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"Alexa, turn on the lights." Questions & commands to ask about smart lighting

"Alexa, turn on the lights." Questions & commands to ask about smart lighting

Asking Alexa to change the color of a lamp from white to red is about as cool as it comes. And gosh, you can make a similar request to the Google Assistant and go from red to blue, or orange.Siri will dim the lights for you and, like the other personal assistants, turn the lights on and off, on command.Tracking light

Is it any wonder that smart lighting has become one of the most popular categories in the growing smart home space? Jiggling with your existing door lock and exchanging it for a smart model, or adding a new doorbell with a video camera can be a chore. Changing a lightbulb? Not so hard.

However, there are several key questions and concerns to ponder before diving into the world of smart lights.They're fun and convenient, both in using your voice to command the lights on and off, creating mood lighting and “scenes” like recessed color lighting while you’re watching TV. And you can set timers to have the lights turn on automatically from outside the home.

First, think long and hard about price. You can buy a two-pack of plain white 60W bulbs at Home Depot for under $10. Philips Hue, the top seller of smart lights, will sell you a 60-watt twofer for $30. Yes, the Hue lights, as well as others from Hive and Sengled, need to be connected to a "hub," which is an additional cost. A two-pack with the Hub from Philips costs around $100.

The benefit of a hub is it can do more elaborate setups, like mood lighting on movie night in the living room. The downside is it's yet another product asking to take up valuable real estate on your electrical strips. The plug on the Philips hub the company sent for review is so big it takes up two spots on the six plug strip, and it also has to be connected physically to the router. Do you have an open slot in your router to add the hub?

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