One might wonder, but it is a scientifically proven fact that lighting does affect our emotions, behaviour and response. Experimental studies have shown that on sunny days people are more optimistic, report higher wellbeing and are more helpful while extended exposure to dark, gloomy days can result in seasonal affective disorder (SAD). People living in geographical locations closer to the Poles are susceptible to this due to shorter days in certain months of the year. Be it home, office or factory-floor it is not just natural light, artificial lighting also has similar effect. Artificial lighting was being produced by humans by lighting up fires and other means for a very long time. But the invention of electricity followed by the invention of incandescent lamp by Thomas Alva Edison in 1879 and its commercial use since 1882 is indeed a very significant beginning. Today we have a myriad of choices that makes choosing the right type of lighting not only difficult but confusing as well.

Types of Lamps
Though incandescent lamps were the first, commercially production of the florescent and neon lamps followed soon after. The neon lamps were used for commercial advertisements and promotions mostly and for decorative purposes. Nothing significant happened in the lighting sector for a longtime except for some cosmetic changes and marketing gimmicks by the manufacturers until the CFLs (Compact Florescent Lamps) were introduced. Which was the advent of energy conservation vis-a-vis incandescent lamps. But the game changer is the introduction of the LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights with the added ability to control brightness, colour and tone. Also LEDs are extremely energy efficient relatively speaking.

LED lighting – Advantages, Options
LEDs emit different colours, with add-on electronic circuitry their brightness can be varied. LEDs last between 20000 to 50000 hours, thus reducing replacement costs. Incandescent lamps convert only 5 to 10% of the energy consumed to useful light and rest is converted to heat and wasted. In case of LED lamps the reverse is true; they convert more than 90% of the energy consumed to useful light and as a result emit much less heat. They consume 1/5th the energy of incandescent lamps and as a consequence have less environmental impacts in comparison. They are more sturdy; less susceptible to effects of shock, vibration and extreme temperatures.The advantages are many. LED Lamps come in different wattages and shapes for the popular E27, E14 and other standard holder sizes. Some manufacturers produce light fittings with the LED lamps and the dimming features built into them. Another choice is the RGBW lamps that produce Cool White, Warm White, the basic colours and millions of combinations of the basic colours. RGBW LEDs are available as strips also.

Lighting that Matches the Need
With the knowledge that lighting affects our emotions and responses, let us dig deeper. While reading, it is good to have a bright lit room; at least in the reading area so eyes don’t get strained. While listening to music or watching movies a dimly lit room in light colours is soothing to the eyes, gives a movie theatre feel and adds effect. Lighting that is dim and changes to a variety of colours gradually will have even better effect. Party time is a time for vibrant colours and medium brightness levels to elevate the mood. It will be great to have lighting that synchs with the tempo of music being played with varying colour and tone can create club like effects. Spending quality time with family demands a subtle more calming lighting effect. For the bedrooms and common areas lighting can be dim while everyone is asleep and as the day dawns it can brighten up in synch with outside lighting levels to aid waking up. The garden areas and pool sides need completely different lighting levels and colours. The question that comes up in one’s mind is how can all these lighting requirements be achieved. Smart lighting is the answer.

Smart lighting comprises of LED lighting and it is that which can produce many different tones, colours, brightness levels and be controlled through your mobile device from home or anywhere if you have internet access. Some of them have all features built into the lamps, some brands require use of a ‘Bridge’ or a Home Automation Hub. They can be turned On/Off and the colour choice can be made from a mobile App. Their operation and colours can be automated by setting up scenes. Scenes can be triggered through sensors such as temperature, humidity, motion detection or an event such as setting of the sun for example. Scenes can also be a particular brightness and colour combination of a single or a group of lights. The addition of voice control has made the smart lighting scene even smarter. Just instruct ALEXA or SIRI or Hey Google depending on which system you are connected to and the Voice Asssitant will switch on the pre-programmed scene of your choice for the occasion.

Smart Lighting Choices
Nanoleaf Aurora is in a league of its own and is a very innovative combination of utility, colour and variety. It is an array of triangular LED panels that can be configured into different shapes by joining LED panels in any shape. The basic kit contains 9 panels but additional panels can be bought in sets of 3. Up to a maximum of 30 panels could be stringed together and powered by a single power supply. These can be controlled with the Nanoleaf App and it is also compatible with the Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa. The Nanoleaf comes with several gorgeous ‘Scenes’ pre-programmed in the App that simulate everything from ‘FLAMES’ to ‘FOREST’. Each ‘Scene’ can be customised with a combination of different colours, different brightness levels and pulsating patterns. It can also produce Cool White and Warm White for normal lighting of living or working space. And of course, you save on electricity bills; a full 30 panel Nanoleaf Aurora installation will consume just 60W and provide 3000 Lm of light. Therefore delivering beauty and benefits in one simple package and also not to be forgotten the same power consumption of a generic incandescent lamp.

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Philips HUE series includes white lamps, colour LEDS and LED Strip lights. These are controlled by a Bridge (Hub) which enables them to connect to the WiFi network and be controlled using mobile device App. The LED Strip lights are flexible, sold in standard lengths of 2 meters and can be stuck to any surface with the adhesive tape supplied. Their length can be increased by adding 1m extensions up to a maximum of 10m. Philips Hue system is compatible with Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit and Google Home thus enabling voice control capabilities.

Osram’s LIGHTIFY has a similar line up of products as Philips; in addition they also have the LED lamps in Incandescent style to give homes a classic look. The centrepiece of OSRAM’S LIGHTIFY is the Gateway (Hub) that connects to the WiFi and helps the mobile device App communicate with the Lamps. By enabling the LIGHTIFY Skill in Amazon ALEXA you could control individual or groups of lights using voice control also.

LIFX lamps have a slightly different design in comparison to the conventional bulb shape and also they offer two different sizes, the A19 and the BR30 sizes. Their LIFX & LIFX Plus range has all the ‘Smartness’ built into the lamp itself and does not require a separate Hub or Bridge. All you need is a WiFi network, download the mobile App, insert the lamp in the holder and you are ready to go. Their LIFX Z series LED strips ship with a power pack and 2x 1m length strip. The maximum number of strips that can be added to a power pack is four. LIFX is compatible with ALEXA and Google Home and can be controlled by giving voice commands. It is expected that soon Apple HomeKit compatibility will also be made available.

One might wonder, but it is a scientifically proven fact that lighting does affect our emotions, behaviour and response. Experimental studies have shown that on sunny days people are more optimistic, report higher wellbeing and are more helpful while extended exposure to dark, gloomy days can result in seasonal affective disorder (SAD). People living in geographical locations closer to the Poles are susceptible to this due to shorter days in certain months of the year. Be it home, office or factory-floor it is not just natural light, artificial lighting also has similar effect. Artificial lighting was being produced by humans by lighting up fires and other means for a very long time. But the invention of electricity followed by the invention of incandescent lamp by Thomas Alva Edison in 1879 and its commercial use since 1882 is indeed a very significant beginning. Today we have a myriad of choices that makes choosing the right type of lighting not only difficult but confusing as well.

Types of Lamps

Though incandescent lamps were the first, commercially production of the florescent and neon lamps followed soon after. The  neon lamps were used for commercial advertisements and promotions mostly and for decorative purposes. Nothing significant happened in the lighting sector for a longtime except for some cosmetic changes and marketing gimmicks by the manufacturers until the CFLs (Compact Florescent Lamps) were introduced.  Which was the advent of energy conservation vis-a-vis incandescent lamps. But the game changer is the introduction of the LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights with the added ability to control brightness, colour and tone. Also LEDs are extremely energy efficient relatively speaking.

LED lighting – Advantages, Options

LEDs emit different colours, with add-on electronic circuitry their brightness can be varied. LEDs last between 20000 to 50000 hours, thus reducing replacement costs. Incandescent lamps convert only 5 to 10% of the energy consumed to useful light and rest is converted to heat and wasted. In case of LED lamps the reverse is true; they convert more than 90% of the energy consumed to useful light and as a result emit much less heat. They consume 1/5th the energy of incandescent lamps and as a consequence have less environmental impacts in comparison. They are more sturdy; less susceptible to effects of shock, vibration and extreme temperatures.The advantages are many. LED Lamps come in different wattages and shapes for the popular E27, E14 and other standard holder sizes. Some manufacturers produce light fittings with the LED lamps and the dimming features built into them. Another choice is the RGBW lamps that produce Cool White, Warm White, the basic colours and millions of combinations of the basic colours. RGBW LEDs are available as strips also.

Lighting that Matches the Need

With the knowledge that lighting affects our emotions and responses, let us dig deeper. While reading, it is good to have a bright lit room; at least in the reading area so eyes don’t get strained. While listening to music or watching movies a dimly lit room in light colours is soothing to the eyes, gives a movie theatre feel and adds effect. Lighting that is dim and changes to a variety of colours gradually will have even better effect. Party time is a time for vibrant colours and medium brightness levels to elevate the mood. It will be great to have lighting that synchs with the tempo of music being played with varying colour and tone can create club like effects. Spending quality time with family demands a subtle more calming lighting effect. For the bedrooms and common areas lighting can be dim while everyone is asleep and as the day dawns it can brighten up in synch with outside lighting levels to aid waking up. The garden areas and pool sides need completely different lighting levels and colours. The question that comes up in one’s mind is how can all these lighting requirements be achieved. Smart lighting is the answer.

Smart lighting comprises of LED lighting and it is that which can produce many different tones, colours, brightness levels and be controlled through your mobile device from home or anywhere if you have internet access. Some of them have all features built into the lamps, some brands require use of a ‘Bridge’ or a Home Automation Hub. They can be turned On/Off and the colour choice can be made from a mobile App. Their operation and colours can be automated by setting up scenes. Scenes can be triggered through sensors such as temperature, humidity, motion detection or an event such as setting of the sun for example. Scenes can also be a particular brightness and colour combination of a single or a group of lights. The addition of voice control has made the smart lighting scene even smarter. Just instruct ALEXA or SIRI or Hey Google depending on which system you are connected to and the Voice Asssitant will switch on the pre-programmed scene of your choice for the occasion.

Smart Lighting Choices

Nanoleaf Aurora is in a league of its own and is a very innovative combination of utility, colour and variety. It is an array of triangular LED panels that can be configured into different shapes by joining LED panels in any shape. The basic kit contains 9 panels but additional panels can be bought in sets of 3. Up to a maximum of 30 panels could be stringed together and powered by a single power supply. These can be controlled with the Nanoleaf App and it is also compatible with the Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa. The Nanoleaf comes  with several gorgeous ‘Scenes’ pre-programmed in the App that simulate everything from ‘FLAMES’ to ‘FOREST’. Each ‘Scene’ can be customised with a combination of different colours, different brightness levels and pulsating patterns. It can also produce Cool White and Warm White for normal lighting of living or working space. And of course, you save on electricity bills; a full 30 panel Nanoleaf Aurora installation will consume just 60W and provide 3000 Lm of light. Therefore delivering beauty and benefits in one simple package and also not to be forgotten the same power consumption of a generic incandescent lamp.

Philips HUE series includes white lamps, colour LEDS and LED Strip lights. These are controlled by a Bridge (Hub) which enables them to connect to the WiFi network and be controlled using mobile device App. The LED Strip lights are flexible, sold in standard lengths of 2 meters and can be stuck to any surface with the adhesive tape supplied. Their length can be increased by adding 1m extensions up to a maximum of 10m. Philips Hue system is compatible with Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit and Google Home thus enabling voice control capabilities.

Osram’s LIGHTIFY has a similar line up of products as Philips; in  addition they also have the LED lamps in Incandescent style to give homes a classic look. The centrepiece of OSRAM’S LIGHTIFY is the Gateway (Hub) that connects to the WiFi and helps the mobile device App communicate with the Lamps. By enabling the LIGHTIFY Skill in Amazon ALEXA you could control individual or groups of lights using voice control also.

LIFX lamps have a slightly different design in comparison to the conventional bulb shape and also they offer two different sizes, the A19 and the BR30 sizes. Their LIFX & LIFX Plus range has all the ‘Smartness’ built into the lamp itself and does not require a separate Hub or Bridge. All you need is a WiFi network, download the mobile App, insert the lamp in the holder and you are ready to go. Their LIFX Z series LED strips ship with a power pack and 2x 1m length strip. The maximum number of strips that can be added to a power pack is four. LIFX is compatible with ALEXA and Google Home and can be controlled by giving voice  commands. It is expected that soon Apple HomeKit compatibility will also be made available.

Whatever may be your need, whether it is utility or entertainment or fun there is a wide variety to choose from. They do not require any serious effort for installation; one can safely take the Do it Yourself (DIY) route. Besides they are affordable, something to suit every wallet size. It is worth trying out a few and add colour to life. You can make your choice and order from the comfort your home; check out http://atknsn.com the online store for smart home products. If you need additional information you may write to getintouch@atknsn.com, ATKNSN will be pleased to guide you.