How To Set Up Smart Lights – A Complete Guide

There’s nothing better than tailoring your living space to suit your needs. With the rise of smart homes among the general public, there’s never been a better time to start turning your home into a smart home.

Smart Homesetup, graphic representation

Smart lighting is one of the easiest ways to begin the transformation. They have a low barrier for entry, and they’re highly accessible—a perfect starting point for everyone from newer homeowners to those who want to update an older space. Most people choose to start with smart lighting because it’s an easy way to get introduced to how much easier and convenient having a connected home can be. 

However, smart lighting might be a completely new concept for some. If you’re wondering how to set up smart lights, we’ve got you covered. Below, we’ve provided a complete guide to smart lighting, including benefits, downsides, types, and installation advice.

What Are the Benefits of Smart Lighting?

Choosing to update all of your home lighting is a big decision. Before you make the switch, you should know about all of the benefits of smart lighting. Some of these include: 

  • Savee you money on your energy bill 
  • Gives you more control over your home lighting 
  • Offers convenience and automation 
  • Adds security to your home 
  • Enhances your home’s ambiance and decor
  • Saves energy by setting timers or connecting them to your home’s energy monitoring system 
  • Creates the perfect ambiance for any occasion with adjustable colors and brightness 
  • Allows you to set up rules and automation so your lights turn on/off or change color based on time of day, sunset/sunrise, motion sensors, etc. 
  • Allows you to use voice commands with devices like Amazon Echo or Google Home 
  • Integrates with other smart home devices like door locks, security cameras, thermostats, and more

What Are the Downsides of Smart Lighting? 

Though there are a few downsides to smart lighting, it’s important to take them into consideration before making the switch. Some of the downsides include: 

  • They require an initial investment to purchase the smart lights and any necessary hubs or controllers 
  • You’ll need a reliable internet connection for most features to work properly 
  • Your smart lights will become useless during a power outage unless you have a backup power source

What Types of Smart Lights Are Available? 

Before we dive into how to set up smart lights, it’s crucial for you to know which types are available to you. Each type of smart light has different use cases—here are some of your options.

  • Wired – Wired smart lights connect directly to your home’s electrical system and can be controlled with a smart switch, dimmer, or bridge. 
  • Wireless – Wireless smart lights use batteries or are solar-powered and can be placed anywhere in your home without running new wiring. They typically communicate with a central hub using different wireless protocols, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Zigbee. 
  • Color changing – Color changing smart bulbs can produce millions of different colors so you can create any mood or ambiance you want. 
  • White light only – White light only smart bulbs can only produce white light, but they often have a wider range of brightness levels and shades of white to choose from. 
  • Multi-function – Multi-function smart bulbs offer the same benefits as a traditional smart light, but they also include built-in features like music speakers, security cameras, or air quality sensors.

What Are Some Things to Consider When Choosing a Smart Lighting System? 

When choosing a smart lighting system, you’ve got a few things to take into consideration. These factors can help you choose the right system for your use case and specific needs. 

Ease of installation

Anytime we integrate new technology into our lives, ease of use and ease of installation is important to consider. Most high-end smart lighting systems are designed with seamless installation in mind, but be sure to research the installation process to avoid any potential headaches. 


When choosing a smart lighting system, make sure that you choose one that is compatible with any current smart devices that you use. This is crucial for those adding smart lighting to an already connected home. 


What features are important to you, and which ones does the system offer? Smart lighting is an investment—make sure the system you choose offers the features you’re looking for! Research the capabilities of the smart lighting systems on your list to make sure you’re getting the best solution for your needs. 


One of the first things to consider anytime we make a purchase is the cost—are we getting a good deal?

In most cases, a good rule of thumb is that you get what you pay for. However, this isn’t always the case. The most expensive option isn’t always the best, and a cheaper option doesn’t always mean you’re getting a subpar product. Researching reviews and combining them with your cost research can help you determine what the best deal is for your situation. 


Having reliable smart lights that perform how you want them to is crucial—otherwise, you’ve just wasted your money. Consulting product reviews and recommendations are great ways to evaluate specific smart lighting systems for reliability. 

What Are Some of the Best Smart Lighting Systems On the Market? 

There are so many different smart lighting manufacturers out there: Which one should you choose? 

To help you make the decision, we’ve chosen five of our favorite smart lighting systems on the market. Each has its pros and cons, along with specific features for certain use cases. 

Some of these manufacturers include: 

  • Philips Hue
  • Belkin WeMo
  • LIFX
  • Cree Connected
  • Sylvania Smart+

All of these manufacturers offer a wide range of products, including bulbs, lamps, light strips, and fixtures. Their systems are compatible with many smart home devices and apps, and they offer a variety of features, including color changing, white light only, and multi-function. 

How to Set Up Smart Lights 

Once you’ve chosen the right smart lighting system for your needs, it’s time to install your smart lights! 

Installation specifics will depend on the manufacturer you’ve chosen—we recommend following the step-by-step instructions found in the instructions manual that comes with your smart lighting system. However, we can provide a general outline of what to expect.

To set up your new smart lights, you’ll likely need the following materials:

  • Smart light bulbs 
  • Lamp or light fixture 
  • Internet router 
  • Power outlet 
  • Screwdriver (if necessary)

There are different ways you can install your smart lights, which will mostly depend on the manufacturer’s instructions. Here are two of the most common ways:


The steps for Wi-Fi installation may differ slightly depending on the manufacturer, but here’s what you can expect:

  1. Install the light bulbs in the lamps or light fixtures that you want to be controlled by your smart lights. If you’re using LED bulbs, make sure they are screwed in tightly, so they make good contact with the socket. 
  2. Download the app for your chosen smart lighting system on your smartphone or tablet. 
  3. Open the app and create an account. 
  4. Follow the instructions on the app to connect your new smart lights to your home’s Wi-Fi network. 
  5. Once your lights are connected, you can start controlling them via the app. 


Just like Wi-Fi installation, Bluetooth setup steps may vary depending on the manufacturer. Here’s a general outline:

  1. Install the light bulbs in the lamps or light fixtures that you want to be controlled by your smart lights. If you’re using LED bulbs, make sure they are screwed in tightly, so they make good contact with the socket. 
  2. Look for the “Bluetooth” button on your smart lighting system’s hub or controller. 
  3. Press and hold the Bluetooth button until it starts flashing. 
  4. Open the app for your chosen smart lighting system on your smartphone or tablet. 
  5. Follow the instructions on the app to connect your new smart lights to your home’s Bluetooth network. 
  6. Once your lights are connected, you can start controlling them via the app. Most apps will allow you to turn the lights on or off, dim the lights, change the light color, set timers, and create rules and automations. 

Troubleshooting tip: Are you having trouble connecting your smart lights to your home’s Wi-Fi or Bluetooth network? Make sure your router is within range of the light bulbs. Also, check to see if there are any firmware updates available for your system’s hub or controller.

Reminder: If you have more than one smart light, be sure to name each one so you can easily identify them later. 

Changing Colors On Your Smart Light After Setup 

One of the best features of smart lights is the ability to change colors on a whim. Note that you’ll only be able to take advantage of this feature if you have smart bulbs that have colors and not just white light. 

How you do this will vary slightly depending on the brand of smart light you have, but this is typically the process:

  1. Open the app. 
  2. Select the light you want to edit.  
  3. Click on the color palette. 
  4. Choose the color you want. 
  5. Click “apply” to save your changes. 

In most cases, you can also change the brightness and other settings from this menu. Experiment with different colors and settings to create the perfect atmosphere in your home.

Setting Up Schedules With Your Smart Lights

Finally, many smart lights come with the ability to create custom lighting schedules. This is a great way to turn on your lights automatically when you get home from work or turn them off when you go to bed. 

Again, consulting your instruction manual is the best way to figure this out. However, the general process looks something like this:

  1. Open the app. 
  2. Select the light you want to edit.  
  3. Click on the “schedule” tab. 
  4. Set the time and day you want the light to turn on/off. 
  5. Click “apply” to save your changes. 

Now your smart light will turn on and off automatically, giving you one less thing to worry about! 

You Can’t Beat the Convenience of Smart Lighting Systems

With many benefits and a low barrier to entry, smart lighting systems offer an easy-to-use platform that can serve as the foundation for a connected home. 

Now that you know what to look for, how to set them up, and how to take advantage of core features, you’re ready to add smart lighting systems to your home and tailor your space to your liking. 

Bringing it back to basics, smart lighting systems are the product of significant LED lighting advancements. For more information on LED lighting, check out our LED Lighting 101 article.

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