If you’re considering automating your home, you’ll probably be overwhelmed by how many ways and entry points there are. There are smart security systems, smart doorbells, smart locks, smart outlets, etc. For all we know, you can find smart toasters considering how far we’ve come in terms of home automation. With that said, the best thing to start with would be using smart lights.
The reason behind this is that lighting is one of the most important and primordial things when it comes to any home. There’s also the fact that by automating lighting, you might be saving money.
In this article, we’ll be going through the basics of smart outdoor lighting by discussing all the different elements that constitute such a setup. For that, you’ll need smart outlets, bulbs, and switches. You might also need to replace some of the fixtures you already have to make them ‘smart.’
Smart Outdoor Lighting Outlets
The first thing you need in any smart outdoor lighting setup is the use of smart outlets. You can also use smart plugs if you don’t want to bother with the installation of smart outlets, but they serve the same purpose, with the only difference being that outlets look exactly like a regular outlet.
Insteon Remote Control Plug-In Outdoor Outlet
When it comes to our recommendation for which smart outlet to use, we went with the Insteon Remote Control Plug-In as it’s extremely reliable. It’s NEMA 3R-certified, which means it can withstand rain and even ice formation. It can also operate under extreme weather conditions such as sub-zero temperatures as well as smoldering heat.
This smart outlet also has Insteon’s signature dual-band mesh network, which allows it to communicate reliably with your home’s power line as well as wireless signals.
Moreover, if you happen to own an Insteon Home Hub, a Google Assistant, or an Alexa, you can also introduce voice control. Otherwise, you can always still use the companion app that comes with the outlet.
Smart Outdoor Bulbs
Next on the list of the smart outdoor lighting essentials are the smart bulbs. You’ll find that there are plenty of good options on the market that can withstand harsh weather such as Philips Hue.
Philips Outdoor Hue White Led Smart Bulb
As we mentioned before, Philips Hue have impeccable smart bulbs, and this is one of their best. The PAR-38 outdoor bulbs offer automated bright light and are very affordable.
With that said, you also need to have a smart gateway, preferably the Philips Hue Smart Hub, if you want to make the most out of these bulbs. This smart hub can let you control upwards of 50 smart lights at the same time.
Furthermore, if you add in a bridge, you’ll be able to control the lights via your smartphone remotely. You can also use any digital assistant with it.
The reason we chose these bulbs is that they are the most versatile and reliable ones that we’ve come across. Each bulb can offer around 25,000 hours of use. They’re also very affordable and will allow you to configure them to your heart’s content. All in all, these bulbs make smart outdoor lighting setups a lot more accessible and convenient.
If you want to take your smart outdoor lighting setup to the next level, then you might want to invest in a smart switch. If you want to be able to make the most out of your setup, then you might want to get something that’s reliable and has a good amount of useful features, and we’ve got just the thing for you.
GE Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus Outdoor Smart Switch
This is a weatherproof smart switch that is NEMA 3R-certified. This means that you won’t have to keep worrying about keeping it tightly covered and protected as it can withstand tough conditions admirably.
Additionally, you’ll need a Z-Wave-certified hub to go along with this smart switch. When it comes to which one you need to get, it will depend not only on the switch but also all future smart home components you might get. Fortunately, this smart switch works with most of the popular hubs such as Wink, Harmony, Honeywell, SmartThings, etc.
The GE Enbrighten also comes with an additional antenna if you want more range. You can also use a Z-Wave repeater if you want even more range.
By using this smart switch, you’ll be able to control pool pumps, heater, lighting as well as a plethora of other outdoor appliances.
And last but not least, the GE Enbrighten also features energy monitoring, which will help you moderate energy consumption and potentially save some money while you’re at it.
How to Fix Existing Fixtures
If you’re planning on replacing some fixtures that you might already have in place, Philips Hue has you covered with their versatile security light.
Philips Hue Ludere Outdoor Security Light
This package includes 2 PAR-38 smart bulbs as well as a synthetic polymer fixture. As you’d expect, everything that’s included here is weatherproof.
These lights are extremely customizable, and you can even change their color to anything you might want. Did we mention how easy all of this is?
When it comes to installation and pairing, you can either do it yourself or call in a professional to get it done quickly at a small cost.
All in all, we highly recommend getting these outdoor security lights as they can be very convenient and easy to use.
How to Set Up Your Smart Outdoor Lightning: Five Ways to Go
When it comes to having your own fancy smart outdoor lighting, the options are numerous, and the only limit here is your imagination and, of course, your budget. Here are some of the options that you can use to make your own smart outdoor lighting setup.
1. Smart Floodlights
Smart floodlights are very useful as they can be used to fend off potential intruders, so they double up in function as both a light source as well as a security measure.
The number of options that you’ll find on the market can be overwhelming, but we’ve chosen something a bit different that is sure to please you.
Hyperikon LED Security Floodlights
One of the most appealing things about these floodlights is the fact that you won’t have to do any complex configuration or setup. Everything comes baked in from the get-go. Hyperikon aims to keep its products accessible and convenient, and this definitely shows in these floodlights.
As for the features, these floodlights have motions sensors and are able to dish out 90-lumen light that is sure to jar any person with ill-intent. These lights can be triggered either by motion or by fading light.
When it comes to customizability, we’re happy to report that you won’t be disappointed as you’ll be able to rotate the cap 360 degrees as well as tweak the light head if you’re still not satisfied. As for the motion sensor, it has a 150-degree FOV or field of view, which can also be tweaked.
You also have 3 dials for controlling the floodlights, which are perimeter, brightness, and timing.
And last but not least, these floodlights are very reliable. They can resist harsh weather conditions, extreme temperatures, dust, wind, and all sorts of other factors so you can rest assured that these floodlights will last you for a long time. Did we mention that it comes with a 5-year warranty?
2. Smart Porch Lights
Smart Porch lights can be used to embellish the entryway as well as secure it. This time, we have two options for you to choose from. Both of these products are impeccable and worth it.
Philips Hue Inara Porch Light
To no one’s surprise, Philips Hue has some of the best smart porch lights on the market, and they genuinely deserve it.
As with all of the other Philips Hue products, you’ll need the Philips Hue hub to go along with them if you want to use voice control or make the most out of these porch lights.
There’s also a cool feature in the form of geofencing, which means that Inara will be able to detect when you’re within striking distance via your smartphone’s GPS and will welcome you.
As for the light bulbs, you get a standard white bulb, which will last you 25,000 hours of use. It’s also energy efficient so you won’t have to worry about it consuming too much energy.
Lastly, you have the option of adding more lights as far as 60 feet, which can be useful if you’d to extend the lighting beyond the porch.
Vgogfly Outdoor Bug Porch Lights
These bulbs are especially useful if you have an overabundance of mosquitoes and bugs on your porch. You have the choice between daylight and amber version as well as getting either a two-bulb pack or a three-bulb one.
This is also extremely easy to use as it barely requires any user intervention. These bulbs are designed to come on during the night automatically.
When it comes to the warranty that comes with these bulbs, it is a full 1-year warranty that allows you to get a refund in case you’re not happy with the product.
3. Smart Path Lighting
Whether you want to invest in smart path lighting or not will eventually boil down to how your garden is set up. If you want to keep your pathway nicely lit, then we have the product for you.
You simply can’t go wrong with Ring’s Pathlight as it has an incredible range that has earned it quite the reputation. The installation process is also wire-free, and the configuration part couldn’t be easier.
The Ring Bridge also allows you to automate things even further if you want to invest in one separately or get it in a bundle with the Ring Pathlight.
The Ring Pathlight also features motion sensors that can trigger an 80-lumen light. It will also minimize the dark area around your house, so you can also think of it as an extra security measure.
Furthermore, if you happen to have the Ring hub already set up, you can add the Ring Pathlight along with any other existing devices so they can communicate with each other.
4. Smart Spotlights
If you want to brighten up your garden even more, then you might want to get some smart spotlight, and to one’s surprise, Philips Hue has the perfect product for you.
Philips Hue Color Ambiance Spotlight Base Kit
With this base kit, not only will you be able to get access to any color you could possibly imagine, but you’ll also have easy to use, and convenient smart lighting.
When it comes to the installation process, it’s quite simple as you’ll only need to plug in the lights to your home hub, and you should be good to go.
You’ll be able to set up schedules, timing, as well as quickly change colors.
And lastly, like all Philip Hue’s other products that were mentioned here, you can expect this one to be completely weatherproof. The LED bulbs are also rated for no less than 25,000 hours of use. All in all, this is a great product to get for almost any smart outdoor lighting setup.
5. Creative Smart Lighting
If you want to add your own touch and be more creative with your smart outdoor lighting setup, you might want to consider these options to spice up your garden’s look at night.
Fule Outdoor LED String Lights
These string lights already come with 24 hanging sockets. You’ll get 27 bulbs, meaning that you can have 3 spare ones in case some bulbs go out.
It also comes with its own free companion app, which will allow you to remotely control the lights without the need for a smart home hub.
Dulees LED Strip Lights
If you want something to use during parties or other special occasions, then you might want to consider getting Duleed LED Strip Lights.
You’ll be getting 33 feet of thin LED strips along with an IR controller, which will allow you to configure things remotely.
Unfortunately, you only have access to 12 colors. However, you have 4 modes to choose from, which are strobe, smooth, fade, and flash, which should amount to a good number of different combinations.
To wrap things up, there is no “best” way to set up your own smart outdoor lighting system. However, we’ve tried our best to provide you with the best options that allow you to customize things to your heart’s content and add your own personal touch at the end.