Managing your lights when you're not at home can be both a matter of safety and convenience. Whether it's ensuring your house appears occupied or simply having control over your lighting remotely, the concept of controlling lights from a distance offers valuable benefits.

So, how can you achieve this level of control? Smart lighting systems provide a solution by allowing you to manipulate your lights using various applications or voice assistants. To transform your existing lights into "smart" lights, you'll need to ensure they can be connected to the internet.

how to remote control lights away from home

If you opt for smart bulbs, it's essential to keep the light switches in the "on" position to ensure continuous power supply to the bulbs. On the other hand, Bluetooth bulbs necessitate a hub that connects them to an internet source.

Once your system is set up, managing your lights from afar becomes a breeze. Below, you'll find essential information on how to enable remote control for your lights and important considerations to keep in mind during the setup process. With this knowledge, you can easily decide which method suits your needs.

Methods for Controlling Your Home's Light Bulbs and Devices Remotely

When it comes to controlling your home's light bulbs and devices remotely, there are three primary options to consider:

  • Smart bulbs
  • Smart switches
  • Smart plugs

Smart Bulbs

controlling smart bulb remotely

If your main focus is solely on finding a solution for managing individual light bulbs, smart bulbs offer a straightforward choice. 

Opting for smart bulbs allows you to replace your existing light bulbs with intelligent alternatives effortlessly. This transition enables remote control through user-friendly applications or voice-activated assistants. With smart bulbs, you gain flexibility and convenience, making them an ideal solution for targeted lighting control.

Smart bulbs are simple to connect to your home's network or automation hub. These innovative LED bulbs bear a striking resemblance to a regular lightbulb and function just the same. All you need to do is effortlessly screw it into a standard bulb socket, and you're all set to experience its brilliance.

Benefits of Smart Bulbs

  • Simple installation
  • Cost-effective

This bulb is designed for effortless installation, making it an ideal choice for those new to smart lighting. There's no need for any complex wiring changes; just screw in the bulb, connect it to your home network via an app, and you're good to go.

led bulb power efficiency

Compared to most smart plugs or switches, this bulb offers a budget-friendly option. You can enjoy the benefits of smart lighting without breaking the bank.

By embracing this smart bulb, you can transform your lighting experience without the hassle of extensive installation procedures or high costs. Its user-friendly design and affordability make it an excellent choice for anyone looking to venture into the world of smart lighting.

Smart Switches

smart wall switch

For those seeking a comprehensive approach to controlling multiple lights simultaneously, smart switches emerge as an excellent option. By substituting your conventional light switches with intelligent counterparts, you unlock the ability to manage entire lighting circuits from afar. This empowers you to effortlessly turn multiple lights on or off with a single command or preset schedule, ensuring both convenience and energy efficiency.

Introducing smart switches, a revolutionary solution that serves as a direct replacement for your existing light switches. These switches are seamlessly integrated into your home's electrical system, requiring professional installation for optimal performance.

Benefits of Smart Switches

  • Control of hardwired fixtures
  • Sleek aesthetic
  • Dual control options

With smart switches, you gain the ability to control hardwired ceiling light fixtures, fan fixtures, and track lighting. This expanded compatibility allows for comprehensive control over a wider range of lighting fixtures, enhancing the flexibility and functionality of your smart home system.

One of the significant advantages of smart switches lies in their clean and seamless integration into your home's walls. They maintain a sleek and unobtrusive appearance by being installed within the wall, blending harmoniously with your existing decor. This ensures a visually pleasing environment without the need for additional visible devices.

Unlike smart bulbs and plugs, smart switches offer the unique advantage of dual control functionality. They allow you to continue using the manual switch as you normally would while also providing the convenience of control through a dedicated app. This flexibility empowers you to choose between traditional switch operation and the added convenience of remote control via the app, providing a versatile user experience.

By embracing smart switches, you gain the ability to control hardwired fixtures, enjoy a visually appealing setup, and benefit from the convenience of dual control options. Though professional installation is required, the advantages offered by smart switches make them an ideal choice for those seeking a seamless integration of smart lighting into their homes.

Smart Plugs

smart plug for home remote control

If your objective extends beyond lighting control and encompasses other devices, smart plugs provide a versatile solution. These innovative plugs can be effortlessly inserted into standard power outlets, granting you control over any device connected to them. From lamps to appliances, smart plugs empower you to remotely activate or deactivate devices, set timers, and create automated routines tailored to your needs.

Smart plugs are compact devices designed to be plugged into standard wall outlets. Once connected to your home network, these smart plugs establish a wireless connection with your home automation system, enabling convenient control over your plugged-in devices.

Benefits of Smart Plugs

  • Effortless installation
  • Versatility

With a "plug and play" functionality, smart plugs are incredibly easy to install and operate. Plug the smart plug into an outlet and connect your lamps or other devices to it, and you're ready to enjoy smart control.

Note: Smart plugs can be safely connected to a power strip, provided that the combined wattage of the plug and connected devices does not exceed the strip's maximum capacity.

Smart plugs offer greater versatility compared to smart bulbs and switches. In addition to lamps, they can be used with various other electronic devices, such as stereo systems, televisions, and small appliances. This widens the scope of automation within your home.

Advanced Features

  • Monitor energy usage

Some smart plugs go beyond basic control and offer advanced features. For example, certain models can monitor electricity usage, providing insights into energy consumption. They may even estimate the monthly energy cost associated with the device plugged into the outlet, allowing for more informed energy management.

Generally, smart plugs are more cost-effective compared to smart switches. They offer an affordable entry point into home automation without requiring extensive rewiring or replacing existing switches.

By incorporating smart plugs into your home, you can enjoy the simplicity of installation, the versatility to automate a range of devices, and potential energy monitoring capabilities. These advantages, along with their budget-friendly nature, make smart plugs a valuable addition to any smart home setup.

Control Lights With Phone App

controlling light and other devices remotely over phone app

Depending on your smart device, smart home platform and the ecosystem you utilize, there are various apps available for controlling your lighting, switches, or hubs. These apps not only provide control over individual devices but also allow you to group them, enabling simultaneous switching off entire light groups.

When selecting the most suitable app, take into account the smart technology already present in your home and the number of systems you intend to control through the app. Single device (brand) apps are designed to manage a single brand or device, making them ideal for small setups like a single smart bulb or a smart switch connected to lights in a specific room.

To create a more comprehensive and seamlessly integrated smart home system, opting for a multi-tasking app is the ideal choice. These apps are designed to streamline the management of all the smart devices in your household, ensuring a cohesive and user-friendly experience.

Listed below, in no particular order, are some popular apps and ways that can be utilized to control smart lights remotely:

Certain apps offer a convenient feature that automatically detects your presence at home or away, adjusting the lights accordingly.

So, What's the Best Way to Control Lights When You're Not at Home?

Choosing between smart bulbs, smart switches, or smart plugs depends on your specific requirements and the lighting fixtures that are currently in use. Here are our recommendations:

For hardwired ceiling light/fan fixtures and track lighting, options are smart bulbs or smart switches. We suggest opting for smart switches because they allow you to retain the functionality of the physical switch alongside the convenience of control over the smart app. When using a physical switch with a smart bulb, turning off the switch disconnects the bulb from your home network, preventing remote control through your smart device.

The options for lamps and other non-switch-controlled lighting fixtures are smart bulbs or plugs. Choosing between smart bulbs and smart plugs depends on your preferences and priorities.

If cost is a primary concern, smart bulbs are generally the more affordable option, especially if you have several lamps with multiple bulbs to automate.

If versatility and additional features are important to you, smart plugs offer more functionality. They often include features like energy consumption monitoring and can be used to integrate devices like TVs or other electronics into your home automation system.

Consider your specific needs, budget, and desired features to make an informed decision between smart bulbs and smart plugs for your non-switch-controlled lighting fixtures.

By considering these recommendations, you can make a choice that best aligns with your requirements, such as controlling lights when you are away from home and optimizing your home automation system for convenience, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.