The Gadgetry

Light up your home on the INSIDE this holiday.

 

My husband started it.

We needed lightbulbs at Costco. Regular ole’ lightbulbs. So he brought home colored lightbulbs packaged in friendly, yet somewhat intimidating plastic encasing with callouts of all the applications they were compatible with.

I was intrigued.

The idea of choosing my room lighting color from my phone, from moody Ocean Blue to Garnet Red on game day, excited me. The possibilities of basking in Flickering Fireplace or chillaxing to Christmas strobe intoxicated me. (It’s the little things, really)

And to turn on or off entire rooms, or individual lamps, with a simple voice command, “Alexa, turn off the bedroom light” —well, let’s just say this has started a whole new chapter.

Which brand of smart lighting?

There are many, but I’ve only tried two brands, Wiz and Feit, both purchased from Costco.

Both provide an endless range of custom colors, various modes for pulsing, fading, rhythms, rooms, schedules, and scenes. I know, a lot going on for a lightbulb, right? Both connect to Google Home and Alexa, who now officially rules my roost. And, I confess, both took me a couple of tries to get them connected to my WiFi, so I can’t say one is any easier to install than the other. It works—just be patient.

Installing your smart lights

The first part is easy: screw in the lightbulb and it should start flashing. Follow the instructions on your phone by downloading the brand’s mobile app. Note, the key is to make SURE you’re connecting to your phone through your home’s 2.4 GHz WiFi network. Your WiFi typically has two networks to connect through, the other one being 5 GHz. The lower network offers a wider range for connecting devices (also, make sure your phone is near the lightbulb when connecting), while your 5 GHz network offers faster speeds.

If you need assistance, here’s a helpful video https://youtu.be/x2oLlRbCV5M

Bonus: Connect with Alexa or Google Home

Once you’re connected, it gets even more fun. If you have Alexa or Google Home, go to your Alexa or Google Home app, and connect your new smart lights so you can turn your lights on or off by voice. It’s listed under “Skills” in the Alexa app. Take it a step further, and build this action into a morning/evening routine so when you say “Good night” or “Good morning” your lights go on or off, along with a series of other actions you’d like, such as hearing the news, weather, sleep or meditation music. The possibilities are endless.

Have you tried Smart lighting yet? Is your home connected using Google Home, Alexa or iPhone’s smart speaker? (Not that it has to be for these to work) How do you like using your lights? Please let us know what you think in the comments below.

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