The Internet of Things is all over the place, every day more and more products can connect to the Internet and be “smart”, unlocking new skills and functionalities. When it comes to smart homes there are several applications of the IoT to our everyday objects such as smart lighting, switches, speakers, thermostats… In this post, we are going to talk about smart lights and how to use your phone as a remote control.
Making your lights Smarter
Smart lights are bulbs that can connect to other devices via WiFi or Bluetooth. The main advantage of having smart lightning in your house is that you can control them without having to manually switch them on or off.
You can also unlock new features such as adjusting brightness and color or making them blink to the rhythm of your music.
When choosing which bulb to buy to your home there are several brands that offer a good solution. We are going to cover the most important brands:
They are the most popular lights on the market in their own right. They are easy to use: just have to screw them where your old bulbs were, plug in the Hue Bridge and connect them.
The Philips Hue that we love are:
Kasa is the name of the smart home products of Tp-Link. These lights differ from other in the fact that they don’t need a hub to be controlled; they connect directly to your WiFi. If you are interested in Tp-Link lights, you should check:
The Chinese company Xiaomi is in the smart lighting market with Yeelight. They also don’t need a hub and they offer over ten products: from bulbs and light strips to desk and ceiling smart lights. We recommend you to take a look at:
LIFX (pronounced life-x) started back in 2012 when they launched the first ever multicolored LED Wi-Fi light. Now they offer 12 products in over 80 countries without the need of using a Hub.
They have white and colored bulbs like everyone else but they also offer a couple of interesting lights as:
The Swedish company Ikea has also launched their own Smart Lightning line called Trådfri. These bulbs offer an affordable option for your Smart Home. They work connected to a Hub and there are different products. You can see their catalogue here.
Turning your phone in a remote light controller
Each brand have their own smartphone app to control their lights but if you want to control bulbs from different brands you’ll need to have several apps installed and continuously switch between them to turn on and off your lights and to be honest that can be quite annoying. To solve that problem we launched a couple years ago Yeti. It is available in both platforms you can download it here:
With Yeti you will be able to control lots of smart home devices, create routines and charms to automate your home. But in this post we are going to focus on the lights control.
Once you have your different bulbs connected and Yeti already installed on your phone, let's see how you can control your lights.
In this screen, you’ll see all your connected devices. It acts as the main hub to control your lights remotely since you can turn them on and off from here. You can also group them by rooms; that way you only have to tap on the room icon to control it.
If you press the light widget for a couple of seconds you will get into the control panel of the bulb. The first screen that you’ll see is the brightness one. Here you can adjust the brightness of your light just by swiping the bar up and down to your desired level.
If you swipe to the right you’ll enter the color menu. You can change the color of your bulb (if it supports it) and Yeti will also select complementary colors for a quick access.
The next screen is the warmth menu. If you want your light to be white here you can adjust its temperature from a warm yellow to a colder blue.
In the last menu you will find some cool tricks for your smart light:
- Blinking: you can make your light blink with different speed!
- Loop Colors: make your light change of color automatically and create the perfect ambient.
- Magic Wand: turn your lights on/off as if you were a wizard, just point your phone to the bulb!
There are two functionalities that will help you to remote control your lights that we still haven’t talked about t: charms and routines.
On the left of the home screen you will find the charms panel.
Use your charms to create with your favourite settings for your lights and automate the control over your house with just one tap. For example, you can create a charm that turns your house’s lights off and turns the entrance light one when you leave the house. The possibilities are endless!
And last but not least important we have the routines. You can make Yeti control your lights and devices for you so you won’t forget to turn the lights off before sleeping ever again.
Smart home lights are something that will change the way we live in our houses and with apps like Yeti, your house will be smarter every day. This is just the beginning of a new era.
Let us know how do you use and control your smart lights. We would love to read you!