I fell in love with outdoor lighting during the pandemic when Coastal Source sent me a truckload of gear to install around my yard. It took me a while to trench, dig, cut and cajole all the lights in place, but when I did, the end result was well worth the effort. My property stands out after dark and it’s truly stunning to behold.
The only thing I ever found myself pining for was the ability to change the color of the lights from time to time. Some days it was about a color tweak to better highlight fall foliage, others found me toying around with a goal I had to light up a tree in my front yard like a rocket pop for the 4th of July. Sadly, my lights were stuck in single color mode.
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Don’t get me wrong, that one color looked great, but a guy could always wish upon a star, right? I’d let my dream go until a chance encounter with Coastal Source at a conference in Las Vegas earlier this year rekindled my passion for a little color. The factory reps were there showcasing color changing lights and I asked them about writing a review. A few weeks later a box arrived with 12 LED lamps and some instructions. I couldn’t wait to get on with upgrading my lighting.
The Coastal Source products all showed up the way I’ve become accustomed. This is a pro dealer facing company and all their gear is packaged to be quickly removed and boxes broken down easily for recycling. The packaging is all brown cardboard with minimal bubble wrap here and there to prevent pre-installation scratching around the rubbed bronze finish. All of the Coastal Source gear I’ve tested appears to be built to withstand a nuclear blast. This latest round of equipment was no exception.
I laid everything out and counted out numerous MR16 LED lamps, cylindrical Bluetooth “windows,” and three Bluetooth repeaters with accompanying stakes.
Unlike my previous Coastal Source installation, this one involved a little software configuration in addition to the hardware. I placed the Bluetooth repeater in line of sight to all the lamps slated for upgrade and plugged it into the existing cabling already buried in the ground.
Coastal Source’s modular installation system makes upgrades like this a breeze, as I soon found out.
I knocked off the rust from three years of not installing lighting and soon had the repeater staked into the ground. Next I proceeded to remove the head from one of my existing MR16 bullet lights and installed the Bluetooth window as a spacer to allow the wireless signal to communicate with the bulb.
I then pulled out the old bulb and installed the new RGBTW lamp. It began flashing white rapidly, and the included instructions prompted me to download an app called “Smart Life – Smart Living.” I then followed along in the app wizard which guided me through the process of enrolling the new Bluetooth lamp. After 30 seconds, the lamp showed up in the app and I was able to rename it (I could see this getting confusing with more than 10 lamps).
After the Coastal Source app configuration finished up, I started playing around with some of the features including color change and different modes which automatically transition the lights through a series of colors.
I went through the obligatory parlor tricks of turning the light pink, red, blue, and a whole host of other colors to play around with the new shiny objects. I was amazed. These new bulbs seemed brighter than the old MR16 bulbs that I had installed, and my ability to paint with light made me feel like an artist. I can’t wait to see what the changing leaves look like with different complementary colors and hues. I added a few more lights into the mix and found it easy to control them all together.
Coastal Source has done it again. Its RGBTW lighting isn’t about being able to turn your house pink for Valentine’s Day or orange at Halloween; it’s about choice. In the hands of a trained lighting expert, unlimited color temperature, hue and saturation control add a completely new dimension to what’s possible with an outdoor lighting system. I’m excited to transition through the seasons with these new lights to see what settings work best to showcase my home after dark.
This article was originally published by Henry Clifford on Res Tech Today