Figuring out the best way to control your home while you're away can be stressful. For example, do you want to find a way to turn on and off your lights when you're out of town or at work but have no idea where to begin? Is there a way to control your home's lighting from afar?
Well, we've extensively researched technology that can do this and will share it below!
If you want to control your lights when you're away from the house, we recommend purchasing 'Smart' lightbulbs and linking them to an accompanying service/app.
For example, Google Home offers a light access feature, allowing you to turn on/off the lighting throughout your house. Again, many brands and companies offer innovative home features and access, so you don't have to only choose from one.
As we begin this article, we will cover all things smart devices and show you how to control your lights even if you're away from home. Whether you're always traveling, want to come home to a bright house, or have additional questions about smart lighting, we're here to help. With that said, let's start!
Can You Control Your Lights If You're Not Home?
As long as you have smart lighting throughout your house, you should be able to control it virtually/while you're not home.
As we mentioned above, various companies offer these innovative features, including Google Home. For example, this brand claims you can turn your connected lighting remotely on and off through the Google Home app.
In addition, if you already have a few smart devices from Google, all you'll need to do is purchase compatible bulbs. Experts also claim that you can generally control any lights and fixtures connected to your home's internet.
So, for smart lighting, you'd need to have them switched on at the hard switch for your app to be able to control and monitor them.
Remember, various services do this, so Google isn't the only choice (although they are one of the best).
How Do You Use Smart Lights When You're Away?
This is pretty simple if you want to turn on or off the lights in your home while you're away. First, you need to find a brand of light bulbs that can connect to software like Google Home or Amazon's Alexa.
Smart lighting essentially connects to a wifi-based hard switch your app can connect to. Once you set this up and install your corresponding lights, you should be able to launch your smart app and get things adjusted.
Of course, not every light bulb is able to be remotely dimmed or powered on/off. Therefore, installing smart software on your phone and forgetting to purchase different lighting deems the app useless.
On top of that, many smart apps also have access to your appliances, air and heating systems, and even your security. So, having your property constantly accessible to you, wherever you are, is possible.
According to Pop Science, one smart lighting brand is "Lifx," which you can control through the brand's mobile application. So, again, you can venture off to other brands for this.
LIFX WiFi Smart LED Light Bulb
This smart light is powered by wifi, works with Alexa, Google Home, and Siri, is dimmable, changes color, runs up to 25,000 hours, and has excellent online reviews.
Check out this smart bulb on Amazon.
Do You Have To Pay To Control Your Lights Remotely?
Yes, there are upfront costs to controlling your lights while you aren't home. For example, if you want to turn your lights on or off, you need to invest in wifi-enabled, "smart" products.
Luckily, these shouldn't cost too much and often come in bundles. Once you get the lights for your smart home, you want to either use the app they come with (if they do) or purchase an additional service.
Suppose you have Amazon Alexa and want to turn on or off your smart lighting. As long as your product can connect to Alexa, you can remotely control them.
The same applies to Google Home. If you have a smart light bulb that can link to your system's wifi, you will be able to control it virtually.
Of course, not all smart lights are the same, so you should research them before purchasing.
How Much Does It Cost To Have Smart Lights On?
Now that you have an idea of smart bulbs and how they connect to your phone, how much does it cost to turn them on? Usually, you can expect a smart light to cost you between $1.50 to $4 per bulb per year, according to experts.
In the greater scheme, that is a minuscule price to pay for your peace of mind. Suppose you leave for a vacation for seven days. If you have smart lightbulbs, you can turn these on at night while you're gone for a fractional expense.
According to Security.org, your smart lights will cost around $165 annually, which is very low for what they do. However, this figure can vary depending on the size of your home and how often you turn on your smart lighting.
Regardless, knowing your home looks occupied while you're away is a priceless feeling and can keep your belongings safe and untouched.
As we said, you can also usually connect your security system to a smart home application, which should be even more assuring whenever you're away.
Can I Put My Smart Lights On A Timer?
Yes! As long as your lighting is compatible with an app or timer software, you can schedule them. In general, smart bulbs will be able to follow a set timer if you have them installed on a central switch.
Since most smart systems require a central "hub" anyway, this shouldn't need additional setup.
For example, if you want your lights to power on at five PM daily automatically, all you need to do is go into your app, find the timer option, and choose your duration.
According to MakeUseOf, you can use the 'Smart Life' app for your lighting (if compatible); select the Lefthand time option at the bottom-left corner. Enter a period when you want your bulb to turn on or off, and you're done!
Again, you should also be able to follow similar steps for other smart apps and home monitoring systems. If you run into problems setting a timer, we recommend contacting their support team directly.
If you have Google or Amazon, you can say "Hey, Google" or "Hey, Alexa" and ask them to set a timer for specific lighting as well.
Should I Keep My Smart Lights On At Night?
This is certainly doable if you aren't home or prefer to keep a few outside lights on throughout the evening. Typically, you can control how long your lights stay turned on through an app on your phone or tablet.
So, if you are at work late and don't want to come home to a pitch-black house, you can go into your smart home app and turn on a few lights.
The same goes for people out of town who don't want their home's entirely black for many days. Unfortunately, a dark house can spark interest from thieves, so keeping a few lights running through the night can help prevent that.
Again, this might be better if you put your lights on a timer, so you don't have to manually turn on and off your smart lighting every day you're gone, or it's dark.
Will Smart Lights Prevent Crime?
If you want to keep your lights on for safety, utilizing smart technology throughout your home can deter criminal activity. However, many experts warn against keeping too many lights on, as this can alert thieves the same way a dark home would.
For example, keeping one light on inside and then a few exterior lights turned on through your app is a good idea. This looks normal and will give the illusion you are home and awake.
In contrast, keeping every light on in your home while you're not inside can create a clear path for burglars to enter and ransack the place.
Furthermore, it may be beneficial also to link your security system to your smart home so you can monitor everything in one place.
Even though this can seem like overkill, it's always better to be safe than sorry.
Is Using Smart Lights Worth It?
Overall, we would agree using smart lighting is worth the money and installation. Especially if you work late or travel often, knowing a few lights are on in your house can give you peace of mind.
As we mentioned, there are endless programs to use to turn on and off lights remotely. Whether it's Google Home, Alexa, or another independent company, your lights should be able to be adjusted from the comfort of your smartphone.
With that said, you need to install these light bulbs alongside a central panel that can connect to Wi-Fi. Most smart systems require this, so without a connected hard switch, your new bulbs aren't going to work.
Knowing what to do can be tricky if you have a smart home system or need to figure out how to turn on your lights when you're away. We found that you can remotely control lights in your home using wifi-enabled bulbs.
These specialty lights will connect to a smart home monitor, which you can control through your phone. For example, Google Home allows you to turn on, off, and dim lighting while away.
Amazon's Alexa can also link to smart bulbs and turn them on or off, as well as other brands.
While we have your attention, check out these helpful related home articles below!
How To Light A Room That Has No Overhead Lighting [7 Alternatives]
Lost Remote For LED Lights! How To Turn On/Off Or Change Colors Without It?