7 Ways That Smart Lighting Can Save Money and Improve Your Home
For many years, smart lighting was a luxury reserved for the custom-designed homes of the wealthy. Today, however, smart lighting has become an affordable standard option for homeowners everywhere. Once touted primarily for its decorative functions, smart lighting is now considered a viable way to not only save money on utility bills, but also as a way to keep your home more safe and secure.
Here are seven ways that smart lighting can enhance your home and help you save money on your monthly utility bills.
1. Dimmer Features
Smart lighting systems come with dimmer controls, so that with the turn of a knob or the press of a button you can reduce the amount of light emitted. Dimmer features can help you save a significant amount on not only your energy bill, but also on replacement bulbs. For example, if you dim an LED bulb down to half of its light output, you can save 50 percent of its energy use, which can translate into substantial savings on your utility bill.
Likewise, dimming an LED bulb will make it run cooler, so that you’ll not only extend the life of the bulb, you’ll also add to the longevity of the electronic components of the lighting system. This can double or even triple the life of an LED lamp or lighting fixture.
2. Remote Control Features
With remote control features that can be operated by a remote device — or even by your smartphone app — you can turn lights on and off before you get up from your bed (or your chair or sofa) so you don’t have the risk of tripping over things in the dark. These remote control features can be implemented everywhere in your home, so you'll never again have the inconvenience of walking into a darkened room and fumbling for the light switch.
3. Security Features
In the past, homeowners have had to pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars for remote control outdoor lighting. Now, thanks to smart lighting systems, you can have safe, secure remote control lighting throughout the exterior of your house for a fraction of what it used to cost.
With an exterior smart lighting system, you can control all of your outside lights with just a tap on your smartphone or tablet. This means that if you're coming home late, you can turn on the lights before you even reach your driveway. The sudden appearance of bright floodlights will act as a major deterrent to prowlers in the area.
4. Utility Bills
Homeowners in the U.S. spend at least 12 percent of their annual energy bill on lighting, so the type of lighting system and bulbs you use can make a huge difference in your monthly utility bills. Smart lighting systems utilize energy-efficient LED bulbs, which can last from 25,000 to 50,000 hours, compared to traditional incandescent bulbs which typically only last 1,000 to 2,000 hours. Although LED bulbs cost a bit more than incandescent bulbs, you’ll still save a significant amount of money by using them, thanks to their amazing longevity.
In addition, traditional incandescent bulbs release 80 to 90 percent of their energy as heat, with only 10 to 20 percent released as light. LED bulbs, on the other hand, release 80 to 90 percent of their energy as light, so you’re getting a lot more light emission from each bulb. With numbers like these, it’s not surprising that the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that American consumers could save $265 billion over the next 20 years in energy costs by switching over to LED bulbs.
5. Automatic On/Off Capabilities
With the latest innovations in smart lighting, homeowners can set their lighting systems to turn on and off automatically. This means that your lighting can automatically turn itself on every morning at a certain time, or shut itself off at the same time every night. Likewise, you can set your smart lighting lamps and fixtures to turn themselves off when you’re away from home, and turn themselves on again before you return. This not only saves on your energy bill (and bulb life); it also keeps you from having to walk in a darkened driveway or down a darkened hall corridor.
6. Benefits for Home Offices
If you work from home or run a home office, it’s essential to have adequate lighting. Most home workers, however, keep flexible hours; so if you work from home your optimum lighting level will depend upon whether it’s morning, afternoon or evening. With a smart lighting system, you can set your lighting so that it adapts automatically to the time of day or evening — or you can control it with dimmer switches to suit your comfort level while working. By having your light customized to your working hours, you can enhance your output, increase motivation and decrease fatigue as you work.
7. Decorative Elements
With dimming features and automatic settings, you can use smart lighting to transform the ambiance of your home any time of day or night. Whether you’re having a party, getting ready for dinner or simply getting ready for some relaxing downtime for yourself or your family, you can create the mood and the atmosphere you want with pre-set lighting functions, or with a quick tap on your tablet or smartphone.
With specially designed lamps, pendant lights, ceiling fixtures and exterior lighting, you can use smart lighting to make your home a designer showplace. Even more importantly, smart lighting can also help you save substantially on your utility bills, while making your home more safe and secure for you and your family.