One of the cool effects you can create with your smart lights is to make them flash. Flashing lights can help improve your security. They can also create a party mood within just a few seconds. So how do you make your smart lights flash?
You can sometimes make your smart lights flash with a flash mode in your smart app. Sometimes you will need an extra app, like Hue Disco which can create a strobing effect. You can also use IFTTT to set your smart lights to flash when triggered by a timer or motion. This article includes some guides.
In this post, I give some examples of smart light apps that let you choose a flashing or strobe effect. I discuss some ideas for setting your smart lights to flash in certain situations. I also give some tips for when your smart lights are flashing even when you don’t want them to.
If you have any questions about flashing smart lights, this article is for you.
- 5 ways to make your smart light flash
- What cool things can you do with smart lights? 6 ideas.
- Why are my smart lights flashing? Troubleshooting.
- Home Streamliner's Take:
5 ways to make your smart light flash
Firstly, you should consider if your smart lights can flash.
Can smart bulbs flash?
Smart lights such as smart bulbs and smart light strips can flash. Some apps call the effect blinking. To achieve a color flashing effect, you need to use color smart lights. You can create a disco effect. They can also be used as a security feature. Some apps let you control the flashing effect.
In other words, if you want flashing colors, make sure you have color smart bulbs (or lightstrips).
In the same way, consider if your smart lights can strobe.
Can you make smart lights strobe?
A strobing effect occurs when lights flash very quickly. Many smart lights can strobe. Some smart light apps have a strobe effect saved under the scenes or modes. In some cases, you will have to download a second app for the strobe effect. This effect is great for parties, creating a club feel.
How to make a smart light flash depends on the brand of the light. It also depends on the app you are using to control the lights.
This list gives some generic ideas to try to make your smart lights flash. Hopefully, you can apply them to your specific situation.
1. Using a flash mode of your product brand’s app
Most smart light apps allow you to choose different scenes for your smart lights. Many of these scene options have flashing effects.
If you use RGBIC light strips, different sections of the strip can be of different colors. Lights can be made to look like they are flashing along the strip.
Your best bet is to take some time to explore your smart app. Try out all the different modes and take note of which ones have a cool flashing effect.
An example is the Hue Essentials app, which allows you to select a strobe option. To do this, you need to go to the Entertainment tab and select “Dance sensation.” Then you have to tap on “Strobe.”
2. Using an additional app
Sometimes, the original app for a smart light is limited in the effects it allows. Many apps can turn your lights on and off, or change colors and brightness.
However, many third-party apps give you more control over your lighting. Often, these apps are not free. If you want greater control over your light effects, they may be a worthy investment.
A good example is the Hue Disco app. This app costs around $4 and it can be used to create many more effects than the Hue Essentials app.
Note that you need the Hue Bridge to use Hue Disco. The investment may be significantly more if you don’t already have a Bridge.
In the menu on the home screen of the Hue Disco app, you will see three main tabs, Disco, Modes, and Bulbs. Each tab includes more options to personalize your light effects.
For example, you can personalize the color gradient to suit your aesthetic.
You can make the lights change only from blues to greens, or only from yellows to orange and red. You can also set it to warmer colors or coolers colors, or make it alternate between the two.
You can adjust the brightness of the lights as they flash.
You also have great control over how the lights flash when they are in strobe mode. You can adjust how fast the strobe effect is. You can also make the light strobe only in white or in many colors. The colors can also be set to change randomly.
As you can see, the options are almost endless. You may have to play around for a while before you get the results you want.
Unfortunately, the Hue Disco app is made for Hue products. If you are using another brand, you will have to search for another app to customize your flashing effects.
3. Syncing your smart lights to your music
Many of the newer smart light bulbs and smart light strips can easily sync to your music. This is an easy way to create a party atmosphere.
The lights will flash in different colors in response to the beat of the music.
4. Using IFTTT to create a routine
IFTTT stands for “If This, Then That.” It lets you schedule an event (like your lights turning on) in response to a trigger (like a timer going off).
There are many examples where you might want your lights to respond to a trigger, including:
- Your lights flashing when a timer goes off. If you often have your earphones in or struggle to hear, flashing lights can let you know that the timer is going off. The flashing can remind you to take your bread out of the oven or to turn off the sprinklers.
- Your outdoor lights flashing when there is movement outside your door. This is a great security feature.
- Your lights flashing when you forget a door open. You can set the lights to flash if a door has been left open for 10 seconds, for example.
We wrote a helpful article about Outdoor Smart Strip Lights and What You Should Consider. Feel free to click on the link if you’re interested.
You will need to create an account on www.ifttt.com if you haven’t already. Then you will create an Applet which is a tiny application in IFTTT that performs a single function.
Here is an example:
To use Alexa to set a timer and have your Philips Hue lights flash when the timer goes off, follow these steps:
- Click on My Applets.
- Click on New Applet.
- Click on if+this.
- Search for Alexa as a service.
- Click on Amazon Alexa.
- Click on Your Timer goes off.
- Click on +that
- Search for your bulb brand, e.g. Philips.
- Select Philips Hue.
- Select Blink lights.
- Select the lights you want to blink.
- Click on Create action.
- Click on Finish.
5. Making your smart light go into pairing mode
Many smart lights flash when they are in pairing mode. This means that they are “listening” for a device to pair with.
It is best to check your user manual to find out how to make your light enter pairing mode. In many cases, turning the lights on and off three times is sufficient.
What cool things can you do with smart lights? 6 ideas.
There are many cool things you can do with your smart lights. Just with flashing effects alone, there are tons of options. Here are a few ideas:
1. Sync your lights with your TV.
When watching a movie, the lights will imitate the colors on the screen. This makes for a very immersive cinematic experience!
2. Set your lights to flash in blue when someone enters your property
You can create the effect of police sirens going off when someone enters your property. If they aren’t meant to be there, they will leave quickly!
3. Make your bedroom lights flash when your alarm goes off.
If you struggle to get out of bed in the morning, flashing lights may be just the thing you need to wake up.
Of course, there are calmer ways to be woken by your smart lights. You can also set them to turn on over half an hour. This lets you wake up slowly as your lights get brighter. I’d prefer this option, but do what works for you!
Flashing lights are also a good option if you have to get up before the rest of your household. You can turn off the sound of the alarm but still be woken up.
4. Use your smart lights in your TikTok or YouTube videos
If you are a content creator, smart lights are a great tool to use when filming videos. Flashing lights make a great backdrop for dance videos, for example.
Controlling the color of your smart lights also lets you create cool effects for your videos.
No matter what your home looks like, a couple of flashing lights are sure to give it a club atmosphere.
You can sync your lights to your music or you can create your own flashing effects using apps like Hue Disco.
Remember to keep your phone charged during the party. If it dies, you won’t be able to control your smart lights!
6. Win your neighborhood’s Halloween competition!
On Christmas or Halloween, flashing smart lights in your front yard will steal the show.
You can use white and blue lights to create ice effects for Christmas. You can flash black, red, and orange lights along your porch steps for Halloween.
The opportunities are endless. If you are competitive, or just like getting into the holiday spirit, smart lights are your friend!
Plus, because they are smart, you can schedule them to turn off late in the evening to save electricity!
Why are my smart lights flashing? Troubleshooting.
Sometimes, a flashing light is not what you want. If your lights are flickering randomly, here are some things you can check:
1. Is the voltage in your home fluctuating?
Fluctuating voltage in your home can cause your lights to flicker. Make sure that your lights have a constant voltage supply. If you are unsure, an electrician can check for you.
2. Do other appliances have an inrush current?
Some appliances need more electricity when they first turn on. If your lights are on the same circuit, they may dim during this time. Make sure that your lights are on a separate breaker to avoid this.
3. Is your smart light connected securely?
If light bulbs are not screwed into their connections all the way, they can flicker. Screw the bulbs in tighter to fix this.
Sometimes, dust settles in the connection. This can also cause flickering. Blow into the connection first to get rid of any dust.
4. Is your smart light software updated?
It is worth checking if there is an update available for your smart light. Run the update if there is one, sometimes this is enough to stop the flashing.
5. Have you tried turning it off and on again?
It’s cliché advice, but sometimes just turning the light on and off a couple of times fixes the problem.
If not, you can also do a factory reset on the smart light. Take note that you will have to reconnect it after the reset.
Home Streamliner’s Take:
I’ve said it before: flashing lights are not my thing. I prefer a calmer environment from my smart lights.
But even I must admit, setting your smart lights to flash when a timer goes off can be helpful! I work with earphones often, so being alerted of something with flashing lights works for me.
It looks like the Philips Hue lights are tops for creating flashing effects at the moment. Especially with the help of the Hue Disco app! This is a little unfortunate because they are also at the top when it comes to price tags. Nonetheless, I’m all for spending a little more money to guarantee that something works.
If you take your flashing lights seriously, invest in a system that you can control well. If not, any old flashing smart light should do the trick.
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