9 Pro Lighting Tips To Brighten Any Kitchen May 17, 2017 00:00
When it comes to the average time Americans spend performing household activities, the overwhelming majority is dedicated to food preparation and meal cleanup.
In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that we spend a whopping 25% to 37% of our daily housework time just in the kitchen alone.
It’s no wonder, then, that many people consider the décor of their kitchen to be instrumental in setting the personality for the rest of their home.
That’s why getting your kitchen lighting just right is not only crucial, it should be a priority for anyone looking to improve both the look and feel of their living space.
These 9 lighting tips will help ensure your kitchen is more than just functional—it’s stunning as well.
Don’t depend entirely on recessed lighting
Overdoing your kitchen’s recessed lighting is one of the biggest interior design mistakes you can make. Besides the overpowering glare and the discomforting effects of too much direct overhead light, a room strictly lit by recessed fixtures seems to lack personality.
That’s why you should take extra special care to include other lighting fixtures as well. Chandeliers, wall sconces, table lamps, and under-cabinet lighting are just a few examples of how you can vary it up.
Dimmers are key
An interior decorator’s best friend, the dimmer switch is incredibly important to each and every room’s lighting scheme and the kitchen’s no exception. Nothing alters the mood quite as dramatically as the level of lighting so be sure to seek out dimmable fixtures or bulbs that have the functionality built right in.
Doing so will let you transform your highly productive food factory into a softly lit dinner space.
Keep it bright where you need it, comfortable where you don’t
Keeping in line with the prior tip, don’t bring a disproportionate amount of light to your kitchen space. While it’s definitely advantageous to have bright lighting in the specific cooking areas, certain zones are meant for conversation and actually eating such as center islands.
For these spaces, try to tone down the lighting a bit to add some comfort and encourage friendly discussion.
Incorporate under-cabinet lighting into your kitchen
One of the best new ways to light your kitchen is by adding under-cabinet illumination.
Functioning as both a form of task lighting (for more accurate cooking) as well as accent lighting due to its visual appeal, you can make chopping vegetables on the counter easier than ever while also injecting a bit of style at the same time.
What’s more, such systems can be as simple as LED light strips or tap lights, making them highly accessible for just about anyone!
Don’t neglect the other types of lighting
While the kitchen might be the most task lighting-oriented room in the house, that’s no reason to forget about ambient and accent lighting entirely.
Ambient lighting does particularly well at filling in the dark corners of the kitchen that task lighting just isn’t concerned with.
And when it comes to giving a space a bit of style, there’s no better way of doing so than by highlighting architectural and stylistic features of the room with accent lighting.
If you’ve got your pulse on the world of interior design, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the growing interest in and love for pendant lighting. These beautifully varied and highly versatile lighting elements are perfect for brightening up your kitchen space, especially over the center island.
What’s more, they come in a seemingly endless array of designs and colors so you’re guaranteed to find one that matches your design scheme perfectly.
Use home automation to quickly set the scene
Home automation isn’t just for your thermostat and your television anymore. In fact, adding a bit of smart technology into your lighting has become one of the most quickly growing home trends in the past decade. And incorporating it into your kitchen is both surprisingly simple and incredibly useful.
Beyond being able to tell such smart personal assistants like Amazon’s Alexa to brighten and lower your kitchen’s lights, all without touching a switch, you can also have customized lighting schemes on tap.
Want to brighten the space for an all-counter cooking extravaganza with one click? Or maybe you’d like to vary the lighting scheme just a bit to add some romance to the space. Either way, most smart bulbs will let you create your own personalized lighting scenes at the touch of a button.
Keep it balanced
And finally, try to keep your kitchen’s lighting balanced. The look and feel of a space’s lighting scheme mainly comes down to the interplay between the three types of lighting: task, ambient, and accent.
While each are important to have in every room, you don’t want one to overpower the other. Is your task lighting drawing the eye more than your accent lighting? Is the ambient light too low to really fill in the gaps produced by the other two?
It takes a bit of mix and matching but, with a bit of hard work, a sharp eye, and following the tips above, your kitchen is bound to become one heck of a gorgeous space.
How have you used lighting to bring your kitchen to life?
What’s your favorite kitchen lighting technique? Which ones have changed both the look and feel of your space? Let us know in the comment section below and get cookin’ with the Flux Smart product line!
The 4 Do's And Don'ts Of Lighting Your Bathroom With Smart Bulbs May 10, 2017 00:00
When it comes to interior design, most people tend to focus on high traffic areas like the entryway, family room, and kitchen.
And while it’s true, setting the right tone in each of these spaces can make or break the feel of your entire home, there’s one more area that many people tend to overlook—the bathroom.
It’s too bad too. The bathroom is where we start and finish most of our days, get our looks just right, and even take a break from the rest of the world to relax, if only for just a few minutes.
But in order to get as much use out of your bathroom as possible, it’ll take a fair amount of lighting knowledge on your part.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the top 4 dos and don’ts to take into account when illuminating your bathroom.
So, have a look! And before you know it, the bathroom just might become your favorite room in the house!
Do: Use smart bulbs to provide adequate task lighting
There are three types of lighting: ambient, accent, and task. And when it comes to the bathroom, the most important type of lighting by far is task lighting.
Task lighting lets you see all the small details when you’re getting ready for your day. That means shaving, putting on makeup, and other daily grooming tasks are all made easier and more effective when performed in the right kind of light.
Vanity lighting is considered the most common type of task lighting in a bathroom. And while you may be tempted to settle on simply the prettiest design, there’s a bit more to consider than just visuals.
Overhead vanity lighting, for example, might end up producing shadows on your face, making it harder to perform grooming tasks accurately. That’s why it’s best to use task lighting that evenly lights the entire target area.
See how the built-in lighting above illuminates from the sides rather than from above? A great idea for anyone looking for ways to improve their bathroom’s task lighting!
Don't: Overdo it
As with other rooms in your home, your bathroom décor can really suffer from overdoing your lighting.
See how the room above, despite being very well lit, comes off as a bit unnerving? That’s because its lighting is far too overpowered for the space.
Proper and attractive bathroom illumination is a balancing act between adequate brightness for performing tasks and dimness to keep the space comfortable.
So, experiment a bit! It might take a bit of work but once you’ve got the right mix of both, your bathroom will become both functional and relaxing.
Do: Pay attention to other layers of light
As mentioned earlier, there are three types of lighting. While task lighting is important to ensure you’re able to, say, put on makeup in the morning, strong ambient and accent lighting are also crucial to giving your bathroom both improved functionality and an attractive appeal.
Ambient light, for instance, is a type of lighting that helps illuminate an entire space. In a bathroom, this typically comes in the form of an overhead light.
Accent lighting, on the other hand, is all about style. It’s used to highlight particularly attractive design pieces or architectural interests.
Using a combination of these three lighting types is called “layering” and helps give your spaces depth, character, and visual appeal.
Take a look at the bathroom above for an example of how to interweave all these illumination types into a single beautifully lit space.
Do: Use smart bulbs in the bathroom
Like every other room in your home, your bathroom’s overall feel can change drastically just by switching the type of bulb you’re using. From warm and cool to colored and normal, the type of light your bulb puts out can mean the difference between a bathroom that’s inviting and comfortable or clean and modern.
Beyond that, having your bathroom’s illumination controlled by a dimmer switch is incredibly handy. For instance, if you’re running late in the morning and need to shave as quickly and accurately as possible before today’s big meeting, you’ll want a brighter bathroom to get the job done. If, however, you’re looking to melt the stress away by relaxing in the tub, you’ll want your lighting to be a bit lower to enhance the mood.
With all these different aspects of lighting to consider, it’s no wonder many people are taking advantage of the versatility of smart bulbs. These lights typically let you change both the color output as well as its brightness.
Talk about design flexibility!
So, follow these four dos and don’ts for lighting to turn your bathroom into a beacon of function and comfort!
How have you used smart bulbs in the bathroom?
What kind of bathroom lighting tips have you discovered? How has using smart bulbs changed the look and feel of your space? Let us know in the comment section below and add some flare to your bathroom with the Flux Smart product line!
5 Festive Decorating Tips for Your Cinco De Mayo Party May 03, 2017 00:00
Welcome to May!
While students might associate this wonderful month with the end of school and good sons and daughters know that Mother’s Day is right around the corner, there’s one more May date that warrants significant celebration: Cinco de Mayo!
Commonly mistaken as Mexico’s Independence Day (actually on September 16th), Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates the impressive defeat of French forces by the Mexican Army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It has since become an overarching celebration of Latin culture by people of any ancestry.
And while May 5th might be less than a week away, there’s still time to throw up a few choice decorations and party favors to really add a bit of flair to your party this year. Check out the tips below to make your Cinco de Mayo get together a real hit!
Sombreros, sombreros, sombreros
One of the key elements to really nailing the right spirit at your Cinco de Mayo parties is the décor. And few décor calls out Mexico like a good old fashioned sombrero.
Whether you decide to go with traditional straw or if you lean a bit more towards some pizzazz with felt like the one shown above, a few well-placed sombreros are essential for any Cinco de Mayo party worth its salt.
And you can even buy them in bulk to hand out to your party guests to really set the atmosphere.
It’s all about color!
When it comes to picking out the right design scheme for your party, Cinco de Mayo has some really beautiful color options that will not only brighten up your home, they’ll also help put your guests in the right frame of mind and add to the authenticity of the décor.
Try using plenty of pinks, purples, yellows and greens like the colors shown above. Bright blue is another popular color for this holiday as well. The question now is how are you going to use them?
Napkins and table cloths can add a few bursts of Cinco de Mayo color to your home and are a some of the most common decorations. But if you really want to blow your guests out of the water this year, try incorporating these hues directly into your lighting.
As you may already know, accent lighting is one of the best ways to change the personality and general feel of a room. And when you combine this technique with actual colored light, like that produced by a smart bulb, you can change the entire design of your home with your lights alone.
Pepper your party with Papel Picado
Literally translated as “pecked paper,” this decoration is one of the most well-known and widely recognized types of Mexican folk art and is the perfect way to add a splash of color to your party.
While you can find these intricately designed tissue paper hangings in almost any party store, you could add a touch of personal style to the décor by creating your own instead. All it takes is a bit of colored tissue paper, a pair of scissors, and a ball of yarn. It couldn’t be easier!
The Cinco de Mayo spread
While technically not a decorating tip, keeping your guests’ bellies full with delicious and authentic Mexican dishes is one of the most important parts of throwing a successful Cinco de Mayo party.
Chips, salsa, and guacamole are some of the staples but don’t stop there! Chimichangas, enchiladas, tacos, burritos, bean dips, and tamales are all fair game. And don’t skimp on the margaritas!
Don’t forget the piñata!
No Cinco de Mayo party is complete without a traditional Mexican piñata! While nothing beats taking a few blindfolded swings at these candy-filled festivities, piñatas can be used for more than just a fun diversion.
This year, try placing a few small piñatas around the party and at the serving station. Beyond putting your guests in the festive mood, these can provide a few bursts of much needed color as well.
Let us know what you think!
How else have you decorated your home to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year? Do you have any other tips to really bring a party to life? Let us know in the comment section below and help celebrate this Cinco de Mayo with the Flux Smart product line!
Bright And Clean Or Soft And Inviting? Using Smart Lighting And Color Temperature To Bring Your Decor To Life April 26, 2017 00:00
The world of lighting aesthetics can be broken down into a few different characteristics.
You’ve got the design and appeal of the fixture itself, the functionality of the light (static brightness or dimmable), and the actual type of light produced such as color and color temperature.
And while it’s crucial to ensure your lighting options are both attractive and flexible, the third characteristic is really the most important when it comes to setting the mood of a space.
Cool vs. Warm Lighting: What’s the difference?
There are a couple of options when it comes to trying to determine what kind of light will really reflect the personality you’re looking for.
One of the newest innovations in lighting is using color psychology to help control the feel of your home, a technique which is becoming even easier to take advantage of thanks to the rise of color changing smart bulbs.
Another option is using color temperature to cater to your desired design scheme. Color temperature isn’t new to the interior decorating industry. In fact, choosing the right kind of bulb has always been one of the most important steps in determining how your home should look and feel.
This critical aspect of lighting is used to describe the color of the light produced by a fixture. It ranges from yellowish light (warm) to blueish light (cool).
In the past, warm color temperature used to only come from incandescent bulbs and candles while a cool color temperature light was produced by fluorescent and LED bulbs.
As lighting technology has advanced though, you can now find a lot of bulbs that cross these lines, from incandescents that give off cool blue light, to LEDs that specialize in producing a warm yellow glow.
The trick is matching the type of light you want to the Kelvin that each bulb gives off, usually indicated somewhere on the packaging. The scale shown above will give you a good idea of what kind of light is produced by a bulb.
Using color temperature in your interior design
Now that you know the basics about color temperature we can get into what a masterfully chosen bulb can do for your design scheme.
You see, each type of light carries with it a different feel. Warm light, for instance, tends to help you and your guests feel safe and comfortable. It can help create a restful setting where conversation flows and, given the right company, romance can bloom.
The restaurant setting pictured below has created a cozy atmosphere with their lighting that lends itself well to intimacy, relaxation, and luxury.
Cool lighting on the other hand tends to add a bit of sleekness to a room’s feel. The crisp bright whites and blues of higher temperature lighting gives a sense of freshness to a space that warm lighting simply can’t.
While the burst of purple and the interesting design of the overhead light tend to draw the eye first, the room pictured below is a great example of how cool lighting contribute to the feeling of cleanliness and modernity of the space.
Mixing and matching
For the most part, warm and cool lighting have been used exclusively for traditional and modern design respectively. The relaxed, inviting nature of warm lighting matches well with the similar atmosphere of traditional design and the clean bright feel of cool lighting lends itself well to modernity.
But just because you are going for a more traditional design scheme doesn’t mean you can’t employ cool lighting to alter the feel of your home. The kitchen pictured below, for instance, incorporates elements of wood in the chairs and island along with iron overhead lighting, but bathes the room in cool bright light. And it still looks great!
It can go the other way too. The living room pictured below, for example, is a great indicator of how a modern design scheme (with the black and white colors and contemporary décor) can still feel warm and inviting given the right kind of lighting.
So don’t be afraid to mix and match. The examples above show that with a bit of tweaking, you can pull it off!
One of the best ways you can play with your design is by investing in light bulbs that not only have variable brightness settings (like built-in dimmers) but also that have the ability to change their color temperature output.
That way you don’t need to keep running back to the store for a bulb with a different color temperature.
Set the mood with smart lighting
How has your design benefited from changing your lighting’s color temperature? Do you have any tips for incorporating color temperature into your décor? Let us know in the comment section below and use color temperature to your advantage with the Flux Smart product line!
Color Psychology And Smart Lighting: Setting The Mood With Interior Design April 19, 2017 00:00
Color psychology—it’s not just a trendy term or year-long fad.
In fact, businesses across the world have been using the study of how colors affect our mood, emotions, and (most importantly to companies) our spending habits.
When it comes to branding, for example, choosing just the right color to communicate your corporate values can mean the difference between attracting your perfect customer or alienating them entirely.
But the usefulness of color psychology doesn’t end with the business big-wigs.
Take interior design for instance. Although the interplay of hues and shades is crucial, knowing how to incorporate color psychology into your home’s décor can give any space that extra special something that your guests just can’t put their finger on—but they’re sure to love.
Color Psychology: How does it work?
In order to wield the power of color psychology for your interior design effectively, you first need to know a bit about how the concept works. After all, painting a masterpiece takes more than just picking up the paintbrush.
Color psychology is a bit more complex than simply “red means love” or “green corresponds with greed.” While it’s true that some people might make such associations, how any one person subconsciously responds to a color depends on a whole host of factors, from culture and location to past experiences and even the weather.
That being said, there is quite a bit of science out there that points to the general effect each color can have. As such, we’ve put together a quick list of the most commonly used colors and how they can tap into the subconscious mind.
RED – The boldest of the colors, red has been known to not only have an impact on an individual’s appetite, it can also help to paint things in a more urgent light.
BLUE – Calm and peaceful, blue has been used by many large companies for the sense of security it provides. Blue light has also been shown to increase productivity
PURPLE – Purple’s effects are directed at the creative mind. Whether it’s solving complex logistical problems or deciding on the twist in your next chapter, this hue will help harness your creative energies.
GREEN – Because this color is especially easy on the eyes (it really does cause the least amount of eye strain!), it’s ideal for creating harmony and peace.
ORANGE & YELLOW – If there’s ever been a more joyful color than orange and yellow, we have yet to find it. These two hues are particularly great at adding a bit of optimism to your day.
While it’s worth mentioning again that not everyone will have the exact same reactions to each color, the consensus seems to be that the attributes above are pretty common among most of the public.
Color psychology and interior design
So, now that you know the specifics of these hues, let’s have a look at how you can take advantage of each when it comes to planning out your home’s décor.
Before moving on to the color specifics, one tip in particular should be noted: interior design isn’t limited just to the paint on the walls. It can include everything from furniture and hangings down to accent lighting and even paper weights! So, don’t feel limited with your décor options. Even a single well-selected accent pillow can change the entire personality of a space.
Beyond that, it’s important to stick to design principles 101. A lack of complimentary colors, mismatching shades and tones, and ultra-bright of colors are all basic pitfalls that even color psychology can’t overpower.
Now, let’s move on to how to use color psychology to bring your interior design to life.
RED – Stimulating conversation and a satisfying eating experience can both flourish when surrounded by this particular color. As such, look to add a bit of it to where people tend to gather most like the family room and of course to the main dinner spaces like the kitchen or dining room.
BLUE – The cool and collected security of this color can do wonders to help you melt the stress away and get ready for relaxation. Try sprinkling your bedroom or living room with a touch of blue or go all out and create an entire accent wall in the hue.
PURPLE – Imagination especially shines with this shade. Use it to get your creative juices flowing in your studio or wherever you solve problems and engage with any form of art like the study.
GREEN – A particularly calming color, green is a good place to start when trying to plan out your home office’s décor. The lack of eye strain it creates can help you concentrate in small details for longer than normal (hence the green eye shades and lamps for accountants).
ORANGE & YELLOW – If you really want to pump yourself up to finally make use of your exercise room, try giving it a bit of orange or yellow flair. The stimulation might make it easier to feel enthused about tackling another mile on the treadmill.
Let us know what you think!
Do you have any other color psychology design tips to share? How has incorporating these awesome techniques helped to bring your décor to life? Let us know in the comment section below and start using color to your advantage with the Flux Smart product line!
Make Your Colors Pop With These Simple Lighting Tips April 12, 2017 00:00
The grass is beginning to turn a healthy green, the air is perfumed with blooming fragrances, and the world around us is bursting with color again. Spring is upon us.
We can finally shrug off the monotony of winter and embrace the bright and lively colors of the season! Isn’t it amazing what a little bit of color can do for your mood?
This season, don’t let the outdoors be the only place to find some color in your day. Instead, follow the simple lighting tips below to help bring your decorative hues to life.
Harness the power of accent lighting
If you could only take away a single lighting tip from this post, then this would be the one to keep. Accent lighting is one of the best ways to add flair and character to a living space. It can be used to highlight architectural designs, particularly striking décor, and can even act as a design piece itself!
Accent lighting is one of three types of lighting used in interior design. The other two, ambient and task lighting, are mainly related to function rather than decoration. And while both of these might make it easier to move around a room or perform actions like reading a book, accent lighting defines the feel of a room because the eye naturally falls on the brightest part.
If you really want to make your colors pop then, try adding some accent lighting that highlights especially colorful design elements. It could be a sculpture, a painting, or even a bookcase with some brightly colored covers. You might be surprised at how much different a space feels afterwards!
Invest in color-changing light bulbs
While the color-changing light bulbs of the past used to be reserved for parties, holidays, and kid’s rooms, modern smart bulbs with this feature have become a staple in the world of interior design.
There are a couple of reasons why.
First, these bulbs offer something no other bulb can—light that comes in 16 million different colors. With such an enormous range, you don’t have to choose just from “loud” colors. In fact, one of the best ways you can use these bulbs is by just adding a little bit of color to your light.
Maybe a light green to help you usher in spring.
Or a pinch of red to add a bit of relaxation.
Whatever color you go with, bathing your living space in a certain hue can transform a boring interior design scheme into a layout you and your guests will love.
Color-changing bulbs also offer the benefit of making your accent lighting pop even more. Imagine walking into a living room and seeing not just a few brightly lit objects but rather a burst of colored light enveloping them as well.
Warm or cool?
Light color temperature is one of the biggest contributors to wrongly chosen color schemes. You may be browsing the hardware store for a reasonable looking paint swatch when BAM! It hits you. That absolutely perfect hue that will do wonders to tie your family room together. So, you buy a can of it. In fact, you buy three (that color is so perfect!).
But after you cover the entire space in this color you thought was sent directly from the heavens, you realize that something isn’t quite right. The hue you were fawning over for so long has changed from absolutely perfect to, well, this.
You might be suffering from the common problem of misjudging how a color will look in a different light. You see, the lights of a hardware store, while bright and effective, might have a different color temperature than the lights in your home. As a result, the colors in your family room are bound to look different when illuminated by a dissimilar kind of light.
While some paint specialty shops have displays set up to show just how light color temperature might alter your favorite hue, one of the best ways to ensure your colors look just right is by having a light source with an adjustable color temperature. That way, you can cater your lighting needs to that perfect color rather than the other way around.
Now that’s what we call versatility.
Let us know what you think!
What other ways have you found lighting can really help your home’s colors pop? How have using these design tips changed the look and feel of your home? Let us know in the comment section below and get coloring with the Flux Smart product line!
Easter Décor Galore! (And How Smart Bulbs Can Give You Even More) April 05, 2017 00:00
Few occasions bring families and friends together like Easter.
It could be the mix of festivity and reverence. Or it may be the joy of decorating eggs and the thrill of hunting for them Sunday morning. Or maybe it’s all the chocolate, jelly beans, and sugar covered marshmallows that really make this holiday shine.
No matter what Easter might mean to you, one thing is for sure: Easter is and always has been one of the most cheerful holidays on the calendar. And if you’re decorating your home for this occasion, you’re probably thinking of ways to communicate that same joyous feeling.
So, the question is: how can you spruce up your home to match the bright and beautiful Easter season this year?
That’s why we’ve put together this list of a few tricks to really get your home into the spirit. The decorations, design tips, and a couple ways to take advantage of your smart bulbs provided below will all help make your Easter a particularly festive occasion.
Embrace the entryway
You’ve heard the old saying, “you never get another chance to make a first impression.” Well the same goes for your home. And if you are trying to Easter-ize your home this holiday season, one of the best ways to do that is by focusing on the entryway.
A few tastefully designed Easter knick-knacks on the console tables of your home’s entrance is a good start. Be sure not to overload it of course! Sometimes simplicity is the best route, especially when the design elements may already have a predisposition to kitsch (we’re looking at you Easter Bunny).
When it comes to the outdoors, a nice Easter wreath can be a great way to set the mood for your home but frankly, we’ve all seen that before. By all means keep the wreath but if you want to exude holiday spirit this year, you may want to try something different as well.
For instance, anyone with white or lace curtains can use their smart bulbs to add a bit more Easter panache to their home this year. All it takes is setting your smart bulbs to shine the lavenders, yellows, and pinks of Easter directly onto the curtains.
To pull this one off (and when you do, it’s worth it!) it takes a bit of subtlety with the colors. Truly go pastel on this one. If you go the route of lemon yellow, tickle me pink, and violet it might be a bit overwhelming for both you and your neighbors. And if you find those perfect hues you could even cycle between the colors for some truly dynamic decorations!
A superior Easter interior
As for the indoor décor, feel free to be a little bit bolder with your design. Here you can pepper in a few bright accents that play well against an unimposing interior. And if you’re not fully onboard with buying a violet sectional couch (we don’t blame you), you could keep your accents down to a more manageable level with, say, a few eye-catching lavender pillows or a sage-green blanket to help bring in the season.
These quick but powerful bursts of color here and there are known in the design world as “accents”. While an accent might be small compared to the rest of your interior, they can truly transform the character of an entire room, even an entire home!
And when it comes to accents, nothing works better than adding an accent light. You see, a well-lit home is made up of three different types of light: ambient, task, and accent. While ambient is your all-purpose and functional source for illumination and task lighting helps you perform, well, tasks (think under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen), accent lighting really dictates the feel of a room by highlighting interesting design elements and décor.
While an accent light can normally only do as much for a room as the decoration it’s highlighting, a smart bulb can actually make the light itself become the point of interest. Instead of just brightening up your bookcase, painting or clock, use the smart bulb’s color changing ability to cast these objects in a whole new light, literally!
Try playing with your lighting colors throughout the house. As we pointed out earlier though, just a little bit of color can go a long way when it comes to lighting. And with over 16 million different colors to choose from, you’re bound to find one that perfectly complements your Easter style.
Let us know what you think!
What kinds of creative decorating techniques do you use to celebrate Easter? How has the 16 million choosable colors and dimming ability of smart bulbs helped you spruce up your home this year? Let us know in the comment section below and celebrate Easter with the Flux Smart product line!
Smart Bulb Alexa Integration: A Big Step Towards a Smarter Home March 29, 2017 00:00
Remember The Jetsons?
“Meet George Jetson… His boy Elroy… Daughter Judy… Jane, his wife!”
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably got images of that neat flying car that turns into a suitcase flashing through your head right about now. Or maybe their robotic housemaid Rosie and their talking dog Astro (what is it about talking dogs in cartoons anyway?).
Definitely a classic!
One aspect of that show that captured the imagination and attention of its viewers was the imaginative technology of the future, always a popular draw for an audience.
When the show first aired, most of those technologies were thought to be a long way off. And while we still don’t have flying cars (what’s taking so long car companies?), the smart home from the show is becoming more of a reality with each passing day thanks to the Internet of Things.
Better yet, smart personal assistants like the immensely popular Alexa by Amazon let you control many of your connected devices with simple voice commands.
And now, your Flux Smart light bulbs offer full Alexa integration! Before getting into the specifics of how to use Alexa to control your home’s lighting, let’s take a quick look at the growing trend of the smart home and why products like Alexa are such a great step in the right direction.
The smart home and Alexa
So, what exactly is a smart home?
You’ve undoubtedly noticed that a lot of products can now connect directly to your phone or computer. This lets you control the device remotely, customize it to meet your needs, or monitor it from anywhere in the world.
It can mean a coffee brewer that you can turn on from bed, a thermostat that notifies you when the heat’s been turned on, and a doorbell that sends you a video feed of your visitors, even when you aren’t home!
This movement towards an increasingly connected world is called the Internet of Things. And a smart home is one that uses this type of connectivity for heating and cooling, appliance and entertainment device control, and, of course, for lighting as well.
The smart homes of the past depended for the most part on a single control device (kind of like a huge TV remote) to bring it all together.
But with the age of Alexa upon us, smart homes have reached an entirely new level of user-friendliness. Instead of having to lug that giant remote around with you wherever you go, Alexa lets anyone simply call out a request (like “turn on the heat,” “start the oven,” or even “water the lawn”) and Alexa will handle the rest.
Pretty cool, huh?
Of course, the reach of Alexa is limited entirely by whether or not a device is compatible. To find a complete list of these devices, check out this page from Amazon. You can also purchase outlet plugins that Alexa can connect to so any device can be accessed.
Alexa and Flux Smart bulbs
When you think of a futuristic home, I’m sure one of the images that pops into your head is voice activated lights. After all, almost every sci-fi movie out there lets you know you’re in the future with a scene showing a guy entering a room and saying “lights on”.
And now, anyone with Flux Smart bulbs can finally be that guy!
As of now, Alexa can respond to four separate commands:
- Alexa, set [light name] to [0-100]%
- Alexa, turn [light name] on/off
- Alexa, dim/brighten [light name]
- Alexa, increase/decrease [light name]
And when you combine that with the upcoming ability to change light colors and set custom modes using voice commands, you’re bound to have all of your lighting needs and desires completely covered!
Beyond that, setting your bulbs up to integrate with Alexa is a cinch. All it takes is four simple steps: set up a cloud account, enable remote connection, enabling the Alexa skill, and connecting the bulbs to Alexa (you can find a more detailed setup guide here).
With a painless setup and such impressive functionality, there’s no reason not to start using Alexa to control your home’s lights today.
So go on. Take a step into the future!
Let us know what you think!
How has Alexa changed your home? What do you think of Flux Smart’s smart bulb Alexa integration? Let us know in the comment section below and get futuristic with the Flux Smart product line!
Smart Bulbs: The Future Of Relaxation March 22, 2017 00:00
Stress is a killer.
We all know it, and we’ve all felt what it’s like when we have too much of it. In fact, Americans are reporting their stress levels are on the rise with over one-third of the population reporting increased stress in the past year alone.
What’s worse is the havoc too much daily stress can have on your body. From headaches and rashes to depression and heart disease, stress overload can give you a wide range of health problems (and the list goes on).
So, how can you fight off your overwhelming stress before it begins controlling your life?
Simple: by taking a minute to just relax.
Whether it’s at the end of a long shift at work or a quick fifteen minutes in the middle of your day, forcing yourself to relax is one of the best ways you can counteract stress’s harmful effects and give your body and mind some time to recoup.
And when it comes to relaxation, few things are as effective as the sensory immersion provided by smart bulbs.
But before getting into that, let’s take a closer look at how our body reacts to stress and how daily relaxation can help you.
Your body and stress
Stress is one of those things that everyone wishes they didn’t have, right up there with mosquitoes and pimples.
But the truth is, if we never felt any stress we simply wouldn’t get anything done! After all, if you truly don’t have a care in the world then what’s to stop you from skipping work and never paying taxes again?
So, while we may hate feeling it, each of us actually needs at least some stress in our lives to keep us productive.
That being said, our bodies aren’t built to handle chronic stress. While short bursts can spur us into action, long bouts of stress can really do a number on our physical health, resulting in countless discomforts and even life threatening diseases.
Beyond that, regular relaxation can provide a host of benefits including higher productivity levels, better memory, increased alertness, and being a generally happier person!
Stress relief with sensory immersion
So what’s the best way to relax in the hustle and bustle of the modern world?
That’s where sensory immersion comes in. By bathing your body’s audio and visual centers in soothing sounds and light, you give yourself over to relaxation more easily. That’s why spas and yoga retreats are often accompanied by serene decorations and lulling music: it makes it simpler to really let go.
Let’s take a quick look at the science here.
In a study by Penn State associate professor of bio-behavioral health Orfeu Buxton, researchers discovered that the mind is particularly good at relaxing with soothing sounds by comparing responses to abrupt threats (like alarm clocks) and gradual non-threats (like an approaching thunderstorm).
He found that gradual non-threats can be played almost twice as loud before getting the same response as abrupt threats. So, while you may wake up at even the slightest creak in the floorboards amidst the silence of the night, your mind can keep you relaxed enough to stay asleep even among crashes of waves, clamors of thunder, or the sharp chirps of birds.
Think of these types of sounds as a way to hack into our own minds and prime them for relaxation.
And the research doesn’t stop there.
There have been a wealth of studies on how simply looking at a relaxing picture, like that of a forest, can actually be quite effective at reducing stress and lowering the risk of depression. One study even showed that patients in intensive care could lessen their need for pain medication by looking at pictures of trees and water!
It seems, then, that one of the best ways to relax is to surround yourself with the perfect combination of light and sound…
Melt the stress away with smart bulbs
Cue smart bulbs.
If you’ve had your finger on the pulse of the light bulb industry, you already know that you can set your high-quality smart bulbs to shine out over 16 million different colors, and even create custom schemes that transition from one hue to another.
But did you know that some smart bulbs like the Flux Smart Melody come with the ability to play music and soundscapes from your phone or tablet as well?
While these nifty features can be particularly useful when it comes to throwing a rockin’ get together, you can also use the speaker and color changing abilities to set the perfect mood for you to relax in.
Just imagine coming home from a long day at the office and taking a load off in your favorite chair by listening to the soothing sound of waves on a beach and bathing yourself in cool blue light.
Feel that stress melting away yet?
With a smart bulb in hand, the power to relieve stress whenever you want is right in your smart device. Happy relaxing!
Let us know what you think!
What have you found to be an especially great way to relax? Have you used smart lighting to help take a load off? Let us know in the comment section below and de-stress your life with the Flux Smart product line!
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