What Is Smart Lighting?
People investing in LED signs may have already heard of smart lighting, but for the rest of you, this piece will aim to explain what this is.
You may have already heard of Alexa, a voice operated device launched by Amazon which helps you to carry out some normal everyday tasks, such as playing music or giving you the weather forecast. It can even give you the latest sports scores.
The technology is in its infancy but there is the opportunity for people to develop add-ons for Alexa, which will allow it to control other aspects of your home. For example lighting.
Ikea has been the first company to announce a smart lighting system that works with Amazon’s Alexa and this has been hailed as potentially bringing not only smart lighting to the masses, but also for the cost and energy savings it could bring. It works with Google Assistant-enabled Home smart speakers, further broadening the potential appeal of this new technology.
Its move to include Apple’s Home app functionality within iOS 10 means that people may soon be able to control their lighting via Siri on their phones.
All smart lights use LED bulbs. They allow you to select different settings in different rooms of the house. You could have mood lighting in the bedroom and bright lighting in the bathroom.
LED lights have a number of benefits, for example they are long lasting and produce much less heat and therefore energy. However, the joy of smart bulbs is that they don’t just produce lighting. You could even get bulbs with speakers in them, which means you could be lulled awake by your favourite tunes in the morning as your lighting comes on gently.
You can already buy independent smart lighting systems, these are controlled via apps or control panels on the devices themselves. What is revolutionary with the Ikea development, is that it expands on the functionality of pre-existing technology to bring smart lighting to many more homes.
What has Ikea done?
In a press release the flat-pack furniture giant announced the roll out of a smart lighting system that works with a range of pre-existing technologies. This differs slightly from previous solutions which have required customers to purchase the operating system and lighting system together. Those days are over and you can now just head to Ikea to pick up the lights, and use which ever device you already have to control them.
The company calls this a plug and play solution, and highlights the fact it is a cable and wire free solution that doesn’t require an electrician to come and set it up.
“We think that the technology of the smart home will be available to all. Therefore, we continue to ensure that our products work together with others in the market”, said Jeanette Skjelmose, head of lighting and IKEA Home Smart in a translated press release.
The company revealed it is planning more launches that will increase the number of smart home solutions on offer at Ikea stores.