A design for life

The Kevin McCloud Column

Designer, writer and television presenter Kevin McCloud leapt into our consciousness with his vastly successful ‘Grand Designs’ show on Channel 4. This month, the affable architectural business owner talks about why you need smart lighting in your home.

When I first started my lighting business there was no such thing as smart lighting. It is a concept that has developed and evolved alongside technology’s advancements over the past couple of decades, and our homes are all the better for it… making where we live inviting, attractive and more secure, yet it transcends the mere ability to switch lights on and off remotely. 

Think about convenience, customisation and automation. You can enjoy the comfort of walking into a well-lit home without manually switching lights on. In reverse, you can significantly lower electricity costs by activating lights only when needed, and by turning off when not in use. And of course all configurations are available via an app.

Then consider smart LED bulbs that significantly outlast traditional incandescent bulbs, boasting lifespans ranging from 25,000-50,000 hours compared to the mere 1,000-2,000 hours of their conventional counterparts. 

Given their extended duration of service, investing in smart LEDs not only ensures lighting for decades based on usage, but also represents wise financial thinking.

I also love the voice control element of lighting our homes – a ground-breaking advance where lighting settings can be directed through straightforward voice commands. 

By pairing your smart lighting with leading smart home assistants such as Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa, users gain the ability to effortlessly command switch on, turn off, dim, or colour alteration. 

Of course security is a big thing too – the ‘away mode’ functionality allows homeowners to mimic occupancy by systematically turning lights on and off, creating the illusion of someone being at home. When integrated with a comprehensive home security system, this feature serves as a robust deterrent against unauthorised entry.

And finally, remote-controlled lighting solutions for homes offer the ability to create diverse atmospheres and settings. Beyond simple dimming, these innovative lights boast a spectrum of colours, changeable on command, to perfectly match any desired ambiance.

Schedule your kitchen to brighten for your morning coffee, the living-room for a midday reading session and the bedroom for a soft, calming glow at night, while keeping other areas dim to conserve energy and create the perfect ambiance for every moment of your day.

These are all reasons why the smart lighting revolution has become such an important part of our lives – for versatility, efficiency, economy and pleasure.

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