Smart lights are convenient. But in my mind, smart lights for outdoors is where smart bulbs really shine.
There are many outdoor areas around our home where we need lighting.
Being able to have these lights programmable by time or to be controlled from your smartphone, adds an extra layer of convenience and security.
We will cover several areas where you might need smart lights and which type will be the best in each situation.
In some cases, all you need is a smart bulb to upgrade your outdoor lighting. If you want to know more about smart bulbs themselves, please read our other article, which is a full smart bulb guide.
You will notice that the recommended products are the Philips Hue brand. That’s because I’m a huge fan. Some of their products may seem a little pricey, but I think the quality you get makes them worth it.
Hue products are currently created and produced by Signify N.V. So, it’s not actually a Philips light but still bears the name.
Smart lights for outdoors
Each outdoor area needs the right type of smart light to deliver the lighting performance so you are able to see clearly enough. For example, you don’t want a reading desk lamp bulb in your barbecue area. That would obviously be pointless.
Not only do we want the right amount of lumens, but also the best light angle coverage for each situation.
For your porch
Porch lights are definitely one of the easier type of outdoor light to shop for.
It’s a high likelihood that you already have lighting in this area, so it’s most probably the case that all you need to do is upgrade the bulbs.
The other aspect that makes this type of lighting easy to upgrade, is the high probability that porch lights take an ordinary style of light bulb that would normally be used indoors.
Of course, there are a few exceptions. For example, some unique lantern style or cable hanging lights require specific types of light bulbs.
For this situation, it is best that you simply try and match the correct smart light bulb for it. Or, if that isn’t an option, replace the light fitting with a smart product’s complete light unit.
Assuming you have a standard type of light fitting for your porch, here is our recommendation.
Recommended smart porch light bulb
I highly recommend the Philips bridge, if you don’t have one already. It connects up with all your smart lights in your house, so you can manage them easily. This recommended kit comes with a bridge and two bulbs. One hub handles up to 50 bulbs.
These bulbs provide up to 806 lm. Which is close to the average 60W light bulb.
Here is a full light fitting that we can recommend, in case you need to replace the entire light unit.
Recommended smart porch light (Modern Style)
Recommended smart porch light (Lantern Style)
This light provides around 840 lumens and comes with a black finish and Aluminum body material. It has a sleek modern look.
Depth: 7.3 inches Length: 8.1 inches Height: 10.6 inches
Materials consist of metal and glass. Provides 1150 lumens. Which makes it the obvious choice when requiring extra lighting power.
Depth: 7.3 inches Length: 8.1 inches Height: 10.6 inches
Driveway path and other paths
It’s great to see the boundaries of your driveway at night, especially if you have a long driveway. The same holds true when walking around your house at night. Having pathway lights also helps everyone tread more safely.
If you don’t have existing wiring running to any of the areas you want lit, you will have to call in an electrician to install the outlets and wiring for your new lights.
Recommended path lights
Made from sturdy aluminum, this light provides you with 600 lumens, which is the perfect amount for illuminating your pathways.
This will require a Hue bridge. You are able to dim and change the color to anything you like. The wiring is also designed to allow extensions in order to run longer cabling.
Height: 9.92 inches | Length: 4.09 inches | Width: 4.09 inches
For garage entry area or other primary entry areas
Having a light shining down from your garage entry area has been common practice for many years. The same can be said for above or around your front door area. If you upgrade this important light to a smart light, you can turn it on even before you arrive home.
I like the idea of a light that can stay on at my command. And more than that, one that can be overridden to stay on even after motion hasn’t been detected after a certain given amount of time.
These lights can also be used for barbecue areas, or other areas around your house that you would need to light up from time to time. Another reason could simply be for security purposes.
Recommended garage and main entry lights
Although Philips Ludere doesn’t have a motion sensor, you can easily install a separate sensor in order to get that feature (see motion sensors lower down).
If you already have a security light installed, and wish to make it smart, have a look at Philips’ range of floodlight bulbs.
Here is a set of recommended floodlight bulbs (Amazon link): Philips Hue Floodlight White PAR-38
If this product isn’t enough in terms of features, and you want good lighting, motion detection, and video all in one, here is another option. But it is a little more expensive.
The Ring security light offers some impressive features. Having a complete security light cuts down the number of devices you have to install.
The camera records clear video and detects motion which turns on the light at night. During the day or night, motion begins the video recording, so you can see what triggered the motion sensor at any time.
Illumination for trees, plants, or other features
This can add a really exquisite decorative look to the outside of your house. Pick your favorite garden features, trees, plants, or anything else you wish to accentuate.
You can easily change the color to any color of choice. The smart feature allows you to control it how you would like.
Recommended outdoor spotlight
Putting out 600 lumens of focussed light gives you the perfect means with which to makes certain elements in your outside garden stand out. It also requires a Hue bridge so you can take control of all its features.
Weatherproof and aluminum construction for long term durability.
Height: 7.63 inches | Length: 3.3 inches | Width: 2.75 inches
Motion sensors are needed in areas where you want to maximize your security. An outdoor sensor can provide you with motion sensing for any smart light you want.
This is ideal, seeing as you can place the sensor anywhere you like, and the best part is that no wiring is necessary. It works off batteries and operates through your WiFi connection.
Recommended motion sensors
The adjustable motion sensor sensitivity, this sensor is fully weather-resistant so you can use it anywhere outside your home.
Depth: 2.2 inches | Width: 2.99 inches | Height: 2.99 inches
Whichever type of light you need, having something that is feature-rich and easy to control is very important. Smart outdoor lighting offers just that. A way to control your lights from an app on your smartphone or your voice assistant like Alexa.
On top of that, the features that come with smart lights. Like changing colors or programmable timing for it to turn on or off. One other advantage is being able to have them turn on or off based on other sensors or smart devices’ input.
Some of the products, like the garden path or driveway lights, may not be the quickest to install. But the reward is way worth it when you see them in action.