Smartphone Controlled LEDs Add New Dimension to Connected Lighting

official Osram Sylvania Lightify promo image

Imagine you’re on vacation. During a long beach walk, you suddenly realize you forgot to turn on the back porch security light at home 1000 miles away. You could contact your neighbor for help, or, if that porch light uses one of a new breed of connected LED bulbs, you can grab your smart phone, click an app, turn the light on and get back to your beach walk.

Yes, we are in the brave new world of being connected to things we can control from almost anywhere. Now, that includes light bulbs.

Automated homes have been around for a while, but in the last 10 years a revolution has happened in home automation. We still have central, computerized home automation systems (installed by professionals) connecting the devices and systems in our homes; but today, because the devices themselves are smart, the installation can be done by the owner.

Light bulbs, thermostats, door locks, refrigerators and more all are available with WiFi, Bluetooth or some other network protocol. You can simply plug them, in along with a control gateway from the lighting manufacturer or a hub like Wink or WeMo and control them or monitor them with apps on smartphones and tablets. This is home automation for the do-it-yourselfer. Plug-n-play.

Lighting has always been part of the “smart home” concept of controlled devices, but with the emergence of LED lighting and smart light bulbs, the capabilities expand significantly beyond simple ON/OFF and dimming control.

Sylvania’s Lightify system continues this trend in connected lighting products.

You can now buy a Sylvania Lightify LED replacement for a standard 60 watt incandescent that can be remotely controlled for white light tuning. If you want warm white light to relax by in the evening or cool white light for reading the paper in the morning, you can have both simply by controlling the LED bulb with your smartphone app. Plus you can dim the light at any chosen color temperature.

When you find just the right color temperature and dimming settings, simply add them to the Lightify pre-set lighting scene function. Now one click brings up the lighting mood you want.

Sylvania also offers a Lightify Flex RGBW lighting strips with color changing functionality. This system allows tunable white light control, unlimited colored light control and dimming all from the Lightify app. These adhesive backed strips can be installed in cove or undercabinet applications where the strips are invisible, or, installed as visible direct lighting.

The line of Lightfiy LED products includes the items above plus an RGB mini-landscape LED light kit, the Lightify Gateway that uses WiFi to wirelessly connect the lights to the free Lightify app which can be downloaded for both iOS and Android devices.

For anyone who has already started down the path of connected devices in the home, you may already have a wireless hub such as Wink, WEMO or Smart Things. These hubs understand the ZigBee protocol used by Lightify and they take the place of the Lightify Gateway. Simply purchase your Lightify lighting products and use the app associated with the wireless hub you already own to control the Lightify system.

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Dave Burtner

Dave has been active in the lighting industry since 1994. Formerly a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and certified by the National Council On Qualifications for Lighting Professionals, Dave now writes blog posts, lighting tips and provides lighting product assistance for the Topbulb website.

3 thoughts on “Smartphone Controlled LEDs Add New Dimension to Connected Lighting

    1. Dave says:


      Unfortunately, currently the Sylvania Lightify app requries either Google Play (mobile only) or Apple iOS 7.0 or later compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch only.


  1. Bill Lintner says:

    As you told Lightify Flex RGBW lighting strips comes with color changing functionality, so hereby my question is if I set red color in it and then turn it off. Still it keeps the same color when I turn it on again next time?

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