Smart bulbs have come a long way since Philips Hue introduced its first iOS-controlled lighting appliance in 2012. Today’s systems come in more bulb sizes and styles, with some not even looking like traditional lights. Instead, they’re more like contemporary art. Perhaps best of all, growing competition has allowed the price for many smart lighting systems to decrease significantly, although expensive ones do remain.
In this article, you’ll learn more about some of the newest smart lighting products on the market, and the ideal uses for each.
Let There Be Light and Music
In late 2016, Nanoleaf introduced a new lighting system made up of triangular panels that attach via tiny connectors. With Nanoleaf Aurora, you can arrange the panels in countless styles and then light up your room using scene templates through the Nanoleaf app for iOS and Android.
Nanoleaf’s not the only company offering smart lighting products that hang on walls. LIFX Tile brings your rooms to life with ambient light art, moving scenes, themes, and effects. For those with less space, consider LIFX Beam, which allows you to create unique lighting experiences with six small beams.
Nanoleaf offers Apple HomeKit compatibility and works with iOS and Android-based handsets. LIFX’s products work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit. They’re compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows.
I’ve been using the Nanoleaf Aurora since it first launched. The Rhythm addition enhances an already impressive experience, and I can’t wait to see where this product goes from here.
Why Should You Consider? If you’re looking for a unique lighting system, you can’t go wrong with any of the ones listed in this section. From the easy-to-expand Nanoleaf Aurora to the compact LIFX Beam, these systems are guaranteed to turn a few heads.
Welcome to Wiz World
Offering what it calls the “ultimate light experience,” Wiz sells Wi-Fi-enabled lighting products in multiple sizes and styles. Like most providers, Wiz offers E26 and BR30 white and colored bulbs. If you’re looking for something a little bit different, however, consider the Wiz Colors Hero and Wiz Colors Sprint. These two products represent the growing list of tabletop smart lighting products now available.
The Wiz Color Hero table lamp comes in a simple design ideally suited for your bedside, coffee table, or bookshelves. Available with a wood or white base, the dimmable Wiz Color Hero offers 64,000 shades of white and 16 million colors and works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
The circular Wiz Color Spirit is also worth considering. Featuring frosted glass, the table lamp is ideally suited for a dining room, reception counter, or desk. The Wiz Color Spirit also offers 64,000 shades of white, 16 million colors, and support for Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
The Wiz app is one of the coolest smart lighting apps on the App Store and Google Play. It offers a refreshing take on lighting automation.
With the app, you can control your Wiz products using various features. These include dynamic lighting modes, scheduling, the ability to snap of image to create a unique lighting moment, and more.
Are you looking for a table lamp from a bigger name? There’s also the new Philips Hue White Ambiance Wellness table lamp, which uses natural light to make you feel better. In turn, this helps you wake up, energize, concentrate, read, and relax.
Why? Tabletop lamps are easy to move and when turned on can add ambiance to any room. When turned off, they fade into the background.
Sometimes Smaller Is Better
In 2017, market leader Philips Hue introduced a few new smart home products, including E14/B39 bulbs. Known as a candle or intermediate bulb, these are suitable for small lamps. They feature 470 lumens (40W equivalent) and are available in white ambiance or white and color ambiance.
LIFX has also introduced a smaller bulb. The LIFX Mini collection doesn’t represent candle lights, however. Instead, they fit in the same light socket as A19 bulbs do.
In this case, they are smaller in size and brightness, delivering 800 lumens from 9 watts compared to the LIFX A19’s 1,100 lumens and 11 watts.
Ideally suited for bedside lamps or smaller fixtures, the LIFX Mini delivers 16 million colors and warm to cool whites and can be controlled via the LIFX app or voice services such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit.
The LIFX Mini collection includes three bulbs: Color, Day & Dusk, and White.
Why? Until recently, candle lamps didn’t get much love in the smart home market. Now that they’re here, you can start moving the smart home experience into other areas of your home.
Big Name, Low Price
Earlier this year, ready-to-assemble furniture maker IKEA introduced a new lineup of smart lighting products. Featuring a variety of items including LED bulbs, a motion sensor kit, dimming lights, and illuminated panels, the Trådfri product line is noted for its affordable prices. Most bulbs in the collection, for example, are priced at around $15.
Besides having a low price point, Trådfri is also one of the most compatible smart lighting systems around. It works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and soon, Apple HomeKit. You can also use its lights with the Philips Hue lighting appliance.
Why? If you haven’t yet embraced a smart home lifestyle, IKEA now offers a low-cost launching point. With Trådfri, you can add smart lighting to your home for less.
So Much to See
I love smart home products and especially smart lighting. The ones listed here are among the newest on the market. In moments, each can turn an everyday home into something more unique. And in most cases, for much less than you can imagine.
What are your favorite smart lighting products? Let everyone know in the comments below.