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Philips SceneSwitch LED bulbs make mood lighting easier than ever

Philips SceneSwitch LED brightness
Mood lighting has never been this easy to achieve. Thanks to the new Philips SceneSwitch LED bulbs, you can change the color (or really, the hue) of your lights with nothing more than the flick of a switch. Gone is the need for expensive wireless hubs and color-changing bulbs. Rather, the SceneSwitch system is an all-in-one solution that will let you choose among daylight, soft white light, and a warm glow more seamlessly than ever before.

The SceneSwitch adapts existing light switches to deliver three distinct light settings, providing basic control over the light scenes in your home. Ready to work right out of the box, these light bulbs need no app or internet connection to work. 

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Installation promises to be as simple as that of any other light fixture. Simply screw these LED light bulbs into a lamp or your ceiling fan (or whatever light source you may have) and flick a switch to get things going. To change the color, just flick the switch on and off until you’ve achieved your ideal color.

And don’t worry — you won’t have to flick endlessly every time you enter a room. Once you’ve left a switch alone for six seconds, the smart bulbs will recall that particular setting as the default. That means that the next time you turn on those lights, your fixtures will automatically illuminate in its most recent color temperature. What more could you want?

Bulbs start at just $9 each at Home Depot, which makes them some of the most affordable smart home accessories around. So if you’re tired of constantly fighting with harsh, unflattering light, the SceneSwitch may be a decent option.

So plan that romantic evening, friends. Your smart lighting system (and smart home) are ready to help you make an impression.

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Smart light bulbs vs. smart switches: The pros and cons
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Updating your home lighting is a big project, and it may be easy to lean toward smart lights. However, smart light switches can deliver much of the same convenience at a lower cost. Let's put these two categories of products head to head and figure out which makes the most sense for your setup.
Do I need smart light bulbs with a smart switch?
You do not need smart bulbs to install smart switches. That's really what's so convenient about smart switches. They provide connectivity to lights without needing to change the bulbs themselves, so you can control them remotely from your phone, via voice assistants like Alexa and Siri, or by setting automations so they turn on at sunset. This feature is especially helpful when light fixtures are set at inaccessible locations, making bulb replacement challenging. Smart switches are also handy because they can activate other outlets that are connected to different appliances. This can give you the chance to remotely control a lot more than just lights.
Do smart switches work with normal light bulbs?
The vast majority of smart switches work with normal light bulbs. You'll need to check the packaging, though. Some smart light bulb manufacturers make switches specific to their light bulbs. For example, Philips has a dedicated switch that communicates wirelessly to all of the Hue bulbs in the house.

The smart switches that work with normal bulbs will have their own apps and setup processes where you'll have to wire them into your home's electrical. They'll also need Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to connect to the home network so you can control the switch from your devices and build automations. On that note, you'll want to make sure smart switches are in range of your Wi-Fi router to ensure consistent connectivity. So you may need to move your Wi-Fi router or get a network extender to ensure coverage.
Are smart lights or smart switches more expensive?
Smart switches tend to be cheaper than smart lights. You can certainly find cheap smart lights, and the fanciest smart switches can crest the $100 mark.  Those higher-end smart switches will often have features like built-in speakers and microphones so you can use voice assistants like Alexa.

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Top 5 benefits of smart lighting
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On the surface, smart lighting systems might seem like a superficial upgrade. Is it that hard to flip a light switch? But coming to grips with the full breadth of benefits they provide can be challenging. That is, until you've enjoyed them. For those who haven't had the pleasure of their pleasing glow, we've rounded up the top five reasons you'll never want to live in a house without them installed.
1. Convenience
First and foremost, smart lights let you illuminate your whole home simultaneously. Being able to basically snap your fingers and go from on to off across every room at once saves a lot of cumulative switch flipping. Going to bed is equally easy. Every light can stay on while you're snuggled up nice and toasty in bed.

Fiddling with the app might seem like just as much work as flipping a physical switch, but there are other options. These bulbs sport voice activation with the full range of virtual assistants. You can set automatic schedules that can match your lights with sunrise and sunset, for example. Geofencing helps a bunch, too. Your lights can automatically turn off when you leave the house, and turn on when you get home. With minimal initial setup, your lights can operate on cruise control.
2. Saving energy
If your home is still running on traditional incandescent light bulbs, and you're going to upgrade to LEDs anyway, you might as well splurge and get in on some of those added conveniences. Smart lights don't just save power by sheer virtue of being LEDs, either.

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Guide to smart light switches
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Replacing every light in the house with a smart bulb can get pricey quickly. One easy way to add intelligence to a room's lights is with a smart light switch. Once installed, you'll be able to remotely control your lights, automate activation, or use voice assistants from Google, Apple, and Amazon as if you had full-blown smart lights. Here's how it all works.
What does a smart light switch do?

A smart light switch replaces an existing light switch. When you link it to your home's wireless network you can flip that switch off and on remotely or via voice assistants. Your light bulbs don't need to be smart lights, they just need to be the lights connected to that switch.

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