Voice Activated Lighting and Shading – How it works and how to get it!

Lutron Automated Shades

Sound-activated technology has advanced a great deal since clap-on lights.

Today, various appliances can be turned on and off with a spoken command, saving you the trouble of getting up to turn on the lights, close the shades, or even reach for a remote. This can be a great tool to use in automating the lighting and window shades in your home.

Voice Activated Lighting & Shading

Many automated home lighting brands are incorporating voice control in their products. Often, this functionality is built into the bulbs and fixtures themselves, but it can sometimes be built into home control systems.

Lutron’s Caséta Wireless systems, for instance, are compatible with Amazon Alexa voice controlled hardware, allowing for some truly awesome configurations when it comes to voice-activated lighting.

An important aspect of any home lighting environment is natural lighting, and how it is managed with shades and blinds. Only recently have options to operate these remotely been available on the market. Motorized blinds can be integrated with home control systems.A good blinds store goes a long way in helping find the optimal solution, Aussie Outdoor Blinds stores locator helps everyone find their perfect match.

How Voice Activated Lighting and Shading Works

There are two ways voice-controlled lighting and window systems are used. The first is by installing specifically-enabled bulbs and shades. The second is by incorporating voice control into a whole home control system.

Standalone products and whole home control each have its own benefits and limitations. Choosing between the two will depend largely on your needs.

Standalone Products

Standalone bulbs are perhaps the most popular way to use voice-activated lighting since they are very easy to install and operate. These may lack the overall possibilities of voice activation within a whole home control system, but they can provide a great way to control lighting in areas where your hands may be occupied, such as the kitchen or workspaces.

Whole Home Control

When your lights and window shades are integrated into a home control system, there are many options available. Rather than controlling individual fixtures, you can create entire lighting schemes, from dimming to brightening, even drawing the blinds for just the right effect.

When voice control is included in the system, you can create that effect with a simple command. Like if you want to set the right scene for a movie night and you’re using Alexa, you need only say, “Hey Alexa, turn on Movie Night,” and the lights and shades will adjust to the right levels.

The type and brand of technology you use will determine exactly how your voice-controlled lights and shades will work. For example, with Lutron products, you need to use their app to configure voice control with their fixtures and motorized shades.

Why People Use Voice Activated Lighting and Shading

Increasing convenience, enhancing safety and making access easier for those with mobility issues are just a few of many benefits to voice-activated lighting and shading. Depending on your needs and wants, there are all sorts of potential advantages for you and your family.

Convenience

Suppose you’re coming in the door loaded with groceries, small children, and a mountain of stress. The house is dark, and you need to see where you’re going. Rather than dropping a few items to reach for a light switch, you can simply command your lights to turn on.

If you’re in bed and not feeling well is another scenario. You can draw the blinds simply by uttering a command without having to get up. Voice-activated lighting and shading controls make life easier so you can direct your energy to other things.

Safety

When you get in after dark, sometimes you find yourself feeling around for the light switch. Voice activation is a highly effective way to avoid tripping or bumping into something when doing so. Simply say, “Living room lights on,” and you’ll save yourself the trouble!

Ease of Access

For those who have a hard time getting around, reaching for a light switch or cord can often be a chore all on its own. To improve home accessibility and safety for those with limited mobility, voice-activated lighting and shades can be a powerful solution.

This may enable someone who is wheelchair bound to turn on the lights or open the blinds to let in a little sunlight, without the need for someone else to do it for them. As an added bonus, it boosts their sense of independence.

The “Cool” Factor

Lutron Shading Products

In addition to the purely practical applications of voice control, it’s just plain cool to be able to speak a command and watch your lights and blinds respond. It’s something out of science fiction, and frankly, that makes it a great deal of fun.

How to Implement Voice Activated Lighting and Shading

When it comes to implementing voice activation functionality in your home lighting system, there are several factors to consider. These include scale, the types of technology used, and, the role you want it to play.

Scale

Incorporating voice-activated lighting and shading into your home automation system will begin by determining how much of it you truly need. If your needs are limited to a couple fixtures where you tend to be mostly occupied, then standalone options may be the best route.

If you’d like voice activation throughout your whole home or want to create preset lighting scenes for special scenarios, integration with your home network will be necessary.

Compatibility

It’s vital to make sure your technology is compatible before you start investing money. Some lighting systems may not be fully compatible with the voice-controlled hardware you currently possess, so you will want to choose the fixtures and shades you use accordingly.

You’ll also want to ensure you have any other necessary software installed. For example, Caséta Wireless’s light control systems require the Lutron Connect app in order to set up voice-activated lighting and shading.

Supplement Current Controls

Custom Lutron Wall Switches

Voice activation can be a very useful way to control your home’s lighting and windows, but there may be situations where you won’t want to use it. So, it’s best to install it as a supplement to other controls, such as remotes, smartphone apps, or simple switches.

If you’re on the phone, you don’t want to interrupt your conversation to talk to your window shades. If you need it quiet, or if there is another noise in the room, pressing a button on a remote will usually be preferable to issuing verbal commands.

Home Automation Expertise

With home automation systems it’s vital that all controls and systems sync up and work harmoniously. This is why it’s highly beneficial to get the help of a home automation expert to assist you with voice-activated lighting and shading.

Voice-activated shades and lights offer greater convenience and ease of living, all while adding an additional “awesome” factor to your home. Installation can be simple or complex, but the right tools and expertise go a long way toward making sure it will work the way you want.

Want to learn more about Voice-Activated Lighting & Shading? Visit our NEW Lighting & Shading Design Center and get hands-on with the technology.