Daylight Savings time: it’s a blessing and a curse. You get to roll back the clocks and relish an extra hour of sleep, but when it’s 5 p.m. and completely dark…well… it’s a bit depressing. The shorter days we’re experiencing don’t have to be such a downer. Now is the time when good lighting in your home becomes really important. Your house will look better, you’ll feel better, and with the right products you may even find that you can control your home environment more conveniently and efficiently than ever before. Here are five great products that can shed a little light on the dark days of Daylight Savings. You can find most of these and other options at amazon.com
Related: the health benefit of smart lighting
Plug in Lamp Module
This is probably the easiest type of lighting control solution to integrate. A small module simply plugs into an ordinary electrical outlet; the lamp you want to control plugs into the module. You can find plug-in lamp modules that come with a tiny remote and/or a companion mobile app that lets you schedule when the lamp turns on and off. The ability to set dimming levels for the lamp is a nice feature to look for, as is the ability to control the lights via voice commands. Most plug-in lamp modules retail for less than $50.
Smart Light Switch
In order to automate the light fixtures that are wired into your house, you’ll need to swap the switch that now controls them for a smart switch. Naturally, this will be a more involved installation than simply plugging a module into an outlet, but most avid DIYers can handle the project.
Once the switch is installed, the connected light can be controlled from a mobile app, where you can schedule the light to turn on and off and certain times of the day—it might be dark during your commute home from work, but you can schedule the light to activate every weekday at 5 p.m. so never return to a dark house.
Some switches, like the Wemo Light Switch, adjust automatically to sync with sunrise and sunset. The Lutron Caseta Smart Dimmer Switch adjusts with the changing seasons and Daylight Savings time.
Extra features to look for: voice control and integration with other smart products. The Wemo switch happens to work with the Nest thermostat, so the switch will know based on the setting of the Nest thermostat if you’re home or away and adjust the intensity of the connected light accordingly. Most smart switches retail for less than $50; if you want to spend a little more, you can find kits that include several switches.
Motion Sensing Light
The concept is simple, and you’ve likely encountered it numerous times in public restrooms. A motion sensor detects that you have entered a room and automatically turns on the light. When no motion has been detected after a certain amount of time, the light turns off. You can enjoy this same hands-free convenience at home and brighten up dark areas of your house the second you step into the entryway, powder room, home office, closet, wherever. You can choose a sensor-activated light in the form of a light switch or a device that mounts to the ceiling. Prices range from $20-$50.
Smart Light Bulb
The Philips Hue smart light bulb exposed consumers to a whole new way of lighting their homes—in color. Today, there are myriad of other makes and models of smart light bulbs, and beyond bathing the rooms of your home in various hues, they can be configured via companion app to adjust the color temperature of their white light mimic daylight—helpful when it’s dark outside before dinnertime. Smart light bulbs are easy to install, offer tons of nifty features, and many can be controlled via voice commands. You can buy one bulb for about $30 or spring for a kit that bundles in several bulbs.
If you’re trying to fool your brain into thinking it’s not as late as it looks outside, it helps to keep the window shades and blinds closed. The easiest and most convenient way to block out the blackness is by using shades and blinds that are motorized. These can be purchased as a turnkey system to replace your standard window treatments or as device that can be retrofitted onto the blinds and shades you already own. Lutron, Hunter-Douglas, Somfy, Crestron, and Q-Motion offer wide selection of fabric and motorized hardware—prices are all over the board; MySmartBlinds (around $110) is an example of a manufacturer that offers a retrofittable solution for horizontal blinds. Whatever your choice, the beauty of having a motorized window shade or blind is that ability to control and automate them from a mobile app. Some solutions can also be integrated with other smart systems—like the lights.
This free report offers great ideas and tips on using lighting control in every room to transform your home and lifestyle. Download this guide today.
Easy Lighting Control Made Possible by Smart Home Control Systems
This free report offers great ideas and tips on using lighting control in every room to transform your home and lifestyle. Download this guide today.Get the Free Guide