Top picks for smart lighting

Top picks for smart lighting

Smart lighting can make your holiday decorating easier. Today on CTV Tech Talk I showed a selection of smart lighting:

techtalkdecember ErinLYYC lighting holiday auroraPlaybulb String Christmas Lights

img_7537-1These smart LED light strings give you smart functionality via a Bluetooth connection; you can turn them on or off with your smartphone, adjust colour to dozens of different subtler hues, you can set timers, or use a handful of special effects, all automatically. They’re great for a Christmas tree since you can control them without having to tip over the tree reaching for the plug.

Playbulb string is easy to usemipow christmas

I’m a fan of the Playbulb line of  lighting devices because they’re dead simple to use; plug them in, and check the app.  They’re likely already connected and show up in your app, but without all the fidgety set-up and configuration many other ‘smart’ lights require. You could even give these to older parents who aren’t super tech savvy, and they’ll be able to operate them easily  — and without crisis phones calls to you for tech support! Read all about the String lights here.

Playbulb Zoocoro lamp/nightlight/speaker

Playbulb Zoocoro lights are small plastic lamps that are rechargeable, and can be used while plugged in, or away from their charging base to supply light anywhere you need it.

img_6235The array of cute animal shapes includes a bear, a duck, an airplane (called Airwhale), bunny and a pig. (Read the full review here)

Easy to use with Playbulb app

These lamps connect to the Mipow Playbulb App so that you can control and change the lights from anywhere in your home. You can also adjust the colour at the touch of a button; providing a delightful warm glow for cool evenings, or a cooler colourful hue for those hot nights. You can also manage multiple lamps from the same app.

Nanoleaf Aurora flat light panelnanoleaf-aurora, ErinLYYC lighting holiday

This stunning visual light-art kit has endless uses. The Aurora was easy to use and  really fun. Playing with the colours and the animations, using it to change up the colour in a room or the feel in my home was really enjoyable. There’s a nearly endless list of colours you can get it to display, and even when it comes to whites, you can provide a warmer white light, or a cooler one, depending on your needs and preferences. Read more about the Nanoleaf Aurora here. The Aurora is available only at Best Buy or via Nanoleaf.

Philips Hue Starter kit

Philips has recently announced several new products and accessories in its smart lighting kit lineup called Hue. The starter kit is the best way to get an array of lights and the Hub you need to connect these lights (or any others in the Hue line) to your home’s Wi-Fi.

Philips Hue Lightstrip

hue-1Philips Hue Lightstrip plus is a flexible length of LED lighting. It will display both white or coloured light in just about any situation you could imagine. The light strip plus is completely bendable, so it can wrap around anything from a mirror frame, to a window, a headboard, or even your television, or as we saw on Tech Talk, you can use it to create a lantern or centerpiece.

Philips Hue Motion sensorimg_5896

Want to make your Christmas morning more magical? Use the optional motion sensor with Hue so that when the kids wake and head for the tree, the motion sensor automatically turns on the lights with a soft Christmas-y glow.

The sensors have a great range, and can see about 100° in all directions. Indeed, I have the sensor in my dining room, with a direct line to a hallway about 18 feet away, and when I walk past, it’s still able to see me.  The lights fade on in less than a second; there’s really no lag from detected motion to lights-up.  I was actually quite impressed with the responsiveness.

Philips Hue Go wireless lamphue-go-4

The wireless colour-changing Philips Hue Go lamp is a great way to bring tech to your holiday table.

The Go lamp has the ability to transform; it will push out enough light to make it task worthy or you can dim it for a more subtle background effect.

Using the app you can adjust colour, brightness and intensity all at a touch, making it easy to match the lamp to your holiday table colours.

Read more about the Philips Hue line here. Philips Hue is available at Best Buy and London Drugs.

Tech Talk CONTEST  Winner – Congratulations to Ryan Shanks of Calgary, winner of the Philips Hue White & Colour Ambiance Starter Kit!

Erin L

I'm a journalist, tech blogger, writer, TV producer, silversmith& jewelry designer, foodie and world traveler. I blog, write for publications, and supply freelance writing services to Calgary, and the world.


  1. Karen on December 6, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Hi Erin! Love your Morning Segments of Tech Talk! Lots to cool stuff.

    Keyword: Phillips

  2. Wendy Griffiths on December 6, 2016 at 8:59 am

    I saw you on CTV Live this morning and I have to say, the lighting you showed was fun and amazing for Christmas. I am going today to search for some of them for Christmas decorating and gifts. Thank you for your innovative ideas.

  3. Nathan Wieler on December 6, 2016 at 9:01 am

    I love your segments on Morning Live! Always has me adding things to my Want List.

    Keyword: Philips

  4. Belkis Scott-Brown on December 6, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Philips all has the latest technology and very modern. That could be a perfect gift.

    Keyword: Philips

  5. Erica Lister on December 6, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Lots of great Christmas Gift ideas this morning! Philips 🙂

  6. Trish Stiles on December 6, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Love all the lights today!

  7. Ed Shearer on December 6, 2016 at 9:13 am

    I’ve got this on my list for gifts. Love it.

  8. Edwin on December 6, 2016 at 9:15 am

    I’ve got this on my list for gifts. Love it.

  9. Dianne on December 6, 2016 at 9:16 am

    I’ve got this on my list for gifts. Love it.

  10. Michael Brown on December 6, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Great segment! Love to see tech become more a part of the holidays! Especially the Philips glow lamp!

  11. Chris on December 6, 2016 at 9:18 am

    I’ve got this on my list for gifts. Love it.

  12. Barb Evans on December 6, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Love all the ideas you had today

  13. Lisa Pitts on December 6, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Love the Hue lights featured on this mornings Tech Talk…..great idea for so many applications. Speaking of applications….wow there’s an App for these as well. Love the lights. Thanks Erin !
    & keyword “PHILIPS ” ♡♡♡

  14. BJ Paisley on December 6, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Love the Philips lightstrip plus – so many uses – colourful to boot !
    I trust android app works as well as IOS ?

  15. Laurie R. on December 6, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Would love to win the Philips starter set!

  16. Susan on December 6, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Hey there Erin!
    Keyword: Phillips
    That was a pretty slick segment, good info!

  17. Helen Hagel on December 6, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Hi Erin, great segment this morning. Loved all the items.
    Keyword: Philips

  18. Doran C on December 6, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    As always, great segment with lots of ideas for gifts. I always look forward to your segment as it is always informative and entertaining.
    Keyword: Phillips.

  19. Joseph on December 6, 2016 at 6:15 pm


  20. Maritess on December 7, 2016 at 8:23 am

    I always love your reviews. Can you feature last minute tech gifts that are affordable? I would love to win this “PHILIPS” Hue White & Colour Ambiance Starter Kit!

    • Erin L on December 7, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      Great idea for a blog post. I’ll see what I can dig up!

  21. Felipe Raven on December 8, 2016 at 8:37 am

    During this holidays this Phillips lights will warm my home.
    Keyword: Philips