Smart home solutions are helping homeowners across the country with tedious day-to-day tasks. Although you may not think of your lighting often, it has the potential to impact our mood, sleep, and even safety. Automated lighting is one of the most popular smart home products, and Innovative Audio Video offers plenty of lighting solutions for Erie residents. Whether you want to control them from your mobile device or integrate them into the rest of your home automation system, here are several benefits to owning a smart lighting system.

Sleep Soundly

According to a study, lighting can help improve your quality of sleep. Your body produces a hormone called melatonin that naturally increases in the evening and helps induce sleep. Melatonin production is triggered by lower light conditions in the evening, so experiencing blue or bright lights in the evening can easily disrupt the melatonin response and cause poor sleep. Think about it: many of us spend late nights working at our computers, watching movies, scrolling through our cell phones, or playing video games without feeling tired. Smart lighting can solve this issue by automatically dimming in the evening, approximately an hour before you go to bed. In the morning, you can achieve the opposite effect by programming lights to turn on and gradually brighten when it's time to get out of bed. This may help your sleep cycle feel more adjusted over a brief period.

Improve your Mood

Another study found that bright lights influence how intensely humans experience their emotions. If you're feeling stressed or on edge, simply dimming the lights in your home may help you relax and make decisions more calmly, but bright lighting can also affect us in positive ways. If you want to cultivate a sense of efficiency, bright lights will help encourage you to clean the kitchen or finish the project. Ambient brightness can make people feel warmer, and even increase the perception of attraction or aggression in others. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a common issue that affects many people during the darker winter months caused by a reduction in serotonin, the mood-regulating hormone, as a result of less light exposure. Smart lighting can help out in all these cases; you can program your lights to switch to bright, cool colors during work hours and warm, soft tones in the evening. Increase the brightness on dull winter days to keep morale up, or if you need to have a family discussion, toning down the brightness may help keep "hot" emotions in check.

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Conserve Your Energy

If you aren't convinced that lighting will improve your mood and sleep patterns, then maybe improving your home's energy efficiency and saving your wallet will. In the United States, residential lighting consumed 219 kilowatt-hours in 2020, which is about 4 percent of the electricity used by the residential sector. In Erie, you may be spending more than $3,000 per year on your electricity bills, but there are few changes you can make that will bring down those costs. The easiest solution is to switch to LED light bulbs, which consume 80% less energy than other light bulbs and have a lifespan 25x longer. Many smart home lighting systems come with LED lights, which also radiate less heat which causes your AC to work twice as hard. You can program your smart lighting systems to automatically turn off at a time when everyone has left the home, so it doesn't matter if someone forgot to turn off the bathroom light before leaving. Alternatively, many systems come equipped with motion sensors that will only turn on a light when someone enters the room at an appropriate intensity based on the time of day.

Automate Tedious Tasks

Automating tasks is in itself a huge benefit. It leads to a home that operates smoothly by removing the least efficient piece of the equation: human intervention. Imagine exterior lights flickering on as you enter the driveway and the kitchen lights switching on to welcome you home from the grocery store with arms full of bags. Members of the family who may not be able to reach the lights due to height or reliance on crutches or a wheelchair won't be forced to fumble in the dark trying to make it to the bathroom at night. Customized lighting usage can create "living zones" in highly trafficked areas of the home to keep your dining room looking calm or your living room inviting. You only want to use lighting when necessary so you can save money, and if you ever want to make an adjustment, it's easier to control them from your mobile device. Furthermore, your lights can integrate with the rest of your smart home solutions, like your automated home security system.

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Secure your Property

Did you know that your smart lighting systems can help keep you safe? When you're away from home, "Mockupancy" is a method that tricks anyone passing by into believing your home is occupied. You can program sets of lights to switch on and off in different rooms throughout the day as if someone were moving through the home. This, along with exterior lighting, can deter intruders by giving the appearance that someone is home. Alternatively, you can set up lighting triggers that switch on when someone sets foot on the property; an external security light that sets off an internal light will probably be enough to scare them off. If you want to go a step further, by integrating your lighting system with your security system, the lighting triggers can also automatically turn on security cameras to record the scene.

Your lighting has the power to affect your health, wallet, and behaviors, so why not let it help you live at your best? If you have questions about how smart lighting systems can make an impact on your lifestyle or if you’re ready to bring smart lighting solutions to your Erie home, contact our team of professionals at Innovative Audio Video today!