Indoor lighting selection guide

Lamps, fittings, colours, rooms, brands, and other lighting needs. There are a lot of choices when talking about smart lighting, so it can be hard to know where to start. Our selection guide will help you through the process. Already got it figured out? Then take a look at all our smart lighting.

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Smart Lighting Selection Guide

Whether you want to start with smart lighting or expand your smart lighting, it’s not always easy to choose the right product. Which lamps are you going for? Where do you place the lamps? Do they work with your existing smart lighting? These are all things that you should consider when shopping for smart lighting.

This guide will help you make the right choice based on the different characteristics between smart lighting products.

Where do you start?

First of all, it is important to determine which type of lighting you need and where you will place your smart bulbs. Creating a lighting plan is an important step. Make a map of your space and indicate what sort of lighting you want where. This gives you a great starting point!

1. Functional or mood lighting?

There are different purposes for lighting. Generally, you can divide lighting into two categories: mood lighting and functional lighting.

Mood lighting

It’s already in the name, but this type of lighting is there to create atmosphere, especially in places like the living room and bedroom. Dimmed light with a warm colour is ideal for this. You can also opt for more unique lighting with integrated LED lamps. These are lamps that stand alone and can be placed anywhere in the house for a little extra atmosphere. Think of Philips Hue Iris or the MiPow Playbulb.

Functional lighting

This is lighting that helps you perform a certain task, for instance, cooking or hobbies. For this you need sufficient, bright light - preferably clear, white lighting. Not cosy light, but functional!

2. Choose the correct fitting

If you are going to replace existing bulbs, they usually have an E27 or E24 fitting. Smart bulbs are also available with these fittings. Do you have spot lights? Even then you can apply smart lighting! Please note, however, that the Philips Hue GU10 spotlight does not have the standard height of a traditional GU10 spotlight. A traditional spotlight is normally is 4-5 centimetres high, but Hue's is 7 centimetres high. Be sure to check the size of your fixture!

TIP: are you planning a drop ceiling with smart recessed spots? Make sure to leave 10 centimetres of space, so that your fixture and smart GU10 bulbs fit into it.

Lamps

3. Colour, White, or White Ambiance?

There are generally three types of smart bulbs. With Colour (RGB) bulbs you can choose from 16 million colours, including different white temperatures. You can choose from warm reds and oranges for a cosy atmosphere, cool blues and greens to relax, and everything in between! Colour lighting is not just lighting, it can also have positive effects on body and mind!

Read more: Coloured lighting at home: more than just ambiance!

White vs. White Ambiance

These are terms that you see a lot in smart lighting. White means that the lamp can only produce one temperature of white light, like a traditional bulb. Also like traditional bulbs, these usually lean towards a warmer white colour. These bulbs are dimmable, so you can brighten them for productivity or dim them for relaxation.

White Ambiance means that the bulb can produce different temperatures of white light. These are colours that vary from cool, blue-leaning light to warm, nearly-orange light and everything in between. These bulbs are also dimmable. These lamps give you a lot more freedom in choosing the ideal light for the activity.

Colour (RGB) bulbs can also produce all of the white colour temperatures that a White Ambiance bulb can. They are slightly more expensive, so it pays to know exactly where you want the option of coloured lighting so you get the most bang for your buck. Coloured RGB bulbs are ideal for bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms, while White Ambiance bulbs are often used in bathrooms and hallways.

4. Wi-Fi bulbs or bulbs with a bridge/control station?

Many smart lights use the ZigBee communication protocol. This is one of the languages that smart home devices use to communicate with each other. Devices that use ZigBee require a bridge or control station that connect the devices to your WiFi network, allowing you in turn to control the devices via an app. Philips Hue, Innr, and Trust all use the ZigBee protocol and therefore require a bridge or base station.

Note: ZigBee bulbs will still function like a traditional lightbulb when not connected to a bridge or control station. You will still be able to turn them on and off, but won’t be able to adjust the colour or brightness. This way, an Internet outage won’t leave you in the dark.

Read more: What is ZigBee?

There are also bulbs that don’t require a bridge or control station, because they connect directly to your WiFi network. myStrom bulbs use WiFi and therefore do not require a bridge.

5. Which brand should you choose?

The best-known name in smart lighting is Philips Hue. They were one of the first to work on this concept and are currently the most advanced. Since then, numerous brands have joined. See the smart lighting brands that we carry below. We are always expanding our assortment!

     

We can’t decide which brand is best for you. What we can tell is that there is a difference in the display of colours and the quality of the lighting.

Read more: Which smart lighting suits me best?

You also need to pay attention to which brands are compatible with one another. There are, for example, several brands that you can use with the Philips Hue Bridge, and therefore control via the Hue app. Innr and Trust are both compatible with Philips Hue.

There can be quite a difference in price between the brands. Philips Hue is the forerunner of smart lighting. They have also made the app the most comprehensive and user-friendly. This makes them one of the more expensive brands, but also one of the highest quality.

Note: We do not recommend combining different brands within one room. Because they can render colours differently, this may result in inconsistent lighting.

6. Do you want to link your lighting to your entertainment?

If you want your lights to react to your TV, movies, music, or games, we recommend Philips Hue. They have developed Hue Sync, which makes it possible to let your lighting colour with your laptop, TV, or even games. Think of it as Ambilight, but then through all your room!

Read more: Light as an Experience

7. Expand your smart lighting

Already have some smart lighting in your home? You can easily expand your system. The first rule is: pay attention to which communication protocol you’re already using. Do you have ZigBee lamps in your home? Then, make sure your new lighting also uses ZigBee so they can be controlled together with the same bridge or control station. Many brands indicate which other lighting systems they are compatible with.

You can also automate your smart lighting with contact and motion sensors. These control your lights when they are activated by movement or breaking contact.

For example, hang a motion sensor in your hallway that triggers your staircase lights as you approach. You can customise it further by ensuring it’s only triggered after a certain time in the evening, for example.

You can automate your home even further by combining with your smart security camera or smart thermostat. Use a third-party automation system like IFTTT for even more options. The possibilities in a smart home are endless!

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