Smart outdoor lighting is becoming a top choice for homeowners and renters who want to perfect their patio and garden, and for good reasons.
First, smart lighting makes it easy to control your illumination, from the color temperature to the hours it stays on. The right lighting system combined with a hub or bridge makes outdoor lighting both flexible and effortless.
Next, adding smart lighting can be a security feature by illuminating vulnerable areas and dissuading potential trespassers.
Because smart outdoor lighting is so popular among today’s homeowners and renters, the sheer number of options on the market can be overwhelming—but don’t let that scare you off from your purchase.
Smart Outdoor Lighting Features
For the best buying experience, familiarize yourself with these top smart outdoor lighting features before your shopping begins:
LED vs. Halogen
Today, most smart outdoor lighting systems use either LED or halogen bulbs to illuminate your garden and patio.
LEDs are more common due to their cost-efficient operation: they use less energy to operate, so they’re cheaper and more environmentally friendly.
They also have a longer lifespan.
However, some smart spotlights still are compatible with halogen bulbs, which offer extreme brightness in cool blue hues.
Halogens tend to be more costly, they run hot, and they are energy-intensive compared to LEDs.
Most homeowners and renters are content with the moderate brightness and cost benefits of LED over halogen, but if you’re concerned with directly illuminating an area with a spotlight or flood light, then consider choosing halogen.
You know what else is smart and lights up? A new Monitor
All smart lighting systems have a range of color temperatures that you can choose from, ranging from high on the Kelvin scale to low. A system’s color temperature range in Kelvin helps you understand the light spectrum and how it will look on your home.
In layman’s terms, you’re searching for either cool or warm lighting. If you prefer cool, blue light, then you’ll want to use lighting that’s high on the Kelvin scale. For warm, orange light, you’ll need a light that goes low on the Kelvin scale.
Most LED smart lighting systems have a wide color range, allowing you to switch color temperatures at the drop of a hat. Halogen lighting systems are typically available only in ranges low on the Kelvin scale.
Smart Home Compatibility
Make sure that the smart lights you bring home are compatible with the smart home system that you’re already putting to use, whether it’s Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Wink Hub, Zigbee, or another system.
If this is your first foray into smart home tech, then you can choose the best smart lighting system for your outdoor area first and then choose a compatible smart home system retroactively.
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Bridge or Hub Requirements
Most smart home systems use a bridge or a hub as a control panel; check to see if your smart lighting system recommends or requires the use of one.
If you’re new to smart home connection systems, this Insider article will get you acquainted.
You may not be able to customize or use your smart lighting system without a bridge or a hub, so this is one of the most important considerations.
Different smart lighting solutions allow you to customize everything, from the color temperature scale to the lighting mode, to the hours of operation.
Decide what’s most important for you to customize; you’ll probably have no trouble finding a smart light that accommodates all your wants.
Your smart lighting system is going to live outside, so make sure it’s built for the wear-and-tear of weather fluctuations. Look for durable, weatherproof materials that are meant to play hard and last long in a variety of temperatures and weather conditions.
Plug and Play
Want to get your smart lighting devices rolling sooner rather than later? Some smart outdoor lighting is more user-friendly than others.
Look for a system that advertises itself as plug-and-play or user-friendly if you want to plug in and get going as quickly as possible.
We offer Indoor Lighting solutions too
5 of the Best Lighting Solutions for Garden & Patio on Newegg
Knowing what type of smart lighting you want can help point you toward recommendations that make sense for your needs. Depending on your home garden and patio, you could be looking for motion lighting; flood lighting; lantern lighting; post lighting; or landscape lighting.
Based on real user reviews and feature comparisons, these are the best of each type of outdoor smart lighting device:
Mr. Beams Wireless Motion Sensing NetBright Spotlights
The Mr. Beams Wireless Motion Sensing NetBright Spotlights are notable because of their cross-communication capability: when one spotlight senses motion, they both automatically turn on.
If you have more than one set of spotlights, then they all synchronize in response to motion, up to 50 spotlights.
This makes these motion-sensing spotlights one of the top choices for smart outdoor lighting with security in mind, since it’s easy to illuminate and synchronize the entire perimeter of your house across many lighting zones.
The set’s other features include:
- 200 lumens of illumination to reach the far corners of your property
- 30-foot motion activation radius for effective motion detection
- One year of run time using three D-cell batteries under normal use
- 20-second auto shut-off to prolong battery life
- Plug-and-play installation so you’re ready to go minutes after plugging in
- Four channels per light to set up different lighting zones
Philips Hue Smart White and Color Ambiance Discover Outdoor Floodlight
The Philips Hue line of smart outdoor lights earns multiple places on this list due to the high quality and user-friendy design of each model.
The Discover Outdoor Floodlight connects effortlessly with your existing Hue bridge to give you the biggest range of light colors you’ll find anywhere: over 16 million hues can be accessed via the bridge.
This powerful floodlight comes housed in a high quality aluminum case for durability and longevity, allowing it to withstand the outdoors year-round.
Its features include:
- Compatibility with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit voice control systems
- Contemporary pedestal design matches most home aesthetics
- 2300 lumens of output, equivalent to 79 watts
- 25,000 hours of life with typical use
- Energy-efficient operation with 2 cost-saving LED bulbs
- Color range from 2,000 to 6,500 Kelvin for cool or warm tones
- Dimmable design for more versatile use
Make your home smarter with our selection of Smart Plugs & LEDs
Philips Hue Smart White Lucca Outdoor Lantern
Another showstopper from the Philips Hue line, the Lucca Outdoor Lantern is a top choice for smart outdoor lanterns due to its durable design and wide compatibility.
The Lucca lantern is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Nest, and SmartThings and works with a Philips Hue bridge.
Its weatherproof design withstands the elements year-round, and its plug-and-play design means you can get your outdoors illuminated within minutes of unboxing.
Other features of the Lucca include:
- Remote operation via the Philips Hue bridge for scheduling hours of operation, changing brightness, dimming, and more
- 800 lumens brightness for adequate lighting at your back or front door
- Contemporary lantern design with concentric circles to match modern home decor
- Warm white light color is easy on your eyes for comfortable viewing
Philips Hue Econic Outdoor Pedestal
The Philips Hue Econic outdoor pedestal lamp casts warm or cool diffused light in a choice of 16 million easily adjustable colors for a lighting experience that can’t be beat.
The customization is endless with shades available from warm to cool, and the 360-degree illumination is perfect for paths and landscaping.
This low-voltage light is made with a high-quality aluminum casing and tempered glass shade for ultimate weatherproofing, so its longevity and performance are the best they can be while exposed to the elements.
Other features include:
- Compatibility with the Philips Hue bridge, app, or indoor switch for remote control
- UL Wet Location rated for use in areas with heavy rain and humidity
- Maximum customizability for use as an everyday outdoor light, special occasion light, or holiday decor light
Illuminate your space with all our Outdoor Lights
Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Calla Bollard Landscape Path Light
Illuminate your landscape with the Calla Waterproof Landscape Path Light from the Philips Hue line. Like other lamps from the Philips Hue line, the Calla light is compatible with the Philips Hue bridge and Amazon Alexa for remote control and dimming.
The low-voltage light connects with other Calla lights or other Philips Hue outdoor lights within 30 feet from the hub or 60 feet of other light, offering flexibility in placement. You can combine this lamp with up to 50 other Philips Hue products on a single bridge as long as they’re all within proximity.
This lamp’s features include:
- Low-wattage operation at 8W
- Integrated LED bulb for low-energy operation
- Aluminum casing for weatherproofed durability
- Battery operation for flexible cordless placement
- Frosted glass housing offers a soft glow
- UL-listed for safe operation outdoors
- Plug-and-play design to get you up and running fast
Considerations When Shopping for Smart Outdoor Lighting
There’s no single smart lighting system that’s best for every single homeowner or renter because the market is so varied with so many different feature sets.
To get the most out of your purchase, it’s important to decide what’s most important to you and prioritize those features accordingly.
Smart lighting could be the best investment you make in your outdoor patio and garden area, so don’t hesitate to choose the smart lights that are the best for you and your situation.
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