Innovation in lighting is creating opportunities for us to enhance our lives in previously unexplored ways. Quality lighting doesn’t just enhance the value of your home. It provides security, opulence, and control.
There has been a big push toward LED lighting, which really started an in 2013. Not only does LED lighting offer more light per watt, but it’s cheaper than other forms of traditional lighting. In addition, the longevity of LED bulbs is tremendous (think 30,000 to 50,000 hour lifespan), which adds a bit of economic value and convenience.
So, how can we use this innovation to our advantage?
First of all, LED lighting will operate in either interior or exterior applications and since it has become more flexible, it’s now possible to adjust the brightness and the color. As lighting manufacturers expand the functions of LED applications, there will be more variety in angle, distribution, beam shape, and hue.
Furthermore, home management, including lighting, is turning toward wireless technology. With the Hue (by Philips) and similar systems, a homeowner can now control their environment from a cell phone or tablet. Lighting can now be programmed or changed from your cell phone to adjust to your family’s needs, create ambiance, or provide security when and where you need it. Lighting can also be customized to enhance your daily routines. For example, you can activate lights when you’re away from home, turn on entry lights when you arrive home late at night, or even change the colors toward softer, warmer hues when it’s time for your family to wind down for the night.
More advanced systems can integrate your lighting system to interact with video games, movies, and music. There is tremendous flexibility and ease of operation, like being able to turn the porch light on from your car and off from your bed (“Hey, Siri! Turn off the lights.”). You can program lights to change during certain events, on a regular schedule, or when you wish or create ambiance in each room, with a spectrum of millions of colors. You can then switch them all off when you leave home, or after you’ve already left.
In short, we’re living in an age when you can really control the kind of light you want when you want it or don’t want it, as the case may be. The possibilities, after you spend a couple of hundred dollars on the initial starter kit, offer extraordinary sensory options. You can download apps which turn your lights into party lights, have fireworks effects, or have the colors change every time your team scores. All this, and your electric bill may actually go down, because you can control when the lights turn off or lower the brightness.
A system like the Philips Hue is the top of the line, although there are lower-priced alternatives, as well as systems which work with Bluetooth technology instead of through a router. When one considers the added aesthetic appeal this kind of lighting offers, smart lighting starts to make sense as a long-term value option which can contribute to our quality of life.
Philips Hue is available through Best Buy