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  • Lisa Gardener

Getting Smart Lighting Right

Technology for the home is getting ever smarter and bespoke lighting designs are becoming far more prevalent. This is particularly true for self build projects where a tailored approach is often the motivation for building from scratch. So how can smart lighting help here and how does it work?

Smart control

Having a single way - like an app or remote control to manage your home's lighting is what it makes it smart. You can pre-set for specific lighting arrangements to come on at one time to suit different moods and activities.

Where should it be installed

Smart lighting can be fitted either as a standalone feature, or as part of a wider integrated home - the key is to make sure it's where you need it. These systems are popular in open-plan spaces like kitchen-diners or living rooms, and also in main bedrooms and exterior zones like the driveway or garden.

Designing your system

Depending on your project, you'll either be looking at a retrofit option, which could be wireless or you'll need a fully wired solution. Whichever route you choose, getting the professionals in as early as possible is paramount. The key thing is for you to be involved in every step of the deign process. Whenever the end user isn't involved, the smart lighting system can lead to frustration and confusion because it might not work in the way you expect. It has to be designed around the inhabitants and how they use the space - there's no sense in creating a bespoke solution if it doesn't work for them.

Retrofitting smart lighting

While most installers prefer to work with a blank slate, it is still possible to have a smart lighting setup if you're renovating. Wireless systems are the most common. Some of these can use the existing, non-smart switches. The typical fix for a smart lighting retrofit is using smart bulbs. This is a popular DIY solution that can be controlled by wireless home hubs, like Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as your smartphone. It's advisable that you speak to an expert to make sure your DIY plans are viable and not too complex.

How much will it cost?

As smart lighting systems are bespoke, it can be difficult to put a price on them. DIY options can start from a few £100s. However, installing a full house wire solution can cost anywhere from £5,000 up to £10,000s. It's important that you know what your budget can stretch to before starting work.


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