We’ve come a long way since the clapper! Today, spoken commands can control any number of household and office appliances, saving you the trouble of turning on the lights or even reaching for a remote. Many home lighting brands have incorporated voice-activated lighting control into their products, you have more options than ever to automate the lighting in your home.
How It All Works
Voice-activated lighting is often built directly into the bulbs and fixtures themselves. However, sometimes it is built directly into your home control system. For example, Lutron’s Caséta Wireless is compatible with Amazon Alexa voice-controlled hardware. This allows for some truly awesome configurations when it comes to lighting solutions.
These two options are the way most voice-controlled lighting systems are used. Standalone products and whole-home control each have their own benefits and limitations. Choosing between the two will depend largely on your needs.
From an ease-of-use standpoint, standalone products are the way to go. Perhaps the most popular voice-activated solution, standalone bulbs are typically very easy to install and operate. Sure, they may lack the overall possibilities of voice activation within a whole home control system. However, they provide a great way to control lighting in areas where your hands may be occupied, such as the kitchen or workspaces.
When your lights are integrated into a home control system, the options really open up. Rather than controlling individual fixtures, you can create entire lighting schemes. This includes everything 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. Say you wanted to set the right scene for a movie night through your Amazon Alexa device. Now, “Hey Alexa, turn on Movie Night,” will adjust the lights and shades to the right levels.
Exactly which brand and type of lighting technology you use will determine exactly how your voice-controlled lights will work. Several products, like our partner Lutron, allow you to set up and configure your voice control settings through their app.
Voice Activated Lighting with Shading
With increased convenience, enhanced safety, and ease of access – seeking out a voice-activated lighting solution has a number of benefits. Depending on your needs and wants, there are all sorts of potential advantages for you and your family.
We’ve all been there, trudging up the steps to your house with one too many grocery bags in tow. We dread the moment we’ll need to set everything down and fumble for the light switch. Wouldn’t it be easier to simply command your lights to turn on?
Say you’re stuck in bed not feeling well. Sure you can crawl out of bed to draw the blinds and turn out the lights, but wouldn’t it be easier if you could just tell your home system to take care of all that for you?
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 your toes will thank you later.
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 can be a powerful solution – with the added bonus of increased independence.
The “Cool” Factor
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. After all – don’t we all want to be a little more like Tony Stark?
How to Implement Voice Activated Lighting
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.
Incorporating voice-activated lighting into your home automation system will begin by determining how much of it you truly need. If your needs are limited to a couple of 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.
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 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.
Supplement Current Controls
Voice activation can be a very useful way to control your home’s lighting, but there may be situations where you won’t want to use it. It’s typically best to utilize voice activation as a supplement to standard controls like remotes, smartphone apps, or simple switches.
If you’re on the phone, you don’t want to interrupt your conversation to talk to the lighting strip above your vanity. Or if the baby is sleeping, pressing a button on a remote will usually be preferable to issuing verbal commands, and might net you a few more minutes of calm.
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.
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