What is Smart Lighting: Everything You Need To Know

What is smart lighting and how does it work? Here’s a detailed guide to help you understand the basic components and benefits of these smart lighting fixtures. 


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With smart lighting, the lights adjust to your mood, serving your schedules and surroundings. From greeting you with bright shades to complimenting movie nights with warm yellow hues, smart lighting creates the perfect ambiance for every moment. Besides adapting to your lifestyle, these devices help you migrate towards an energy-efficient and eco-friendly living. 

Smart systems can be controlled remotely through your smartphone, tablet, or voice assistants like Amazon Alexa. So, whether you’re at your work desk or halfway around the world, controlling your lighting is as simple as saying, “Hey, Google, turn off the living room lights.” But what is smart lighting exactly and how does it lead to a smarter, more sustainable home? 

What Is Smart Lighting

If you’re thinking about “what is smart lighting,” the answer is simple: lighting fixtures and light bulbs equipped with smart technology. These devices can automatically sense and interact with their environment, users, and other smart gadgets, adapting to your preferences. Unlike standard lights that can only be controlled manually, smart fixtures come with remote operation. 

Left for the office and forgot to turn the bulbs off? No problem, use your smartphone to do it. Want to set the perfect mood for a friend's sleepover? You can adjust the brightness and even the color of your lights without leaving the couch. The proceeds from the smart lighting industry were around $11 billion in 2020.  As per Statista, this figure is expected to increase fourfold, hitting $44 billion by 2030. With this rapid growth, smart lighting is all set to transform how we light our spaces. 

How Do Smart Lights Work

Smart Home Light Concept

Smart lights utilize wireless communication protocols to enable automated and remote control of lighting devices.  These lighting fixtures connect to a network via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or specialized protocols like Zigbee and Z-Wave. Once smart lighting systems are installed, they can be controlled through a smartphone app, voice commands, or even automated schedules. 

Working as a central control point, the app sends signals to the bulbs to adjust brightness, color, or turn them on and off based on user inputs. To further understand what is smart lighting and how it works, let's look at the basic components and connectivity of these devices. 

1. Basic Components

Smart Bulbs

Smart bulbs are the base of any smart house lighting system, which are LED bulbs with built-in wireless communication features. Each of these bulbs contains a small chip, called a micro-controller, that works as the “brain” of the device. Due to these micro-electronic components, smart light bulbs can connect to a network and receive commands. 

Smart Switches & Dimmers

Smart switches and dimmers further improve the “functionality” aspect of any smart home lighting system. Replacing traditional wall switches, smart options let you control your lighting manually and remotely. The best part? Smart switches integrate into your existing electrical system, meaning there’s no need to replace every bulb with a smart bulb.  

Hubs and Bridges

The smart hub enables all the features you dream of in smart lighting, from setting schedules to app and voice control and more. At its core, a smart hub is a bridge that connects all the smart devices to your home’s Wi-Fi network. Working as a central communication point, it translates commands from the user’s device into signals that the smart bulbs (switches) can understand. 

Note: A smart hub is not required for all lighting systems, especially those using Wi-fi or Bluetooth. However, it is required if you use communication protocols like Zigbee and Z-Wave. 

2. Connectivity

Smart lighting uses different communication protocols to connect with devices like tablets, voice assistants, and smartphones. Here are the most common ones:

  • Wi-Fi: It allows smart devices to connect to your home’s Wifi network through LAN (Local Area Network). With wifi, you can centrally control all your smart devices using the same network. However, it has a high power and electricity consumption. 
  • Bluetooth: It enables direct communication between the smart lighting systems and the controlling device (smartphone) without needing a hub. While Bluetooth doesn’t require an internet connection, the range is limited compared to Wi-Fi. 
  • Zigbee & Z-Wave: These are wireless communication protocols that require a hub or bridge to connect the smart devices to your home’s network. Smart devices create a mesh network, each relaying data signals to the other. However, it has a short range. 

5 Main Features of Smart Lighting

1. Automation and Scheduling 

Controlling Smart Home Lights

Smart lighting fixtures allow you to run your bulbs and switches on autopilot, turning on and off based on set schedules. You can set up a routine that aligns with your daily life using the control app or voice assistant. For example, triggers can be added like turning the bulbs on an hour post sunrise or turning them off at sunset. 

Automated lighting controls cut your power consumption by an average of 45%, as per a study conducted by the American Council for Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). This translates to a far lower electricity bill and major cost savings in the long run. Besides saving energy, automated controls also add convenience and comfort to your routine.  

2. Voice Control

Smart home illumination systems connect with voice assistants, like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri, offering a hands-free way to control your fixtures. Once connected, you can use voice commands to send signals and commands to your lights. For example, you can say, “Hey Google, turn off the guest room lights,” or “Alexa, dim the kitchen lights to 50%”.

This feature is a go-to for people with mobility issues or disabilities. Eliminating the need to physically interact with the switches, voice control helps 50% people feel more organized and informed. 

3. Color Adjustment

One of the major benefits of smart wireless lighting is the personalization it provides. Whether you need amber lights (1800K) for reading or bright light for studying, smart bulbs help create the perfect ambiance. These devices also feature RGB (Red, Green, Blue) controls that let you try a hundred different combinations, from purple and magenta to lavender shades. 

4. Energy Monitoring & Efficiency

How many times have you wished to track your energy usage in real time? Maybe you wanted to see the most active hours or cut your consumption and energy bills. In either cases, smart wireless lighting systems are the answer to all your desires. With built-in energy monitoring features, these fixtures give you detailed analytics on your lighting usage. 

This means you can see how much energy your lights are consuming and identify opportunities for savings. Plus, lighting accounts for about 10% of the energy use in residential units, according to Energy Saver. Keeping this in view, monitoring your consumption might translate into huge savings in electricity bills and an Eco-friendly lifestyle. 

5. Smart Home Integration

Laptop with Smart Home Screen

Besides personalization energy monitoring, smart lighting control units help you create a unified system where all devices work in harmony. These fixtures integrate with your thermostats, security systems, and even entertainment devices to create an efficient living environment. With precise control at your fingertips, you can lock your doors and adjust your lights on the go. 


Smart lighting control systems are changing the way we illuminate our homes, adding convenience and control in our lifestyles. From detailed analytics on energy consumption to automated schedules that work like you do, smart lighting makes daily routines a lot smoother. 

If you’re ready to light up your home with smart lighting devices, there’s no better place than My Smart Home. With years of experience creating smart home ecosystems in Dubai, we know how to help you transition towards sustainable living. From setting the right mood to ensuring security, My Smart Home provides the right consultancy when and where you need it. 


Can Smart Lighting Work Without an Internet Connection?

Some smart lighting systems can work without an internet connection, particularly those using Bluetooth. However, if you want to access features like remote control and voice assistants, an internet connection is necessary. 

What Happens to My Smart Lights During a Power Outage?

During a power outage, smart lights will turn off just like any other electrical device. Once power is restored, they will connect back to your devices and start running. Some lighting system allow you to configure what happens once power is restored, like turning on at a specific brightness or staying off until manually turned on. 

Do Smart Lights Consume a Lot of Electricity?

Smart lights consume far less energy than standard incandescent bulbs. Most smart fixtures use LED bulbs, which work in an energy efficient manner while producing the same level of brightness. For example, an LED smart bulb uses 800 lumens (or 10 watts) to shine as bright as a 60 watt incandescent bulb. This results in lower power consumption and cost savings. 

Can I Integrate Smart Lighting With My Home Security System?

Yes, smart lighting can be integrated with home security systems, improving the overall security of your unit. When connected, smart lights can work in collaboration with your security cameras, motion sensors, and alarm systems. For example, motion sensors can trigger lights to turn on when movement is detected, deterring potential intruders.