An interview with a smart (lighting) guy

Enzo Peres, Smart Home Product Manager at LEDVANCE, explains the fascination of intelligent lighting

Upgrading? Redecorating? Moving house? Either way, the wow factor needs to be considered. The good news is: going smart could set you apart! Whether controlling all your lighting with an app or introducing voice control – there are some exciting things happening right now when it comes to home-based gadgets. We spoke to smart lighting expert Enzo Peres to find out more.

Smart Home

Enzo Peres only has smart light bulbs at home. And is always looking to upgrade. “As soon as I hear about new products, I can’t wait to get hold of them,” he tells us. Luckily for Peres, in his role as Smart Home Product Manager at LEDVANCE, he often has the chance to try out the latest light bulbs and software updates before they hit the market. “Jaw-dropping moments are common in my job,” he beams. What’s exciting is that such moments can also become common in homes. Smart lighting is now a hot trend in interior design – and is far easier to set up than you might think.

You don't have to rewire, but you need internet access
“Getting started is easy,” says Peres, “there is no need for tools, coding or rewiring.” With the LIGHTIFY starter kit (containing the LIGHTIFY Gateway and a LIGHTIFY Classic A60 RGBW light bulb), all you need is an internet connection and a smartphone to download the app. Alternatively you can try the ‘smart ready’ dimming kit containing one LIGHTIFY switch and one dimmable light bulb, where the switch can be used like a remote control for the light bulb. Either way, it is always possible to start small: “You can experiment with smart lighting bit by bit,” he explains, “for example, by first testing out just one light bulb, or just one room.” For Peres, an important initial step is to decide for which purpose you would like to use the technology. He groups the main benefits into four categories – customization, comfort, security and money saving.

Let’s start with customization. This can help save time, impress guests and change the ambience of a room within seconds. “Take a living room,” says Peres, “here you may have ceiling spots, a table light bulb and a standing floor light bulb. By using these in different combinations, or with various temperatures or colors, you can substantially change the look and feel of a space. With smart lighting, you can pre-program different scenes, and then activate them with the press of a button.”

Great comfort running a motion sensor
“For those who are more interested in comfort, a smart motion sensor could be the answer.” Light bulbs can be set to come on when you walk into a room, or turn off if a room is vacant for a while. Different levels of brightness can be programmed according to the time of day, so that at night for example, only a dimmed light bulb is triggered. According to Peres, smart sensors could completely replace light switches in the future.

Next up is security. “If this is a main concern, smart lighting can be used to give the impression that someone is home when you are not.” Whilst mechanical spring-wound timer switches can only be set to activate/deactivate light bulbs at the same time each day, smart lighting provides a more random (and therefore more realistic) pattern.

Smart Home

Smart Home

The final benefit is financial. “Avoiding unnecessary light bulb usage with sensors, combined with the reduced energy consumption and lack of maintenance costs associated with LEDs, can save money,” explains Peres.

Cutting-edge trend: light control via voice with Amazon Echo
Anything to add? “Yes, smart lighting is fun!” The most recent innovation our smart expert can’t wait to try out is Amazon Echo. The voice-controlled smart speaker can now be connected to LIGHTIFY light bulbs – meaning you can change your lighting using verbal instructions. “You don’t even have to talk directly to the box: It’s like another person is in the room and listening to you,” he says.

Throughout the decades, the latest gadgets have never failed to impress. In the past it was washing machines or cordless phones; today it’s smart lighting. Yet unlike other household inventions in the past, this most recent innovation can also help you save some pennies. As the technology keeps evolving and market feedback boosts usability, it would be smart to say there are some exciting times ahead.