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Aerial view of an outdoor space with lighting from multiple angles
Easy, efficient and useful: smart lights are a welcome addition to your home.

What is smart lighting?

Smart lights are light globes you can control remotely. You can switch them on and off from anywhere in the house and even operate them when you’re away from home.

This set-and-forget convenience is one of the best features of smart lights. Set certain lights to turn on at a particular time as you wake up and turn off as you leave the house. You can also set your lights to turn on before you arrive home, or use ‘vacation routines’ to turn lights on and off at random intervals to make it seem like you're at home when you're away.

Some smart lights connect directly to your home Wi-Fi network. Others use the Zigbee® wireless standard and rely on a tiny adaptor box, sometimes referred to as a smart bridge, which plugs into your broadband modem/router.

Most smart lights are a no-fuss upgrade to your home – they don't require any rewiring. Simply remove your existing light globes and plug in smart ones. You can swap out all the globes in your house or replace the ones that will be most useful.

Tip: Some LED downlights and light fittings (spotlights, for example) are hardwired, which means the globes cannot be removed. It’s always good practice to check what type of light you’re working with.

How to choose the right smart light for your home

Smart light globes come in a range of sizes, with a choice of screw and bayonet connectors; there are also downlight options. Most are energy-efficient LED globes that offer a choice of brightness levels (1600 lumens is roughly equivalent to a traditional 100-watt globe). You can mix and match smart light brands in your home, but sticking with one brand can make it easier to coordinate them.

Once you install a smart light globe, leave the wall switch turned on all the time so the smart light has power. You can turn the light on and off using a smartphone app. Most smart globes are dimmable, and some can also change colours to give different effects.

There’s more to smart lighting than just globes. You’ll also find standalone smart lamps, light strips, floodlights and even festive lights. Most smart lights come with the same standard features out of the box, like remote dimming and light scheduling. So, your choice might come down to a personal style preference, or customisable features that work best for your lifestyle.

Upgrading existing lighting versus replacing it

You can give existing lights (a bedside lamp, for example) a smart overhaul, using a Wi-Fi-enabled smart plug. Set-up is simple – unplug your lamp from the wall and plug it into your smart plug. Next, insert the smart plug into the wall and leave the power turned on. Now you can use a smartphone app or smart speaker to turn the power to the lamp on and off.

Establishing connectivity throughout your home

A single smart plug is perfect for controlling a single light, like a bedside lamp. If you’re dealing with multiple lights (elaborate festive lights, for example), you might opt for a smart power board, which lets you plug in several sets of lights and control them all individually.

You can also group your lights and give them a name, such as ‘living area’, so you can control all of them with a single command. Building on this, you can create smart home routines with multiple steps, controlling a range of smart devices around your home, including your lights.

You can also create schedules which automatically turn your lights on and off every day. This is handy for making the house look lived-in while you’re away on holiday.

Smart lights can also work with motion sensors and security cameras, turning on automatically whenever someone walks into the room or comes to the front door. Another option is to use the GPS features on your smartphone to automatically turn on your lights when you're almost home.

As with smart lights, you can mix and match brands of smart globes, plugs and motion sensors, but sticking with the same brand is simpler.

Check compatibility before you purchase

Rather than reaching for your smartphone all the time, you can also control your lights by talking to your smart speaker. Different brands of smart lights work with different smart assistants, such as Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. Check to make sure your smart lights are compatible with your smart assistant before you buy.

Upgrade your entire home, inside and out

Shop our wide range of smart home accessories and systems.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.