Light switches are stuck in the past — wireless lighting is the future. The goal of the latest wireless light brands is to create a system of lights throughout your house that you can turn on or off with the nearest mobile device — usually your tablet or smartphone.
7 Wireless Lighting Options For Your Home
No more walking across your home or getting out of bed to turn off a lamp or to make sure the backyard light is on with these latest inventions.
1. Philips Hue
Starting at $200, the Philips Hue package offers three wireless LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs for the average home. LED bulbs are famous for using very little energy and lasting for a very long time, at least when the quality is high. The “Hue” part of the name comes from the ability to customize the color of each light bulb, making them perfect for mood lighting and similar uses. Everything is easily controlled through the Hue app from your smartphone. Philips is one of the few companies that offers color-changing capabilities, so if you like this idea, take advantage of the package.
2. Connected by TCP
This wireless LED lighting kit has a long name, but it’s simple to install and gives you all the advantages that bright, energy-saving LED bulbs can offer. The kit is priced around $142 and includes a hub with three LED bulbs, plus a remote control. If you don’t feel like using the control, download the TCP app for Android and iOS and use its simple on/off tapping interface to control the lights. The TCP bulbs also get an extra advantage in their brightness: They outshine the similar Philips and Insteon packages.
3. Insteon LED Bulbs
Insteon has whole shelves of smart home products, but their remote control bulbs stand out as one of the better wireless lighting options on the market. The company, like Philips, offers LED bulbs, but without the color-changing option. Instead, their bulbs try to match natural light as closely as possible and allow for easy dimming through the smartphone app. A notably handy feature is the two different kinds of bulbs that Insteon has, a typical lamp bulb and a larger version for recessed or overhead lighting. The first costs $30 and the second costs $50.
4. Plum Lightpad
The Plum Lightpad is, at first glance, not quite a wireless lighting system. After all, it uses a “Lightpad” or a sort of touchscreen in the place of light switches that you can use to control dimmable bulbs (incandescent, CFL, fluorescent, LED) all throughout your house, but it isn’t exactly mobile. However, alongside Lightpad, Plum also offers a mobile app that provides the same kind of controls over your smartphone. Pick a room, pick a light, then choose what brightness you want – from anywhere. Plum is currently taking preorders for its devices (which also include smart plugs for lamps) and all products are around $90 each.
5. GE Wireless Lighting Control
GE offers a Z-Wave option for wireless light bulb control. Using the GE remote app (or GE switch, or a Z-Wave — there are actually plenty of options here) you can control groups of lights or each light, one by one. However, you need to buy enabled outlets for each new light you want to control. No special bulbs are needed, but every piece of equipment here costs around $50, so it’s a little pricier than some of the other options. On the plus side, you can buy outdoor wireless control devices with this system.
6. Scenex Lighting by GLP US
This system is a bit of an outlier: If you are looking for a more professional solution to create and control light shows wirelessly, this is your bet. After all, not everyone wants a house-based lamp system — some people are looking for DIY stage or concert lighting instead. For these more professional options, the Scenex Lighting brand offers AirDMX, which allows you to program and control lighting or light shows through an iPad.
7. Belkin’s Wemo System
Belkin’s Wemo products are, much like Insteon’s, applicable to a wide variety of home automation projects. However, one of their popular products is the Wemo Switch, which can be installed on pretty much any light inside or outside your house. You can tap the switch to turn it on or off, or you can choose to use the Wemo app and control the lights remotely as you please. The switches and related devices typically cost around $50 each, but they are ultra-customizable and ideal if you only have a few lights you want to control wirelessly.
If these wireless lighting options intrigue you, maybe you’re ready to do some more home automation at your house.
Photo Credit: Marlon E