Our bedrooms are usually a place in our home where we relax and unwind. Whether we are using our phones, watching TV, reading a book, chatting to our partners, or sleeping, our bedrooms should have an atmosphere of warmth, calm, and safety.
The best smart lights for bedrooms are lights of which the brightness and colors can be adjusted. Lights that can create natural light effects can help you relax and sleep better. For example, lights can be scheduled to emulate sunrises in the morning for a slow wakeup, or sunsets when you go to bed.
Once you realize that smart lights in a bedroom can help you fall asleep faster, or help your children to concentrate while they are doing their homework, or slowly wake you up without the jarring shock of a beeping alarm clock, it becomes difficult to justify not having smart lighting in the bedrooms in your home.
Whether you would like to change all the bulbs in your ceilings to smart lights or start with a smart nightstand light, smart bedroom lighting is available for almost any budget. Read on to learn about different lighting styles, security aspects, tips for children and teenager rooms, baby nursery lighting, smart wake lights, and more to choose the right smart lighting for your bedroom.
- 1. Can the smart lights be dimmed?
- 2. Can the smart lights change color?
- 3. Can the lights be automated?
- 4. Can the lights be controlled with an app or voice?
- 5. Can the lights be controlled remotely?
- 6. Do the lights have a camera or microphone?
- Children’s bedrooms are multi-purpose
- Aesthetic designs
- Lighting for homework
- Fear of the dark and monsters under the bed
- Reduced access to controlling apps
- Automated switch-off
- Avoid grumpy teenagers in the morning
Features of the best smart lights for the bedroom
There are several questions that you should ask yourself when choosing smart lights for your bedroom, aside from the obvious factors such as cost, warranty, and quality. These are discussed below before a few good options of brands and models are recommended.
1. Can the smart lights be dimmed?
Since you sleep in your bedroom, lights that help to mimic natural light conditions are ideal. If your lights are dimmable, you can gradually increase the brightness of your lights in the morning to help you wake up. You can also gradually decrease the brightness of your lights in the evening to help you fall asleep.
Furthermore, you might want slightly brighter lights if you are reading than if you are watching TV, for example.
If you are going to install smart lights in your bedroom, they should be dimmable.
2. Can the smart lights change color?
As with changing the brightness, having lights that can change color allows you to create natural light conditions in your bedroom, for example by emulating the colors of a sunrise in the morning or a sunset in the evening.
3. Can the lights be automated?
Changing the brightness and color of your lights manually to create a mood is a good place to start. However, creating automation of this process would be ideal.
Smart lights that have automation features allow you to schedule your lights to turn on at a certain time in the morning and to increase in brightness over a set period, say half an hour. Your lights thus gradually become brighter, waking you up slowly.
In the same way, automated lights could slowly decrease in brightness in the evening at a set time until they are turned off completely.
4. Can the lights be controlled with an app or voice?
If you have created a warm, relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom, the last thing you want to do is get out of bed to switch off your lights before going to sleep. Having lights that can be controlled with an app or respond to your voice eliminates this dilemma.
5. Can the lights be controlled remotely?
If you are always at home, you won’t need lights that can be controlled remotely. But if you travel a lot, this could be a great security feature. You can turn your lights on from anywhere, making it look like somebody is home.
6. Do the lights have a camera or microphone?
Since you may get dressed in your bedroom, have private conversations with your partner, or do other things you don’t want other people to watch or hear, the security of your smart devices in your bedroom may be extra important to you.
To avoid someone hacking into the camera or microphone of your lights, you may want to opt for lights that do not have these features in the first place.
One more thing you may want to check on before making a purchase is the brightness (and color) of the switch light if you decide to install a smart switch to control your lights. Some switches have a small light that indicates that it is on, and if your bedroom is completely dark these little lights can end up being quite bright.
Different smart light bedroom options
*We also wrote an article about the Best Smart Lights For Studying. This article is very helpful, so if you feel like this might apply to your situation please feel free to head over there.
The best smart light bulbs
Smart light bulbs can be installed into your bedroom ceiling individually or as a group. They can also be screwed into a lamp in your bedroom.
The table below shows some of the best smart light bulbs and how they compare based on the features mentioned above.
|Approximate price per bulb||Can lights be dimmed?||Can lights change color?||Can lights be automated / scheduled?||Can lights be controlled with voice with a smart assistant?||Do lights connect to WiFi?||Can lights be controlled remotely?||Do lights have a camera?||Do lights have a microphone?||Factors to consider|
|Philips Wiz Smart Wi-Fi LED Color Bulb||$28||√||√||√||√||√||√||X||X||Not compatible with Philips Hue bulbs Includes a Vacation Mode*|
|Cree Lighting Connected Max Tunable White + Color Bulb||$13||√||√||√||√||√||√||X||X||Doesn’t work with Samsung SmartThings and IFTTTNot compatible with standard dimmer switches App is difficult to work with|
|Sengled Smart Wi-Fi LED||$9||√||√||√||√||√||√||X||X||No hub is required|
|Yeelight Smart LED Color Bulb||$30||√||√||√||√||√||√||X||X||Has a Color Picker|
|Philips Hue White Ambiance A19 Starter Kit||$120 (for the kit)||√||X||√||√||√||√||X||X||This system includes three bulbs and a Hue hub|
|Wyze Bulb A19 White||$9||√||X||√||√||√||√||X||X||Cannot be used with dimmer switches Includes a Vacation Mode*|
|TP-LINK Kasa Filament WiFi Light Bulb||$15||√||√||√||√||√||√||X||X||No hub required|
|Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Lightstrip||$87||√||√||√||√||√||√||X||X||Requires a Hue bridge to work|
|Govee LED Light Strips||$22||√||√||√||√||√||X||X||√||Can sync to any music type|
* Vacation Mode is when the lights randomly turn on and off to make it look as if somebody is home.
Nightstand lights and smart alarm clocks
Smart nightstand lights and smart alarm clocks can have the following additional features when compared to ceiling lights:
- The ability to play relaxing sounds (sleep sounds)
- The ability to play sleep stories (although this may come at an additional cost)
- The ability to display photos
- The ability to play videos
- The ability to make video calls
- They can be moved around in the room
- They can come with rechargeable batteries, which is practical in the case of a power outage
Note that smart alarm clocks emit light via the screen – they are thus only a good option for smart wakeup. They are not lights as such, and they should not be considered for creating a relaxing mood in your bedroom.
The table below shows some good options for smart nightstand lights and smart alarm clocks, comparing them based on the features mentioned in this article.
|Can lights be dimmed?||Can lights change color?||Can lights be automated?||Can lights be controlled with voice?||Do lights connect to WiFi?||Can lights be controlled remotely?||Do lights have a camera?||Do lights have a microphone?||Ability to play sounds?||Ability to play videos?||Ability to display photos?||Ability to play sleep stories?||Ability to make video calls?||Portable?||Rechargeable batteries?||Approximate cost|
|Philips SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light||√||√||√||X||√||X||X||X||√||X||X||X||X||X||X||$220|
|Marrado Bedside Lamp||√||√||X||X||X||X||X||X||√||X||X||X||X||√||√||$43|
|GE Lighting C Wi-Fi||√||√||√||√||√||X||X||X||√||X||X||X||X||X||X||$158|
|Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520/60||√||√||√||X||X||X||X||X||√||X||X||X||X||X||X||$100|
|Philips Hue Go||√||√||√||X**||√||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||√||√||$80|
|Lepro Smart Table Lamp||√||√||√||√||√||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||$38|
|HUGOAI Bedside Lamp||√||√||√||√||√||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||$40|
|Smart Alarm Clocks|
|Lenovo Smart Clock||√||√||X||√||√||√||X||√||√||X||X||√||X||√||√||$50|
|Google Nest Hub Max||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||$229|
|Amazon Echo Show 5||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||$80|
* These need to be purchased after a six-month free trial
** Can be voice-controlled if connected to a Philips Hue Smart Hub
What color light is best for the bedroom?
When you are in your bedroom, the smart light bulbs should be able to create a relaxing atmosphere, which is achieved with soft, warm light.
Warm white light has a yellow tone and a temperature ranging from 2500K up to 3000K. This should be indicated on the box of a light bulb, so check the temperature before you make your purchase.
There has been some limited research that indicates that red light may help humans to sleep better. Scientists hypothesize that colors on the red side of the light spectrum encourage the production of melatonin. However, not enough research has been done to confirm this theory.
Some research has also shown that if you have a personal preference for light color, you may fall asleep faster when exposed to that preferred color.
In any case, you should avoid blue light in your bedroom before bedtime. Blue light has been shown to harm your sleep quality. This is also why you should avoid looking at your cell phone sometime before going to sleep because cell phone screens emit blue light.
Of course, you can play around with different colors in your bedroom during the day and in the evening when you do not want to sleep yet. If you want to create a specific mood, for example for watching a movie or upping the romance, different colors can certainly contribute.
How bright should bedroom lights be?
Ideally, the lighting in your bedroom should mimic lighting outside. That means that the brightness of the light should increase slowly in the morning, remain relatively bright during the day and then become dimmer again in the evening.
Most smart light bulbs have a maximum brightness of around 1000 lumens, and you would probably use a brightness way lower than that in your bedroom most of the time.
How do you use smart wake lights?
Smart wake lights are lights that simulate sunrise to facilitate a natural waking-up process. A smart wake light turns on half an hour before your alarm is set to go off and gradually becomes brighter. This eases your body out of REM (deep) sleep more gently than a traditional alarm clock.
Many smart lights have the smart wake option, which you can select using the associated app.
You can also purchase a smart light alarm clock which has the main purpose of waking you up – this option cannot create much of a mood throughout your room (as opposed to installed ceiling lights) because it is a single light next to your bed.
Many fitness trackers also come with a smart wake option. These trackers can sense in which stage of sleep you are in and wait for you to enter lighter sleep within the half an hour window before your alarm is set to go off. They will then wake you with vibration or an alarm while you are in light sleep.
Smart light ideas for your child’s bedroom
Here are some points to consider when setting up smart lighting in your child’s bedroom:
Children’s bedrooms are multi-purpose
Children’s bedrooms are generally a little more multi-purpose than adult bedrooms. This is because children do not just relax in their bedrooms; they may also do their homework in there, build puzzles, create forts… the options are endless. The lighting options in their rooms should thus also be multi-purpose.
If your child has a favorite color, a color-changing light bulb is a great way to incorporate that color into their room without having to paint the walls. This is especially practical if you are renting, or if your child’s favorite color changes every other week.
Plus, it’s such a simple way to make them really, really happy. If your child is anything like mine, a unicorn light effect from a simple light strip might easily make you parent of the year!
Lighting for homework
The fact that children may do their homework in their bedrooms requires smart light settings that you may not need in your bedroom.
Cooler lights are recommended for increased concentration and productivity. A smart light that can thus achieve this effect, while still being able to provide a warm, soft glow in the evenings, would be ideal.
Fear of the dark and monsters under the bed
A light that can dim enough so that your child can sleep without being afraid of the dark is great for those seasons of fear. This avoids having to ‘leave the door open exactly so wide to let enough light in that the monsters don’t come out.’
Reduced access to controlling apps
Smart lights with a remote are a good option if your child does not yet have a phone on which he/she can use apps to control the lights. These are also practical if you want to reduce your child’s screen time and take their phone for some of the day and night.
If you switch your child’s lights off once he/she has fallen asleep, pairing their night light with a smart plug might be a good idea. You can connect the smart plug to an app on your phone, allowing you to turn it off without having to leopard crawl into the room and risking waking your child.
Avoid grumpy teenagers in the morning
Having the option of your teenager slowly waking up with automated increasing light brightness rather than you having to wake them might help you survive another day. Parents of teenagers – if you know, you know.
Smart light ideas for your baby nursery
Studies have shown that babies exposed to whitish-blue lights do not sleep as well. It is thus a good idea to keep the lights, especially night lights, in your baby’s nursery a warmer color.
If you are nursing your child, you may be worried about him/her waking up further from a night light while feeding. In this case, it could be advantageous to have voice-activated smart lights in your nursery.
You could turn the light on to dim, warm light to pick up your child and start feeding, but turn it off once he or she has started drinking. My daughters certainly fell asleep again after feeding faster if they nursed in the dark at night.
Home Streamliner’s Take:
Investing in smart lighting for your bedroom might be one of the best decisions for your smart home. Creating a relaxing atmosphere and light settings that allow you to sleep better could have huge positive effects on your physical and mental health.
In the crazy-busy lifestyle, many of us find ourselves in today, having a safe space to return to, to relax and regenerate, can help us to wind down from a busy day. I think that smart bedroom lighting is money well spent.
On a final note, the bulbs, strips, or plugs we recommend here don’t have microphones or cameras, so you don’t need to worry about potential prying eyes and ears. One exception is the Govee light strip, which has a mic that activates in music mode, so its LEDs can react to sound in the room. It all happens locally on the device, so it’s not recording or sending audio.
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