Smart Lighting – Tech Beat
By Chase Guerdet
Smart home technology is an exploding industry. It’s estimated that smart home technology will be in 52.4% of households by 2024. And one of the most popular technologies in smart home, are smart lights. But how do they work? For that, I talked to Payton Marshall, a sales associate at Best Buy and who’s well-versed in smart home technology to get his take on the trend.
Marshall started off by saying, “In my opinion, smart lighting is the best place to start because it’s something that you use every single day in your life.”
Activated by a device connected to the user’s router, called a “bridge,” users can use an app on their phone to turn on, turn off, dim, or change the color of their smart bulbs. Even setting schedules for them of when to turn on and off.
One brand that uses this is Philips Hue. Their bridge can be found separately for $60, or are sometimes included in bulb bundles. The bridge isn’t required to use the bulbs, as Bluetooth is another viable way to connect to them. However, for more range and control of more than one bulb, the bridge is required.
Marshall backed up the bulbs saying that, “With them being LED bulbs, that means they can last up to 50,000 hours. and that’s equivalent to about 5 years of use.”
And although smart lights like Phillips standalone white bulbs costs about $15, LED light costs over time have decreased by over 85% in the last 12 years. And the utility of this futuristic tech spans out to even help people in unideal situations.
“In an assisted living situation, where the individual might not be able to get up to turn on the light, or they might get injured if they were to try and get up to turn on the light, being able to turn on the light using a voice assistant or an app can make it safer and easier for them,” said Marshall.
And with all this talk about Internet-based interaction being required for these smart lights, the question came up about what happens when you lose Internet? Do they become unusable? Marshall was quick to shoot it down.
“So the smart lights themselves act as a standard bulb, and in a situation where you didn’t have Internet access, you wouldn’t be able to use the voice assistant or the app, but you would be able to turn the light on and off with the switch,” he said.
Smart lighting, as well as numerous other smart home products, can be found at most major retail stores.