MGE Energy Lab: Smart Lighting Explained
A variety of smart devices for lighting can make home automation easy and affordable.
Home automation can save you time, energy or both. The latest smart bulbs, plugs and apps allow you to control your household lighting from almost anywhere! We took two devices to our Energy Lab to see how they worked—a smart bulb and a smart outlet. Watch our video below to see them in action and to see if smart devices may be right for your home.
Smart bulbs replace your current bulbs, which means they can be placed in any fixture. The smart, energy-efficient LED bulbs connect to your home's Wi-Fi network, allowing you to control the light from an app from anywhere you have Internet access.
A lighting app can control the color and brightness of your smart bulbs. It also allows you to group smart bulbs. For example, if you have more than one bulb, you can turn off entire rooms or even your whole home with one tap.
Smart bulbs also have dimming capabilities, allowing you to set a scene regardless of whether you have a dimmer on the wall.
If you don't want to replace all of your current bulbs with smart bulbs, perhaps a smart outlet or switch is the energy-saving option that's right for you. Smart outlets also use WI-FI to allow you to control lighting through an app on your phone or mobile device. The outlet in our video also shows energy usage in real time through the app. And, if you want to turn on lights at sundown or before you arrive home from work, you can set a schedule.
For more on LED lighting from our Energy Lab, check out the series on YouTube or below.