If you are like most of the world, you’ve fallen in love with smart bulbs. You can automate them indoors and use your voice to control them via Google Assistant and Alexa. They are convenient inside, why wouldn’t you want to enhance your home’s exterior with them too? Have you wondered if you can use smart bulbs outside?
The short answer is yes. It is possible to use smart bulbs outside. If the area where you are using the smart bulb is well-protected from harsh elements like snow, rain, wind, and dust. However, you will need a proper outdoor lighting fixture. It also needs to be located near your Wi-fi router or hub. The better choice might be to purchase outdoor smart led bulbs.
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Are there any benefits to using smart outdoor lighting?
Integrating a smart outdoor bulb has some of the same benefits as a smart light bulb provides indoors. They can be conveniently controlled using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. They also provide some security and can be automated to come on when it gets dark and go off after sunrise. They can be equipped with motion sensors to help alert you to any activity in your outdoor spaces.
Options for Using Smart Bulbs Outdoors
There are a lot of ways to use smart lights outside. The options are really only limited by your own imagination. Here are a few of the ways to incorporate smart bulbs outside.
Option 1: Replace Existing Outdoor Light Bulbs
This may be the easiest option of all. If you already have outdoor lanterns, porch lights, or floodlights illuminating outdoor spaces, simply replace them with an outdoor smart light. Philip Hue lights are some of the most popular smart outdoor lights. There are other brands too, but the Philips Hue bulbs work with almost any smart home platform. If you do go with Philips Hue lights, you may want to opt for a Hue bridge. That’s the brains behind the lighting system and will allow you to connect and control as many as 50 lights and accessories.
Option 2: Install a Smart Light Switch
If you don’t want to change out the bulbs themselves, you can turn the lights in your outdoor lighting system into a smart system by installing a smart switch. They include full dimming capabilities and provide support for using voice assistants. Some of the latest models have a built-in voice assistant. Even the most basic models can offer remote on and off functions and simple automation.
Option 3: Smart Path Lights and Smart Flood Lights
If you want to illuminate a pathway to your front door, or through your garden, smart path lights are a great option. The range shouldn’t be a problem since well-placed lights will extend your smart mesh network out to the garden so you can have white light where you need it most. You can connect them with motion detectors so that they come on when needed. If you want to cover a larger area, use a smart floodlight. If you already have a floodlight installed, you can replace the bulbs with outdoor smart light bulbs.
Option 4: Incorporate an Outdoor Smart Plug
Holiday lights and outdoor string lights are getting more popular. But what if you wanted decorative outdoor lights to be smart? Maybe you want them to come on automatically in the evenings when you come home or as it gets dark. You can purchase an outdoor smart plug and transform the string lights into smart lights.
Do I need outdoor lighting fixtures?
Technically, you can use a smart bulb in any standard light fixture. However, if you want to provide weather resistance and exterior aesthetics you may want to consider outdoor lighting fixtures. They can be a little more expensive, but they offer a lot too. Again, it’s the Philips Hue that is ideal. It provides the most extensive platform integration options available through the Hue bridge or the ZigBee hub. If you want high-quality outdoor smart lights that will work with all your home network platforms, the Hue is the way to go. If you have a little more in your budget, you can replace your existing fixtures with smart fixtures.
The easy answer to the initial question is yes, you can use smart bulbs outside. But, only as long as you are aware of certain specifics like the weather conditions and distance from the hub or router. Ideally, you can replace existing regular bulbs with smart bulbs to achieve the automation and voice control you desire with your choice of smart assistance like amazon echo, Siri, or Alexa. The rule of thumb here is, be safe and have fun.