Smart lighting: Five recommendations: For many people, smart lighting is the first step towards a smart home. Well-known brands such as Philips Hue or IKEA Trådfri are known to many people, but what about all those other brands? Which brand is best to start with? In this article, we give you five recommendations in the field of smart lighting.
Smart lighting: Wifi and Zigbee
The two most used protocols in the field of smart lighting are ZigBee and wifi, while also Z-Wave is a possibility. You use ZigBee and Z-Wave with a hub or bridge. You connect this to your router and in fact create a separate network with which these products can communicate with each other. Products that use the WiFi protocol do not need a hub or bridge. You connect this directly to your WiFi network. The latter option seems the easiest, but remember that everything will be lumped together with your smartphones, tablets, laptops and all other products that use Wi-Fi. That does not always work smoothly.
If you buy a smart lamp from Philips Hue (ZigBee), a lamp from LSC Smart Connect (WiFi) and then a Zipato lamp (Z-Wave), you will undoubtedly already see the problem. That does not work. Or at least not basically. In many cases it is possible to get it working together again via an overarching platform or system, but that is not something to try immediately if you start with smart lighting in the home. So if you are looking for smart lighting for the home, choose products that initially belong to the same protocol.
Below we give you five recommendations in the field of smart lighting. Our recommendations are not only good for taking your first steps in a smart home, but also for further expanding your existing collection.
If you think of smart lighting, you will soon end up at Philips Hue. The first generation appeared more than eight years ago. Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) has therefore built up a huge lead over the competition with smart lamps in all sizes and colors, complete fixtures, garden lighting and more. Whatever fitting you are looking for a lamp, you will find it in the Philips Hue range. From White and White Ambiance to White and Color.
Philips Hue uses the Zigbee protocol. You get the Hue Bridge with the purchase of the starter package. The latest generation of lamps also uses Bluetooth. This means that the bridge is no longer necessary, but you will miss more advanced functions. Philips Hue is also compatible with Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT and much more. That makes it a versatile choice.
Philips Hue is often accused of being quite expensive. And that’s right, especially when compared to the competition. You can sometimes buy ten smart color lamps from another brand compared to one color lamp from Philips Hue. Yet the quality of this brand is beyond dispute. Few other brands come close to Philips Hue when it comes to light, color and the convenience of the Philips Hue app. Do you want to know what Philips Hue has in its range? Last year we have one extensive overview made.
The Swedish furniture giant also has its own smarthome series, with the IKEA Trådfri lamps undoubtedly the most popular. IKEA has its own starter pack with lamps, a remote control and the Trådfri hub. This hub also works via Zigbee, which means that it is interchangeable with other brands that use Zigbee, such as the Philips Hue mentioned above.
IKEA has a wide range of different lamps in its range. From spots to E27 and E14. In addition, IKEA also has other smart products in its range, from the popular ones smart roller blinds to Symphonic speakers made in collaboration with Sonos. This ensures that IKEA Trådfri can serve as a basis for the start of your smart home.
Tuya WiFi lamps from Action, Kruidvat, HEMA
In all the violence of the smart collections of various retail chains, we cannot escape naming these series. It all started last year with the launch of LSC Smart Connect from retail chain Action. This year, HEMA and Kruidvat were added. The smart lighting of these stores works via Tuya and the WiFi protocol. Lidl has also put a collection in the shops, but is the odd one out. Lidl supports the ZigBee protocol.
You do not need a hub for the collections of Action, HEMA and Kruidvat. You can install these lamps directly on your WiFi router. And the collections are quite large with white and color lamps with large fitting, small fitting and spotlights. You will also find filament lamps, LED strips and various other types of smart products here.
The big advantage of these collections is that the lamps are very affordable. You can buy a smart lamp at some of these stores from 5 euros. The downside is the Wi-Fi protocol, so it’s not a good idea to choose these bulbs if you want to replace all the lighting in the entire house. You can read the how and why Round-up: smart home from Action, Kruidvat, HEMA and Lidl.
Smart lamps are of course nice, but what if you really want something different? Then take a look at Nanoleaf. This manufacturer makes LED panels in various shapes and sizes. With a starter package you can choose from square panels (Canvas), but also triangles (Aurora) or hexagons. You can, as it were, puzzle these together yourself to create a design that really suits you. The accompanying app lets you choose the colors and patterns yourself and you can even have the panels color along to the beat of music. Are you looking for a nice show on your PC screen? Then use the Screen Mirror option and the panels color with the action on the screen.
In terms of light output, you should not expect too much from the Nanoleaf panels, but it is nice to get started with a design yourself. You can create scenes yourself or download scenes from other users via the app. Moreover, it is a cheerful whole on the wall and perfect to provide your home with more color. In our opinion, such a self-made work of art on the wall is highly recommended in the field of smart lighting, although these panels from Nanoleaf are not cheap.
Mutual compatibility is of course one thing, but actually connecting Philips Hue with IKEA (or vice versa) is still a fairly difficult process, even though they both use the ZigBee protocol. In that case, AduroSmart ERIA is a solution, because the compatibility can be controlled directly from the app. When you add a lamp you can simply choose which brand. This way you don’t have to hassle with setting up manual connections between lamps and a bridge.
AduroSmart ERIA works together with a wide range of various brands that can be selected directly from the app. In addition, voice assistants such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and IFTTT are also supported. In addition, the basis for this brand is also just good. The lamps can compete with the lamps of Philips Hue in terms of colors and you can expand your collection with products in the field of security & surveillance and smart plugs.