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Smart lights

ProjectPete
Trusted Contributor

Smart lights

SmartLight.pngGreat to see Bunnings stocking a range of smart lights. They're a great solution to avoid having to install new light switches, chase walls, etc.

 

I'm going to install some pendant lights in my Master on each side of our bed. We want the switches to also be at our bedside but to do this normally would require chasing the walls to install the new switches. These smart lights mean we just need to install the pendant lights with necessary wiring in roof space, then control the lights form our phones or the optional remote control. Love it!

 

Has anyone used these yet? Thoughts/experience?

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Handy and helpful
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MrFreeze
New Contributor

Re: Smart lights

As someone who works in the AV industry and programs automation systems nothing beats the old on off switch and a hand held remote for that matter.

While the idea is great, in practice it can be a pain at times, but then maybe I'm old fashioned :laugh:

 

My daughter and I recently renovated her bedroom and installed a smart light with tuneable white feature which admittedly is quit good.  

I was reinstalling my daughters bedroom door yesterday and forgot to turn the light on so both there holding the door and I commented would be handy to be able to turn the light on with the switch which she immediatly replied yes.

She had to find her phone and turn it on when in the old fashioned way we could have just reached over and flicked the switch.

Actually we could have done this but the light takes up to 5 minutes or more to reconnect to the Wi-Fi when powered off, this might also be caused by low Wi-Fi signal which is a problem to be aware of.

 

Wi-Fi signals are weakened by passing through walls, glass etc. and when you are diagonally from the Wi-Fi access point / modem the signal drop is to a factor of 10 I believe.

So having strong and even coverage is important when looking at smart lights that will connect to the Wi-Fi.

 

Hopefully I have not rambled on too much :smile:

 

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Walter
Moderator
Moderator

Re: Smart lights

Welcome to the community @MrFreeze 

 

Good points you make.

 

I've been a smart home advocate for a long time, and my wife has now gotten used to it, and talks to the (Google) speakers and hub.

 

I've been advocating it as "helpful home" to seniors for some time (example: smart light with speaker, aged person wanting to get up to go to the toilet without stumbling can have the light come on with a simple command), and have been helping some seniors with a beta version of a health/safety monitoring rollout.

 

@ProjectPete  I  use LIFX lights throughout the house. I love them.  Telling the system I want to watch Netflix sets the lights to a "movie mode" I have personalised, then starts Netflix.  It impresses the relatives 😁

 

Whichever solution you buy, it's not a lot of effort to set them up, and you will find that you will play around with them early on because of the novelty, and then just get used to issuing verbal commands, if you add them to a smart home solution.

 

I also find that since the smart lights are tunable, and LED, our electricity bill has gone down, even with the price increases, and with the plugs, I can monitor the energy usage.

 

We have many smart lights, including a Bunnings bought Swann smart floodlight and camera,** a mixture of smart plugs and speakers in most parts of the house.  It's funny when I announce I'm home, and the speakers all play a trumpet fanfare and say "Wally's home"  A bit of nonsense but funny.  We mostly use the speakers/hub to get answers to questions, and my daily updates/agenda, but also for streaming music/news in each or whatever rooms we are in.

 

You are right about rec-connection.  Last year when the power went out for maintenance purposes, i had to resynch ALL of the devices  (I have a mixture of makes so that's something I'l have to address.

 

I'm looking now at a smart doorbell/camera (and my wife actually said I can buy another smart floodlight for the back porch!).

 

** a couple of days ago, we had microbats flying around the porch setting the lights off, and the camera recorded them

 

 

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Jason
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Smart lights

Let me also extend a very warm welcome to the community @MrFreeze. Feel free to "ramble" anytime - it sounds like you have got a lot of experience and knowledge to share with the community, who I'm sure will be appreciative of your time and input. We trust you'll also get some helpful advice and inspiration for your projects in return. 

 

Please let me know if you ever need a hand getting the most from the site, or have any feedback about how we can improve Workshop for you.

 

Thanks for joining in the discussion,

 

Jason

 

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Chook71
New Contributor

Re: Smart lights

I was converted to "Smart" devices a couple of years ago.

 

For my birthday a few years back my family bought me a Google Home mini bundle that came with a smart plug. The idea at the time was to use it to turn the Xmas tree lights on and off instead of having to get in strange yoga positions to try and turn the switch off. To say it work well is an understatement. You could turn the lights on or off with your phone, with your voice or as we ended up doing scheduling times for it to come on and turn off. 

 

Once Xmas was over we moved the plug to the bathroom and my wife hair straightener. No more getting half way up the street and "oh did I leave the hair straightener on" 

 

The first smart light we got was for the front door. Again we scheduled this to come on at a specific time each day and stay on for 2 hours. 

 

We have since change pretty much every bulb inside and out over to smart bulbs and are slowly changing most of the plugs as well. Lights are now secheduled to come on at sunset or when motion is detected etc.. No more kids leaving lights on all day etc.  

 

One thing I will add is I have also found another app to use to set these devices up. Smart Life.. It works with pretty much most Tuya based smart devices. So far I have it working with the following brands of smart devices: 

 

Grid Connect

Lenovo

Mirabella Genio (Kmart) 

 

It means that you are not tied to a single company and their smart app if you don't use Google or Alexa. 

 

While I have no figures to support this I'm confinced these devices have also saved us money on reduced power bills. The best example I can use is the front light. Before it was a smart light if we were going out in the afternoon to see friends and wouldn't be home until late that night the front door light would be on the entire time we were away. No we can turn it on from the car (using Siri) as we drive down the street.. 

 

Not to mention those of us with kids know they love to turn every light on in the house and then go out.. 

 

While some things are still a little hit and miss and yes you need a decent wifi (2.4ghz) connection I for one will never be going back to dumb lights or plugs 

 

 
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Jason
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Smart lights

Many thanks for joining in the discussion and sharing your experiences @Chook71. I'm sure the community will find your post to be valuable.

 

Let me also extend a very warm welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. It's fantastic to have you join us.

 

We are looking forward to reading more about your projects and plans. Please don't hesitate to post anytime you have something to share with the community or need a hand with a project around the house and garden. We have clever and creative members like yourself sharing advice and inspiration on the site every day.

 

Jason

 

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Chook71
New Contributor

Re: Smart lights

Ok I have a questions I'm hoping someone here can answer.

I have just gone and purchased a Deta Grid Connect Smart 18W 1900lm Daylight T8 Tube from my local bunnings to install in my kitchen.. 

 

When I have taken the cover off the light it doesn't have a standard fluorescent starter but has a ballast instead.. 

 

My understanding is you would replace the starter with the fuse that comes with the kit. As there is no start is there anyway I can install this? 

 

I have a feeling I already know the answer 

 

 
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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Smart lights

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @Chook71. It's great to have you join us and many thanks for your question.

 

I've made contact with Deta, and unfortunately, that is the case. As this is a LED globe, it requires you to insert the LED starter included in the pack. I have heard of fluorescents that do not have a starter, but they are not very common, and I have never come across one. Are you sure the starter is not hidden behind the globe after removing it or sitting flush with the chassis on the exterior of it? Sometimes they are quite hard to find.

 

Mitchell

 

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Chook71
New Contributor

Re: Smart lights

Thanks @MitchellMc 

 

Unfortunately I removed the existing tub and and metal plate behind which is where I was expecting to find the starter but sadly there was a large

rectangular device that says Ballast like the below

 fluorescent-lamp-electronic-ballast.jpg

It's one of the last lights in the house I wanted to convert to a smart light 😞 Can't justify the expense of changing the entire unit over. 

 

I guess I'll have to return it.

 

I'll check what out Smart things I need around the house 😁

 

Thanks again for your prompt reply and assistance.

Thanks...Brad

 
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mhickey80
Regular Browser

Re: Smart lights

Yes these lights are very easy to install and setup using the LIFX app, which is compatible with Amazon Alexa as well.

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