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:
These 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.
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.
The 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.
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
Philips 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.
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.
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.