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Smart home automation What Is A Smart Home? What Is A Smart Home? We recently launched a Smart Home category at MakeUseOf, but what is a smart home? Read More has grown quite popular over the past few years, and people are starting to realize that it’s not just a passing gimmick or fad. In fact, there are some intensely practical applications for it.

Smart home automation can save energy and money Save Energy and Money With These Smart Home Devices Save Energy and Money With These Smart Home Devices One of the biggest benefits of a smart home is the energy saving technologies available. As well as saving money, you’ll also be pushing toward a more sustainable, convenient living situation. Read More , improve sanitation 3 Reasons Why Your Next Faucet Should Be a Smart Faucet 3 Reasons Why Your Next Faucet Should Be a Smart Faucet People tend to think of smart faucets as gimmicky and gratuitous. Is there really enough room for improvement to justify an upgrade? I'm here to convince you: yes! Read More , simplify your life What Is A Smart Doorbell, And Which Should You Buy? What Is A Smart Doorbell, And Which Should You Buy? There was a time not long ago when we saw things like a door that unlocked without keys or a thermostat that could be controlled remotely as science fiction. Read More , and of course, increase home security Safe and Sound: 4 Great Smart Home Security Devices Safe and Sound: 4 Great Smart Home Security Devices Read More . And speaking of security, did you know that a few LED bulbs could be the difference between a home robbery and peace of mind? Sounds weird, but it’s true.

Smart LED bulbs are a safe investment for those who are thinking of diving into smart home culture I Lived in a Smart Home for 20 Years. Here's What You Should Know. I Lived in a Smart Home for 20 Years. Here's What You Should Know. MakeUseOf spoke with one of our regular readers and commenters, Ben Stutt, of Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA, about his experiences living in a smart home. Read More . Not only are they versatile, but they can keep your home protected in ways you haven’t considered. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Learned Lighting Patterns

There’s a new product on the market called the BeON Smart Bulb, which is a standalone LED bulb that comes with several smart features. By standalone, we mean that it doesn’t need a smart hub in order to work (unlike some other smart lighting solutions).

One of the more noteworthy features of the BeON Smart Bulb is its built-in sense of memory. It’s always active – even when the bulb isn’t on – and it constantly keeps track of your lighting behavior. If you’re away for work every day between 9am and 5pm, it’ll learn that.

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This comes in handy when you’re away from home for days at a time. For example, let’s say you’re taking a vacation to Europe for two weeks. During that time, you can tell the BeON Smart Bulb to replay your lighting behavior, which can help deter burglars from realizing that your home is empty.

One immediate thought is that this inevitably wastes a lot of electricity, but remember, the BeON Smart Bulb is an LED light source. Fluorescent bulbs are more efficient 5 Smart Hacks To Save Electricity In Your Smart Home 5 Smart Hacks To Save Electricity In Your Smart Home he trick to saving electricity is in knowing where most of your energy is consumed. Read More than incandescent bulbs, but LED bulbs are more efficient than fluorescent bulbs. Energy-wise, these are cheap!

2. Emergency Backup Lighting

The BeON Smart Bulb has another feature that indirectly improves the security within your home — it comes with a built-in battery that provides power when your home doesn’t have any flowing electricity. This is priceless during storms, blackouts, and other disasters.

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That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t prepare an emergency disaster kit When Disaster Strikes: Putting Together A Basic Emergency Toolkit When Disaster Strikes: Putting Together A Basic Emergency Toolkit Read More with portable headlamps, flashlights, and hand crank generators. You absolutely should! But the added comfort of having your home lights double as emergency backups shouldn’t be underestimated.

Plus, for your convenience, the battery within a BeON Smart Bulb automatically recharges whenever the electricity returns. No replacements necessary. No manual recharging necessary. It handles it all for you, so you have one less thing to worry about.

3. No Stumbling In the Dark

Most light bulbs operate on a binary basis – they’re either on or off with nothing in between. Some lights can be dimmed to a value between on and off, but all of these lights have one thing in common: you have to physically touch them to adjust them.

The danger is that after you turn off the light, you have to stumble through darkness 3 Weird and Unexpected Problems Automating a Lamp May Cause 3 Weird and Unexpected Problems Automating a Lamp May Cause Here are some of the more unexpected ways in which a smart lamp could cause you problems, potentially even putting you in more serious danger. We've also included ways to work around those issues. Read More to get where you’re going. This isn’t such a big deal if there’s a straight open line between the light switch and your bed, but navigating a pitch black living room can result in stubbed toes and broken bones.

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Thankfully, the BeON Smart Bulb has a feature where it stays dim for a few seconds when you turn it off, giving you enough time to get away before it turns completely dark. As of now, this feature is unique to BeON.

But most other smart bulbs support two more features that can improve home safety. First, the ability to turn lights on or off remotely from your smartphone, and second, the ability to detect when you come home and automatically turn the lights on.

4. Passive Threat Detection

One final feature worth highlighting in the BeON Smart Bulb is its built-in microphone that can be trained to detect your home smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and doorbells. When these are detected, the lights will automatically turn on.

We recommend combining the BeON Smart Bulb with one of these smart home detectors 6 Smart Detectors That Protect Your Family and Property from Harm 6 Smart Detectors That Protect Your Family and Property from Harm A truly smart home does more than save money: it helps protect your family and house. These smart detectors will keep an eye on things so you feel safe when at home or away. Read More . If you’re going to smarten up your home, you might as well go all the way, right?

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Another option, if you don’t want to get the BeON Smart Bulb for some reason, is to get a smart home hub Which Smart Hub for Home Automation Is Best for You? Which Smart Hub for Home Automation Is Best for You? For a while, people thought of the idea as nothing more than a gimmick, but recent product releases have shown that smart home automation is starting to live up to its promises. Read More that supports various sensor types and automated lighting – such as the SmartThings Hub. When combined, you can be instantly notified whenever there’s suspicious activity around your house.

For example, the SmartThings Motion Sensor can alert you when someone or something enters your property while the SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor can trigger when a window is tampered with. But rather than relying on a loud alarm, you can just rig it up to a SmartThings Outlet instead.

Better Security Is Worth the Price

All that being said, smart bulbs can be really useful even if you ignore all of the potential security benefits. If you’re looking for a well-known product to try, consider the Philips Hue lighting system Light Your Home the Smart Way With Philips Hue Light Your Home the Smart Way With Philips Hue If you can afford the initial expenditure, you won't find a better-supported and more user-friendly smart lighting system on the market. Read More or one of these alternatives to the Philips Hue Philips Hue Alternatives That Are Actually Worth It Philips Hue Alternatives That Are Actually Worth It The Philips Hue system is leading the charge when it comes to smart lighting, but there are some worthy alternatives. We've picked three that all offer the same basic feature set and hackability. Read More .

And if smart lighting seems expensive to you, read our article on the true cost of a smart home How Much Does a Smart Home Really Cost? How Much Does a Smart Home Really Cost? A smart home could change your life – freeing up time in your day and regulating your routine so you don't have to remember what needs to be done. But how expensive is it, really? Read More . Long story short: even though individual pieces might seem pricier than necessary, the value that you get is well worth it. Here are a few smart home features worth paying for Attention Homeowners: 5 Smart Home Features Worth the Extra Cost Attention Homeowners: 5 Smart Home Features Worth the Extra Cost Which smart home features are worth it? Which ones can be safely tossed aside and ignored? Let's take a look at a few that are actually worth the money. Read More .

Then again, if you’re a bit tight on money, you can always start with these affordable smart home features 6 Types of Home Automation You Can Actually Afford 6 Types of Home Automation You Can Actually Afford Are you ready to join the smart home revolution but worried that it's beyond your budget? Smart homes aren't that expensive, and there are plenty of components that the average homeowner can afford. Read More instead.

How many of these security benefits did you know already? Are there any others that we missed? Show us how creative you are and share with us in the comments below!

  1. fcd76218
    November 16, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    If there are no humans walking about the property and/or cars arriving and leaving, no pattern of lights, no matter how intricate, will fool even an inept burglar.

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