Electric gadgets don't have to be only bad for the environment. They can help lower electricity bills, and some modern versions last much longer than the ones they replace. One of them is the modern LED lights. A good LED lightbulb typically lasts for 25,000 hours of use and consume a fraction of the energy of classic bulbs with a glowing wolfram thread.
Just by replacing old lightbulbs with LED ones, you save both money and work. In addition to that, you can save even more by using them intelligently. Lighting systems like Philips Hue and IKEA Trådfri come with smart accessories and apps that make it easier to have lights on only when they are needed. Some of what these systems are capable of are:
Turning on lights when someone comes home. Turning them off when no one is home.
Turning on lights when it gets dark and off when it gets light.
Adjust the amount of light coming from a lamp instead of just turning 100 percent on or off.
Let lights in pass-through rooms, like hallways, turn on when motion is detected and off when it's not. Do the same for outdoor lights to make it an uncomfortable environment for thieves.
Automatic dimming and change of color temperature of lights at certain times. This saves electricity and can also improve your sleep.
Turn lights on and off at slightly random times to mimic human use, making it difficult for burglars to see when you are at home and away.
Letting you remotely monitor and control everything. If you forget to turn something on or off, you can do it from your smartphone or a computer.
If you add intelligent wall sockets, you can have any electric appliance or device automatically turn on or off. Automation can be triggered by motion, light and darkness, schedule, and temperature.
Add a camera and have it activated by sound or motion, and you have a surveillance system.
Combine your smart home with a digital assistant, like Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri or Google Assistant, and you can control it with your voice.
To summarize: Smart home systems can save electricity while making many small things a little more convenient and efficient, and you can also go nuts and over-automate if that is what you like. 🙂 If you want a lot of features and are less bothered by cost, look at Philips Hue. If you only need the basics and don't want to spend a lot, IKEA Trådlös might be for you. We use both at home. IKEA Trådlös for outdoor lamps and indoors where on/off and dimming is enough. Philips Hue, we use in rooms where we spend a lot of time and want to be able to fine-tune light color temperature. Google Home is our choice of a digital assistant.