Cheap and easy smart home night light guide


Night lights are a sure way to help your children sleep well at night. They are also a way to introduce your family to a smart home. If you’re looking to get a good night’s sleep and integrate a few smart gadgets into your home, this cheap and easy smart home night light guide is just the place to start.

Smart lighting is the most mature of current smart home technologies and also one of the most flexible. We talk about Philips Hue a lot here on Tom’s Guide. That isn’t because we have a vested interest but because the product is the most accomplished and the most polished. There are other smart lights on the market though and some are advancing very fast.

What do you need for your smart home night lights?
Most smart lights will come as individual items and as starter kits. Our current favorite, the Philips Hue has a starter kit that includes a couple of bulbs and the Hue Bridge which you need to connect it to your Wi-Fi network. The kit costs around $200 right now but may be available cheaper in time.

Other manufacturers also manufacture smart light kits such as Belkin’s WeMo Insight Switch, LIFX Color 1000 kit, Elgato Evea, Xiaomi Yeelight and others. All have their own hardware or app to control color, hue, dimming and more.

Once you have your lights, you can leave them as a standalone system or integrate them with a smart home hub and motion sensors for automatic lighting and other smart trickery.

One neat smart home night light is the illumibowl. It attaches to the underside of a toilet seat and automatically lights when it senses someone approach. Better than going in the dark and certainly better than using the bathroom light in the early hours!

Setting up the smart home night lights
Setting up the smart lights is just a matter of replacing your existing bulbs with smart ones. If they use a hardware bridge and smartphone app, these will need to be set up too. You can then control the color, brightness, hue and more from your smartphone and tune it so your children get enough comfort without keeping them awake.

Should you wish to, you could integrate your smart night lights into a wider system with Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings or other smart home hub. You can then set the night lights on a timer to save electricity, add a motion sensor to automatically turn lights on low when the children’s bedroom door opens or automatically turn on the bathroom light at 25% when they open the bathroom door.

There is a lot you can do with smart home night lights. Keep it simple or automate everything. Much depends on what you want to achieve and how much you’re willing to spend. The technology is there if you want it!

Looking to set up more than just your night lights? Check my fast and easy Phillips Hue tutorial and my Phillips Hue Smarthub guide for a quick to connecting your Phillip Hue lights to your Smart Home.
 
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