// MCX Insights

I have seen the light

Sep 2020
Matt Hunt


It all started when I decided to rearrange my Home Theatre. I ordered a Foxtel IQ4 box that will let me watch the Rugby World Cup during September in high quality 4K vision. With the Home Theatre reorganised I thought I ought to upgrade my Universal Remote. This device replaces up to 15 existing remote controls and makes life so much easier. I had great fun programming the new remote control which I found out could do far more than just control the TV. I soon learnt that this single button could also switch and dim all the Smart Lights in my house. So it got me wondering, should I make the switch to Smart Lights? Would it be a waste of time and money? And more importantly, what the hell are smart lights anyway?!

Smart lights are regular looking light bulbs that contain low power consumption LEDs (9 watt) but give off the equivalent light of an incandescent 60-watt bulb. All smart lights connect wirelessly to your home network either directly or through a hub. This enables each bulb to be controlled from your armchair via a smartphone, tablet or a Universal Remote. Lights can be set up in groups so that, for example, all the kitchen lights can be turned off at once when you move into the lounge.

The hub-based systems allow the control of the lights via the web. When everyone is away from the house, say, on holiday. Single lights or groups of lights can be programmed to turn on at sunset and off later in the evening or at sunrise to make it look as if the house is occupied. The lights can come on instantly or fade in over time.

There are two kinds of smart bulb white ones or colour changing ones. The white ones can change their colour temperature from a warm glow (think of a summer sunset) to a bright midday sun and everything in between. The colour changing ones can do 16 million different colours, the ultimate in mood changes.

It’s funny how technology creeps quietly into our everyday lives. I really cannot think how I managed with a set of one colour, one brightness bulbs that I had to get up from my chair to turn on and off. Simpler, faster, better.

Matt Hunt