Updated: Jul 19, 2020
This week is exciting as I'm going to be talking about mood lights, led strips, and more to really jazz up your home!
This is where smart turns fun. You need to add something to the room, make it unique, and scream you. Mood lighting is your answer, it will not only fill your room with colour but add style. There are a couple of companies that specialize in ambient lighting. I will list a few below.
Philips Hue - https://www.philips-hue.com/en-gb
Nanoleaf - https://bit.ly/39wOq7m
LIFX - https://www.lifx.com
Let's start with Philips hue. They are one of the oldest in the smart lighting game, so their products are very reliable and easy to use. If you want more info on the setup, look at the week one post.
The main lights I'm going to talk about from Philips are, LED strips, ambience and colour, and the Play bars.
Philips offers a 2 meter LED strip which can be extended to 10 meters. Starting at around £60 and the 1-meter extension for £25, the strip can produce 16 million colours and is perfect for accenting a room. I personally have 4 strips from Philips. One is placed behind the headboard, 2 for the kitchen, and one behind the living room tv stand. For the light strip to be most effective you want the light to be able to bounce off a wall of an object with the strip itself hidden. You can still place the strip in the open if you wish, but I personally find it ads better ambience and fades the colours more effectively. example below.
Philips bulbs now come in all variants including, filament, warm white, cool and warm tones, and ambience and colour. The white and colour ambience is the range you want to look at for creating a vibrant room. The bulbs have many fittings so they can fit most light fixtures and range in price usually starting around £45. I found Amazon black Friday sales is where you can pick up great bargains on the bulbs if you are looking to bulk buy. White and colour ambience offers the best experience as it produces the same 16 million colours as the light strip, including warm and cool whites while producing 806 lumens. These bulbs are most effective when place in a lamp or ceiling shade that will blur the colour. I will include some Ideas below.
Finally in the Hue category is the Hue play bars. Play bars are a great add on for any entertainment room. The play bars come in 2 colours, white and black, and start at around £129.99. They produce the same 16 million colours and work great behind a tv as they are meant to be hidden or facing a wall. Most users will have play bars for their Hue entertainment system. Hue Entertainment is where you use the Hue app to create a setup in, let us say the living room, placing the lights in the room as they are to the tv or computer. Then you can use the Philips sync app on a laptop or mac and connect to your display and have your lights display the colour of what's playing, the example below.
Now on to Nanoleaf. My favourite company when it comes to ambience. I currently have 2 Canvas setups in the living room and 1 Triangle light panel setups in my office. I reviewed a set of Hexagons which are a new shape they have recently released. I missed the first pre-order but was lucky enough to have a friend to let me review his while I wait for the next batch. Nanoleaf panels are easy to set up and look stunning in any set-up. Canvas and Hexagons offer touch control and built-in mics for music sync while the triangles offer music with an add on but no touch. I will show some examples below and some links to the panels so take a look.
LIFX is the last brand to talk about today! LIFX is newer to the game, but offer very similar products to Philips. They have colour bulbs and light strips, even light panels and a BEAM! Because I already talked about bulbs in the Philips section I will focus on LIFX LED strip, Panels, and BEAM. Firstly the LED strip is one of a kind and not a traditional one colour strip. LIFX offers addressable led strips which can display more than one colour at a time on a strip. They call it Polychrome technology, which means the light blends perfecting creating a one of a kind effect. I own 3 LIFX z strips and I've tried a cheaper alternative, so I can say LIFX really has perfected its technology and no one has come close. Again the strips are best suited to be hidden for the best results are look even more amazing with multicolour effects. Image below.
Next is LIFX Tile. When I say LIFX perfected colour blending they really showcased it in the Tile series. The pack comes with 5 tiles that connect similar to Nanoleaf, but they include 100s of LED inside a frosted square. This creates amazing effects and is one of a kind in smart lighting.
The LIFX beam works very similar to the tiles and includes 6 beams and a corner. You can add a total of 8 beams and again blurs the colour beautifully. The tiles start around £200 and the BEAM can be found for around £179.99.
Join next week for a new addition to 'Creating a Smart Home.' Let me know what you think and if this has helped you in any way let me know in the comments. Be sure to like and subscribe for weekly updates.