Q&A: LED Lighting - Winter 2017

Q&A: LED Lighting - Winter 2017

On this round of LED Lighting Q&A, many questions are once again about smart lighting and how to choose smart bulbs vs traditional lighting on smart dimmers and switches. Plus, what’s the future outlook for LED lighting in general?

It’s time to play a little catch-up on viewer questions, as the mailbox has been inundated! And it hasn’t helped that Smarter Home Life has had to go a bit dormant of late, but expectations are that things should speed back up in April. Watch the first few minutes for the explanations. And...hint, hint...there are a few fun surprises in this Q&A video, so be sure to watch the entire thing!

Starts at 4:10
From Eli:

Great job on your videos! Can you change colors of hue bulbs without using ifft? Or do you have to use ifft to change colors? If so, are the commands more natural now? Ex. Alexa, trigger downstairs lights blue. Instead, say Alexa downstairs lights blue. Also, with or without ifft can you set scenes?
 
Would you recommend the hue dimmers switch or hue tap? (Alexa in every room)
 
Thank you very much for all your vids!

Starts at 10:18
From Deon:

Love your to the point videos and hope you have a similar answer for me.
I’ve been using my Lifx 1000 bulbs for a little more than a month now and must say I’m often left frustrated.

I find the Lifx App great but it tends to loose connectivity to the lights (only 2) on my wifi network constantly. Strangely, when I connect via my phone’s mobile connection it seems to work better but also with occasional issues.

When the Lifx works though, it does so flawlessly. I use an Apple Airport Extreme (bridge mode connected to my ISP router) with 2 airport expresses to distribute wifi in my house and it’s been the most stable network I’ve ever used at home. I’ve updated all the bulbs' firmware and also tried changing my wifi setting to use a different channel which has had no impact on the Lifx wifi reliability.

My question is whether it’s worth it in your opinion to try the Philips hue 3rd gen? They don’t sell them locally in South Africa so I’ll have to import like I did with my Lifx, but I’m just not sure I won’t have similar issues. I’m not a big fan of Zigbee following a bad experience with Control4 lighting so any advice you could offer would be appreciated.

Starts at 19:30
From Grayson:

Hi, I have a question. Are there going to be any improvements for regular LED bulbs for 2017? Dimmability is a very important factor when it comes to matching as close to incandescent, but when I do a Google search for improvements in lighting, the top links in search result turns out to be a comeback for incandescent light bulbs that is suppose to be more efficient than LED bulbs.

Starts at 27:36
From Mike:

Great content. Website, videos, Q and A's, all top notch. I was looking for your opinion on what the best route for someone who doesn't really care about color bulbs but wants to be able to control all lights via Alexa.

My first option is to go with Hue. I chose Hue over Lifx for one reason only, Hue resets back to 100% white when wall switch is turned on. Lifx reverts back to last setting. With a not so tech savvy wife, I'll never hear the end of her having to take an extra step to turn on a light.

2nd option is to go the smart switch route. I didn't see a lot of recent content on your site about these. Do you have any experience with these and is there one you recommend.

Starts at 40:20
From Chad:

Thank you first of all for all the great videos, I really enjoy watching them and learning about each product (without having to buy them first :) ).

I was wondering if I could get your opinion on whether or not I should get Hue lights or the SmartThings hub first? Sorry if you have covered this in your Q&A previously but I haven't made it through all of them.

I started off basic and now I'm hooked. I have the Dot (don't say the "A" word) connected to a few tp-link WiFi plugs and also the Harmony Hub. I would like to start to add a few more things and lighting in the living room may be first. Not sure if I really need color but I would like to have the lights dim when it is movie time. The two lights that would dim are plugged into the wall with other devices so adding the outlet wouldn't work.

Should I go with Hue and control the lights that way or the SmartThings hub with a plug-in dimmer module?

Starts at 46:15
From Brandon:

First, my appreciation for bringing your focus on home automation and LED lighting to the world.  I really like the YouTube channel and your reviews.  My need is for guidance with whole-house lighting control, as the number of system options is quickly becoming bewildering.
 
Background:
I have a prior home I outfitted with Insteon dimmers and switches years ago, which has well-suited my simple needs for “chording” many lights to one switch without the need for a hub.  Other automation– I had a Nest before it was popular, and now use Nest cameras as well.
 
My partner and I are in the process of remodeling an old home in a new city and wish to install new smart lighting controls.  I care about the quality of the controls and ease of use/installation.  I’m willing to start over with a new brand, but I’m finding it just impossible to choose.  GE Z-Wave? Insteon again? Lutron has some nice stuff and looks really good.  Most of my light fixtures are vintage chandeliers; I’m planning on using the CREE candlelight dimming candelabra bulbs you reviewed.  I like the idea of color-changing Hue bulbs for a couple of places, but don’t know how this will jive with the smart dimmers.  I don’t mind using different iPhone apps for different things.

Q&A: Home Automation - Winter 2017

Q&A: Home Automation - Winter 2017

Keys Required: Life After Smart Lock

Keys Required: Life After Smart Lock