Smart Lighting in Singapore homes – 4 things you should know before installing it
Imagine walking into your living room, having it lit up without you flipping a switch. Sounds like an illusionist trick on TV? With smart lighting available in Singapore, you can make this possible without laying a finger on any conventional wall switch.
Smart lighting has gained the attention of more homeowners for the conveniences that it offers. Not only are you able to command the lights in your home to turn on or off, with motion sensors, smart lights can illuminate dark spaces automatically and help children and the elderly find their way safely.
You can even set timers to dim your bedroom lights or have the lights turned on automatically when it’s time to wake up.
With the conveniences it offers, does having smart lighting in Singapore mean you have to convert your whole house into a smart home? Well, not necessarily. Instead, focusing on a lighting solution would be more affordable than building your home with a complete smart home system.
While smart lighting allows you to do away with traditional wall switches in turning your lights on and off, is there more to it? Let’s dive into it.
What is Smart Lighting?
Smart lighting in Singapore makes use of LED bulbs with built-in software. As the software is connected to an app, smart home assistant or other smart tools, you’re able to control your lights remotely.
With conventional light bulbs, you can dim your lights only if they are hardwired to a dimmer switch. However, the software in smart LED bulbs allows you to control your lighting simply using your phone, tablet or smart home assistants such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or Samsung SmartThings.
In short, smart lighting gives you the ability to have more control over your lights through various devices without you being anywhere near a physical switch.
4 things to know before installing Smart Lighting in your home
1. Smart lighting communication platform
First, you need to decide on the platform, or smart-home protocol, that lets you control your smart light fixtures with a device of your choice.
Think of the smart-home protocol as a type of language for your smart light bulbs to ‘communicate’ with devices such as your phone or smart-home assistants like Google Home.
Most of the popular smart-home protocols for smart lighting in Singapore uses the Wifi network. Light fixtures such as Xiaomi Yeelight directly connect to the Internet and are relatively cheaper than other smart bulbs.
But the snag is that such Wifi smart lighting can strain your Internet as you connect each bulb to your network. Having many bulbs could slow down your Internet connection to a crawl.
An alternative is to use light fixtures, such as the Philips Hue, connecting via Zigbee instead of Wifi. The Zigbee gateway is another popular smart-home protocol used to run smart lighting in Singapore.
In such a setup, the lights are controlled through a smart hub or controller. Zigbee bulbs produced by different brands come with their own controllers.
Suppose you plan to have a smart hub that controls not only your lighting but also other home appliances or devices, such as your TV, digital lock or vacuum. In that case, you can consider having smart-home assistants using the Zigbee protocol, like Homey or Samsung SmartThings.
These allow you to set up your various light fixtures to communicate with the same smart controller, even if they come from different brands.
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2. Smart switches
What if you have spent quite a bit on conventional light fixtures and don't want to part with them? In this case, you can consider the option of having smart switches instead of smart bulbs.
Instead of having direct control over your light fixtures, you shift that control onto your smart switches.
Considering that you might need to run extra wiring to get the smart switches to work, you must be prepared to engage a professional electrician for the considerable electrical work involved. On the positive side, you won’t get bogged down with changing all your light fixtures in your home.
3. Sockets or Holders
Another part of smart lighting you must consider is the socket for the smart bulbs.
Smart bulbs are only available for the most common types of sockets:
- E27 - the largest socket type
- E14 - the slim socket type
- GU10 - commonly used for outdoor lighting and downlight
The next thing you should consider is the smart bulbs themselves.
As shared earlier, smart bulbs are made to fit into the 3 common types of sockets. So your smart bulb’s code must match that of the socket you have.
Another thing to note is that smart bulbs are generally bigger than regular bulbs. So if you don’t make the right measurements, your smart bulbs might not fit into your existing lampshades or covers.
Types of Smart Bulbs in Smart Lighting
To create different ambiences in different parts of your home, you can choose from 3 various colours for your smart bulbs.
White dimmable bulbs
Besides commanding your light bulbs to turn on and off, you can dim these white lights.
Cheapest of the smart bulbs, it offers practical lighting in areas such as your service yard, storeroom or balcony.
White tunable bulbs
Having white tunable bulbs allows you to create a cosy ambience by dimming the lights and adjusting the colour temperature.
This feature would be great for the kitchen, bathroom or your home office.
Also known as smart RGB bulbs, these light fixtures produce multi-colour effects.
Some smart bulbs like the Philips Hue enable you to sync the bulb colours to your TV. This creates a more 'realistic' experience as you're playing a game or enjoying your favourite Netflix show.
With the advantages that they offer, smart RGB bulbs come with a heftier price tag than other types. As a result, you might want to install them sparingly, perhaps only in areas such as the living or gaming room.
Benefits of smart lighting in Singapore
While there are some things you need to consider before installing smart lighting, you can’t deny the benefits that you could reap from having it in your home.
Here are some advantages, both tangible as well as those that may not be so obvious.
Different colour temperatures can be created at a click of a button or through voice-command if you use smart assistants.
Timer configuration lets you automate your lights to come on and off or change colour temperature.
Energy and Cost Efficiency
Generating less heat and consuming less energy could lead to reduced electricity costs.
Entertaining guests for dinner in your home? You might want to set the lights to create a warm ambience.
You can do this with smart lighting even if you don't have any dimmer switch installed. Then, at the touch of a button or voice command, you can set the mood right instantly with warm-to-cool lighting.
Automation with timers
With smart lighting, you might not need an alarm clock to wake you up every morning.
Just set the timer to the time you want to wake up. If turning all the lights is too much to bear in your groggy state, set the timer for only a few of the lights to come on so it won’t be too jarring.
If security is an issue, you can set the timer at a specific time so your house will be lit up even when you’re not home at night.
Energy and Cost Efficiency
Smart lighting in Singapore makes use of LED bulbs. Compared to conventional lighting fixtures, LED bulbs generate less heat. As such, they use much less energy and you can expect an overall lower power consumption.
They also last longer than normal light bulbs. So over time, you might see your electricity bill reduced with the switch to smart lighting.
With all the benefits of smart lighting in Singapore, you might be drawn to have it in your home. But it’s best to consider the important things associated with smart lighting before installing it in your home.
We hope this article has helped you learn more about smart lighting and if it’s suitable for your home.
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As homeowners ourselves, we understand how overwhelming and frustrating it can be to shop for lights in Singapore. From led lights, ceiling lights, track lightings, pendant lights, hanging lights, to smart lighting in Singapore, we curate the best lighting solutions for your home interior.
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