Long gone are the days of closing your front door and going away for the weekend without a care in the world. Making sure that our homes are protected is a major worry, especially if you are not at home for any length of time. And home security is getting so much more hi-tech, turning our homes into smart homes.
One of the cheapest and easiest way to start adding smart tech to your home that can help with home security and even help to save energy and money is to install smart light bulbs.
Smart lights bulbs offer more interactive control over traditional bulbs, they can do so much more than just turning on or off. Smart bulbs allow to set scheduled timers, change brightness levels and even set scenes to have flickering lights, strobe effects, or make the lights dance to the beat of music. They’re also more convenient; too lazy to get up and turn on/off the light? Open the app on your smartphone and do it from there. Or if you use a LIFX Smart Light Bulb, integrate it with a voice assistant/smart speaker such as Amazon Alexa, Hey Google or Apple HomeKit and tell it to turn the light on or off.
I recently purchased a LIFX White Smart Light Bulb – it is available in bayonet (B22) or screw (E27) cap. It is an 800 Lumens (equivalent to a 60 watt Incandescent bulb), Wi-Fi-enabled, LED light bulb in warm white and can be controlled from anywhere using the app.
It is fitted just like a standard light bulb, I won’t do any ‘How many (insert your own term here) does it take to change a light bulb?’ jokes, you’re probably already working on your own ones. It turns on and off using the wall switch just like a standard light bulb but download the app (available for Android and iOS), connect it to your home wi-fi network and it becomes a smart light bulb with lots of functionality.
Once the bulb is installed it needs connecting to the app and your home internet router (no bridge is required). This is straightforward and I easily managed it without any issues, although the neighbours probably wondered why my light was flickering on and off. Once it is connected you leave the wall switch in the on position and let the app (or in my case, Alexa) do all the work.
The LIFX Wi-Fi-enabled smart bulb features wake up schedules to slowly turn the light on and bring up to brightness, gently waking you up in the morning, adjustable brightness levels, group functionality to work in conjunction with other bulbs, daily scheduling so you can set the light to turn on/off at different times for when you are not at home to make it look like you are (each day can be set differently so a routine cannot be established), scenes to makes light flicker, dim and dance to music and manual app control so that you can turn lights on/off whenever you like or adjust any schedules and settings.
As a home security device, it is excellent. You can easily set up schedules to turn the light on and off at times you set for when you are not at home. These schedules also allow you to set different brightness levels for different times should you want it. This enables you to set a 7 day schedule, make sure that the times are not the same for every day so that a pattern cannot be established as that could allow people to know that the light is on a timer, mix it up and change weekly. You can also use the app to turn on/off the light manually whenever you choose, and from anywhere in the world (as long as you are connected to the internet).
As a smart bulb, whilst I am at home it is fantastic. You can set wake up schedules so if you get up at the same time every day you can set it so the light turns on in a low light and slowly increase, waking you up gently. You can set different scenes for dinner time, watching television and any other situations you need to create mood lighting for. My favourite though is just telling Alexa to turn the light on or off. I have the light bulb in the bedroom so when I wake up in the morning I just have to say “Alexa, turn on the light” or “Alexa, turn on the light at 20%) and a second later the light is on (you can also ask it to dim or raise the brightness level, e.g., “Alexa, set brightness to 50%”) – and I haven’t needed to get out of bed! I love being able to control the light hands free and remotely (it also works with Hey Google and Apple HomeKit, not just Amazon Alexa).
As a low energy LED bulb (8.5w) it is also more energy efficient than a standard bulb (an LED bulb can last up to 25,000 hours, or 22.8 years) and can help you can save money by easily lowering the brightness levels, settings timers to come on and turn off and be able to turn the light off when you are out if you forgot to do it before you left home (no need to waste expensive electricity).
A smart bulb is more expensive than a standard LED or traditional light bulb, but the LEDs will last a lot longer, making it more cost effective, and the functionality can not only help you save money, make life a bit easier with voice and app control, but they also make cheap and cost-effective devices to help boost your home security. You may choose to replace all the bulbs in the house with smart bulbs to have complete control or just put them in certain main rooms or entrances, whatever way you choose, I think they are worth the investment.
I love being able to set schedules for the lights when I am away from home and give the impression that someone is at home, and I can easily adjust these or manually control the lights from my phone. Also, I don’t have to walk into a dark home – I can turn the lights on from the train!
I think the LIFX is good quality, easy to pair to my home internet and phone and the app is easy to use. And I absolutely love the voice commands with Alexa, no need to get out of bed to turn the light on or off, lazy I know but I don’t care, I love it!
The LIFX Smart Light Bulb is a great addition to any home security measures that you already have in your home.
RRP: £14.99 (Single Pack) / £27.99 (Dual Pack)
Available to buy from Amazon here.
Disclosure: All thoughts and opinions are my own. This review uses an affiliate link which I may receive a small commission from if you purchase through the link.