Smart light bulbs are here to stay with the likes of Philips Hue, LIFX, Koogeek, and more all vying for your dollars and attention. There’s more to them smart apps and the novelty of voice control. We’ve rounded up several things you should be using your smart bulbs for (but probably aren’t) to help you get the most from your bulbs.
While there are many different smart bulbs on the market, we’ve built our roundup around the Philips Hue platform. Since its initial release in 2012, Philips Hue has firmly established itself as the leading smart bulb platform with easy to configure and use hardware, good software, and loads of excellent support.
Hue also happily integrates with services like Apple HomeKit, Alexa, and IFTTT. It’s the most versatile option on the market with a fairly reasonable price. With that in mind we’re focusing on what can be accomplished with a Philips Hue starter pack—that doesn’t mean you can’t do all of these things with other platforms but it’s certainly easier with Hue.
Hue bulbs in hand, here’s a roundup of 7 simple but useful ways in which you can use your smart light bulbs to make your setup even better than before.
Change Up The Colors to Suit Your Aesthetic
“Guys” you might say “Duh. That’s why I bought the Hue kit… ’cause they change colors.” Not so fast. Most people get the Hue bulbs, play with the colors a bit, and then fall into a rut of just using their super awesome and super premium bulbs like remote control regular bulbs.
Dig into your Hue app and play around again. Create scenes for different moons. One great use is to change the color in a room to set off a particular piece of furniture, or simply express your feelings on the time of year. Just because Valentine’s day has come and gone doesn’t mean you can’t set the mood with your smart bulbs—with the bulbs you can go for pure red light district or warm candle light. Come Christmas, you could turn your bulbs into Christmas decorations, lighting up red and green at key times. A more autumnal orange is always a possibility too. Think outside the box and remember these are more than just regular light bulbs. Whatever you decide to do with them, just don’t fall into the trap of buying cool bulbs, playing with the color wheel app for a few minutes, and returning to a life of mundane cool white lighting.
Get Up Easier and Fall Asleep More Comfortably
If you’re a heavy sleeper or find it’s tough to get out of bed in the dead of winter when every day seems dark and gloomy, you should absolutely start using your Hue bulbs as a sunrise simulating alarm clock. Through a Philips Hue routine formula, you can set up your lights so that they automatically fade in every morning to help you rise and shine (even if the actual rise and shining won’t happen for another hour). On the tail end of the day you can use a similar routine to fade out at night, bathing your room in a soothing dim light that eventually winks out as you drift off to sleep.
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