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Bright Spots for Smart Homes

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Bright Spots for Smart Homes


March 12, 2019
On the spectrum of smart home products, smart lighting products can be some of the easiest to install, and most useful to homeowners. 
Photo: Unsplash/Federico Bottos

On the spectrum of smart home products, smart lighting products can be some of the easiest to install, and most useful to homeowners. 

If you can screw in a lightbulb, you can install a smart lighting system. Systems like Philips Hue and LIFX include all of the electronic components into the bulbs so that homeowners don't have to change out their existing fixtures or lamps. Grant Clauser, senior editor for The New York Times' product review site Wirecutter, says the Philips Hue is both reliable and flexible in performance, “It has a wide ecosystem of products, including basic white bulbs, color changeable bulbs, wireless dimmers, strip lights and outdoor LED lights,” adding, “Hue lights require a Zigbee gateway, which creates a mesh network in your house that’s more reliable than some of the other smart bulb systems we’ve used. If you don’t want to use the Hue gateway, an Amazon Echo Plus can serve the same purpose, and it also plays music and tells bad jokes.”

Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home have brought the dream of a fully automated smart home closer to reality more than ever before. Yet, one question hangs in the air: Do you even need a smart home?

Most smart home gadgets, no matter how useful, tend to appeal to a subset of people, but smart lights are a different story. If you’re frequently moving from the couch to turn off a light, or forgot you left the lights on in a room hours later, it’s easy to imagine how smart lights can improve your life. 

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