Smartphone Bluetooth app

Discover the secrets of Bluetooth smart lights you wish you knew earlier

A smart home is something we all desire. There’s something satisfying about coming home, turning on the lights, selecting a programme on the TV, setting music in the kitchen, turning the heating on and warming up the oven without touching a single button or switch. Whilst complete home automation may not be in our reach just yet, smart lights are. Smart lighting doesn’t just mean switching them on and off – you can change the colour and even set patterns per room. In this article, we’ll look at the new type of smart lights – Bluetooth lights- and how they will transform your home. We will see how to install them, use them to your advantage and determine what equipment you’ll need.

WHAT ARE SMART LIGHTS?

Smart lights are made of clever LED bulbs which can change colour, dim and illuminate via an app or remote control, or even your voice. A smart lighting system is something that can be created using a few bulbs and a piece of technology known as a ‘hub’ which connects to your router. The hub is connected to wifi and gives instructions to each bulb. Bluetooth smart lights do not require a hub – you communicate with the bulbs directly via your phone or tablet. You can set your smart lights to illuminate when someone walks into the room, or have different recipes for various situations. For instance, in your living room, you may have one recipe for watching a film on the TV and another for reading a book.

Customising your lights is fun and easy, and smart lighting is generally considered to be the simplest first step in creating an automated home. You can choose from lights with a sensor or without a sensor – sensor lights are more convenient, but come at a higher price. Some smart lights even have built-in speakers, so you can listen to music in a room without turning on a TV or sound system. Choosing a smart lighting system which works with your existing phone or tablet will make life easier for you. You can opt for a complete system, or just try out one bulb to see how you get on – the choice is yours.

HOW SMART LIGHTS WILL BENEFIT YOU

By 2023, the smart lighting market is set to reach 105.28 Billion US Dollars.

Bluetooth light bulbThe stats don’t lie – there are many benefits to smart home lighting, which is why it is becoming so popular.

  • Saving money on your utility bills. Choosing when your light is on will save you money, and it doesn’t matter if you leave your house with all the lights on, as you can switch them off remotely. Most smart bulbs use LED technology which is more energy efficient as it uses less power and doesn’t waste energy as heat, in the same way as a halogen bulb.
  • A simple life – It is a fact that app controlled lights make life easier. If you’ve left the bathroom light on, you don’t need to trek back up the stairs to turn it off.
  • Affordability – Initially, smart LED lights may have seemed expensive. However, as more providers bring them to the market, they are being priced more competitively, and a smart lighting system is now more affordable than ever.
  • The cool factor – There’s no denying that a smart bulb just looks cool. You can have all sorts of fun with customising your lights – you can set your living room light to glow red when you’ve got a Facebook message, or dim the lights in your bedroom at 10pm automatically, ready for bed.
  • Better sleep – Yes, that’s right. Smart LED lights can help you get better sleep by using colour temperatures to control melatonin levels throughout the day, and increase them at night to help you get ready to sleep.

HOW TO INSTALL BLUETOOTH LIGHTS

To install your Bluetooth bulb, simply screw it into place as you would with a normal bulb. You should then switch on the Bluetooth on your phone and turn the bulb on with the switch. You should then open the free app (you can scan the QR code on the packaging) and add the bulb. That’s it! Wireless lighting control is now at your fingertips.

 

left quoteBluetooth lights are THE easiest way to get started with home automation. All you need is a phone, tablet or computer with Bluetooth and you’re good to go. You don’t even need broadband!right quote

 John Atkinson, Lightsupplier.co.uk


HOW TO USE SMART LIGHTS

Home automation app

Using Bluetooth smart lights couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is download the free app. You can do this by scanning the QR code on the packaging and you’re all set. You can use the Sycamore Bluetooth lighting app to fully personalise the lights in your home – control them individually, or in a group – whichever you prefer. You can use the app to control the colour temperature of the light – use warm white for ambience, neutral white to replicate daylight and cool white for task lighting. Once you have decided on which settings you prefer, you can save them in the app to save time when you next use it.

Note that only one device can be connected to the app at one time, so you will want to install the app on a secondary device so that you can control the lighting when the first device is out of range. If the person with the app leaves the house with the lights switched on, you can switch them off at the wall but not back on, so you need a secondary device!

WHAT'S THE BEST SMART LIGHTING SYSTEM?

Here’s the deal – the answer to what are the best smart lights is subjective.  The best smart lighting system totally depends on your needs. If you’d like to impress your friends with an all-singing, all-dancing system where you can create different routines and sync it with your virtual home assistant, you’re probably better off with a more advanced system such as the Phillips Hue. If you’re looking for simplicity, a standard smart light switch may work better. If you’re looking for a functional system which works smoothly, our Sycamore Bluetooth lights are the way forward.

In the Sycamore Bluetooth lighting range, we have several different types of bulbs ideal for different rooms in the home. There are ceiling lights, undercabinet lights and link lights. Our ceiling lights are available in two finishes – brushed nickel or white bezel – to suit your preference.

IS IT BETTER TO BUY SMART LIGHT BULBS OR SMART LIGHT SWITCHES (OR BOTH)?

smart lights with smart light switches

If you’ve never heard of a smart light switch, it means that you don’t swap the bulb for a smart bulb, but you change the switch for a smart light switch which will work in partnership with your standard bulb. Smart bulbs are the bulbs themselves, usually controlled by your phone or a remote control.

Smart bulbs: Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Most smart bulbs come with a starter kit, including a bridge/hub which connects the bulbs together.
  • There are plenty of smart bulbs out there to suit your needs and budget.
  • It’s relatively simple to set up smart bulbs; they just screw in like standard bulbs.
  • You can move bulbs between fixtures – perfect if you want to change the decor of a room.
  • There is a lot of variety in terms of colour options and you can even opt for colour changing bulbs.
  • The bulbs are wireless bulbs.
  • If you’re willing to spend more, you will get better features. Basic smart bulbs will have limited features.
  • Quick and easy to set up without dealing with wiring or calling an electrician.

Cons:

  • Opting for wifi smart bulbs means that if your wifi is down, the bulbs won’t work.
  • Most smart bulbs are a standard shape with a standard base, so if you require a specific style of bulb, you may not be able to find it with smart lighting capability.
  • If you connect your smart bulb with a dimmer switch, you may find that it flickers.
  • The bulbs won’t work if the light is switched off at the wall.
Bluetooth lights

Smart switches: pros and cons

Pros:

  • You can use any bulb you want with smart switches – ideal if you have an awkward fixture which requires a specific bulb.
  • Automated lighting will still run even when the light is switched off.
  • Switches are ideal for guest rooms, as you don’t need to teach the guests how to work the lights.
  • Switches are cheaper than installing individual smart bulbs.
  • There are not as many options out there for smart light switches as there are bulbs.
  • You will need to change the wiring when installing.
  • Advanced smart lighting switches which have microphones for voice control and touchscreens haven’t really reached the mass market just yet.
  • It costs more to upgrade a basic smart lighting switch than it will to upgrade a smart bulb.
  • To move the smart switch to a different light or change the fixture, you’d have to rewire again.

Cons:

  • There are not as many options out there for smart light switches as there are bulbs.
  • You will need to change the wiring when installing.
  • Advanced smart lighting switches which have microphones for voice control and touchscreens haven’t really reached the mass market just yet.
  • It costs more to upgrade a basic smart lighting switch than it will to upgrade a smart bulb.
  • To move the smart switch to a different light or change the fixture, you’d have to rewire again.

You’re probably wondering what the answer is. There’s no yes or no answer, but if you’re looking to make your entire home a smart lighting haven, it’s probably easier to use bulbs. If you’d prefer smart lighting in just one room and you’re not too bothered about changing colours and dimming the lights, smart switches may be better for you. Just make sure you’re competent at DIY or hire a professional!

WHICH IS BETTER: BLUETOOTH OR WIFI SMART LIGHTS?

luxury home lighting

In a word, Bluetooth. There are some known issues with wifi smart lights – if your wifi connection is down, you won’t be able to use them. You will find that Bluetooth smart lights do not have this problem; however, there is the issue of less range. Sycamore Bluetooth lights have a range of 30m. Once you venture outside of this zone, you will not be able to control the lights. This makes wifi lights a better solution for large buildings with multiple floors as you should still be able to connect.

Bluetooth lights are faster, and simpler to set up. You don’t need to connect a router or a hub, nor do you need to worry about messing with the mains switch. All you need to do is screw in the bulb as you normally would, switch it on and connect to Bluetooth – it couldn’t be easier.

HERE'S THE BOTTOM LINE...

Bluetooth smart lights are currently less known in the smart lighting market, due to the newer technology. Most smart lighting systems use wifi, but you can expect to see more Bluetooth lights come on to the scene in the near future. In the meantime, you can get ahead of the pack and order your Sycamore Bluetooth lights directly from Lightsupplier.co.uk.

< Return to blog