness levels – with 1600 lumens roughly equivalent to a traditional 100 watt globe. You can mix and match smart light brands in your home, but sticking with one brand makes life easier.

Once you install a smart light globe, you leave the wall switch turned on all the time so the smart light has power. You can then turn the light on and off using a smartphone app. Most smart globes are dimmable and some can also change colours to give different effects.

There’s more to smart lighting than just globes. You’ll also find standalone smart lamps, light strips, floodlights and even festive lights.

Dark, modern study space including an illuminated lamp, timber desk and desktop computer

Upgrade existing lighting, rather than replace?

You can give existing lights, like a bedside lamp, a smart overhaul, using a Wi-Fi-enabled smart plug. Set-up is simple – unplug your lamp from the wall and plug it into your smart plug. Next, insert the smart plug into the wall and leave the power turned on. Now you can use a smartphone app or smart speaker to turn the power to the lamp on and off.

Kitchen benchtop space featuring countertop appliances connected to a smart plug 

If you want entire home connectivity ... 

A single smart plug is perfect for controlling a single light like a lamp. If you’re dealing with elaborate festive lights, for example, you might opt for a smart power board, which lets you put in several sets of lights and control them all individually.

You can also group your lights and give them a name, such as ‘living area’, so you can control them all with a single command. Building on this, you can create smart home routines with multiple steps, to control a range of smart devices around your home, including your lights.

You can also create schedules which automatically turn your lights on and off every day. This is handy for making the house look lived-in while you’re away on holiday.

Smart lights can also work with motion sensors and security cameras, turning on automatically whenever someone walks into the room or comes to the front door. Another option is to use the GPS features on your smartphone to automatically turn on your lights when you're almost home.

As with smart lights, you can mix and match brands of smart globes, plugs and motion sensors – but sticking with the same brand is simpler. 

Check compatibility before you purchase

Rather than reach for your smartphone all the time, you can also control your lights by simply talking to your smart speaker. Different brands of smart lights work with different smart assistants – such as Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri – so check to make sure your smart lights are compatible with your smart assistant of choice. You can also get smart wall switches, to control smart or ordinary globes, although some need to be installed by a licensed electrician.

Upgrade your entire home, inside and out!

Take a look through our wide range of smart home accessories and systems.

 

Photo credit: GAP Photos, LIFX and TP Link

 

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More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.