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Best solution for white light?

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Best solution for white light?
« on: November 15, 2016, 10:29:44 pm »
I'm not interested in changing colors, just good, incandescent-style white light in my office lamps. One is a single bulb, the other holds two bulbs. I'd like to turn them all on and off with a single command. I want reliable connectivity. What's the best solution for me? I find looking at Hue bulbs online very confusing. It seems there are many different numbers.

Re: Best solution for white light?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2016, 10:45:26 pm »
Are you certain that light bulbs are the only devices you want to control and/or automate?  Or is it possible you might want to add sensors, wall switches, plug modules, etc to your setup?  If the latter then a more capable controller like the SmartThings or Wink hubs are a better choice.  In fact Amazon has a deal on SmartThings hubs for $49.99.  That not only gets you a more capable controller for far less, you can also choose from multiple smart bulb manufacturers that are ST-compatible.

On the other hand, if you're certain that light bulbs are all you'll care about, the Hue system is both simple and reliable.  But the bulbs are expensive and can't be used with any other controller.

Re: Best solution for white light?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2016, 03:34:59 am »
As far as I know, the only numbers that are quoted with regard to Hue bulbs refer to the size and whether they are screw (ES) or bayonet fitting. There are two basic types: White, where you can only control the brightness, and Ambient White, where you can also control colour temperature. I have both types at home, and I'm very happy with them, but I'd say they probably aren't bright enough for an office environment, about equivalent to an old 60W bulb. You need to look at lumen output.

Re: Best solution for white light?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2016, 08:26:03 am »
Are you certain that light bulbs are the only devices you want to control and/or automate?  Or is it possible you might want to add sensors, wall switches, plug modules, etc to your setup?  If the latter then a more capable controller like the SmartThings or Wink hubs are a better choice.  In fact Amazon has a deal on SmartThings hubs for $49.99.  That not only gets you a more capable controller for far less, you can also choose from multiple smart bulb manufacturers that are ST-compatible.

On the other hand, if you're certain that light bulbs are all you'll care about, the Hue system is both simple and reliable.  But the bulbs are expensive and can't be used with any other controller.

If ST is only $50 on amazon, buy it!!!  granted its not the most stable system but its continually getting better... great deal.

Re: Best solution for white light?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2016, 09:51:43 am »
In my office, I'm only interested in the lights.  At home, I'll probably be interested in more complete automation, but I don't have anything at home yet.  I think the 60-watt bulbs are fine for my office because these are ambient lamps and not what I rely on for task lighting.  Are the plain white bulbs warm enough, i.e. comparable to incandescent bulbs?

Re: Best solution for white light?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2016, 12:41:27 pm »
I bought an Echo, a Smartthings hub, A Hue Hub and some of the Hue White bulbs last week and set them up yesterday.  The color temp is very similar to incandescent builds to me. I have one in my home office and use it for additional lighting when needed and it is fine for that.

If all you care about in your office is lighting, then you can probably get by with just the Hue hub and bulbs. From the Hue app you can create routines that will trigger at specific times if you need that and you can add a widget on an iPhone that will let you control the bulbs without having to unlock the phone. You can also group the bulbs so they are all turned on or off together, or control them separately.

If you want to add other things, then you may want to consider the Smartthings hub.

I hope that this helps  :)

Re: Best solution for white light?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2016, 01:02:06 pm »
Very helpful.  Thanks.

Re: Best solution for white light?
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2016, 02:34:28 pm »
OK, you guys have finally convinced me to get into home automation with the SmartThings hub and gadgets.  Some quick questions:

Is this the SmartThings hub latest version:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010NZV0GE/ref=s9_acsd_hps_bw_c_x_1_w

Or should I start with a kit such as home monitoring kit?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010NZV14U/ref=s9_acsd_hps_bw_c_x_2_w

Please suggest the most essential gadgets to begin with.

Thanks. Mike

Re: Best solution for white light?
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2016, 04:08:29 pm »
OK, you guys have finally convinced me to get into home automation with the SmartThings hub and gadgets.  Some quick questions:

Is this the SmartThings hub latest version:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010NZV0GE/ref=s9_acsd_hps_bw_c_x_1_w

Or should I start with a kit such as home monitoring kit?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010NZV14U/ref=s9_acsd_hps_bw_c_x_2_w

Please suggest the most essential gadgets to begin with.

Thanks. Mike


The V2 is the current hub version.  I would just suggest starting with either smartbulbs, switches, and outlets.  I currently have 5 or 6 switches, a couple outlets, a few smartbulbs, and a wireless relay for my garage door. 

planning on adding a few more switches and a couple motion sensors.

Once you get the hang of setting things up, you can add things as you come up with ideas on what to automate.

Re: Best solution for white light?
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2016, 12:46:13 am »
Thanks fstbusa for a reply.  The monitoring kit interests me most at the moment, as it can sense movement in  a house and motify us via cell phone if there is any while we are away.  Since we will be away during Thanksgiving for a few days. that would be real handy.  No time now to set it up before we leave, tho. 

Has anyone set one of these kits up?

Offline kevb

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Re: Best solution for white light?
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2016, 12:56:27 pm »
Mike, one piece of advice before you buy too much stuff: check the wiring for your switches. Most automated switches require a neutral. I moved from a place in Chicago built in the early nineties, no problem. Now I live in a place in Minnesota built in the 70s, and very few switch boxes have a neutral. Three way lighting can also be "interesting" with home automation. Basically, start slow. Good luck!

Re: Best solution for white light?
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2016, 02:14:45 pm »
@kevb
Thanks for the tips.  Our house was built in 2001 and has modern wiring including CAT 5e outlets in 4 rooms which we use; I have gigablt network switches at each ethernet outlet. VERY handy!  I can imagine two (or three)-way switches are tricky although our ganged light switches at either end of the stairs might be handy to automate someday.  Overall, our modern home has lighting laid out well, and automated lights are not a real high priority, although a lamp bulb or two could likely use some automation.

Offline kevb

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Re: Best solution for white light?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2016, 03:32:31 pm »
Very nice, I'm stuck with power through the fixtures and Romex. I'd need to either tear out all the drywall or move to get what I really want!