Lighting software and other products are evolving more rapidly than ever. Everyday home products are getting smarter on a daily basis. So, how has technology advanced lighting in the home? Glenn Siegel, director of marketing and product management at Eaton's Lighting Division, explores the keys to smart lighting and what’s new in this field.
What’s new for smart lighting?
This is a very exciting time in the lighting business. We have a convergence of LEDs, which are low maintenance and low power, with controls directly in the fixture.
Now, using software, you can change the color temperature of a light, preset scenes and moods with the push of a button and group smart products together into one cohesive smart home.
What are the capabilities for smart lighting?
In the past, one of the biggest issues the lighting industry had was compatibility between control systems and LED fixtures because drivers needed special electronics. Now, with controls directly in the LED, you don’t have that compatibility issue. This is making it easier for homeowners to install smart lighting. Right out of the box, the fixtures can be installed as simply as replacing a bulb. It makes the process seamless.
We’ve talked to a number of customers, and security is very important to them. Lights that come on at certain times of day, indoor and outdoor, give the illusion that you’re home and create a more secure environment. There are multiple ways to customize this, too. As a homeowner drives up to their home, lights can come on with geofencing, or they can remotely use an app to turn lights on. It can be as simple as having lights on a timer, too.
How does voice activation play a role?
Integration with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home allow homeowners to turn voice assistants into smart home hubs. Homeowners can make preset moods by adjusting and customizing light levels and color temperatures for any activity. You can ask your voice assistant to “activate party mode” or “wake up the kids,” and the specific lighting needs will be activated.
What’s next for smart home tech?
Currently, smart tech is adapting to seamlessly integrate into smart home systems. Bluetooth-enabled systems that don’t rely on internet, like HALO Home by Eaton, are just one example of innovation in this space. HALO Home needs only the app and the fixture to operate.
Even light switches may look completely different in 10 to 15 years. Homeowners are looking for a clean and sleek design. If you remove traditional light switches and replace them with a few smart home hubs that control multiple facets of a home, not just lighting, you can create a functional and efficient system.
Smart lighting is a catalyst for the smart home revolution. It not only provides ease of use with voice activation, but it can also create a sense of security and allow homeowners to customize the overall feel of their home.