Smart lights will completely change the way you go about the house. Not only can you turn them on and off from your phone, the handy app lets you dim the lights and set timers too, so you don’t need to be near a switch (or even in your home) to control them. You won’t have to keep forking out for replacements either, as they’ve all got long lifespans. Like what you see? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know before you add a pack to your basket and revolutionise your life.
The first thing you’ll need to decide on is what type of light you’re after. Whether you’re looking for a bright reading light or one that’ll create a splash of colour, there’s loads of different bulbs to choose from. There are even flexible light strips to go under counters or line your stairs, as well as glow boxes for putting near your TV. So, every part of your house will have its time to shine.
The last thing anyone wants is to get all excited about the delivery and then not be able to use it. So, when it comes to replacing your old bulbs around the house, check the fit type to make sure it matches yours.
You’ll also need to see if the lights need a compatible hub to work. Different brands and bulbs have different rules, making it even more important for you to look at the specs before you buy them.
More and more brands are starting to sell smart lights, but the three main players that have been doing it for a few years now are:
From your everyday bulbs to lanterns that’ll glow in the garden, Philips Hue have a really wide range of lights that you can put around the home. You don’t have to make any expensive commitments if you’re unsure either. When you start out, you can just grab a few Bluetooth bulbs that you can control in the same room. And when you want to take it a step further and play with the lights while you’re out, you can then buy the Hue Bridge to unlock endless possibilities.
With TP-Link there’s no strings or extra costs attached. Once you’ve bought the bulbs you want, you won’t need a hub to enjoy all their best features.
The main benefit of Hive is its massive range of compatible smart tech. From security to heating, buying a Hive light will be one more step towards transforming your house into a smart home.
Smart light bulbs connect to WiFi or Bluetooth, so they can be controlled from an app on your phone. This lets you turn them off, schedule a timer for them, and dim the brightness from where you’re sitting. Some even let you do all this outside of the home as well.
The Hue Bridge is a device that acts as the heart of the Hue smart lighting system. Pair it up with the Hue app and it’ll let you control up to 50 lights in your home. You can control them from anywhere in the world as well, so if you’ve rushed out the door that morning, you’ll be able to turn your lights off when you get to work.
Why not give yourself more flexibility and bag yourself a Hue Bridge here?
Most smart lighting is LED, and since they’re smart, you get the added bonus of being able to control them remotely. So, if you’ve just sat down on the couch and realise you’ve left the lights on upstairs, you can simply switch them off from your phone – handy for saving energy.
AO has a great choice of LED smart lights, and we’ll even price match if you find the product cheaper somewhere else. Feel enlightened and check out our range here.
Although they’re very smart, these bulbs won’t just work in any fitting. We have bayonet, screw, and spotlight models, so make sure you check which one you need before you add it to the basket.
Whether you need a hub all depends on the bulb and brand. TP-Link lights don’t need a hub – once they’re connected to your WiFi, they’re all good to go. Most Philips Hue bulbs are now Bluetooth, which means you can connect to 10 of them in the house without needing a hub. However, if you want to control them from outside the house, plan to connect them to other smart tech (like a voice assistant speaker), or you’ve got more than 10 lights, then you’ll need the Philips Hue Bridge. When it comes to Hive, you’ll need the Hub to control the lights from your phone.
Looking to control your lights with Alexa? If you get a smart bulb from Philips Hue, EZVIZ, WiZ, TP link or Hive, you’ll be good to go.
Hive, Philips Hue and TP-Link smart lights will all work with Google Assistant speakers. If you’ve got Hive or Philips Hue lights, make sure you’ve got the Hive Hub or Philips Hue Bridge, as they won’t connect without it.
If you’re looking to make your life easier, Philips Hue bulbs are definitely worth it. Left the bedroom light on? Whether you’re at the bottom of the stairs or already out for the day, you’ll be able to turn it off on the app. Can’t see but got your hand’s full of shopping? When they’re connected to a smart speaker, you can just ask the lights to turn on.
Philips Hue may seem expensive at the beginning, but they’ll save you money over time. Not only do they help you save money on your energy bills, but they’ve also got really long lifespans, so you won’t have to stock up on replacements.
The latest Philips Hue bulbs now connect to your phone wirelessly with Bluetooth, meaning you can connect to 10 lights and control them on the app without the Hue Bridge. But, if you want to control them from outside the house, connect them to other smart tech (like an Alexa and Google Assistant), or have more than 10 smart lights, then you’re going to need the Hue Bridge. There are some older Philips Hue bulbs that still only connect to your phone via your WiFi and need a Hue Bridge at all times, so make sure you check the specs before buying.
Hive bulbs have no problem working with other Hive smart tech as long as you have a Hive Hub. Philips Hue bulbs also work with Hive products. To connect a Hue bulb to your Hive tech you’ll need a Philips Hue Bridge and a Hive Hub.
Yes, you need the Hive Hub to use their smart lights. It sometimes comes in a bundle with the lights, or you can pick it up separately.
Make sure you’re logged in to the free Hive app on your phone or tablet and then tap ‘Install devices’ in the menu and follow the instructions. Once you’ve done this and screwed in the bulb, use your switch to turn the light on and it’ll flash to let you know it’s searching for the Hub. The light should then appear on the app, leaving you to name it and click ‘save’.
Yes, Philips Hue bulbs also work with Hive. To connect a Hue bulb to your Hive tech you’ll need a Philips Hue Bridge and Hive Hub.