Smart lighting makes operating your home’s lamps and light fixtures convenient and safe, whether you’re at home or out of town. For even more benefits, take this technology outside to your yard or porch lighting. Choosing automated or smart outdoor lights can add to your home’s curb appeal, energy savings, and security.
Learn more about automated and smart outdoor lighting, the different lighting types available, and the intuitive features that will help you enjoy your outdoor spaces better and longer. For more about conventional outdoor lighting, see our Outdoor Lighting Buying Guide.
If you’re curious how automated outdoor lighting will work for you, try swapping out bulbs in your existing light fixtures for smart bulbs, available through lighting stores, some home improvement centers, and on Amazon. These LED bulbs cost from $20 to $75 each, depending upon wattage and manufacturer. They connect to the internet or a home automation hub such as Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant. You can control them remotely using your computer, tablet, or phone.
Using smart bulbs, you can automate your lights the following ways:
- Turn your light off from the comfort of your bed
- Set your lights to turn on or off at certain times
- Pair your lights with motion sensors
- Add color-changing smart bulbs to enhance the ambiance of your space
- Control your light with your voice by pairing it with voice assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri
Choose from indoor or outdoor-rated connected bulbs. Indoor bulbs will work in protected areas like covered patios, but outdoor-rated smart bulbs are best if your lights will be exposed to the elements. Smart bulbs are a great introduction to automated outdoor lighting, but there’s one drawback: if you turn your light off with the switch, you break the connection, rendering the home automation features useless.
Smart switches are another easy way to automate your existing outdoor lighting. These devices are ideal for porches and entryway lights with indoor switches. Smart switches also connect to the internet or a home automation hub, but they have one advantage over smart bulbs: with an automated switch, you can always operate your lights remotely. Connected switch features allow you to:
- Adjust with the seasons. Never come home to a dark front porch. Set your lights to turn on and off at sunrise and sunset, and your smart switch will adjust with the changing light.
- Enable voice control. Some switches include built-in voice assistants and others pair with your smart speakers.
- Set timers and schedules. Set your lights ahead of time. Some people set their lights to turn off after they leave the house in the morning, turn back on when they return home, and power off for the night around bedtime.
To automate outdoor ambient lighting, plug them into a smart outdoor plug. Now your string lighting, hanging lights, and outdoor lamps have the benefits of connected lighting. Outdoor waterproof smart plugs work just like smart switches, giving you the ability to control your lights through an app or voice control.
Smart & Automated Fixtures
For a more integrated experience, install exterior light fixtures with the following automated and smart features already built-in. If you’re planning to sell your home, a smart lighting investment can make your home stand out to prospective buyers.
- Motion/Light Sensors
This automated feature doesn’t require an internet connection or app. Light fixtures with ambient light sensors or motion sensors can add convenience and safety to your property. These lights automatically turn on when they sense movement or light. This technology is also a great way to save energy: your porch light will automatically turn off even if you forget about it.
- Video and Audio Monitoring
For enhanced security and remote access, consider outdoor light fixtures with integrated cameras and speakers. Combine a floodlight with an interactive camera so you can see and communicate with anyone who enters your yard. You’ll also receive an alert on your phone and be able to watch live video. Or install an elegant porch light with a powerful security camera. These lights are equipped with motion sensors to illuminate when you walk up to the front door, and they can also record any movement and alert you on your phone if someone is at your door.
- Path Lighting
Lighting up pathways, decks, and architectural features of your home is an excellent way to enhance your curb appeal and increase security. It also makes it much safer to navigate your property in the dark. Solar-powered lights are a wireless option, but solar bulbs may not be bright enough. For powerful light that you can easily control, choose smart outdoor pathway lighting.
You’ll have complete control over your connected lighting fixtures using the smartphone app. Some brands offer color-changing capabilities as well, which can be a fun way to highlight your home’s exterior features or landscaping. Smart lighting fixtures can improve almost any outdoor light device, including:
- Post lamps
- Wall lanterns
- Individual bulbs
Automating your outdoor lighting is a convenient way to light up your home and property. With the added security, safety, and decorating possibilities, smart lighting can improve your home’s value and make it a more comfortable place to live.
Robert Kociecki is a real estate industry expert who serves as the Senior Vice President of Property Management and Renovation at Altisource. Altisource and its affiliates provide real estate services for consumers and investors. Visit Owners.com, where home buying and selling is made simple.