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Like you never left: Creating peace of mind at home with smart lighting

iDevices News, Like you never left: Creating peace of mind at home with smart lighting
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Our smart lighting products aren’t just about convenience; they offer peace of mind without weighing on your mind. Use them to control your exterior lighting for extra security at night (the curb appeal can’t hurt either). Inside the house, smart lighting can help put your mind at ease when you arrive home, or when you’re away for an extended time.

Read on as we explain how to use iDevices products to step up security inside and outside your home.

Location, location, location

When you think of locations for smart lighting products like our Dimmer Switch and Wall Switch, exterior fixtures may not be the first that come to mind. But, they’re actually some of the most useful for a smart light switch.

We’re talking about the light switches likely located near or next to your entryways (front door, side entry, back porch, etc.). Dimmer Switch and Wall Switch are singe-pole, 3- and 4-way compatible, so they’ll work in any location no matter the configuration.

If you have any single-pole exterior fixtures, our Instinct™ smart light switch is a great option. With Alexa built inside this switch, you can control it directly with your voice (no separate smart speaker needed) when your hands are full on the way in or out of the house.

On the Sun’s schedule

Sunrise and sunset automations are one of the easiest ways to customize your exterior lights for added security. Set your lights to turn on at sunset, or just before. Have your lights turn off at sunrise, or shortly after. As daylight adjusts throughout the year, so do these automations.

No matter the time of year, you’ll always arrive home to a well-light home. Based on the platform you prefer, there are a few different ways to set up this type of automation since Wall Switch and Dimmer Switch work with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT.

  • Create sunrise/sunset schedules directly in the iDevices Connected app, which is HomeKit-based (you will need an Apple Home Hub). 
  • If you prefer the Amazon Alexa app, you can create a sunrise/sunset Routine for your switches (this works with Instinct, as well). If you haven't connected your products with Alexa yet, click here to learn how. 

Maybe you only want your exterior lights on after you head to bed. If that’s the case, a sunset schedule may not be what you want.

Instead, set up a custom schedule in the iDevices Connected app. Click here to learn how to create individual product schedules in our app (you can also schedule Scenes, which we'll discuss below). You have the ability to set up to 24 individual schedules per product — more than enough to customize your lighting inside and out.

Works like magic

Another option for those exterior fixtures is an automation we refer to as a Trigger in the HomeKit world. With a Trigger, a certain action — like you arriving home — triggers a Scene, another HomeKit feature allowing you to control multipe products with a single command.

There are four different kinds of triggers you can create within our app: Product, Location, Home, and Sensor. You can learn more about triggers here (if you’re running iOS 11.2 or later, an Apple Home Hub is required to create triggers).

We suggest a Location trigger that turns exterior and interior lighting on when you arrive home. When you're nearby, this trigger will activate a Scene that you've created. If you don't want every light in the house to turn on, you can customize locations with your Scene, like the foyer or mudroom. 

If you don’t have an Apple Home Hub or prefer a different platform, you can create the same type of automation in the Amazon Alexa app. We’ve also set up an Applet on IFTTTT that allows you to turn on a product when you arrive at your destination.

While you’re away

Recent crime statistics show that a majority of break-ins — just over 70% — occur when people aren’t home. So it’s important to take precautionary measures if you’re expecting to be away for an extended period.

Besides securing your home, scheduling your lights to turn on daily is an effective deterrent. Any would-be burglar casing your neighborhood is more likely to avoid your home if they notice lights on every evening.

We suggest having lights inside and outside your home scheduled daily to turn on when it gets dark. You can have certain lights turn off later at night, such as a lamp connected to an iDevices Wall Outlet. If someone drives by a second time and notices a lamp that was on a few hours earlier is now off, they may be more likely to think you’re home.

Before you leave, create a “Going Away” Scene in the iDevices Connected app that turns on the appropriate lights. You can schedule the Scene to activate at a certain time, such as when you’d normally arrive home from work. Next time you go away, you’ll already have that Scene created and can easily reschedule it.  

Need help setting any of these ideas up with your iDevices smart home products? Visit our support portal to learn more, or contact our U.S.-based customer experience team.